This is one in a series of posts reviewing and looking at how some of the SEO companies which use bulk emails/spam with ‘we can help your terrible site’ type emails really can (and actually mostly can’t!) help your site.
This time the email came in from an ‘Risa’ who was using a Gmail address that included their name, along with a couple of others…
The subject of the spam was “SEO Exclusive Offer” and went:
1st Page on Google Guaranteed!!
Is your Site Optimized with the Google latest methodology called LSI to Rank High???
Does your Site Rank Low???
Do you have less traffic on your site???
An end to this entire question. We provide a complete solution for your Online Business need.
We bring Traffic to Your Site and rank You Top with our LSI based Google’s Algorithm at Affordable rates.
Our Steps and the Activities to Rank You Smart
· Keywords Research
· Competition Analysis
· Optimized Content Creation
· Keywords Optimization
· Back Link Creation/Link Building
· Submission to Search Engines and Directories
· Submission to Article Directories
Please reply for the best quote for your website link and we will guarantee to Rank You 1st to 10th position in Google ranking.
Thanks & Regard
Risa [name removed for privacy]
Online Marketing Executive
Well, the first and last sentences in that spam are ‘interesting’. They open with claims of “1st Page on Google Guaranteed!” and end with “…we will guarantee to Rank You 1st to 10th position in Google ranking.”
Only Google has something to say about claims like that:
Beware of SEO companies that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google.from Google’s “Do you need an SEO?”
So we’re off to a great start with this one! (There’s also something else very fishy in their text, which we’ll deal with later.)
Anyway, I replied!
That sounds interesting. What company do you work for and where are you located?
Can you look at this site www.whychristmas.com and see what you think of it?
The next day I got a reply from Kamal who was using an @adroitg.com email address. It went:
Good Morning James,
Thank you for your immediate response.
I have checked your website: https://www.whychristmas.com/ Please check the analysis report in the attachment of the website based on that I can also send a report about other competitors’ ranking status. I can help you to get more traffic through my SEO strategies, I will help you get on the first page of Google; this will help clients to find you more easily. I would like to take a personal interest in this branding plan as I love Christmas and there is a bunch of information I have never seen in one place. I think it should reach a lot of people.
My team will consistently work for the ranking of the website and will provide biweekly reports for all the work. Furthermore, we will keep updating the social media pages like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn with illuminating posts.
Please find the following websites of our previous and current clients. Also, check the attached file of the company profile, SEO Packages :
[list of sites removed for privacy]
Please let me know if you would like to discuss it over a call, promise not to waste your time.
Kamal [name removed for privacy]
Business Development Head – IT & Project Manager AdroitG Technology
There’s another 1st page claim in this email! (“I will help you get on the first page of Google“)
Shortly after getting this email, I started getting phone calls on my business number from an Indian number (AdroitG are in Delhi). I didn’t answer it… They actually called me SEVEN times over the next three hours. There’s a voicemail on my business number but they didn’t leave a message, they just called and called!
Anyway, I then sent them the below email, pointing how that they’re spammers and not very good ones at that.
I’m glad you like my Christmas site. It already gets well over 20 MILLION page loads a year! I think that’s pretty good.
I’ve been in the web business for over 20 years and reply to SEO spammers, like yourselves, to see what they say to try and get clients…
I see you’ve also been in business for many years. So you should be aware of anti-spam and privacy legislation around the world.
However, the email from Risa was unsolicited and came from a random Gmail account with NO information about your company.
That breaks multiple international anti-spam laws, such as CAN-SPAM in the USA and PECR in the UK (there are similar laws in other countries including Canada, Australia and Singapore).
The first sentence from Risa’s email was “1st Page on Google Guaranteed!!” and at the end it said “we will guarantee to Rank You 1st to 10th position in Google ranking”. But Google specially says to BEWARE of anyone who make claims like that!
So it seems that you’re happy to spam people (breaking multiple international laws) with misleading information (that Google says not to do). That doesn’t seem very good to me…
Your report was also wrong in many places.
Please remove me from your mailing lists (as I have a right to under GDPR) and please do not spam me again.
I’ve not heard back after that one… and the calls stopped!
Their Report & Recommendations
There were three attachments on the email from Kamal. The SEO report (which was a Word doc – why?!) and two PDFs. One with their SEO packages (which range from $150 to $1500 a month!) and one about their company (which is full on marketing speak and doesn’t actually tell you much…).
The report starts with a ‘Summary’ with points in that need to be ‘improved’. We’ll look at those below.
Then the report looks at different areas. Some bits are just facts (like the age of the domain) and other bits have ‘yes’ or ‘no’ things (although it doesn’t say whether you want a yes or no on the items – some you want yes and some you want no!). Some of those are wrong or make no sense as in:
They say I don’t have an HTML sitemap. Well, I guess they missed the one that’s linked it the footer ON EVERY PAGE ON THE SITE…
They say my site doesn’t have a ‘Yahoo Sitemap’. Well, that would be because no one has used them FOR YEARS and it’s pointless in having one these days. I do however have an XML sitemap, which does what this used to do (and they say I’ve got an XML sitemap). The explanations about sitemaps says:
It is great to have a complete and up-to-date sitemap; spiders love it, no matter if it is a plain old HTML sitemap or the special Google sitemap format.
That’s mostly correct. Only there’s no such things as a ‘the special Google sitemap format’. They use XML sitemaps… (I guess they might mean ROR sitemaps. They say they’ll make one on their pricing plans. But these also haven’t been used FOR YEARS either…)
Then there’s this about ‘Anchor Text’:
Also very important, especially for the anchor text of inbound links, because if you have the keyword in the anchor text in a link from another site, this is regarded as getting a vote from this site not only about your site in general, but about the keyword in particular.
Erm, ok. I think what they’re saying is that having proper text on links is a good idea. This is true. I also have that throughout the links on my site. But they also speak of ‘the anchor text of inbound links’ which would be the links ofnsites which link to your site – WHICH YOU HAVE NO CONTROL OVER. So that’s rather odd to list as part of ‘your’ SEO…!
Anyway, onto the items in the ‘Summary’:
Headers hierarchy/according to keywords (h1, h2) is not maintained in all pages.
Yes, yes they are. My pages all use the correct headings structure. This is unlike their site… So this is WRONG.
One or two keywords per page should be targeted.
They already are. This is WRONG.
Need to optimize content/h1/h2 according to keywords.
They already are. This is WRONG.
Need to add metatags.
Pages which need meta tags have them. This is WRONG.
Website lacks back link support, link building should be done to make the website rank from different competitive themes.
Hmmm, so they think that having nearly 80,000 backlinks (with an 84% ‘dofollow’ rate) is bad?! (Their site has just over 2000 backlinks with a 21% dofollow rate…) You can always get more backlinks but the saying it currently ‘lacks’ backlinks is WRONG.
Need to post social networking site like: Facebook, twitter, Linkedin etc.
As my site is mostly about Christmas. Pretty much all the social networking type things happen around Christmas time!
Need to create/update blog page regularly.
Having a blog can help with SEO. However, it’s not a magic bullet. I don’t want a blog on my site, so I don’t have one! (Also technically you wouldn’t create ‘blog pages’ regularly, blog items are posts…)
Need to perform off page SEO activities like: directories submission, article write and submission, blog write and submission, classifieds posting, social bookmarking, social networking etc.
Again, this happens in November and December!
Need to improve Alexa ranking.
Further on in the report it says that my site’s Alexa ranking is 537,814. That’s about right. Again, this changes during the year. It’s already gone from about 900,000 in August to 540,000(ish) a couple of months later. By December, it will probably be in the top 100,000! Being in the top 1 million at all is very good. (Their site is currently at 7,503,476 and this site is 3,433,693 but I don’t make claims like being the #1 SEO company [in India] on my site, like they do…!)
Need to add /edit Title, met tags for pages.
This is always an on-going thing – but mine are already very good. (And it’s ‘meta’ not ‘met’!)
Need to add relevant keywords in alt tags.
All the images on my site have relevant alt tags. This is WRONG.
Need to optimize content in pages.
All the pages are VERY optimised. This is WRONG.
So basically of the items in the ‘summary’ are WRONG in one way or another. They’re also very generic (and things I’ve seen on basically every report from SEO spammers). I strongly suspect they’re automatically put on every report they send to people…
Looking at Their Site
With SEO spammers, I also like to look at their sites, to see if they practice what they preach (I mean would you trust a plumber who had leaking and rusty pipes all over their own house?!); and also to compare their site with a site they say they can help…
Their site is https://www.adroitg.com/
For HTML Validation, my site has no errors. Their site has 9 errors and 36 warnings.
Using the ‘WAVE’ Accessibility Testing Tool, their site has 22 errors and 55 contrast errors, again, not exactly good. My site has no errors of either kind!
Using the Google Lighthouse speed test tool their site gets:
Best Practices: 80
My site gets:
Best Practices: 100
So my site is MUCH better across the board, and especially in ‘Performance’.
They have three Heading 1s on their home page. You should only have one. They also have skipped heading levels (which they said I have but I don’t).
They say in their SEO pricing/strategy PDF that they’ll do HTML validation. It’s a shame they’ve not bothered to do that on their own site. (They also say they’ll check for ‘Brokcen Links’… hmmmm.)
On their about page there are some numbers. One number, that they’ve been in business for 10 years, is accurate. However, the other numbers seem less so!
They say they’ve had 30,000+ ‘happy clients’. Hmmm, they’ve been in business for 10 years (their domain was registered in April 2011). There are 3652.5 days in 10 years. So to have 30,000 clients, they’ve had to have had over eight new clients, every day, day after day, for ten years straight. That seems ‘unlikely’…
What’s more likely (and in fact is the case!) is that the ‘30000 clients’ as well as the two other ‘unlikely’ numbers on the page (178 ‘high score’ and 352 ‘cups of coffee’) are from demo content which comes with the theme they’re using!
The theme demo has 15 years, not 10. So they’ve been bothered to change one number. But are happy to lie about the number of clients they’ve had to make themselves look bigger. Hmmmm.
Something else that comes with the theme is the ability to load your latest tweets in the footer. Only they’ve not bothered to set that up either, so it says “Please configure widget options.” on the live site. Oh. Dear.
The theme also comes with a place for testimonials and with a demo testimonial from ‘John Smith’ the CEO of a demo company called ‘Okler’.
There are some testimonials on the AdroitG Technology site. But one is from the above John Smith, and ALL of them have ‘Okler’ left on the end of the company names, even if there’s another company name before it! They really aren’t very good at setting up sites are they?!
There’s a blog on their site – it has four posts. All from 2016. So although they say in their SEO report you need to blog regularly, they don’t do it themselves…
Remember I said there were something that was fishy in their originial spam? Well, they claim to get you up the ranking for “Google latest methodology called LSI”. (They also mention it on their SEO Packages PDF.)
But there’s a BIG problem with that statement.
LSI stands for ‘Latent Semantic Indexing’ (although they don’t tell you that anywhere). It’s basically a way that computers can help to understand words in their context. It’s also nothing new or very special.
Most importantly, it’s probably also NOTHING to do with how SEO works!
‘LSI’ and ‘LSI Keywords’ have been a bit of a ‘thing’ in some SEO circles for the last 20 years. Some SEO people still think it’s something that Google uses.
However, Google have publicly said many times that ‘LSI Keywords’ DO NOT exist and that ‘LSI’ IS NOT used by them!
In computer learning terms, LSI also now ‘old technology’ and Google uses newer (and better) ways of working out what sites and pages are about.
So the main claim that AdroitG Technology makes to get you using them is something that Google says doesn’t exist. Oh dear.
(If you want to find out more about LSI and how it’s not used in SEO, please read this excellent article about LSI and SEO on the Search Engine Journal…)
On their LinkedIn page, they state “our team always adopts ethical SEO processes”. Hmmm, I don’t call spamming from random email accounts and having misleading information exactly ‘ethical’…
It two emails to me, they made multiple claims in their emails which Google says to beware of!
They also don’t seem to have set-up their own site properly.
So if AdroitG Technology say they can get you into the top 10 on Google, I’d probably take Google’s advice and ‘beware’
But, as ever, the choice is yours..