10 Examples of Real Life SEO Lies, Myths and Nonsense That You Aren’t Going to Believe.
I have seen some pretty crazy questions come through the support channels of the several SEO services I run. After a while I thought it might be fun to gather up the craziest ones and write a post around them. So, for the past 6 weeks I’ve been keeping track of the best ones. These are all myths, lies and other outrageous claims that potential customers have been told by other SEO companies they were speaking with or by the SEO company they are currently using.
We all hear horror stories about the lies and utter bullshit that SEO gurus and grimy sales reps will tell someone in order to get them to hand over their hard earned money. Well, here are ten of the best I have seen over the past few weeks. These are direct quotes pulled from the support inbox of all my SEO services.
Grab a coffee if it’s the morning where you are or crack a cold beer if its’ the evening and sit back and enjoy the lulz that’s about to unfold.
Here are 10 SEO lies, myths and nonsense that I hear about on a regular basis..
1. “One of the SEO companies we are considering hiring said they can rank us in 15 days. Can you do it any faster?”
This is one I get a lot and that’s scary. There are so many companies that advertise overnight rankings and while industry people and other SEOs know it is a bunch of crap, many business owners have no idea. They see these ads and the claims and think they found a winner since they are going to be ranked on Google in just a couple of weeks.
Instead of just telling the client that the company is lying and that they are crazy to go with them you need to take 10 minutes to give them a schooling. If you do this you will close them easily and they will have an understanding of how SEO really works. These are seriously the easiest leads to close. You save them from wasting their time and money and you give them a free SEO education. They trust you, pay you, and then stick with you.
2. “I can’t find anything saying you are Google approved on your website. This other company said they do Google approved SEO.”
This is something that Google is actually cracking down on but it still happens. The scam companies will use the Google partner seal on their website and claim they are Google approved. The seal doesn’t mean shit. It means someone at the company passed a multiple choice test and they have some PPC accounts under management. It isn’t an approval of any sorts.
This is another type of person that you can close easily if you just use the same approach as above. Let them know they are lucky they contacted you because you just saved them from being ripped off, then explain what the Google seal really means, and they explain that Google doesn’t endorse any companies. Use this line and you will close every one:
“Google doesn’t endorse any SEO companies. They are straight lying to you. They aren’t a company I would trust with my money or my website if they are dishonest form the start.”
3. “You aren’t going to build links, right? You just write content so we don’t get penalized, right?”
There is so much confusion out there about links and content. So many SEO companies try to dance around and they will tell the client that they are “writing high quality content” to “earn links” but they are really posting a few blog posts and building private blog network links or outsourcing the link building.. they basically just go to the BST section on BHW and buy links. Trust me, I sell links to a lot of these big SEO companies.
There is no reason to be shady about links. Everyone knows that links matter so be honest with clients. It proves you know what the hell you are doing and it shows them you are honest. If you look at any of my services you will see that I make it very clear that we are providing links, and it’s not always safe to just blast links to a money site. You need a plan and you need to know what you are doing.
Let your clients know that links are important.. the most important thing.. and there is always a risk, but it’s something that needs to be done if you want to rank. Everything in business has some risk, even SEO. Be honest and you won’t have issues. I hate seeing SEO companies flat out lie to clients.
4. “I need to be a page rank 7 next month. What is the soonest you can get us to PR7?”
I still get at least a few page rank requests every month. Every time it’s a business owner that desires a specific page rank because they think it will magically make them rank. I think a lot of them ask because they read old SEO articles that still rank high that talk about page rank. It used to be such a hot topic so everyone blogged about it back then. There are also a lot of shady SEO companies that still have websites that still have their 2005 design and since they haven’t changed anything their packages all include “PR links” and some even mention the magic formula of how many of each PR you need to reach the next level.
It’s sad that people are still using PR as a way to sell SEO, but I’m sure it will continue to happen. If you notice a trend in this article so far, all of these lies and crazy claims can be your best friend. While me and my staff have a good laugh, we also close a high percentage of these people because we educate them. In this case, we show them that PR isn’t a public metric and we show them when the last update was. It was so long ago that it becomes clear any SEO company using only PR to sell is out of touch.
5. “Could you please tell us how many Google +1’s, Twitter re-tweets, and Facebook shares your SEO packages come with?”
Are social signals part of Google’s algorithm? Some will argue yes and some will say no. I think they are important, but only REAL ones. Fake social signals don’t help at all and if anything they make a business look foolish. The low quality social signals you buy on Fiverr or freelance sites are all bot and look fake. They don’t help. I’ll argue with anyone that says otherwise. Fake social signals are worthless and have zero benefit.
The best response to this is to explain that packaged social signals are worthless, and then explain how to generate real ones. This is also a great way to upsell social media management. There are a ton of tools to make it easy.. perfect opportunity to make more money from each client simply because you were upfront and told them how it really is.
6. “I’ll sign up tomorrow if you can guarantee that your SEO is hummingbird, panda, and penguin proof like [SEO company name removed] offers.”
Animal proof guarantees are everywhere. Some small sellers make these claims and I see big SEO companies make similar claims on their websites. It really bothers me that people have the stones to make these claims. When someone sends this I respond like this:
“That company is not Google. They have zero control over what Google does, nor do they know their next move. If you would like to learn how SEO really works please let me know the best time to call you and leave the best phone number to reach you on.”
Know how many people reply and get on the phone with me? 8 out of 10 every time. When they hear that it’s like a slap back to reality. Business owners get excited about SEO. They think they will rank on top and make all kinds of money. Sometimes they need to hear the truth to bring them back to reality. Especially those that don’t know much about the internet. They assume it’s some magical place that just fills your bank account with money.
7. “How many 500 word hand written articles do you give me every month?”
500 words is the magic number for blog articles. If you fill your site with 500 word articles it leaves a huge footprint and screams low quality SEO. I’m not sure where or when 500 words was set as the standard content length but you need to avoid that. Look at real websites and you will see posts that are a couple hundred words with links out to sources and then you will see huge posts.
Even if you aren’t trying to do content marketing like a large company and just want to get traffic to an offer you still need your content to look natural. I bet if I did a poll asking how many people got hit with a manual penalty this month there would be a lot of people to say they have. Google has people manually reviewing websites all the time. If they see a site that has 200 articles and every single one is 500 words don’t you think they dig deeper? They then find spammy anchor text. They then uncover your hidden links. They then slap your site out of the SERPs.
8. “Are you a do-follow link building SEO company or do you build no-follow links?”
When I hear someone ask this I know that they are talking to a hack shop. Those terms are so outdated and anyone that focuses too much on this will be in deep water soon. Both links have value and you need both of them in your link profile. A lot of large sites are not following links now. Comment links aren’t followed typically. But they occur naturally so you need them.
The same SEO clowns that focus on no/do-follow are the same ones worried about .edu links. Yeah, they are nice, but you shouldn’t get hung up on them. I’ve seen some SEO work that the client raved about because it included difficult to land .edu links but they were just worthless comments on spammy educational blogs. They were worthless and not worth what they were paying. So much of SEO is gimmicks. The do/no-follow argument will never die. Until all websites some day say they are not going to follow any links pointing out.
9. “Please provide me with samples of the private blog links included in your SEO packages so I can check the quality before buying.”
This is my favorite one. Sure, let me send all that right over.
Anyone disclosing their “private” blogs shouldn’t be trusted and I sure wouldn’t let them handle my SEO. Also, if a SEO service is putting all of their clients in the same blog network they are all at risk. All it takes is for Google to uncover one offender and they can easily find every site using the network.
You need to build your own network for each site. This is the only way to ensure that it is really private. When I take on a client we slowly build out new sites to build every client their own network. There are never links for anyone else placed on the sites. We run them like real websites. New content is added. We link out to authority sources. We link out to random websites. You would never know it’s part of a network. Everything is niche related. This is not me boasting either this is hard cold facts that every SEO company should be adhering to. The networks that just throw everyone on “general blogs” all eventually get nailed and they take everyone with them.
Please, please, please understand the meaning of private and the meaning of public. There is a big difference and some don’t understand.
10. “I have had my current SEO company for two months and I’m not ranking. Please contact me ASAP if you can help because I need to switch.”
This is one of those situations that happen all the time and most SEO companies that get an email like this will jump all over it and sign this client. I wouldn’t touch someone like this with a ten foot pole with shit on the end of it for a bunch of reasons.
If I took them on they would have done the same thing to me in a couple months. They have unrealistic expectations and they make that very clear. SEO isn’t something that happens fast if you have difficult keywords with a lot of competition. Also, they were with the other company for just 2 months. I have no idea what they did so far and what their plan was. SEO is a strategy and not something you just figure out as you go.
Taking this client is a lose/lose situation. There is no telling what the other SEO company did or was planning to do in just two months and the client is impatient. I might get two months of payments and then he will contact someone else. It isn’t worth the time for a few dollars. One of the biggest mistakes I see SEO providers make is they will take on anyone.
While this post is for pure entertainment purpose, it should still serve as a wake up call. There are so many snake oil salesmen in the SEO world and that is why so many business owners hate to hear “search engine optimization.” They get burnt several times and assume it’s all the same.
If you are buying SEO, take your time and find someone that is upfront.
If you are selling SEO, take the time to explain how it really works to a potential client and be upfront. If it’s going to take a long time tell them. Let them know what you are doing COULD break Google’s terms of service. Just don’t lie. Less lies and the industry becomes more trustworthy. Trust me this approach will serve you much better in the long run.
You must have heard some funny claims from SEO providers in the past or from your own clients. Jump down to the comments and leave me your best one. Let’s see how many we can collect! Until next time..