Here is a subject near and dear to me, because as we attempt to educate our customers to the correct methods of SEO, we have a great deal of bad agencies making negative claims.
I receive calls every week from clients that advise me they were contacted by Google, a Google agent or someone claiming to be an expert in the field. The majority of the referenced calls come in a manner of a robocall, an automated telephone call that delivers a recorded message, typically on behalf of a telemarketing company, such as “Your Google Listing…,” which is a good first indicator that it is a scam. Google does not use robocalls, and they do not call you unless you request they contact you directly.
In 2015, Google sued Local Lighthouse, a California-based SEO company that was robocalling people and falsely claiming to be affiliated with the search engine giant. Google has published a page providing details on how to tell if a call is a scam. They have even established a form that people can complete and submit details about robocalls the have received.
Just last week I received a call that took matters a little further than the typical robocall. The caller claimed he could get me listed on the front page of Google 24/7, so I engaged the solicitor. I asked the guy how much the service would cost, and he said $127.00 per month! (What??? I know how much keywords cost!) He went on to inform me that I would have to sign a two year contract, and they would build a new website (shadow domain) to receive the traffic. So, I sent him to my website, which, by the way, has my Google partner badge located front and center, and the guy hung up on me. Consequently, I was a little disappointed that I was unable to refute all his false claims.
Another means of this unpleasant contact is through email.
First, a reputable firm would not try and make contact with you by using cloak-and-dagger methods; we do not do business that way. Second, Google partners do not promise first page results. It is forbidden, bad for business and unachievable all day long and every day of the week, unless, of course, you have a massive budget. In those situations, we partner with our clients to develop a well-rounded plan with estimated results.
- Be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that send you email out of the blue.
- No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.
- Be careful if a company is secretive or does not offer a clear explanation of their intentions.
- Stay away from shadow domains.
My advice when you get these scam calls and emails – Ignore and block! That is exactly what I do unless I am in the mood to play. Read Matt Cutts with Google has to say!
If you are interested in improving your search result then we are here to help. Let Tiny Giant help you get noticed!