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 email came from a Selena who was using an @gmail.com email, although subsequent replies have come from Alex with a @mailcrushaderstech.com email from Crushader Tech Solution Web. (although their main site is at crushaderstech.com).
How is it possible that your website is having so many errors? Yes, most of the people share their anger and frustration once they get my email.
Now, I will show you the number of broken links, pages that returned 4XX status code upon request, images with no ALT text, pages with no meta description tag, not having an unique meta description, having too long title, etc., found in your whychristmas.com.
I have a large professional team who can fix all the above issues immediately at an affordable price. I guarantee you will see a drastic change in your Google search ranking once these are fixed.
If this is something you are interested in, then please get in touch to know more regarding this.
Looking forward to your reply.
Thanks & Regards,
Selena [surname removed for privacy, even though I’m sure it’s not their real name..!]
Sr. Business Development Manager
So I replied to Selena and got a reply from Alex. This SEO spam was for my big Christmas information site (www.whychristmas.com). During each December it gets millions and millions of visits and is #1 on the whole of Google for a huge number of Christmas searches – so any SEO advice about the site is always ‘interesting’…
Their Report & Recommendations
The report/audit I received from them was a PDF file. Looking through it, I noticed there were several grammatical and layout errors, like large numbers not formatted correctly and using a capital i (I) instead of 1, etc. Alex’s reply email was a template one and seemed to suggest there there were lots of things wrong with my site that they could fix.
The report was broken into four sections with 24 individual items covered. It said that out of the 24, ten needed ‘fixing’. So let’s look at those 10 and see what the reality of the situation is!
The meta <title> tag is too long – The current title tag is 126 characters long. The recommendation from Google is that about 80 is about as long as you should go. However, the length shown [on search engines] is now normally based on the size of the screen (maxing out on 600px with Google) so I’m actually happy with what I’ve got and this error isn’t actually applicable to my site (and being longer won’t actually hurt you, it’s just that not all of it will be displayed)…
Two Broken Links – This is WRONG! If you use a link checker tool, there is sometimes a SINGLE ‘broken link’. I know about that. It’s the sharing link for sharing a page of the site over WhatsApp. It’s hidden on Desktops/Laptops and it won’t actually work on desktops as you can only share to WhatsApp in mobile browsers!!! (So it doesn’t matter and this point is not applicable for my site…)
The sites needs ‘Breadcrumb’ navigation – This is where you can see a ‘trail’ of links at the top of the page showing your route in a site. However, it’s in no way vital and is a tiny factor in SEO and is only really useful if your navigation is so poor that people can’t easily find a way around a site! My navigation is very clear and you can easily see where you are on the site. So again is this is not applicable to my site.
Missing 404 Error page – OK, I’ll grant them this one. There is no 404 page. However, the site has many redirects set-up, so any old locations of pages are covered. (Oh, their site doesn’t have a 404 page either…)
A Missing HTML Sitemap – This is WRONG! A link to the HTML sitemap is in the footer on every page of the site!
Headings Not Found – This is WRONG! The site makes full use of HTML headings where appropriate.
Missing Robots.txt file – This is WRONG! There is a robots.txt file in the normal location. (Which is more than their own site because their site doesn’t have a robots.txt file in the normal location!)
4 CSS Validation Errors – OK, yes there were four very small syntax issues. This was because syntax usage in one of the CSS features on the my has changed over the years; and the site had the old syntax in place. It still worked though! I’ve now fixed these. (And their site has 7 CSS validation errors!)
A low number of pages Indexed by Google – This is WRONG! The site has just under a total of 200 pages and things like PDFs on it. Their report says that Google has 22 in its index. By doing a site:www.whychristmas.com search on Google it comes back with 277 results! (Their report also claims that Bing has 33,800 pages indexed – well it does if you do an initial search, but if you do a more thorough search it says 213 which is about right.)
Low number of backlinks for Bing – This is WRONG! Their report says that there are 3,370 backlinks for Bing – that’s not too bad to start with! But the search I did says there are over 50,000…! (Their report also says there are ‘4,67,000’ backlinks for Google – see what I mean about not formatting numbers correctly. I think they mean 467,000…)
So out of the ten ‘issues’, six were wrong, two weren’t applicable and two were correct, although they are very small for SEO (one has been fixed and one is not really relevant).
Also in Alex’s email it guarantee’s a number of things including “Placed in front page of Google search engine in 4-5 months”. However, there’s a big issue with 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?”
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.crushaderstech.com
For HTML Validation, their site got: 5 errors & 5 warnings – my site has none!
On Google Pagespeed their site gets:
My site gets:
Mobile: 98/100 – so both considerably better using Google’s own speed testing tool!
On GTMetrix their site gets:
D (60%) / D (60%)
On GTMetrix my site gets:
A 98% / A (90%) – so again much better!
Using the ‘WAVE’ Accessibility Testing Tool, my site got a clean bill of health – their site has 4 errors and 32 alerts.
But actually, that’s just the start of the issues that I found on their site…
But then we come to the contact page and things start getting VERY WORRYING.
On their contact page are addresses in the USA, UK, India and Nepal as can be seen in the below screenshot.
As I live in the UK, I was interested to know if they really did have an office over here. It also seems strange that there was an address but not a phone number for their ‘UK Office’. So I put the UK address in Google and saw that it did indeed come back to an address for a web design/development agency in Doncaster – but one with a totally different name and website!
So I went to the website for ‘Limitless’ – https://www.limitless.agency. It was a very professional and slick site and I could see nothing on there about them having any connections with the USA, India or Nepal. So I dropped Limitless a quick email asking if they had a connection with Crushader Tech Solution and/or knew if their address was on the Crushader website. Within a few minutes I had a reply from Simon Young, the Managing Director of Limitless with the response:
Thank you for your email, the company you listed is nothing to do with us! I’ll get in contact with them but doesn’t look like they are in the UK!Simon Young, Managing Director of Limitless.
So Crushaders seem to be using a fraudulent addresses for their business!!!
Looking at the address in the USA, it’s a house is a suburban area of Chandler, Arizona…
Also, Alex contacted me via Facebook to tell me he’d email me. This was ‘nice’, but also threw up more flags from his Facebook profile. The photo on there is of a very average young ‘white’ man with glasses. The profile says that Alex is from Chandler, Arizona (where the USA address is). But there aren’t many posts on the page.
There are a couple dated 1988 saying that Alex was attending ‘Sentjoseph high school’ in Allahabad, India, three posts from 2017 when he added a profile photo and cover photos (SEO based ones!) and two from February this year, updating his bio to be SEO based and yet another SEO cover photo change. Also on his profile is says he went to Oxford University (he must be very clever then!) where he studied ‘ilmu material’. I’d not heard of ‘ilmu material’, well it seem that it’s ‘material science’ translated into Indonesian! If Alex is really from Arizona, I find it VERY strange that he would call it ‘ilmu material’ and not ‘material science’!
Doing a reserve image search on Alex’s Facebook profile photo pulled up a couple of Twitter accounts for Alex. One created in February 2019 which doesn’t have any tweets yet and one from early 2017 with 57 tweets where they ALL spam people offering SEO/digital marketing services. And very interestingly on this account, Alex claims to be from Lexington, South Carolina and he’s working for “theseocompanyusa.com” – another SEO spammer we’ve already reviewed!!!
And a search for Alex’s name and SEO shows that he still seems to work for The SEO Company USA as well! https://www.zoominfo.com/p/Alex-Hall/2170672843
I certainly wouldn’t use the services of Cruashader Tech Solutions. Over 50% of the ‘issues’ in their report are simply wrong.
On top of that they appear to be using at least one fraudulent address on their site and it also seems doubtful that Alex is a real person…
I have nothing against Indian based companies. But claiming you’re a big US based company, when you’re not (and they seem to be actually based in Bhubaneswar, India like Skylite Web and Qtonix) and having a couple of other seemingly fraudulent things going on is really really not a good thing!
The choice is yours, but if Cruashader Tech Solution contact you, the delete button might be your friend.