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.
Previously, Digitally Ahead/The SEO Company SEO had offered to ‘help’ with my big Christmas site, now they want to help my Easter site, because it too seems to have lots wrong with it! Let’s see what they say this time…
This email came from a Sara using an @digitallyaheadteam.com email, although subsequent replies have come from Kate via an @theseocompanyusa.com email. (digitallyaheadteam.com isn’t really a site; it’s just an email sign up form; theseocompanyusa.com is the real company’s site). Interesting, with my Christmas site, it was Sara who replied from an theseocompanyusa.com email address!
Hello whyeaster.com Team,
Hope you are doing good.
I found your details from the internet and thought you might be interested in getting a new website designed.
Redesigning websites today isn’t just about changing the look and feel. With technology changing and different problems needing to be solved, redesigning and overhauling websites goes much deeper than just the way they look.
We specialize in re-designing and re-developing websites if you are considering any of the following projects then please give us a call:
• Upgrading your current website
• Moving to a content management solution for your website
• Re-building your website
• Looking for a refreshing new look for an existing site
• Getting legacy content online
• Planning to integrate rich media content into your site like internet video
• Adding community and Web2.0 social features to your website
Do let me know if you are willing to discuss the possible modifications on your website or Create a Fresh One. Also, kindly share us your requirements and reference website if you have any so that I can send you more details on the packages/action.
I have prepared an extensive report for you, detailing some key issues that should be fix for better online visibility of your website.
Looking forward your quick and positive response.
Thanks & Regards,
Sara Watt | DM Head
Caution: This is our marketing strategy that we use the Gmail. If you want to receive detailed plan of action, please feel free to reply Yes, We will get back to you with Details.
That last paragraph is interesting; I’m guessing they didn’t check what email they were sending from when they copied and pasted their email template – as this email didn’t come from a Gmail account!!!
Anyway, I replied and got a reply from Kate. In their first email SEO spam about my Christmas site, they highlighted nine ‘issues’. Out of those, four were simply wrong and the other five were rather meaningless statements and/or irrelevant. So let’s see what their report says about my Easter site!
Their Report & Recommendations
The report/audit I received from them was in the form of another email – no attachments this time. The email is below.
Thanks for taking your valuable time to write us back.
We are glad that you went through our last email and have asked for a website audit report.
This is Kate Miller from The SEO Company USA LLC. For further information kindly visit our website: theseocompanyusa.com
I did an indepth analysis of your website “whyeaster.com” and from the initial analysis of your website, I found so many issues which are hampering your website performance.
Let me share the few of Technical Issues here:
Website Social media presence is too low.
Image ALT text missing. // If the browser cannot display an image the alt description will be given in its place. Furthermore, some visitors cannot see images as they might be blind in which the alt tag provides a valuable image description.
You have a reasonably weak level of backlink activity to this page.
No keywords meta-tag found.
We have found broken link(s) on your page.
URL Canonical issue is there. https://www.whyeaster.com and https://whyeaster.com should resolve to the same URL, but currently do not.
Favicon is missing.
CSS Coding errors found.
Duplicate Links found.
Our objective is to get you more online business through your website. That can happen only when more prospective customers will step onto your website. So, we will target the right audience from a targeted market/geographical location and get them onto your website. We will do it in two ways.
We will place your website on Google’s 1st page for most of the popular search terms/keywords so we can get maximum visitors to your website.
We will promote you on social media platform to reach out to maximum people there and drag them back to your website.
We do have a strategic process through which accomplish the above two tasks. This is a complete manual/organic process as per Google standards.
Initial Analysis and Road Map Preparation.
Technical error fixation – To make your website Google friendly.
Keyword selection – To find out the best productive keywords.
On-page optimization – To make your website ready for promotion.
Off-page optimization – Back-end activities for Google ranking.
Social media optimization – To enhance your online reputation and to get traffic.
Bi-Weekly Reports – To keep you updated on the work.
The work on your website will be very much clean and transparent. You can track the process once you will get the weekly report.
Believe me, you will be going to see a drastic improvement once we will implement our diversified SEO strategies. Definitely, we will increase your traffic flow, visibility and ranking over time. I am sure you will love our work process.
And coming to pricing, our plan starts from $200/m and it goes up to $1500/m depends upon the no. of keywords. Let me know your requirements and accordingly, I can quote you.
However, Let me share you our basic plan details:
Cost (SEO): $200/m
No. of Keywords: 6
No. of backlinks: 30
Technical issue Fixation
Please let me know if you have any questions, I will sincerely look forward to all your response. I am assuring you that will provide you with the best quality of services.
Looking forward to your quick response.
Thanks & Regards,
Kate [surname removed for privacy, even though I’m sure it’s not their real name..!] | Business Development Manager
So let’s look, in some more details, at the issues they say the site has…
Website Social media presence is too low – For whyeaster, I actually use whychristmas’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, to save having extra social accounts. These are linked at the bottom of every page on the site. It was Holy Week and the Easter weekend last week and I did a series of social media posts. So I’m not sure what they actually mean!
Image ALT text missing. // If the browser cannot display an image the alt description will be given in its place. Furthermore, some visitors cannot see images as they might be blind in which the alt tag provides a valuable image description. – Their information about what alt tags do is correct. But they are WRONG about the images on the site not having alt tags – they all do! Some are ’empty’ – which is the correct thing to do with visual elements are only adding ‘eye candy’ with no ‘meaning’ on the page.
You have a reasonably weak level of backlink activity to this page. – Well, my site has about 2,500 backlinks. Their own site has 103. I think I know what site needs help with getting backlinks! So they are WRONG.
No keywords meta-tag found. – Well technically they are correct with this. There are no ‘keywords’ meta tags used on the site. But there’s a very good reason for this. Goggle stopped using meta keywords as a ranking factor 10 YEARS AGO!!! (and Bing hasn’t used them for years either) So this is completely irrelevant.
Broken links found – If you use a link checker tool, you might find that there is 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…)
URL Canonical issue is there. https://www.whyeaster.com and https://whyeaster.com should resolve to the same URL, but currently do not. – This is WRONG – it does. There’s a correctly working redirect in place.
Favicon is missing. – This is WRONG. There is a favicon file in the site’s root (where it should be) as well as icons for other devices like phones and tablets in the code of the site. (Favicons are the little icon you sometimes see on the www bar. It has NO SEO ranking factor but can help to make your site more ‘recognisable’.)
CSS Coding errors found. – This is WRONG – there are no CSS errors!
Duplicate links found – Well, having duplicate links is perfectly fine (in fact it’s normally a good thing)!
So just like the ‘issues’ on my Christmas site, out of the nine, four are wrong and the other five are rather meaningless statements and/or irrelevant!
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… I wonder if their site is any better than it was back in February when they spammed me about my Christmas site?!
Their site is: http://www.theseocompanyusa.com/
For HTML Validation, their site has: 3 Errors and 7 Warnings! (There might be more errors as the validation checker gave up due to the kind of errors there were) – my site has none! In Feb it was the same 3 Errors but only 6 Warnings!
On Google Pagespeed their site gets:
Mobile: 19/100 (THAT’S TERRIBLE!!!)
It was 80 & 20/100 back in Feb, so their site has got WORSE!
My site gets:
Mobile: 97/100 – so both considerably better using Google’s own speed testing tool!
On GTMetrix their site gets:
D (66%) / C (73%)
It was A (91%) / C (76%) back in Feb, so again their site has got WORSE!
On GTMetrix my site gets:
A 94% / A (94%) – so my site is better!
Using the ‘WAVE’ Accessibility Testing Tool, my site got a clean bill of health – back in Feb their site has 38 errors and 8 alerts that’s REALLY not good… Now it won’t even run the test as there’s so many scripts on the site…
Also in Kate’s email to me it says “We will place your website on Google’s 1st page for most of the popular search terms/keywords so we can get maximum visitors to your website.” But…
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 it’s another basically useless SEO spam email that’s full of errors. So I think I’ll take Google’s own advice and ‘beware’ of anything that The SEO Company USA says!
(Also, it seems that there might be a connection with The SEO Company USA with Crushaders Tech, an SEO spammer which lies about having a UK address!)
But as ever, the choice is yours…
UPDATE (September 2019): It seems that The SEO Company USA might well have a connection with another SEO spammer – Devlimer. The ‘Business Development Manager’ of The SEO Company USA is a ‘Ken Lambert’ who also seems to be behind Devlimer. And both Ken and The SEO Company USA are based in Mumbai…
UPDATE 2 (March 2020): The SEO Company USA are now also sending spam out using ‘theseocompanyusa.net’ emails. So if you get an email from that domain – beware!!! (Oh and their site has even more HTML errors and just as many accessibility issues…)