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 an Andrew using an @gmail.com email, although subsequent replies have come from Andrew via an @phoenixsofts.com email.
Do you need to know how your website currently ranks on search engine result pages and how you can start beating your competitors right now?
Today, I went through your website whyeaster.com; you seem to have a great website, but only the thing is People are already searching for your products and services, but if you don’t use the
Right Keywords they’re searching for on your site, it will be difficult for them to find you.
We will deliver you a huge ROI, high ranking, more traffic, clicks, page views and most importantly converting those visitors into paying customers.
Let me know if I should share a Plan of Action for your website
Business Development Manager.
I replied and got a reply from Andrew. So let’s see what their report says about my Easter site!
Their Report & Recommendations
The report/plan I received from them was in the form of another email which is below.
Hope you are doing good.
Thanks for your prompt response.
Please find my answer inline below.
Q. It sounds like you think you can do a lot for my site. I would be interested to see what your report says!
Ans- In our monthly Organic campaign service we will take care of site and will upgrade your website on page based on Google algorithm, we will suggest and target potential keywords to bring good business, We will generate back link for your website by our link building strategy and will also focus on strong marketing of your website through social media.
What we will do for your website during Organic campaign:
1. We will upgrade your website based on Google update algorithm,
2. We will analysis the best relevant keywords for your business too.
3. We will generate back link for your website by our link building strategy.
4. We will create network for your website and will do traffic generate by our Social media campaign.
5. We can rank your website on the top page of the major search engines & gain more traffic for your website.
Please find below few technical issues of your website :-
1. Canonicalization Issue:- Canonicalization is the process of picking the best URL when there are several choices, and it usually refers to home pages.
2. Meta Title:- The title you have incorporated needs to be more descriptive regarding your products, services and with some targeted keywords. Your title should be 60 to 65 characters.
3. Meta Description:- Meta Description tag should be 160 characters or less
4. Meta Keywords:- Needs Meta Keywords in website
5. Broken Links:- Need to fix this issue
6. Availability of Search Facility:- Should be present because visitors can easily find the information that they are looking for.
7. Ensuring quality of back links:- Go for a Quality articles, blogs and forum links.
8. Image Alt-tag:- Put alt tag in every images.
9. HTML Validation:- need to fix error to Maintain the quality of the web site.
10. Headings:- It is better to use different text than the title and some targeted keywords as headings.
Our Target: – To Rank your website in Google 1st Page and Traffic generation
Looking forward for your response.
So let’s look, in some more details, at the ‘technical issues’ they say the site has…
Canonicalization Issue:- Canonicalization is the process of picking the best URL when there are several choices, and it usually refers to home pages.
This is WRONG – it does. There are correctly working redirect in place (which they could have easily tested).
Meta Title:- The title you have incorporated needs to be more descriptive regarding your products, services and with some targeted keywords. Your title should be 60 to 65 characters.
Well, yes and no. The current title tag is 100 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)…
Meta Description:- Meta Description tag should be 160 characters or less
This is similar to the ‘issue’ above. But my description is 96 characters. So it’s fine – so basically this is WRONG.
Meta Keywords:- Needs Meta Keywords in website
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:- Need to fix this issue
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 in this case it doesn’t matter and is irrelevant…)
Availability of Search Facility:- Should be present because visitors can easily find the information that they are looking for.
Having a search or not is a matter of design and usability, NOT SEO related… The site has a total of 35 pages, which are neatly arranged in two clear sections. There is very good sub navigation within the sections, so in this case, I didn’t think a search facility is warranted. (So in this case it doesn’t matter and is irrelevant…)
Ensuring quality of back links:- Go for a Quality articles, blogs and forum links.
Yes, this is important and I do. Using a backlink checker, my site has about 2,800 backlinks. Their own site has 46. I think I know what site needs help with getting backlinks! So they are WRONG.
Image Alt-tag:- Put alt tag in every images.
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. So this is WRONG.
HTML Validation:- need to fix error to Maintain the quality of the web site.
My site has no HTML validation errors (unlike their site) – so this is WRONG.
Headings:- It is better to use different text than the title and some targeted keywords as headings.
I’m not sure that sentence makes any sense. The <h1> heading on my site is “whyeaster?com answers your Easter questions!” because that’s what the site is about! And other heading tags also use appropriate content. So I’ll say this is WRONG! (see below for how terrible their own <h1> is…)
So out of their 10 ‘technical issues’ about the site, six are wrong, three are outdated/irrelevant and the other one could be an issue but actually isn’t…!
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: http://phoenixsofts.com/ [edit Jan 2021 – it seems that this site is no longer online!]
For HTML Validation, their site has: 12 Errors and 3 Warnings! (Remember they said my site has errors where it doesn’t)
On Google Pagespeed their site gets:
Mobile: 63/100 (That’s actually pretty good for the site’s of SEO spammers.)
My site gets:
Mobile: 97/100 – so both considerably better using Google’s own speed testing tool!
On GTMetrix their site gets:
D (66%) / D (64%)
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 – their site has 17 accessibility errors and 20 alerts
They also had my ‘headings’ as ‘technical issue’. The <h1> on their home page is wrapped around their logo image (which you can do). However, when you do this, the ‘alt’ of the image becomes the ‘text’ in the heading as far as search engines are concerned. BUT… the alt on their logo is ‘logo’!!! So the main SEO heading on their home page – for an ‘SEO Company’ is ‘logo’ – THAT’S TERRIBLE!!!
Also in Andrew’s email to me it says “We can rank your website on the top page of the major search engines & gain more traffic for 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?”
And there’s more… in their site’s footer, they give their location as ‘Nevada Las Vegas USA’ – but no American would ever write it like that… Their domain was registered in Orissa, India and it’s hosted in Singapore. Their ‘US’ phone number is for Denver, not Las Vegas and there also two ‘Quick Links’ to other ‘Phoenix’ sites – BOTH of which have Indian .in domains and are clearly Indian companies – one even has an address in Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India – what are the chances?! (And the times when ‘Andrew’ emailed me would have been VERY early in the morning in Las Vegas, but in the middle of the working afternoon in Bhubaneswar…)
So yet again, like several other SEO spammers, Phoenix appear to be lying in trying to look like a big US based company, when they are nothing of the sort.
I’ve said it many a time… I don’t have anything against Indian based web companies – but I do take issue with companies that flat out lie.
This is some more SEO spam that’s not worth the email it arrived on. It’s more SEO spam that hides behind a Gmail account to do the initial spamming. It’s another SEO spammer that lies about being based in the US, when they’re not.
So if you ever get an email from Phoenix/Phoenixsofts, then the delete button might be the best option.
But as ever, the choice is yours…