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 Isika who was using a VERY random looking Gmail email, although subsequent replies came from a Amarjeet using a netkingwebservices.com email.
Greeting of the day!
I was surfing through website on behalf your email [email protected] and see you have a good design and it looks great, but it was not ranking on Google and other major search engine. We have a SEO Expert Team and we helped over 250 businesses rank on the (Google, Yahoo, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest etc.).
Let me know if you are interested I will be happy to send the “SEO Pricing” “Company Info” and furthermore.
Thanks & Regards,
Isika (SEO Consultant)
So I replied to Isika (asking specifically to see her SEO recommendations) and got the below initial reply from Amarjeet:
Greetings from Netking Web Services!!!
Thanks for your time and expressing your interest in our services, my name is Amarjeet and I will be taking this conversation from here onwards.
To brief you about the company, We are an ISO 9001:2008 & Google Certified Company with 12 years+ Industry Experience in Digital Marketing and Website Design & Development Services, you may please visit our website www.netkingtechnologies.com
Our nature of work is purely ethical and we completely follow the guidelines set by Google because of which we are able to achieve the first page ranking in quick time and also the results we deliver last longer.
Please find the enclosed detail SEO propopsal here as well.
Currently, we are providing a New Year offer on our all SEO packages. Please have a look our discounted advance payment packages here:
10 keywords monthly price: 130 USD; 10 keywords quarterly price: 320 USD
20 Keywords monthly price: 199 USD; 20 Keywords quarterly price: 500 USD
30 Keywords monthly price 299 USD; 30 Keywords quarterly price: 750 USD
40 keywords monthly price: 350 USD; 40 keywords quarterly price: 950 USD
50 keywords monthly price: 450 USD; 50 Keywords quarterly price: 1100 USD
Note: this offer is only valid till 10 Feb 2020.
Get relevant keywords and best keywords ranking.
Bring your website top on Google.
Increase page rank.
Increase your traffics and quality back-links.
Helps to increase your online sales.
It would be great, if you can share your Skype id or Whatsapp number for fast communication.
I would really appreciate if you add me on Skype: [email protected] for further & fast communication. In fact you can directly reach at me via: Mobile/WhatsApp: +91. 7838000312
I am always available on email and What’s app if you are planning for any detailed conversation.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Well, Amarjeet didn’t have any SEO recommendations, so I asked for some!
Thanks for your follow up. I see you’ve sent me a list of your SEO prices.
In my email to Isika, I said I’d like to know what your SEO recommendations are – but you don’t seen to have sent that information.
Please can you tell me why you think my site needs your help?
Well, even though Isika said in her email that she’d been emailing ‘on behalf of my email’ (using my site’s domain), Amarjeet doesn’t actually seem to know what site they’re meant to be helping with!
Thank you so much for quick reply!!!
Once you will confirm your website URL, then we will review your website and create the website analysis report and send you along with our details recommendation.
Search engine optimization is the method of improving your website’s ranking on Search Engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. It is a marketing practice that uses keyword research to help your business establish a credible online image. Ultimately, it will help to bring in more relevant traffic, improve bounce rates, and increase the potential for sales conversions.
BENEFITS OF SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION:
Ø Enhance search visibility
Ø Attract more customers
Ø Build trust with your search results
Ø Generate measurable results
Ø Increase traffic in a cost-effective way
Ø Build a long term presence online
Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
So I replied saying that I was a bit surprised about that… (and confirming the site)
My url is https://jpc-design.com – I thought you would have already known that as it’s what Isika contacted me about!
Now Amarjeet wants to know what area’s I’m targeting…
Thank you so much for website URL confirmation.
We will create the website analysis report and send you along with detail recommendation.
It would be great, if you can suggest me your target location where you want to promote your website.
I replied saying that I’d have thought it was quite obvious from my site where I’m based… (it being in the existing meta title, description and the first line of text <h1> on the site!)
That information is clearly on my site! I would have thought that an SEO company with over 12 years experience would have been able to see that…
(I’m based in Minehead)
Oh, so they did actually know but where checking (hmmmmm….) and the actual SEO recommendations also finally came with this email!
Hope you are doing well.
Yes, we saw that, but we have lots of clients who are promoting their websites in specific locations such as, locally, World Wide, specific countries that’s why we wanted to confirm with you.
We have created the website analysis report and did the keywords analysis for your website promotion. So please find the enclosed website analysis report along with keywords suggestion.
Kindly review the report and keywords suggestion list and share your feedback.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Their Report & Recommendations
The report/audit I received from them was made up of two files – a .docx (Word) file for the ‘SEO Analysis’ and a .xslx (Excel) file for the ‘Keyword suggestions’. PDFs are normally the way that things like this are distributed as you can often get odd table and layout issues with Word & Excel files between computers… (and indeed opening the .docx there are some layout issues!)
The SEO Analysis document has a number of sections, ‘General Site Details’, ‘Search Engine Friendliness’ and ‘Website Verification’ and then there’s a Recommendations list at the end of the document.
Within the sections there are different items which were (mostly) given a score from 1-5, with, according to their report, those values meaning:
- Poor and needs critical changes to progress further
- Average and need lot of improvement
- Good but requires improvement in key areas
- Very Good and will help in Marketing
- Doesn’t require any change
Rather amazingly, there were NO ‘5s’ on the report for my site!!! There were lots of ‘4s’ and all of them had ‘No Recommendations’ next to them – so surely that’s actually means they should have been ‘5s’?!?!? Hmmmm….
So let’s look at the items scored with numbers 1-3 and see what they say about them…
General Site Details Section
This section just had information about the domain, etc. But it also says that the site isn’t listed on either the ‘Yahoo’ or ‘Dmoz’ directories.
Well, considering that DMOZ closed in March 2017 (so nearly three years ago) and the Yahoo Directory closed in December 2014 (so over FIVE years ago), I’d really love to know how they’d expect my site to be listed on them…
Search Engine Friendliness Section
Meta Tags Optimization (Home Page) 3/5. It’s got 3/5 because they say the meta title and descriptions tags need to be updated with ‘more specific keywords’ and that site doesn’t use the meta keywords tag. The title and description tags use lots of relevant keywords in them and none of the big search engines have used the meta keywords tag for YEARS. So this is WRONG.
Image Optimization 3/5. They say I need to ‘update images ALT tags and add title tags with specific keywords.’ The alt tags on the site all have appropriate content. Saying I should add title tags (or technically title ‘attributes’) is TERRIBLE advice. Title attributes can and should be used in some places in HTML, but 99.5% of the time that IS NOT on images! Using them on images is an old SEO ‘hack’ and now NOT recommended. So this is VERY WRONG.
Local SEO & Reviews 1/5. I’m not actually sure what they mean by this – and there’s no explanation on the report! They might mean that there’s no testimonials on the site – and that is true and possibly something I could (and maybe should!) add. However, an explanation would have be nice. This is CONFUSING.
Website Verification Section
Robots And Sitemap 3/5. They (correctly) say that there’s a robots.txt file and an XML sitemap on the site. But then they (incorrectly) say that there’s no ‘Feed’ on the site. There is. It’s listed in the code ON EVERY PAGE AND POST. And there’s also a big button to it in the sidebar on the main blog page. This is WRONG.
Analytics Installation 1/5. They say I don’t have any Analytics because there’s not Google Analytics on the site. Well, I do have analytics on the site, just not Google Analytics. (And my analytics are very privacy friendly…) This is WRONG.
Navigation Structure 1/5. Apparently my navigation structure isn’t ‘User Friendly’. Hmmm, there are basically three pages and the blog on this site. They’re all linked in the main navigation, I’d call that pretty ‘user friendly’. This is WRONG.
Layout 2/5. They say there’s no ‘user sitemap’ and they also need to check for ‘orphan pages’. Well, see above, no ‘user sitemap’ is needed – there are three main pages and some posts on this site! And there are no orphan pages… This is WRONG.
CSS Validation 2/5. They say there are 19 CSS ‘errors’. There aren’t. There’s 1. And there’s only that one because there’s a line of CSS which is doing some clever things with nested styles that the automated checker doesn’t quite understand! (Oh and their site actually has 19 CSS errors…)
So out of those items, apart from that perhaps adding some testimonials on the site (which IS NOT a critical SEO issue), none are actually valid. And one ‘recommendation’ is just plain terrible. Oh. Dear.
At the bottom of the report were two lists of ‘on’ and ‘off’ site recommendations. Some are repeats of above items, but others aren’t. So we’ll look at those as well… [with my replies like this]
- Need to Update Meta title, Meta Description and add keywords tags on every page of website according to services/keywords. [Nope – wrong, they’re ok.]
- Need to setup Google Analytic account. [Nope – wrong, I have analytics.]
- Need to Update keyword based ALT attribute to every image available on website. [Nope – wrong, all the images have correct alts.]
- Need to fix CSS error. [Nope – wrong, it’s not really an error – oh it’s only one now, I thought my site was meant to have 19 errors?!]
- Need to optimize footer on website. [Hmmm, that’s a new one – they don’t say why it needs optimizing… It does all I want and need it to – so wrong.]
- Need to create more back links. [Another new one – again with no explanation whatsoever…!]
- Need to create social media channels link for website. [What like the Twitter account which is linked in the site’s footer? I do also have a Facebook page, but I prefer using Twitter.]
- Need to Mentioned name, phone and address with NAP code. [What like the address that’s already is in the site’s footer which is ON EVERY PAGE AND POST ON THE SITE?! I also have no idea what an ‘NAP code’ is and of course they don’t explain…]
- Need to add more content with internal linking on respected pages. [What like the links to other posts like I have on this one?]
Hmmm, so again a list of useless and non-relevant ‘recommendations’.
- We need to create profiles on different social media and high page rank websites for posting and sharing. [What like the Twitter account, etc?]
- We need to list website on different local business listing sites. [It already is…]
- Need to create video and share it on various websites for increasing audience. [Possibly… but simply creating videos is not guaranteed to help SEO!]
- We need to develop blog on blogger or word press. It will help to increase traffic and audience on your website. [What like this blog? And this site runs on WordPress! As does their site – you’d have thought they would work that out – it’s really easy to find from a site’s code…]
- We need to create and share article, classified, PDF and Power point presentation. [1. That’s terrible English. 2. Again it *might* help but certainly isn’t anything ‘magic’ for SEO.]
So yet more – not that great – recommendations…!
Their Keyword Suggestions
In their .xlsx file (which also had formatting issues when opened!) were 10 suggestions of terms/phrases to try and get ranked for:
- Website Design Somerset
- Website Designer Somerset
- Responsive Web Design Somerset
- Website Design services in Somerset
- Website Design company Somerset
- Web Design Company Somerset
- Bespoke Website Design Minehead
- website development somerset west
- Minehead website design services
- Web Designers Somerset
These are (mostly) sensible suggestions – except for number 8; nobody would ever search for ‘somerset west’ because it’s not called that it’s ‘west somerset’!
However, Somerset is a big county, which is why I’ve got ‘West Somerset’ in the meta title and description on my site.
Also I told Amarjeet that I’m based in Minehead, so why did he only suggest ONE phrase with Minehead in it?! Could it be because if you search for things like ‘web[website] design minehead’ I’m on the first page of Google already?! Hmmm, could be – but again they don’t say that!
So overall, let’s just say I’m not exactly impressed with either their report or suggestions…
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.netkingtechnologies.com
For HTML Validation, their site has 29 errors & 21 warnings. That’s not good. My site has none! (I also found it interesting that they didn’t list HTML validation on their report – this is much more normal to do than CSS validation. Did they fail to include it because my site has no issues?! Hmmmm…)
On Google Pagespeed their site gets:
Desktop: 42/100 (That’s pretty bad)
Mobile: 4/100 (THAT’S TRULY TERRIBLE!!!)
My site gets 97/100 on both Desktop and Mobile – so both a lot better…
Using the ‘WAVE’ Accessibility Testing Tool, my site has no errors. Their site has 44.
Looking at the content and code of their site, they have two <h1> tags – you should only have one and their code also jumps between heading levels which isn’t great.
There are ‘mixed content’ errors throughout their site, meaning it isn’t set-up correctly; as some of the contents of the site isn’t being run over HTTPS/SSL properly and this is a potential security issue.
They still have Google+ logo in their site footer although Google+ closed nearly a year ago! (On their prices page, as part of their SEO packages they also include “Google + Business Page Set-up” hmmm, good luck with that then! They also offer “Web 2.0 Profile Creation”, I’ve been in the web business for 20 years and I have no idea what this means. And they also offer “Load Time Speed Optimization” shame they’ve not actually bothered with that on their own site then… and if they have done that on their site, they clearly haven’t done it very well!)
Their logo alt text is “SEO Reseller India-Netking Web Services Pvt Ltd” and also has the title “Netking Web Services Pvt Ltd”. That’s not a great alt (it should just be ‘Netking’ or ‘Netking Web Services’) and they’ve also got the very un-needed ‘title’ attribute on there!
They also make a big thing about of being an ISO 9000 registered company. ISO 9000 is an international Quality Assurance standard (my Dad was a quality assurance engineer and was also an ISO 9000 Certified Quality Assurance Auditor, so I know about these things…). With my experience of ISO 9000 type things, spamming people to get business is not a good look for a company claiming to be ISO 9000 Certified.
Netking seem to be yet another SEO company relying on spamming people (from behind random Gmail accounts) to get business.
Rather amusingly (in a rather sad way) at the bottom of their SEO Analysis document they have a paragraph titled “Our Goal”. In it they state: “All our methodologies are 100% ethical and we make sure to never use any malpractices in our SEO efforts.” Strange, I’ve never thought of spamming as 100% ethical!
Later in the same paragraph they claim “We believe in the four pillars of Speed, Quality, and Choice & Security…”. Well… they’ve got some of the worst Google PageSpeed scores I’ve EVER SEEN and they don’t seem to know how to set-up a site properly over HTTPs/SSL; so on their own site, neither speed, quality and security are very good..!
The choice is yours, but if Netking want to ‘help’ your site, I’d wonder why their own site isn’t very good and might move on…