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 ‘Edenc’ who was using a @gmail.com email, although subsequent replies came from Rohan from who was then using a @sunrisegrowwebsolutions.com email address.
Here’s the initial email from Edenc:
I can help your website to get on first page on Google and increase the number of leads and sales you are getting from your website.
Please email us back for full SEO proposal.
If you are interested then kindly share these details with us:-
1. YOUR WEBSITE/URL
2. YOUR TARGET AREA/LOCATION
3. KEYWORDS, SKYPE ID (IF YOU HAVE)
Let me know if you are interested, I will send you our SEO Packages and price list.
Thanks & Regards
So, I replied to Edenc asking them to look at my Christmas site (www.whychristmas.com), looking at it ‘world wide’ and with the keywords ‘Christmas Traditions’ (which it’s normally #1 on Google for already!).
During each December my Christmas site 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’…
Here’s the reply from Rohan:
Thanks for replying to my colleague Edenc,
This is Rohan from Sunrise Grow Web Solutions, a leading Web & Mobile app development company, having 50+ professionals team with 1000+ satisfied clients, please visit our website at https://www.sunrisegrowwebsolutions.com/.
As per your reply, we analyzed your site https://www.whychristmas.com and we found many issues so, kindly find attachment for the analysis report and SEO activities by which we will fix current issues of your website to make it SEO and Google friendly and target your keywords with blogs, articles, press-release and 60+ activities so that we can provide you traffic and 1st page ranking on Google.
Apart from that, if you want to target the world then we will recommend to target Google.com with at-least 15 keywords so we have shared best keywords suggestion list below please have a look and share views so that we can share the best possible quotation for you.
Suggested Keyword For – Whychristmas.com
S. No. Keywords
1 christmas traditions
2 christmas custom
3 christmas around the world
4 christmas history
5 christmas traditions and customs
6 christmas story
7 custom christmas cards
8 christmas fun and games
9 christmas trees
10 glorious christmas traditions
11 christmas cards
12 christmas coloring and puzzles
13 christmas jokes
14 christmas recipes
15 christmas tradition news
16 christmas celebration
17 christmas story song
18 audio christmas story
19 jesus traditions
Please check our SEO results at:
Please check our client testimonials at:
[Then there was the email footer with lots of contact which I won’t put here…]
As well as the email, there were two PDFs, one with their ‘SEO Analysis’ and one with a list of their ‘SEO Optimisation Activites’.
Their Report & Recommendations
So let’s have a look, firstly at the ‘suggested keywords’ on Rohan’s email and then the ‘issues’ they list in the ‘SEO Analysis’ PDF…
As you can see from the email, there were 19 ‘suggested keywords’ from Rohan and Sunrise Grow Web Solutions. Let’s look at them all in a bit more detail and how the site is already ranking for them…
christmas traditions – currently #2 on Google (including the featured snippet)
christmas custom – currently #1 on Google
christmas around the world – currently #2 on Google (including the featured snippet
christmas history – currently #1 (the featured snippet) on Google
christmas traditions and customs – currently #2 on Google (including the featured snippet)
christmas story – currently #15 on Google (#1 for ‘the christmas story‘)
custom christmas cards – currently not on the first few pages of Google – but I do not sell ‘custom’ Christmas cards. But it’s #1 for ‘christmas cards history‘ (the featured snippet) which would be a more likely search…
christmas fun and games – currently #13 on Google (but this is not a major feature of the site!)
christmas trees – currently around #20 on Google but this can vary greatly on your location and the number of places selling Christmas Trees! However, for ‘christmas trees history‘ it’s #3!
glorious christmas traditions – currently nowhere because it’s a VERY odd search term!
christmas cards – currently about #15 on Google but this can vary greatly on your location and the number of places selling Christmas Cards! However, for ‘christmas cards history‘ it’s #1 (the featured snippet)!
christmas coloring and puzzles – currently nowhere on Google. But I don’t target this as a search phrase. There is a colouring page on my site, but it’s about the least important page on the site!
christmas jokes – currently #2 on Google (I am very proud of this!)
christmas recipes – like the ‘colouring’ the site is nowhere but I wouldn’t expect it to be. But for one recipe search ‘tunis cake recipe‘ it’s #2 (Tunis cakes are a type of Christmas cake eaten by some in the UK and they are amazing!)
christmas tradition news – again it’s nowhere on Google and I wouldn’t expect it to be. It isn’t a news site (which should be pretty obvious…). however, see above for just ‘Christmas Traditions‘!
christmas celebration – currently #5 on Google (it’s also #1 for ‘why is christmas celebrated‘)
christmas story song – another very odd search term. There’s one page on the site with a song on it, I wouldn’t expect it to rank! (But for ‘christmas karaoke‘ my separate Christmas karaoke site is #3 and #4!)
audio christmas story – currently #1 on Google (I play Herod in it!)
jesus traditions – and to complete things, yet another VERY odd search term which i would not expect to rank for – and don’t!
So out of the 19 suggested keywords, the site is ALREADY in the top 5 on Google for eight of them – and if you include more site relevant searches for some of the options, that bring it up to 15! And out of the other four, two are plain odd search terms and the other two are not ones I’m actively targeting!
This makes me wonder if Sunrise Grow Web Solutions had actually checked these before suggesting them? Why would you suggest a majority of terms that the site is ALREADY ranking amazingly well for?!
So the suggested keywords are pretty bad – let’s move onto the SEO Analysis PDF…
It consisted on a page of ‘Analysis’ which is a list of 25 items and their ‘current status’. Out of these 25, it said that 14 ‘Does Not Exist’ or ‘Need Improvement’. Nowhere does it explain what any of this items are, nor what sorting them out would involve… So here’s the issues with a couple of other items at the top which are also worth explaining:
Alexa Rank: 41210
Back in the infancy of the web, the Alexa rank (which has no connection to the smart devices…) was ‘the’ way of check how your site ‘ranked’. However, now the web is so big and there are so many sites, unless you’re in the top 100 sites, any numbers/stats gained from Alexa are basically meaningless to most sites and certainly aren’t anything worth worrying about! (However, being in the top 45,000 of sites in the whole world is pretty impressive!)
Pages Index in Google: 209
Yep, that looks about right. Doesn’t actually mean anything SEO wise but it’s about right!
GEO Meta Tag: Does Not Exist
Geo meta tags are are a way that you can set where in the world you are. However, Google has stated on numerous occasions that they DO NOT EVER use these for SEO! So this is MEANINGLESS and not having them IS NOT an SEO issue. (Also remember I said that I was targeting a global audience, so even if they were an SEO factor, they wouldn’t be relevant in my case anyway!)
Meta Tags: Need Improvement
Meta Description: Need Improvement
These two always seem to be put in by SEO spammers…! They are both important for SEO and they are both fine on my site. So this is WRONG and WRONG!
Alt Tag: Need Improvement
Another ‘always on’ SEO spammy reports! And again on my site they are not a problem. All the alt tags are appropriate (unlike on their own site!) So this is WRONG.
Anchor Tag: Does Not Exist
I’m not sure what this actually means! Anchor tags are a way of jumping to information down a page. Where they are appropriate, they are used on my site! But again they ARE NOT an SEO factor and this is another MEANINGLESS item.
Site Map. html File: Does Not Exist
This is simply WRONG. There is one. It’s linked in the site’s footer ON EVERY PAGE of the site, but they don’t seem to have been able to find it!
Yahoo site map (urllist.txt): Does Not Exist
Ror.xml File: Does Not Exist
These two are related. Another ‘ok’ item on the list is that the site does have an ‘XML Sitemap’ (which it does!). Both the Yahoo ‘url list’ and the ‘ror xml’ list WERE other ways that you could tell search engines about what pages you’ve got. However, ONLY the XML Sitemap has been used for nearly 10 years!!! So these two are MEANINGLESS and MEANINGLESS.
Google Analytics Code: Does Not Exist
No, it doesn’t. Because I use a privacy friendly analytics tool. Also simply having Google Analytics on your site WILL NOT help your SEO. So, again, MEANINGLESS in terms of SEO.
Google Webmaster tool code: Does Not Exist
Bing Webmaster tool code: Does Not Exist
Another two related things. Both Google Search Console (it’s not been called ‘Google Webmaster Tools’ for a couple of years) and the Bing Webmaster Tools help them know about your site and are important for SEO. However, having ‘code’ in your site for them is not the only way of making sure they know about your site. For both of these, I’ve done it in a different way and my site is on both of them. So NOT APPLICABLE in my case.
Header Tag: Does Not Exist
Another one that’s simply WRONG. My site uses LOTS of header tags, where they are needed (and this is really easy to see in the site’s code)!
Content Optimization: Does Not Exist
Saying content optimization ‘does not exist’ is very odd. It’s something you ‘do’ not that ‘exists’… (and this is yet another ‘always on’ SEO spammers lists…) And the content on my site is very optimized! This manages to be both MEANINGLESS (and WRONG)!
Content Availability: Need Improvement
I’m not actually sure what they could mean by ‘content availability’. Either a site has content or it doesn’t! So I’m calling this MEANINGLESS.
So out of the 14 items, five are ‘wrong’, seven are ‘meaningless’ and the other is ‘not applicable’! Oh dear, not a good start to the SEO Analysis… (and could they be adding meaningless items to ‘pad out’ their services to make them look more impressive?!)
And it only gets worse! The next three pages in the report are fancy looking graphs which appear to show that my site needs lots of help and doesn’t get many visitors or as they put it “Competitors have good Organic traffic than Whychristmas.com” (that’s terrible English…).
Only the graphs all totally useless.
Firstly they compare my site to three other ‘competitors’. These are:
- history.com – a VERY big history site – it’s about all history and not really a competitor of my site.
- crazylittleprojects.com – a baking and sewing/crafts blog, definitely not a competitor of my site.
- mommyonpurpose.com – a blog for moms, by a mom about family life and some crafts, etc. again, definitely not a competitor of my site.
- daringtolivefully.com – a blog about how to learn things and improve your brain/life; yet again, definitely not a competitor of my site.
So that’s not a good start, comparing traffic with sites that bare no relation to my site!
The first graph is a line graph of the ‘traffic’ from September 2019 to February 2020. There’s only numbers for history.com and my site (none for the other three competitors). However, they have NO WAY of knowing the numbers of visitors my site has had! (I’m guessing they’re getting history.com’s number form Alexa, but as above, these aren’t very reliable…)
The number they give for history.com is 24 million unique visitors; and 245,000 for my site. Only I know from the stats I use that my site had about 5 million unique visitors over this time! So their numbers for my site are out by a factor of 20!
The next graph is a bar chart of the different traffic sources (search/referral/direct/social/paid). This time there is only data for history.com and NONE WHATSOEVER for any of the other four sites. This graph is completely meaningless and pointless!!!
The final graph is a bar graph showing backlinks. This one has numbers for history.com (18.4m), my site (86.3k) and mommyonpurpose.com (16.5k). However, they have arrows on the graph implying that my numbers are the worst!
Backlinks can be checked using a number of free tools. So I checked these three sites on the two ‘big’ backlink checkers. (I also checked the site for Sunrise Grow Web Solutions out of interest!)
On the ‘ahrefs’ tool the numbers are:
- whychristmas.com 86k
- mommyonpurpose.com 2.27k
- history.com 5.7m
- sunrisegrowwebsolutions.com 1.2k
So my number is the same but the other two are VASTLY different/lower.
On the ‘smallseo’ tool the numbers are:
- whychristmas.com 120k
- mommyonpurpose.com 4.7k
- history.com 9.5m
- sunrisegrowwebsolutions.com 1k
So with this one all the numbers are up, but they’re still nothing like the ones that Sunrise Grow Web Solutions give! (And their own site is the worst of all the sites on both tools!) Could it be that they are ‘massaging’ the numbers to make my site look worse?! hmmmm…
On the other PDF, it lists all the ‘optimisation’ things they’d do for me. Although this includes several of the items from their analysis which they said were ok! It also includes several things which their own site could actually do with (as we’ll see below!)…
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.sunrisegrowwebsolutions.com/
For HTML Validation, my site has no errors. Their site has 35 errors and 5 warnings. (That’s not good! They have ‘HTML code validation and recommendations’ on their list of things they will do. Shame they’ve not actually bothered to do it on their own site!)
On Google Pagespeed their site gets:
Desktop: 64/100 (that’s ok-ish…)
Mobile: 24/100 (that is not good…)
My site gets:
Mobile: 99/100 – so both considerably better using Google’s own speed testing tool!
Using the ‘WAVE’ Accessibility Testing Tool, their site has 37 errors and 68 contrast errors. My site has no errors of either kind! (Again they list basic accessibility things like ‘image alts’ on their services. So why does their home page have 27 images with NO alts on them at all – that is TERRIBLE!!!)
There’s annoying popup on their site which offers ‘New Year’ deals from the 25th December 2019 to 6th January 2020 – BUT it’s March and that’s still on their site! (The copyright in the footer still says 2019 as well…)
Unlike many SEO spammers, Sunrise Grow Web Solutions say that they’re based in India. And indeed, on their contact page there’s an address for an office in India.
But there’s also an address for an office in Alberta, Canada. However, looking up the address, it’s for a rental office complex that also offers ‘virtual’ offices; so I very much doubt that they are actually ‘really’ there at all.
There are a couple of US phone numbers on their site as well. One in Chicago and one in New York; again I suspect these are just forwarders.
There are also email links on the contact page – only they’re properly linked and so don’t do anything…
The first email that ‘Edenc’ used to spam me was a Gmail account. With Google accounts you can have a profile image and sometimes you can see these when people email you. The photo on Edenc’s account is actually ‘Angela Zhang’ a Taiwanese singer and actress! (I found this by a reverse image search…)
But that’s not all the fake photos they are using! There are three testimonials on their home page. But they all have stock photos for the ‘people’ who gave the testimonials.
There’s “Robert Gonzales” who’s called “model business man asian” on stock sites ; “Karam” (which is a male name in Hindi) with the photo a blonde haired and blue eyes lady who’s “smiling girl in casual clothes” on stock sites; and “Elke Ernest” (Elke is a female name with a Germanic root) with the photo of a man who’s “business man accountant” on stock sites!
Whether or not the actually testimonials are real I don’t know, but the people’s photos next to them certainly ARE NOT!
Sunrise Grow Web Solutions are yet another SEO spammer who are hiding behind generic accounts to spam people.
Their report is full or errors and misinformation.
They aren’t practising what they’re preach in terms of their own SEO ‘optimisation’.
And they also don’t seem to know how to set-up a site properly…
So if Sunrise Grow Web Solutions want to help with your site, I’d give it a miss.
But the choice, as ever, is yours.