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 time the email came in from a ‘Mehul’ who was using an seoindia.today (that domain doesn’t have a site – it’s one just used to send out spam. In fact it was registered on the same day I got spam from it!). The spam email subject was “Re: SEO Monthly Packages” although I’ve never been in contact with Mehul before, so it looks like he added the ‘Re:’ at the start to make it look like we’ve already been in contact – not a great start! The email went:
Hope you are doing great!
We are SEO experts and we can help you get your website on the First Page of Search Engine. We work on (Google, Yahoo and Bing).
We will also be Promoting & maintain your all social media Account like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube & My Space, Marketing, Etc.
If you can give me a website URL I can do a detailed analysis and send quotes accordingly.
Let me know if you are interested, I would be happy to share our SEO Packages and Price list (no-obligation).
SEO Marketing Specialists [INDIA]
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’…
So I replied to Mehul and asked him to look at my Christmas site. He replied with the following:
My name is Aatish [name removed for privacy], I got your inquiry from one of my colleagues and I will be taking care of your requirements from now onwards!
Further to your email, First, I would like to take an opportunity to introduce our self, We “True web Technologies” is a registered company based in India, having a team of 25+ digital marketing experts in field of SEO, SMO, ORM, PPC etc.
• We also have a pool of resources ranging from mid to senior level in website/App designing and development.
• 400+ clients worldwide with 96% retention rate.
• We ensure 100% confidentiality on sensitive data and solutions for our clients. Also if need be, we are fine to sign NDA agreement.
• Strict adherence to ethics and best industry practices including White hat SEO practices.
• No fixed monthly contract meaning you can cancel our services anytime you wish to discontinue. However, as per our past track record, this surely will not be a case.
For your reference, Below I would like to share our SEO packages based on the number of keywords, Do have a look:
[There was a table of their charges ranging from $149 to $699 a month!]
You can select package as per your requirements and budget.
Along with SEO, we will also further take on SMO efforts like :-
• Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter Promotion
• Classified Submissions
• Local Google Listings
• Forum Postings
• Profile Creation on Top Social Networking sites
• Promotion of business profiles on social networking sites
• Social Bookmarking
• Weekly Work and Progress Updates
• Monthly Progress Report along with Ranking Report
• Monthly Traffic Analysis Report Extracted from Google Analytics Tool
• Monthly Complete Back Linking Report
I would highly appreciate if you can help me you with the number of keywords that you would like to target so based on that I can share our plan of action along with keywords list relevant to your business.
Kindly share your thoughts and we shall proceed ahead.
Aatish [name removed for privacy]
Business Development Manager
Well, that’s a load of marketing blurb but there was nothing about my site – so I asked:
Thanks. In Mehul’s email he said that he’d do a ‘detailed analysis’ of my site.
I can see lots of your packages, but there’s no analysis of my site – please can you do that and tell me why my site needs your help?
For keywords try:
Christmas Around the World
That got this response:
Hope you are doing well.
We did detailed analysis for your website https://www.whychristmas.com/ & found there are lots of scope in your website and for this need to optimize your website in some major area to make your website Search Engine Friendly and increase traffic, visibility & CTR.
We have attached analysis file & keywords suggestion file.
Here are some major technical issues which need to be fixed on a website on high priority, for your quick view and in depth you can find in attached file.
Meta Tags Optimization: Meta tag is not up to the mark, need to update meta tags based on keywords. Presence of keywords in Meta Tags helps to increase search engine.
We need following change on the website:
We need to update heading tag based on keywords that sends another relevancy signal to Google.
We need to add title tag with specific keywords to increase the number of visibility in Search Engine Result Page.
We need to update Google business listing for your business.
Apart from the above changes, Below we have listed traffic oriented suggestion:
One of the best ways to increase traffic to your website is to use social media channels. ( Facebook, Twitter is ideal for short, snappy (and tempting) links, and you may find great traction with image-heavy social sites like Pinterest and Instagram.)
Guest post on relevant blogs
Submit your posts to Reddit
Start a Facebook group that drives traffic to your site
Connect with YouTube that drives the most engaged traffic out of all social media sites.
Visit sites like Yahoo Answers or Quora and answer questions relevant to your niche.
Comment on industry blogs
Kindly review the above suggestion and let me know in case of any query or clarification.
Looking forward to your response.
Attached to the email was a list of keywords, in an XLS file and an ‘SEO Audit Report’ as a DOCX file.
Their Report & Recommendations
In the ‘SEO Audit Report’, they list some ‘improvements’ that need to be made on the site. Let’s look at them…
The meta titles of your page has a length of 104 characters. Most search engines will truncate meta titles to 60-65 characters. Your website tag is not up to the mark. Need to update title tag with specific keyword to increase the number of visibility in Search Engine Result Page.
Yes the home page’s meta title is a bit long at 104 characters. However, the word Christmas is in the first 60 characters three times! The length is primarily what’s shown on search results, so ideally you want all of that to ‘show’, but being a bit long doesn’t really ‘hurt’ you as such.
Need to update robots.txt file for better crawling by search engine.
This is just WRONG! The robots.txt file is fine. It’s got everything in it which search engines need!
H3, H4, H5, H6 header tags are missing
This is true, but also completely irrelevant! On my site I’ve used heading tags where appropriate. They’re not needed on the home page, so they’re not there. And it’s simply stupid to say that every page on a site needs to have heading tags from 1 to 6 – that’s just not how they work!
We have noticed Google and Bing indexing of the pages are average. It is recommended that more pages have to be submitted for indexing to various search engines.
Errmmmm, considering that all the pages on my site are being picked up by Google and Bing that’s another just stupid thing to say and is completely irrelevant.
We not found Analytics & Google Webmaster code installed on your page. We need to install Google Analytics & Google Webmaster code into the website for tracking and better optimization and more.
I don’t use Google Analytics for privacy reasons. I DO use and have Google Webmaster code (or more accurately Google’s Search Console code as it’s been called for the last couple of years) on my site, but it’s done a server level (which is what Google recommends) rather than adding it in per page. So again this is irrelevant.
01 ALT attributes are missing in web page. Need to add relevant alt attribute for images.
This is WRONG. All the images on the home page (and whole site) have relevant alt images.
Google page speed of your website is average. We need to improve page speed insights score for Mobile & Desktop for good user experience.
Google’s PageSpeed is one way of measuring the speed of a site. On my site it gives a desktop score of 93/100 and a mobile score of 78/100. (93/100 is actually very good and 78/100 is above average…) If we look at their site using PageSpeed, their scores are 52/100 on desktop and 14/100 on mobile. So they might want to look at their own site before telling other sites how to improve!
There’s now a new way from Google called Lighthouse. I generally prefer to use this tool now – and we’ll see the scores from this below (that’s got you excited hasn’t it?!?!)
We need to add your Google listing and add some reviews and posting on your Google business listing.
Well as my site isn’t a business (which 30 seconds on the site would have easily told you) this is WRONG and irrelevant at the same time!
So out of those eight items, they’re all either wrong, irrelevant or both!
On their list of keywords, there were 15 keywords/phrases suggestions and the estimated number of monthly searches for those terms. The numbers in the ‘keyword monthly suggestions’ seems amazingly low… The biggest one is 1,527,140 for the term ‘christmas story’. There’s got to be search A LOT more than that number of searches at any time during the year, let alone in December!
Anyway, let’s look at their suggested keywords and how the site is already ranking for them… (I did my testing using an incognito window, on a VPN placed in the USA as that’s where most of my site’s traffic comes from.)
- christmas story – Number 19. However, all the results ahead of it are about the film ‘A Christmas Story’. Mine is the first result about ‘the Christmas story’ that’s in the Bible (and that my site has information about)! So I’d actually call that pretty good!
- Christmas Traditions – Number 5. Pretty impressive!
- christmas fun activities for kids – Not in the top 50. But then I’m not actually targeting that sort of term. My site is about Christmas information, not activities, so it’s hardly surprising…
- Christmas History – Numbers 6 & 7. Pretty impressive!
- Christmas Around the World – Number 1!!!
- best christmas stories – Not in the top 50. But then I’m not actually targeting that sort of term, my site has lots about ‘the’ Christmas story but not others! So it’s hardly surprising…
- celebrate christmas around the world – Number 2!!!
- christmas stories online – See ‘best christmas stories’…
- Christmas Traditions and Customs – Number 2!!!
- best christmas activities – See ‘christmas fun activities for kids’…
- christmas stories read online – See ‘best christmas stories’… (However, for ‘read the christmas story online’ I’m number 1!)
- christmas facts for kids – Just about in the top 50. However, although my site has lots of ‘Christmas facts’ and it’s used by lots of ‘kids’, I don’t actually target things ‘for kids’ as I believe Christmas information should be for everyone!
- a christmas story online – This term is HUGELY affected by the film ‘A Christmas Story’. However, as about, for ‘read the christmas story online’ I’m number 1!
- famous christmas stories – See ‘best christmas stories’…
- christmas stories around the world – See ‘best christmas stories’…
And remember those keywords they asked me to supply…
- Christmas – 7!!!
- Christmas Traditions – 2!!!
- Christmas Around the World – 1!!!
So, erm, yeah.
So where their suggestions actually relate to the contents of my site, it’s already VERY HIGHLY.
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 truewebtechnolabs.com
Avid readers of this site, might think the name True Web Technolabs sounds a bit familiar. well, that’s because they’re a sister company to True Web Technologies – another SEO spammer, who we’ve dealt with before, on more than one occasion…
Both companies have the same address in Noida, the same phone numbers and the same fake address in France! True Web Technolabs’s Facebook link goes to the account for True Web Technologies… But there are different Twitter accounts! (The one from ‘technolabs’ has never tweeted – and both of the accounts link to the ‘technologies’ site.)
For HTML Validation, my site has no errors. Their site has 8 errors and 28 warnings. Not a very good start…
Using the ‘WAVE’ Accessibility Testing Tool, their site has 26 errors and 32 contrast errors. My site has no errors of either kind!
As mentioned above, for site speed, I now prefer to use Google’s ‘Light House’ tools, which are now built into the excellent GTmetix Tool. With this, their site gets:
Overall Grade: F
My site gets:
Overall Grade: A
So my site is perfect! (They actually had a screenshot of the A/100%/100%) result from GTMetrix in the SEO Audit, but then still said my site was only average at loading speed!!!
Looking into their site, things get even more interesting.
The alt text for the logo on their site is ‘logo’. That’s terrible! It should be the company name. You’d have thought an SEO would know that – but apparently not!
They have five heading 1s on their home page – you should only have one. And although there’s five, they’re all TERRIBLE for SEO, being things like ‘Who We Are’ and ‘Our Packages’.
There’s an email link the header that’s not actually a link. There are linked ones in the footer, so they seem to know how to do make them links, they’ve just not bothered in the header…
There’s a ‘case study’ section on the site where it lists 10 sites and the 10 keywords/phrases they’ve got for them. So I thought I’d see if I could find the sites on the terms they claim.
Out of the 10 sites, four are no longer online – oh dear…
Of the remaining six, I could only find one term out of all sixty ranking in the top three pages of Google (although they claimed most were on the top page) and that was much lower than they claimed!
So overall, rather unimpressive!
True Web Technolabs/True Web Technologies are yet another SEO spammer who hide behind fake domains when spamming people.
ALL of their suggestions for the site and keywords were either wrong or irrelevant.
Their site(s) are full of errors their case studies are either vastly out of date and/or bear little to no resemblance to fact…
So if True Web Technolabs/True Web Technologies say they can help with your site, the delete button might be your best friend.
But the choice, as ever, is yours.