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 is the FIFTH time we’ve done a review of the SEO emails & spam from Qtonix. It’s now over two years since I did my first SEO review – looking at Qtonix! That looked at my Christmas site. Since then we’ve looked at what Qtonix have said about my Easter site, what Qtonix have said about another of my sites, and what Qtonix said about my Christmas site a year after their original spam to me!
Well… it’s been another year and I still get SEO spam from them (pretty much weekly!). So, yet again, I replied to one of their spam emails to see if they’re still peddling their rubbish reports and misinformation. (If you don’t want to read the rest of this – they are…)
This time the spam email came from an Alisha who was using an @weboptimizes.com email (weboptimizes.com isn’t a real site, it’s a domain that Qtonix purely use to spam people).
The email is rather different to last year’s one, although I still get spam from weboptimizes using basically the same spam templates they’re been using for years…
Hi Team whyeaster.com,
Hope this email finds you well.
New Year offer:Pay $99 as setup fee and get the service of $200 for first month!!
I am Max Wilson,
I visited your website and found that your website has been diagnosed with many coding issues, which affects your ranking. Promote your website online and increase sales by putting your website top in all search engines.
As per the trends in your industry – over 80% of people search for your products/services online and buy the same. These rankings also influence other channels of sales as well.
It is simple maths—the more people who come to your website, the more potential customers you attract. Don’t wait another moment to drive more traffic, increase sales, and improve your visual appearance.
1. We have all the best expertise to take the risk and give you what we commit.
2. If you are willing to have more business online and more Return on Investment (ROI) we are just an Email /Phone away.
3. We can increase the number of visitors to your website, and get you on the top searches of all the search engines.
4. Affordable way to market website and get online business.
I also prepared a free website audit report for your website. If you are interested i can show you the report.
I’d be happy to send you our package, pricing and past work details, if you’d like to assess our work.
I look forward to hearing from you.
A couple of things to notice about this spam… 1. Although it’s from ‘Alisha Wilson’, in the email text it says that’s it’s ‘Max Wilson’ who’s sending it! Normally I remove the last name of people on these types of emails for privacy reasons. But I don’t bother with Qtonix/Weboptimizes ones as I’m 100% sure that ALL the names they use are fake! If they can’t even work out who’s sending the spam, I’m pretty sure they’re not real…
Also you’ll see it’s about my Easter information site www.whyeaster.com – but as we’ll see, they also forgot what site they were spamming me about…
The email came into my business address on an @jpc-design.com address, but I replied asking them to look at my Easter site and send their promised ‘free website audit report’. Well, this is what I got in reply:
Thanks for your response!
I hope you remember that your last email communication with one of my colleagues Alisha Wilson regarding the issue fixing of your website. On behalf of Alisha I Anna Watson will be the authorized person to be handling this conversation from here onwards.
We have a professional digital marketing team that is proficient in providing high-quality SEO services. I believe we can rank your website in Google’s TOP Page within a short period of time regarding most of the relevant keywords for your website. This will improve your sales as well as business in terms of profits.
We have been working in this industry for the last 8 years and we have amassed more than 500 satisfied clients to date. For more details about our company profile please visit: https://www.qtonix.com/
Below are some of our recent work samples regarding SEO:
[There was then a list of four sites they claim to have worked on recently – including person emails addresses – this is a TERRIBLE lack of privacy of their clients!!!]
Successful campaign duration: 3-4 months but you can start seeing the improvement in ranking as well as in the number of visitors from the first month of our work.
Note: The pricing plan can be customizable as per your requirement. Due to Covid and the New Year, we are providing a huge discount on all of our services which will save your time, efforts, and a lot of money while getting improved results at the same time.
Feel free to get back to us for any queries.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
The email came in from an ‘Anna Watson’ (another clearly fake name) who was using a Gmail account which had her name and the word Qtonix in it. In the past, they’ve replied from an @qtonix.com address. But not they’re also replying from generic Gmail accounts – is that beucase @qtonix.com addresses are being blocked by spam filters!? hmmmm…
It’s a fairly standard spam reply template. However, it really did shock me that they included the personal details of four of their clients. I really hope they actually asked these people if they could share their person information, because if they didn’t that’s a HUGE breach of privacy laws from around the world. (Even if they did have permission, I still NEVER share the person details of my clients with random people on the random who I basically know nothing about…!)
You’ll also remember that I asked them to review my Easter site… However, they didn’t. Their PDF audit report, which was attached, was about this site! So Qtonix can’t even get the site they’re spamming correct!!!
(I took a very quick look at the four sites they mentioned. All had A LOT of HTML and accessibility issues. On one pretty much all the images were broken. Only one had that it had been made by Qtonix on it. This site had some ‘testimonials’ only ALL the photos of the testimonials were using stolen photos. Two were of stock photo ‘teachers’ and one was of a business man who’s on the board of a big electronics company. So Qtonix made a site, happily used fake/stolen photos on it and then this is one of the sites they’re using to say how great they are. That alone shows what quality of service you’re likely to get from them…)
Their Report & Recommendations
The report/audit I received from them was a PDF file it was also basically identical to the one which they’ve sent me over the last two years – including having lots of the same mis-information, scare tactics and out of date information.
As before, it was broken into different sections: “On Site Factors”, “On Page Factors”, “Off Page Factors” and “Social Media Factors”.
Then in each section there are different ‘factors’ which are given a rating of “Very Good”, “Good” or “Not Good.”
In the “On Site Factors” section there are six factors and my site ‘Not Good’ in four of them…
In the “On Page Factors” section there are 14 factors and my site ‘Not Good’ in seven of them…
In the “Off Page Factors” section there are 5 factors and my site ‘Not Good’ in four of them…
And in the “Social Media Factors” section there are 4 factors and my site ‘Not Good’ in two of them…
So according to Qtonix, out of the 29 factors, my site is ‘Not Good’ in 17 of them.
But let’s look at all those 17 ‘Not Good’ factors and see just how not good they actually are…!
Domain Age – The longer the domain existence , the better will be the ranking in Search Engines. – Created on 2004-02-28 Expires on 2021-02-28
Having a long registered domain name can indeed help with search rankings. And look – my site had been registered for 17 years!!! That’s a long time! So to say it hasn’t is simply WRONG. The domain is due to be renewed very shortly – and it will be – for several more years!
Reverse IP – they say that 447 other sites are hosted on the same IP as my site and that’s bad for SEO.
This is an SEO myth and MIS-INFORMATION and has been so for YEARS. Since before I replied to my first spam from Qtonix and yet it’s appeared on every one of their reports! (https://www.seoblog.com/2017/09/dedicated-address-improve-rankings/)
Page Indexed by Google – They say that the 90 items which Google says it’s indexed on my are not enough and bad for SEO. Well… the site has 5 pages and 96 posts (not including this one), so it is what it is. Having a large number of pages can be a factor but just having a few pages certainly DOES NOT adversely affect SEO, so this is more MIS-INFORMATION. Many of the posts are reviewing SEO spammers – including three about them – but they don’t seem to have noticed that! (Oh and they have 59 items indexed by Google so, erm, yeah…)
Page Indexed by Bing – They say that the 504 items which Bing says it’s indexed on my site are not enough and bad for SEO. Basically see above. Bing is also known to be rather odd with its indexed items count. I’ve no idea why it initially says 504 because if you click through all the pages it only lists 112 which is about right when you include archive pages, etc.! (Oh and they have 31 items on Bing, so again, erm, yeah…) So this is more MIS-INFORMATION.
Page Rank – Higher the PR, more the trust of visitors – 3 Out Of 10
Where to start with this… Page Rank *used* to be a number which Google *used* to publicly give an idea of how important it thought a page was. However, it’s not been used publicly by Google for at least the last five years. A ‘page rank’ type number can be got from some SEO sites but they are only guesses of how well they think a page would rank. As to the wording ‘Higher the PR, more the trust of visitors’, well that’s simply a load of rubbish. Page Rank NEVER worked like that and for an SEO company to say so is completely misleading. So this is more MIS-INFORMATION.
Title Relevancy – They say the ‘title’ tag of the site is wrong.
My site is a web design business. The title tag is: “JPC-DESIGN – Web Design & Development in West Somerset” which is EXACTLY what my site is about. So this is WRONG.
Keywords – They say there’s not enough keywords in the text on the site.
See above – this is WRONG.
Duplicate Content – They say there’s duplicate content on the site.
There isn’t. This is WRONG. (Well there are some sentences which are the same but all the major content, which is what search engines care about is different…)
Image Alt Tags – They say there’s missing alt tags and this is bad for SEO.
That is partially correct. Having good alt tags are important – IF having content in alt tags in required. The ’empty’ alts on my site are there because it’s appropriate (and actually correct) to have empty alt tags. So this is WRONG.
Broken Links – They say there are some broken links.
Well, there actually were. All to the sites of other SEO spammers who are no longer in business! I’m happy to have those sorts of broken links (you’d have thought that Qtonix might have also noticed that the links were for reviews of SEO spammers but it seems not)!
HTML Sitemap – They say there isn’t a web page sitemap on the site.
Yep, this is true. My doesn’t need one.
Breadcrumbs – They say my site ‘needs’ breadcrumbs to be good for SEO.
Hmmm, they list this as ‘Good’ on my site. However, I DO NOT have breadcrumbs on my site! So their report is WRONG. (Breadcrumbs can help SEO and usability in some circumstances. However, to simply state it’s a ‘must’ for SEO is wrong and MIS-INFORMATION.)
Link Popularity/ Backlink – They say I have 2,680,000 backlinks on Google and 0 on Bing. And this is ‘Not Good’.
2,680,000 = not good – WHAT?! However, there are some BIG problems with how they’re measuring these ‘backlinks’. They’re using the link:domain.com method (where you do a search like that) on Google and Bing. This can give you an idea but it’s VERY crude and there are much better ways and tools to get proper backlinking figures. Testing backlinks via Bing like this is really not reliable (just like their whole report!). So this is WRONG and MIS-INFORMATION.
DMOZ Directory and Yahoo Directory Listings – These are two errors but I’m combining them as one. They say it’s bad that my site is not listed the two directories. Well, considering that DMOZ closed in March 2017 (so three and a half years ago) and the Yahoo Directory closed in December 2014 (so SIX+ years ago), I’d really love to know how they’d expect my site to be listed on them. So these two are OUTDATED (and WRONG).
Yahoo Local Business. They say it’s bad that my site isn’t listed on the Yahoo Business Directory.
This doesn’t really exist in the UK, it goes under a different name and is a right pain. So although it’s sort of good information, it’s not great for UK businesses and is really MIS-INFORMATION!
Twitter Account – They say it’s bad I don’t have a Twitter account.
Well, I DO. There’s a link to it in the footer on the site ON EVERY PAGE. So this is just WRONG.
Google+ – They say it’s bad the site isn’t listed on Google+. This is like DMOZ and Yahoo – Google+ closed in April 2019 (so over 20 ago). Again, I’d love to know how my site is meant to be listed on there?! So again this is OUTDATED (and WRONG).
So out of the 17 errors, all but two are either outdated, are mis-information or are just wrong. The two that were ‘right’ where that I had broken links (to now dead SEO spam companies) and that I don’t have an HTML sitemap (which the site doesn’t need).
And of course they also said that it was good that my site has breadcrumbs, when it actually doesn’t…
Overall, their report is up (or should that be down) to Qtonix’s usual standards.
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.qtonix.com
Let’s see if their site has improved in the last year…
For HTML Validation, last year their site had no HTML validation errors and it still doesn’t. Well done Qtonix (wow, never thought I’d say that…!) Oh, my site doesn’t either…
But that’s about as good as it gets.
Using the ‘WAVE’ Accessibility Testing Tool, my site has no accessibility errors or contrast errors. Last year their site had are 6 errors, 25 alerts and 44 contrast errors. Guess what, it’s the same this year. Oops.
I now prefer to use the GTmetrix tool for testing a site’s speed as it incorporate’s Google’s ‘Lighthouse’ tests.
Using the GTMetrix speed test tool their site gets:
Overall Grade: F
That’s pretty terrible.
My site gets:
Overall Grade: A
So my site is MUCH better!!
They still have a link to Google+ in their site’s footer (you know for the site that closed over 1 and 3/4 years ago…)
On their site’s logo, they’re using an image position technique to display the logo. That’s a perfectly fine way of doing it. However, what’s not fine is that in the code the image is a link but they don’t have any text in the code to give assistive technology (or search engines) any idea of what that link is for. That is REALLY not good for accessibility or SEO!
There is a Terms and Conditions page, but honestly it’s more a comedy statement than a legal one. When working with them, one of the conditions is that a client agrees to is “To never ever use any spamming” – ah, unlike them then… and also “Any spams, phising requests, fake emails should be immediately reported to us without any fail.” Erm, so do I have to report their own spam to them!? They also say “We will never ever as for your financial information or have any 3rd party contact you on our behalf.” But I’m not actually sure what any of that means…
In Anna’s email she also stated “I believe we can rank your website in Google’s TOP Page within a short period of time”. Well, Google has something to say about claims like that:
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?”
Another year on, sadly weboptimizes/Qtonix are just as bad (if not worse) than they were last year. They are still peddling out of date, mis-information and plain scare tactics as facts.
But I’ll leave the rest of this conclusion to be the same as it was this time last year and the year before that:
I certainly wouldn’t use the services of weboptimizes/Qtonix. The report/audit they sent for my site isn’t worth the bit of paper you would print it on!
Qtonix also trade as ‘SEO Company USA’ although they’re head office is actually based in Bhubaneswar, India (like Skylite Web). I have nothing against Indian based companies. But claiming you’re a big US based company, when you’re not, is another reason to take anything they say with a very large pinch of salt…
The choice is yours, but if one of the seemingly many people from weboptimizes.com emails you, the delete button might be your friend.