How To Spot Crappy SEO Pitches You Can Ignore

How Much Does SEO CostJust like anyone, I get crappy SEO pitches. My advice to anyone who gets these out of the blue is to ignore them. A good firm isn’t clogging your inbox with supposedly awesome sounding offers. But as a guide to crap you can especially ignore, here’s the latest from my inbox.

The Pitch

Gloria C. Williams got in touch with me on June 25th, to say:

Hi, my name is Gloria C. Williams and I am an Online Strategist.

I’ve been tracking the success of while doing some research on your industry—I’m very impressed with your company, but there are some real opportunities for growth that you currently are missing.

Are you interested in several proven strategies to use content and social media to drive relevant traffic to your site? In 20 minutes I can show you how to fuel your brand and generate more revenue from search engines and social networks.

This is a $2,500 value free of charge.

I’d like to follow up about this with a quick phone call. Can I call you this week to discuss your campaign? Thank you

Best regards, Gloria C. Williams 4036 Walt Nuzum Farm Road, Naples, NY 14512.

Let’s go through the warning signs that you simply don’t want to respond to this crap

Warning Sign 1: Unsolicited

As covered in my intro, this was an unsolicited pitch. You are 99.999999999999% safe simply trashing these types of emails. Make it 100%.

Warning Sign 2: Company Not Named

Who does Gloria work for? Her company isn’t mentioned. Either she’s repping for some other company, or she doesn’t want to list the company until she’s vetted out that the person she (if it really is a she) is going to dupe.

Warning Sign 3: Pitch Demonstrates No Research Done

The pitch simply references a domain name I own. Anyone going to that domain would, in short order, realize I’m probably not the person to pitch SEO to. Given this, the pitch demonstrates that no real “research” about my industry or my company was actually done, as promised.

Warning Sign 4: Fake Address Provided

Who puts a physical address into an email? There’s only one reason to do that. To make people who aren’t familiar with the internet somehow feel like the pitch must be legit, because it’s associated with a “real” address.

That’s not actually reassuring, and it certainly isn’t after it turns out the address doesn’t even exist (or if it does, Google can’t find it).

Warning Sign 5: Same Pitch, Over & Over

All those reasons above are enough to ignore that particular pitch on its own. But if someone needed more proof, yesterday, I got the same pitch four times in a row, all supposedly from four different people:

  • Pamela J. Maness, of 3882 Goff Avenue, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • Patricia May, of 1906 Brassie Dr Saint Louis, MO- 63114-5730
  • Christine Allen, of 2590 Coventry Court, Baton Rouge, LA 70814
  • Melanie Cheek, also of 2590 Coventry Court, Baton Rouge, LA 70814

Warning Sign 6: Disposable Email Used

The email addresses used by all of these are another sign. One was a Gmail account, rather than using the domain name of a particular company. That makes it disposable, which it’ll need to be, because it’ll likely get flagged for spam and perhaps closed after this type of fishing expedition.

The others were all addresses. Not familiar with those? They’re provided to people who use a trial edition of Google Apps, making them also disposable. As Google explains:

The advantage of using a domain is that you can try Google products without affecting your business domain, or without purchasing a new domain if you don’t have one.

Handy. Maybe Google shouldn’t let anyone use these addresses, since this type of behavior should impact their business domain. But still, the people would just switch to a Gmail account. Or Hotmail. Or Yahoo. Or If the pitch is coming from someone using any of these domains, it’s almost certainly not coming from someone with a solid business behind them.

Junk The Junk Mail

By the way, Google gets these types of pitches too. Last month, the head of Google’s web spam fighting team Matt Cutts wrote about someone trying to pitch Google on how it might get more leads and rank better in its search results.

Hit delete on those pitches. You aren’t missing anything.