What is Wrong with the SEO on Your Website – Scam Email?

Is Panda 4.0 Penalizing Your Site and Costing You Business?

how to spot seo scamsA slightly concerned client recently sent me an email asking if any of the dire claims in an email he received were true.  Most of my clients get these types of emails, I get them and if you have a website you have probably seen something like this in your inbox:

“We were curious to know if you were aware that there are a few issues bugging your website. Sorting out these will help you get the best returns out of your website.

  1. Your website seems to be attracting traffic, but this traffic is almost stagnant and limited, which affects potential sales as you move forward.
  2. Your website doesn’t feature in Google’s first search page for some of the major keywords in your niche, which affects visibility.
  3. Your website has been diagnosed with coding issues, which affects ranking.
  4. Your back links profile is not efficient enough to help your search engine visibility.
  5. Your website is currently not being properly promoted online according to Google’s new guidelines (after latest Google Panda & Penguin update), which is affecting your marketing strategy and goals.
  6. Your presence in social media platform is minimal. This is depriving you of a huge market of prospective referral clients.
  7. Your website may be penalized by Google due to unnatural back links.

We are expert in running promotional online marketing campaign for websites. We have a host of ethical services and techniques, which you can utilize to improve your website’s performance.

They claim to have “ethical techniques”, but marketing isn’t one of them.

We regularly check for coding “issues”, such as broken links, broken code and things like that and the site had none of those issues.  Plus the site ranks great for tons of target keywords and is climbing for others so the alleged “coding” issue is not real, but it was a big concern to my client.

The email claims:  “Your website is currently not being properly promoted online according to Google’s new guidelines (after latest Google Panda & Penguin update), which is affecting your marketing strategy and goals.”

google rankings

How could they tell our promotion is not inline with Google’s new guidelines?  We track about 25 keywords for this site.  The Google Panda 4.0 update rolled out around May 20.  As you can see, keyword ranking only improved.  So the site ranks #1 for two keywords, 5 keywords are in Google’s top 3 and the site ranks in the top 10 for another 13 keywords.

The email also says “Your website may be penalized by Google due to unnatural back links.”, but if that were true rankings would go down, not up.  An unnatural link profile would be problematic, so we checked Google Webmaster tools just to be sure and there were no warnings (we have never seen one in our account).

Clearly the site has not been penalized.  In fact none of our clients sites have been penalized because we only use “white hat”, cutting edge, Google-friendly SEO techniques.  The chart shown is typical for all of our clients.

Another item has to do with “Your presence in social media platform is minimal. This is depriving you of a huge market of prospective referral clients”.

social media rankings

Most local businesses are not social media giants, but the client’s Facebook, Twitter and G+ sites are updated with good content twice per week, far more than any of their competitors, so the site has some social mojo as you can see from the graphic.  You can check your own site at http://shareyt.com/SocialCounter.php.

Depending on the type of business, social media may or may not be a good source of traffic.  For most local businesses, while social signals are important, social media does not drive nearly as much traffic as search engines like Google Maps and referrals from business listings and web 2.0 sites, all of which we create for our clients.  As you can see from the following graph, social is a tiny fraction of the traffic whereas Organic Search and Referrals drive 65% of the traffic.

traffic and referrals

Just for fun, I’ve contacted companies who’ve sent similar emails and when I asked them for specifics, they admitted it was just a marketing email and offered to evaluate my website.  If you get an email like the one above, keep calm… it is just for marketing purposes.  For a real website SEO evaluation, contact us for free, or check with your SEO company.

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