The Biggest Threat to the UK Search Marketing Industry….

In SEO, The Digital Marketing Blogby Kelvin3 Comments

There are a lot of things which could ruin the SEO industry. If you read the blogs you could be forgiven for thinking anything from paid links, usability, social media, page rank sculpting or the latest blackhat tactic could kill this thriving industry.

But though in their own way quite important, they are really just storms in a tea cup. The real threat to the industry is the loss of trust in the sector due to unscrupulous cold-calling agencies.

In my spare time I do a little bit of wedding dj-ing, and though I built a website it suffers from cobblers shoes. Having said that it still ranks in the top ten or twenty for all my keyphrases and generates more than enough leads to keep me and a couple of my mates playing ABBA to drunken aunties as often as we can manage. But despite this, a couple of times a month I get phone calls offering me SEO services.

And this is bad news; it erodes trust in the industry, and if we’re not careful we’ll find ourselves in the same category as estate agents and double glazing salesmen.

I know that everyone has got to make a living, and it’s tough to make a dime out there at the moment, but if companies have got to to the stage of googling a keyword, finding who’s ranking on the second page, cold calling them and pretending to sell SEO when really they are selling PPC I worry.

As annoying as they are I like to play-along sometimes, so if you’re getting these annoying calls I reccomend asking any of the following

  • So can you get me number one for (insert keyword like viagra or mortgages)
  • So what exactly do you to get me to number one?
  • I have been told I have canconalisation issues can you explain what that means to me?
  • Where does your company sit on the recent page rank sculpting debate?
  • If you’re so good at SEO and at such a low price how come I’ve never heard of you before?
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    1. Hi Kelvin,
      Agree with this totally – I was actually reading the London Lite yesterday on the underground and saw a ad in the back “Want to earn £50,000 a day come be an online marketer – no experience needed”.
      All I could think of was these dodgy companies – no other company would run ad’s like that. However, whilst a threat to our industry, big business still recoginises the value of SEO… thank god!

    2. Author

      £50k a day? Crazy.

      I mean kooks like that aren’t going to stop established companies spending on SEO and online marketing but anything that errodes the trust in a profession can’t do the sector any good in the long run.

      I wonder whether naming and shaming them would help or just draw attention to them!

    3. Uuugh. I get these calls and emails all the time. It’s the fake concern that’s annoying: ‘we’re really worried your site is not performing as well as it should be’. Yeah right. If you’d bothered to actually look at my site you’d see I’m an SEO copywriter. So get lost. One guy actually told me a ‘key phrase had suddently become available and it was too good an opportunity to miss’. Riiiighht. Not sure how these guys sleep at night. Worryingly clients do fall for this. A new client told me they had been paying an SEO company £300 a month. Not sure what for though. They weren’t seeing any reports. And the company just told them their site was being optimised on a monthly basis. Not good.

      Like the idea of asking really complicated questions to get them off the phone quickly.

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