And please, before you lot at the back start sniggering, this article is going to do its best to be innuendo free – this is not going to be an article laced with ‘getting your sagging site up’ style comments and shame on your for thinking it.

Why nice message from a gender changing Indian caused me to accept
SEO is the new Viagra
 

One actually got and kept my attention the other day, it wasn’t because it was different than the others, like them it promised: SEO from the team of “over 150 certified experts”, and guaranteed first page Google rankings (if only they could, I’d be writing this from the deck of yacht moored somewhere off the Bahamas), it had the same lack of company website, the same seosolutionz@yahoo.com free email address, and despite my site being littered with my name, it addressed me Hello Dear – which rather endeared the sender to me.

All the usual signs of a spam SEO company were there, but it was the signatory of the email that got me. It showed a new evolution in the names the spammers were using, not the standard, and probably real, Ran or Sharma or Rehaul, it was from Victoria Worwich – an English sounding but, from a cursory Google search, non-existent name.

Had Ram’s lack of response driven him to adopt the nom de plume of Victoria? I ask this because Ram had sent me exactly the same email but a week ago – or maybe it was Victoria masquerading as Ram. Victoria masquerading as Ram might well be feasible given many people’s justifiable belief that Indians have something of a technological and educational edge over us westerners. Whoever the sender, this was to be the first of many derisory offerings, from my brother SEO specialists, that I was to receive that day. In fact, the amount of SEO emails I get dwarfs all the other junk I get by a factor of about 10.

419

The days of 50c gas, Nigerian Princelings and sequestered inheritances

There is no doubt that something has happened in both the spam and SEO worlds. Gone are the days of “Get your gas for 50c” (another thing that were it true would have propelled me onto the deck of my Bahamian yacht).

Even the 419 fraud – you know the one “I am the dispossessed Kabaka of Buganda whose fortune is sequestered, I only need your bank details and we are both rich” – seems to be waning.

As have the one time ubiquitous Viagra/ generic Viagra/herbal Viagra/Cialis emails.

Have the spam filters and the law weeded them out, or is there simply no living to be made from claiming to be the heir to a Malawian dredging fortune with access to a variety of prescription free pharmaceuticals and a life enhancing vacuum pump?

Indeed, Viagra seems to trip so many filters and alerts one wonders just how difficult it is for a genuine online pharmacy to market their wares.
So thoroughly intertwined with the dubious world of black marketing has the little blue pill become that its maker Pfizer had their site temporarily banished from the face of Google by a recent update aimed at countering web spam.

Will SEO become another word so linked to spam that it will become difficult to market the real bona fide service online?

SEO – what exactly have we got in common with this lot?

So just why has email SEO spam become the new Viagra?

Well for a start many businesses are realising that they need it, even my local plumber is now starting to realise an ever growing number of people are seeking goods and services online and that without a strong web presence his business will increasingly struggle – I know this because he keeps asking me advice on rather technical matters of website content creation.

SEO certainly has an, often unjustified, mystery to it. People don’t realise that for the most part the boys and girls in India would only be doing what they could themselves. People see their competitors ranking high and think it must be as a result of highly skilled practitioner of the dark arts of search engine optimisation, when in all likelihood it’s really as a result of basic common sense practices such as having the things you want to rank for actually appearing in your site. You’d be amazed how many Roofing contractors in Glasgow don’t have the phrase “Roofing contractors Glasgow” somewhere in their site.

The reason people may fall prey to this spam is probably the common belief that SEO is both highly skilled and labour intensive – and yes some aspects can be, especially outdated dubious back-linking methods. This again is an area that often can be done by the small business, and it they choose an SEO specialist then best to source one closer to home than India – unless of course your business is in India in which case get it done there. Writing good copy about a small business is probably best done by someone on the same continent as the business and ideally by someone who has visited the enterprise and who understands the needs and goals of the business.

Another element helping the growth of spam SEO from the India sub-continent is the belief that SEO can perhaps be done on the cheap and that India is a source for highly skilled but inexpensive labour. Yes, and if this were a technical issue heading east would be a good idea. But this is not an IT issue, SEO is more an issue of writing, marketing and standard business development. Any content writing to be done is often not only highly technical but often requires a high level of understanding about the product and the customer.

Ignorance leaves people open to being conned and there is a lot of ignorance around this, as does an element of greed, quality SEO can be a game changer to any business hoping to attract business online and as in every other aspect of business cheapest is often not best. Good SEO is not something that normally can be gotten for “$100 a month No.1 in Google guaranteed”.

Summary – or what an SEO company might look like

So just as those buying Viagra or petrol might be best advised to visit a pharmacy or a petrol station, those seeking SEO may well best visit, or at least have a consultation (FREE CONSULTATION that is if you speak to us) with someone in their own country, someone who quite literally speaks the language and who is in a position to learn their business and speak realistically about achieving realistic goals, within a certain timeframe while working to a budget.

Good SEO firms are out there, we at Havelock Consulting believe we are one, although on the downside we might never send you an email opening with “Hello Dear”.

Digital Marketing Specialists

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