SEO Companies Continue Using Fear Tactics To Keep Clients

Feb 11, 2009 • 9:19 am | comments (9) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEM / SEO Companies
 

I hate it when I see companies in our industry acting unprofessional. It makes our whole industry look bad and encourages ill-informed authors to write bad things about this industry. Why am I upset?

Well, I saw a thread at Google Webmaster Help posted by a site owner who is afraid that his old SEO company will hurt his site in the search engines. This SEO company allegedly wrote him the following email:

Per your request we have shut down both of your web sites to the search engines *websiteName* is ranking fantastic on the front page of google example *searchTerm* with over 9 million competing pages you rank number 3 and number 4 on the front page your other site was ranking equally as well. You are releasing *SEOfirm* from any and all liability for your web site placements. As you know we don't do competitors so before you drop off of Google I have to go out and sign another company and once I show them where I placed you no doubt they will sign. People would give anything to have your rankings. I hate losing clients but in your case I can replace your site on google with someone else. I wish you good luck in the search engines and remember in june or july when google goes through there change it will be nearly impossible for you to return to front page...

What should this person do? Here are the things that come to my mind as I write this:

  • Remove access to their domain name
  • Remove FTP access or CMS access
  • Remove their access to Google Webmaster Tools, Yahoo Site Explorer and Live Search Webmaster tools (here is why)
  • Report them to the BBB
  • Keep an eye on your links and site for the next month or two

Times may be getting tough in this recession, but to use fear tactics and threats to keep business, seems wrong.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

Previous story: SEOs Get Defensive Over Ill-Informed Writer
 

Comments:

No Name

02/11/2009 03:52 pm

This could be regarded as non ethical SEO, moreover this is non ethical customer service.

Michael Martinez

02/11/2009 04:30 pm

I would never pull a stunt like that with a client. Any SEO who lacks the self-confidence to let a client go in peace should find a new field to work in.

No Name

02/11/2009 05:32 pm

that's not SEO, that's what hackers do! Just like many other industries, finding a reputable agency in the first place is the key.

Chris

02/11/2009 07:22 pm

It's people like this that give SEO professionals a bad name and I've run into so many clients who have been burnt in the past it's sad.

Gaver

02/11/2009 08:11 pm

Dang! I'm not a customer and it scared the heck out of me? What "changes in July" are they referring to? Is googles stock going to split? :)

Dave

02/11/2009 10:50 pm

hee hee.... I'd consider submitting to various review sites and teach them a lesson in anti-reputation management... if one were so inclined... :0)

Erik

02/12/2009 01:18 am

I'd take the poor SOB to lunch. Let him know why you're leaving him. Then tell him in the interest of doing the right thing - that you intend to let google know of all the websites that he placed your links on for a fee. That way everyone can start fresh on a level playing field. There's nothing like the sound of screeching tires and the smell of burning rubber to end a business luncheon with... You can always find another link broker / seo team. He, on the other hand, will spend months recovering if his sites are blacklisted and zeroed out.

Al

02/16/2009 02:07 pm

The unfortunate thing is that you and I know it is nothing more than fear mongering but put yourself in the clients shoes - complete uncertainty as to what might happen. Just plain unprofessional.

Colleen

02/17/2009 12:32 am

I'm more fearful of this guy's grammar skills.

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