SEO Company Badmouthed In Google Forum But What Happens Next Is Strange

Feb 16, 2011 • 8:24 am | comments (10) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEM / SEO Companies
 

pinocchioRemember the story I wrote about a month ago named Don't Force Google's Hand, Especially If You're Sketchy? Well, it appears we may have a similar thing going on - but I am not sure.

A new Google Webmaster Help thread has something we typically see in the Google forums, a complaint from a disgruntled SEO client. The SEO client is upset with the services of her hired SEO company and decided to ask for advice in the Google forums. Of course, the SEO company was named but again, nothing out of the norm here.

Then we see three "clients" of this SEO company come in, one after and other, and post glowing positive reviews for the SEO company that is being trashed by the folks in the forum. Most of these users began defending the SEO company as if they were the owner of the company. So people got suspicious, as you would expect.

Google's JohnMu came in and asked them to clarify who they are and their association with the SEO company in question. He said:

REIMarketing & Mortons-1003, it's generally best to disclose your affiliations ahead of time when posting like that. We've had cases in the past where "happy customers" ended up being employees or owners of the companies discussed (similarly, "unhappy customers" might end up being a competitor). It's no problem if you're affiliated with them (it would certainly help us to gain some more insight), but it would be correct to disclose that in advance.

Honestly, I kind of believe these people are not associated with the SEO company, outside of being clients or friends. I really get the feeling they are not employees or owners of this SEO company. But I am very trusting.

But it gets worse! Not only is it looking like they didn't learn a lesson from the previous example of forcing Google's hand but it then gets into legal talk.

All of these people who posted defending the SEO company in question then stated they received calls from lawyers telling them to remove their posts and not talk anymore on the topic. One said:

I don't think you understand. I got a call from an attorney yesterday in Texas who said your real name is Deborah and he asked me questions and then asked me to no longer post comments here as this posting is being used in litigation and I shouldn't post anything which might make me part of the litigation. Sorry.

Another then added shortly after:

I got a message from a law firm yesterday asking me not to post comments on the blog. I have an appointment to talk to an investigator this morning at 11:00AM. They are apparently filing suit against you for slander and other stuff I guess.

How interesting.

I love then how JohnMu of Google comes in calmly and says once again:

At the risk of repeating myself, REIMarketing & Mortons-1003, and others, please disclose your affiliations before posting here like this. We've had situations like this here in the forum before, and it generally doesn't look that good when affiliations are disclosed by someone else...

John then placed links to the story I wrote a month ago and a link to that thread.

Now, without John saying, I suspect John and Google knows details about these accounts that they are holding back from revealing until they are forced to. Which might happen soon or maybe not.

Again, it is an interesting story. I do not know what to believe.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: February 15, 2011
 

Comments:

Leader

02/16/2011 01:50 pm

Very interesting and mysterious story.. Thanks for the post and links!

Rich

02/16/2011 01:51 pm

Wow, that's a mess. Not that I'm advocating Big Brother tactics at all but finding a way to enforce disclosure of identity on forums (of all kinds) could really save a lot of difficulties. It might make the net a little safer too. Rich

Web Developer

02/16/2011 02:45 pm

People are weird like that sometimes. Google should just ban those accounts and move on.

@steveplunkett

02/16/2011 10:57 pm

Transparency in SEO... or die.. #imjustsayin

Andy @ FirstFound

02/17/2011 04:17 pm

How foolish can you be?

ground penetrating radar

02/18/2011 02:26 pm

If you with clean character in SEO nothing can stop you from producing your desire results but when you look for some mean ways short cut you always been caught at the end.

Puertovallartatour

02/22/2011 05:17 am

what a mess

Steve

02/25/2012 01:05 pm

Like it. People sometimes get what they deserve...

Steve

10/27/2012 12:00 pm

I posted this post to webmaster world - they refused to list it as they stated its users would show little interest in it??? "I have reported this to Google 3 times without any response. A Brazilian adult search term "acompanhantes sp" successfully keeps the top 7 positions of this search term by spamming the Google local listings. Each listing gets 20 to 30 reviews. They must submit hundreds to local listings because they don't even register the URL's they submit - I should imagine a few people do this as a full time job. They wait for the submitted URL to be listed on maps and only then do they register the domain - ONLY after it starts to rank! The listing lasts about 3 days - its then dropped automatically by Google's algorithm only to be replaced with more of their listings - and so on and on and on. This has been working effectively for them for more than 12 months I think. To save on buying new domain names they have now started to put their map listings on multiple sub domains. LOL"

Tony Porto

10/29/2012 04:17 pm

hahahahahahaha, tooo funny.. Really SEO company is that your idea of getting an edge on your competitors, welp off to the blacklist you go..

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