I haven’t done this in a while, but a few days ago I received an email which ended up making me so furious that I decided I should blog about it.
This post is about very, very sly techniques used by SEO agencies that I had come across before, but this time it really pissed me off, so I wanted to let you guys know about it.
Before I get started:
HI, SEO COMPANIES, JUST FYI, WHILE WE BLOGGERS LOVE PAINTING OUR FACES AND PLAY DRESS UP LIKE DOLLS, WE AREN’T STUPID AND A LOT OF US ACTUALLY WORK IN DIGITAL MARKETING. JUST FYI.
I’m with the PR
So I receive this email from a girl who’s approaching for a massive, national online retailer (I’m talking of one that runs TV ads!), from a company, let’s call them Talented Stalkers for legal reasons. I had never heard of Talented Stalkers before and working in SEO myself and loving it, I was curious and wanted to check out their website.
Only to find that there was none. The domain existed but there was no website! ODD O’Clock had struck!
So after a bit of digging (but like the really easy kind, where you just look who bought that domain) I discovered that the domain was actually registed/purchased by a massive SEO company.
Clearly, the person was contacting me with that fake email address to make it look like she’s PR, in which case, us bloggers work with brands for free.
I of course took the time to make her aware of my knowing of all of this. I think it’s important that we respond to cheeky, sly SEO people to show them that we aren’t stupid, that we don’t fall for this cheap stuff, that we do know how valuable a link can be and that we work hard and should be compensated for it in some way.
Bloggers are already a VERY VERY VERY cheap means of marketing for a brand – yes, this is what we are ultimately.
A magazine might charge a high-end brand £500k for 2 pages of advertisement in one of their editions that maybe 100,000 people buy. After the next edition comes out, the previous advertisement will be forgotten. Plus, there’s no way (unless you include a very specific kind of discount code) to know who came to your website through that advert or who saw your advert, so you can’t actually be sure whether the £500k were well spent and the advert effective.
With a blogger, the brand sends them a product that might cost them £5-10 in cost or a voucher of £50 but they might get exactly the same reach AND can actually track that too. PLUS the advertisement (the review, the wishlist, the mention) remains online. PLUS the link helps them perform better on Google, which in turn means more traffic and sales additionally to the ones that the blogger triggered.
I mean just ask yourself how many things you bought because other bloggers spoke highly of it.
So for little money a brand actually gets A LOT out of a blogger. And I think that should be compensated. They do too and so does everyone else in the game.
Hi, I’m a new freelance writer!
Another technique that SEOs seem to use a lot recently is the freelancer writer route. Loads of emails hit my inbox (I really wonder how big bloggers deal with the sheer volume of emails they must be getting) from private email accounts of people asking whether they could guestblog for me because they’re a new freelance writer and they want to build up their portfolio.
Generally speaking I’m always up for having someone guest blogging (I’m actually looking for guestbloggers right now because of my holidays – get in touch if you’re interested!!)
At first, I didn’t actually clock this. I engaged and actually asked for her to write an article. A week later or so she emailed me the article and then suddenly clicked that she was actually an SEO person, because there was an anchor text link in the article to a commercial website.
Since then I’ve been kindly referring those SEO people who slyly pretend they are new freelance writers to Odesk and Copify where if you actually are a new freelance writer you can get a lot of paid work. Firstly, that makes me giggle and feel good about myself to play along to their stupid game but in a clever, trying-to-be-helpful kind of way.
Again, the reason why I do this is because of the very obvious way that SEO people just assume bloggers are shit stupid.
Have you seen our giveaway? You just need to blog about it to get a chance to win!!!
We all know this, we’ve all complained about this sufficiently enough for companies to have stopped using this technique as much (it’s called linkbaiting by the way where 1 post with 1 link could lead to others posting & linking too).I guess I don’t need to say much besides don’t do it.