Savvy Blogging • The Sly Ways Of [Some] SEO Agencies


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:



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.

Savvy Blogging The Sly Ways of SEO Agencies (02)

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.

Savvy Blogging The Sly Ways of SEO Agencies (01)

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.

Savvy Blogging The Sly Ways of SEO Agencies (04)


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23 Comments on “Savvy Blogging • The Sly Ways Of [Some] SEO Agencies

  1. Lisette

    I get those guest post emails all the time. Some even have the nerve to follow up a week later with “I haven’t heard back from you.” STFU!

    Did you get rid of Disqus for any reason?

    1. Miss drifted Snow White Post author

      Hey hun, I’m soo glad I’m not the only one with those freelancer emails. Its ridiculous. They eventually start begging and that’s just not right.

      Regarding Disqus people said they didnt like it? Was I wrong to take it down? Do you prefer it? xxx

  2. Caroline

    oh god the freelance writer emails are the worst! i’ve had one email me 5 times in a week to see if i would publish her article. i won’t even dignify their emails with a response xx

    1. Miss drifted Snow White Post author

      Hahaha I always giggle when I respond “I’d like to help you become a great freelance writer, but I don’t have the capacity right now. However Copify & Odesk are great” lol that way I play stupid in a clever way haha :)

  3. Olivia

    Haha oh goodness a good sunday morning vent about something genuinely worth venting about! I’m so glad you posted this as it definitely opened my eyes!


    1. Miss drifted Snow White Post author

      It’s ridiculous isnt it. I just think it’s absolutely outrageous. And Google even supports it because selling/buying links is against their policy, so yeah, SEOs have an excuse to want free links >.< email me about the guest blogging!

  4. disneyrollergirl

    Arrrgh those freelancer emails drive me NUTS! Can’t bear them. I can’t be bothered to play games though. DELETE!!

    Re Disqus, I don’t like it. I don’t like having to keep logging into Discus when I’m on different blogs and that everyone can see ALL the comments I’ve written in different places. (Don’t like Facebook comments either!)

    1. Miss drifted Snow White Post author

      I don’t delete them, I try to engage to show them how stupid they are in thinking I’m stupid. Especially with my blog, it’s not hard to see that I know about these things, so they deserved to be made felt stupid haha

      Guess I made the right choice getting rid off Disqus then – hate FB comments too! And G+ ones!!

  5. Joelle

    I almost fell victim to a few of these a while back. Some seem so gueniune and even try to creat banter with you. I researched them, realised they were fraudsters and told them where to stick it. Shame my email is still on their database though. I keep getting apologies and emails from other seo fakers, euuuugh!

    1. Miss drifted Snow White Post author

      Yeah, of course sometimes they’re genuine, but then they could write a bit differently or if they’re bloggers, they could link to their blog and stuff. But yea, they deserve to feel our anger at their cheating ways!

  6. Schminkschnubbel

    Seriously, I have never been so glad to have a nice, SMALL, comfy blog. These kind of people don’t even bother with my blog :-D

    But good to know about these schemes and how to best react! Thanks <3

    1. Miss drifted Snow White Post author

      Hahaha! though I think in German speaking areas SEO are being done differently then over here, from what I gathered when I interviewed for SEO roles in Germany!

      Haha either way I’m glad it was helpful :)

  7. Lulu

    I got an email from an SEO company tellling me all the things they thought I was doing wrong. Great marketing technique! I shot an email back and then they had the nerve to send me another one!!! Thank you for this!

    xo Lulu

  8. Beautyhunterxo

    I’ve had an SEO do this to me before. Emailing me about ‘fantastic opportunities, giveaways and chances to bring traffic to my website’. Each email she sent consisted of literally 10 different links of various things they had going on, but I binned the emails and put them down as spam. They also claimed to be in PR and asked me if I wanted to ‘host a giveaway’. My instinct told me to ignore all messages & emails, which I did! After reading this blog post, I’m quite glad I did now, thank you :)

    Jess xo

  9. laura

    I kinda sit on the fence on this one. As an established blogger I get emails from agencies all the time, and there are 2 types. There are the types that want to send you press releases, don’t know your name or even address me as MR (please, read guys!) these get a polite email back from me asking to remove my email address.
    Then there are the type that know what im about, and I dont mind them, after all, I personally find it a privelege that they have taken the time to read up on me or are actually interested in what I have to say. I feel if its mutually beneficial then I dont mind including a link (if I get paid, or something to review that I am GENUINELY interested in). I understand its frustrating as a blogger, but I like to operate on a professionalism point of view. If i’m not interested, I tell them rather than accepting a payment and then disappearing off the face of the earth. You wouldnt do that on eBay for example, and I was always raised to believe manners don’t cost anything.
    I think some bloggers give blogging a bad name. I also think that its true about paying more for papers and online publications, and its true that the reach CAN be the same, but it also can be much much lower. And a lot of people think they can just set up a blog and get paid // free stuff without understanding all the blood, sweat and tears that some bloggers put in.
    Just my opinion!

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