If you think the title is an apparent swipe at certain search engine optimization professionals who make money by charging fees yet resort to online forums and ask SEO questions, then you got it right buddy. There’s a story about one SEO guy named Gary from Manchester going to Google Webmaster forums and asked questions about ranking issues for a website. I believe there is nothing wrong with that, as forums avenues to seek opinions and answers.
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Whether newbie or expert, we exchange ideas in a community of experts, learners, gurus or whatchamacallit. But what makes this case different is that Gary earlier quoted the company a few thousand British pounds for apparent SEO consultancy for their site. That website is the one he’s asking about. What he didn’t know is that the an executive of the site he charged also happened to visit the same forums and posted the same line of questions.
In short, the webmaster of the site caught this SEO guy asking questions when he thought the guy is supposed to know how to deal with their problems. It happened by accident, by the way. Again there’s nothing wrong with asking a forum rather than making up stories. But charging a few thousand pounds and pretending to be an expert is another story. If you’re a self-proclaimed expert who runs to the an expert forum seeking advice, there’s something wrong with that.
Someone can ask me SEO questions and if I honestly don’t know the answer, I can go to certain forums I maintain membership to look for answers. Then I will explain the answer to this person. But certainly I won’t act as if I know everything and begin charging people for little amount of work. That extending of effort is part of how we should acquire trust from people.
Gary was busted.
Gary, this is Mike Edwards, the MD of DIY Doctor. Your company have just given me a price of £2500 – £5000 to give me a report which you have obtained from a forum which we use anyway. Not only that but you have asked for that kind of money to look at a problem you do not think you can solve.
From where I stand this is pretty despicable behavior and not what I would expect from a “professional” SEO company.
His company’s name was also displayed in the forum. His company claims on its website to be the leading SEO agency in the UK.
This is basically what gives SEO the black eye. You can’t just blame the small potatoes trying to offer the service because they spent two days reading SEO articles exclusively. It could happen to bigger companies too, just like that Manchester-based outfit.
And certainly you can’t blame customers and the public into concluding that SEO is a scam that must be eliminated.