I’ve been around in the SEO industry for quite a while, starting out doing SEO for three different websites which I worked for then for a business I owned several years back all the way up to founding The Marketing Masters. And over the years, I have to say I’ve seen some really humorous things in SEO — quite honestly nothing seems to amaze me anymore in terms of things SEO companies do for their clients, to promote their own business, and sometimes I really don’t even know why they do certain things. I’ll be the first to admin SEO can be a little try at times, but I’ll try my best to share the funniest things I’ve seen/heard over the years.
Since I don’t want to directly blast any companies on our blog and I also don’t want to promote some of these companies, we’ve blurred out certain parts of the screenshots provided below to keep things anonymous. Here are the 7 funniest things I’ve seen over the years in SEO, images below can be clicked to be expanded.
#7: You Mean I Need Blog Content?
We had a client who had a lower budget and we were essentially working as a consultant with them on their website. We had researched numerous long tail phrases for them that weren’t terribly competitive but had good search traffic and encouraged them to write about them in their blog. Well, after about 6 months of working with them they had written about 50 blog posts, and it turns out they were buying 50,000 link blasts from a site I won’t name, which ended up hurting their rankings (this wasn’t something we recommended, of course). They then thought the drop in rankings was from the quality content they wrote, not the junk links they had built, so they decided to delete all their blog posts.
A few weeks later, their rankings dropped more, and they realized maybe it wasn’t the blogs hurting their rankings, so they email us informing us they deleted all their posts and asking us to find a way to “undelete” them.
#6: “We’re a Google certified SEO Company”
We received a cold call one morning from a “SEO company” that is “certified by Google” directly. So we naturally decided to check out their website, and sure enough they are advertising that they are certified by Google to do SEO work.
For anyone in the industry, you’ve likely seen these before, but for business owners it’s important to know that Google does not certify companies for SEO work. Google does offer qualification for numerous things (including Adwords and Analytics) but they don’t certify companies to do SEO work, so if a company is trying to sell you on that, run.
#5: Ultimate Keyword Stuffing
If I told you this was from 2007, you wouldn’t think anything of it, but the fact that this is an SEO company’s website and this screen shot was taken in 2013 is a scary thing. This is an ultimate case of stuffing keywords in a footer, including numerous cities that this company doesn’t even have offices in.
If you see your SEO company stuffing your footer with tons and tons of links, including links to client sites and other websites, then it’s time for you to find a new SEO company.
#4: Hot Dogs, Anyone?
We were checking to see who our competitors were for a keyword we rank for, and an Adwords ad caught my eye. It was for a company promoting $39 a month SEO services, and offering to dance in a hot dog suit to promote your company if they don’t get you better search engine rankings.
Personally, I considered hiring them for a moment because I knew they couldn’t rank me higher at that price and I really would like to make them keep good on their hot dog suit promise!!
#3: If It Sounds Too Good To Be True…
We’ve likely all seen this screen shot before as its from a pretty large company. I had a lead call not long ago argue with me that we’re insane to quite him $900 a month for SEO for his small website when he received a quote for $2.99 per month. I asked him for the link, and sure enough here you go! I’m pretty sure you get what you pay for, and if it sounds too good to be true then it most likely is — there’s just no way you can get any sort of SEO work done for $2.99 a month and quite honestly you can barely get any sort of SEO tools or software for that price either.
#2: SEO Lawn Signs
First off I apologize to the driver behind me for taking a minute to get going on the green light, but I just had to get a picture of this lawn sign when I saw it a few weeks ago. I’m all for finding unique ways to promote your business, but a lawn sign promoting SEO services? I mean, maybe this person knows what they’re doing, but if that were the case wouldn’t they be getting leads from blogging and ranking their website instead of illegally placing lawn signs at nearly every intersection?
#1: I Need A Website First?
This one takes the cake. We had a client argue with us that they could rank for national search terms without having a website, and apparently they found some company that would get them ranked without a website. I never did check in with them to see how that’s going, maybe I should as I’m quite curious to know “what” exactly is ranking if they don’t have a website.
And there you have it, the 7 funniest things I’ve seen in SEO. I’m sure there are hundreds of others that I’m missing or have forgotten about over the years, but I’ll be sure to keep better track of these things now so I can put together a follow up post down the road!