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WebsearchPR – SEO Snake Oil Sales Pitch

January 28th, 2008 · 38 Comments

WebsearchPR - Snake Oil Salesmen

I received an email this morning from a company called WebsearchPR. They seem like jolly nice folks because they’ve guaranteed me first page rankings on Google, Yahoo and MSN or they’ll give me my money back.

A guaranteed spot on the front page of Google or my money back?

Gosh! Now where did I leave my credit card?

Sound the Snake Oil Alarm! It’s time to dust down the Snake Oil Promotions graphic and expose these folks!

Let’s start off by having a look at their email, shall we? is currently linked to by 35 websites. I have used Google to find these links because for most people this is the most important search engine.

I see they’re using the ol’ link: command. Are these the same jokers I wrote about 18 months ago? Could be because when I run the same command for their site it returns zero links. Zilch. Zip. Nada.

OK so back to their email.

A higher number of links pointing to your website means you can achieve far higher rankings on Google, Yahoo, MSN – meaning that you attract more customers, make more profit, and benefit from an increasing return on investment.

I totally agree. Google particularly values the importance of inbound links so having more sites linking to you makes total sense to me so why don’t I just do another quick test on their site again only this time using a different set of data. Maybe Google was broken, eh?

Ermm. Nope. Xinu shows 0 backlinks in Google, 0 backlinks in MSN and only 10 in Yahoo. Hell even my mums site has more backlinks in Yahoo!

To achieve the above, the full service we are offering you includes on-going link campaigns plus the peace of mind that your website is always correctly “tuned” to the search engines’ current algorithms (extremely important these days).

Sweet! An SEO company that clearly works very closely with the major search engines. After all, how else can they give me peace of mind by ensuring that my website is “tuned” to the search engines current algorithms? I mean it’s not like that kind of information is widely accessible so they’ve clearly got some inside information, right?

To make sure you get the results you need, your actual search engine results are backed by our 2 tier Top 10 Promise:

  1. If we don’t achieve first page rankings for your selected search terms on Google, Yahoo, MSN we’ll refund your money!
  2. If we don’t then keep you on first page rankings for your selected search terms on Google, Yahoo, MSN we’ll refund your money!

This is my favourite bit of the email. So they’re promising me my money back if they don’t deliver me first page rankings on the Big 3. For my own search terms. The ones I decide.

OK, WebsearchPR, here are my “selected search terms”:

  • porn
  • viagra
  • sex
  • poker
  • kylie minogue naked

Actually I’ll let you off the last one if you can find me some decent pics πŸ˜‰

We have achieved excellent results for many of our clients using extremely competitive search terms. To find out what kind of results our clients have experienced, we are happy to provide you with their contact details so you can contact them directly.

Clearly WebsearchPR isn’t a competitive search term. Nor is Brighton SEO or SEO services Brighton or anything else I’d expect to find you under. Now why would that be? Shall we have a look at your source code?

WebsearchPR - The SEO company that hides from the search engines

So you’re a search engine optimisation company that wants to hide from the search engines, eh? What an inspired move! In a crowded industry, and let’s face it SEO is a very crowded industry, you need to find a USP to make yourself stand out and this would certainly be pretty unique…

OK so let’s have a look at your testimonials, shall we? Maybe I’ve got it wrong and despite how it looks, you’re actually a really good SEO company and not a bunch of clueless numpties. Sadly you don’t actually have any links off to your “satisfied customers” so I had to do some detective work…

Company A – not ranking for their company name. Not a good start. Let’s type in the URL directly and see where we end up. Oh…a holding page trying to sell me mesothelioma? OK maybe they’ve gone out of business. Let’s try the second “satisfied customer”.

Company B – rank for company name. Hurrah! Duplicate meta descriptions, keywords and source code written by Stevie Wonder. In the dark. Maybe the link profile will be better. Google – 4. MSN – 0. Yahoo – 381. Looks promising. Let’s have a look at those links. Oh they all appear to be from loans and mortgage companies. Which are all owned by the same company. And hosted on the same server.


I’ve just been digging through all my old emails and you ARE the same bunch of numbnuts who sent me the email 18 months ago. Either that or someone else is ripping off your “content” word for word, using the same “success stories”, using the same IP range and utilising the same dodgy virtual office/mail forwarding service.

Jason Calacanis famously said that SEO is bullshit. Jeremy Schoemaker recently said that SEO’s are the 21st Century car salesmen. Hell, even Googles BFF Wikipedia refers to spamdexing in it’s SEO definition (wear the link condom, you Wikipedia biatch). Is it any wonder that SEO has a bad name with fuckwits like you shafting people who don’t know any better?

Do you really expect me to believe your money back guarantee? I mean, really? So you’re going to get me a first page result on Google for any search phrase I chose?

To allow the benefits of our optimisation work to take effect, your money back guarantee begins after your third monthly payment. From this point on, your monthly payments will be refunded in full for any guaranteed search terms not ranked in the Top 10.

Ah..gotcha! So basically you have my money for three months whilst you go off and make some more spammy “customer” sites, get some more small businesses to part with their hard earned and then disappear off without refunding me my money because you couldn’t rank me number one in Google for “google”?

Y’know what? I respect the SEO comment spammer exposed by Tim Nash and Shaun Anderson more than I do you. At least they were relatively upfront in their methods. You guys are nothing more than pondlife.

I’m not an SEO. I don’t claim to be. I’m an actor who happens to have a background in web development. To use a popular term that’s in with the kids these days, I’m an SEO fanboy. When I get approached to do SEO work, I explain that I’m an enthusiast who can help with their rankings but that I’m not a full time SEO. I’m not prepared to promise something to a customer and then not deliver. It’s not in my nature.

I still get SEO work despite my protestations because people trust me, they recognise that I have more knowledge than them and that I’m not going to promise them something I can’t deliver. As I recently mentioned, I gave away a couple of hundred bucks worth of SEO advice to a friend of mine recently because I didn’t think it was right to charge him.

You, on the other hand, are quite happy to charge money for services you’re not prepared, qualified or able to achieve. The fact is that there will be some poor muppet out there who will take you up on your offer. They don’t know any better so they see your spam unsolicited email and think that you’re a company that can help them get #1 in Google and will send you money despite the fact that you can’t even rank for your own name.

If I were you, by the way, I’d have a read of this article by Andy Beal. It will help you with your reputation management issues. It must suck being outranked by people slagging you off. Then again, it must just suck being you.

Matt Cutts announced last year that Googlebombs were a thing of the past. Apparently they don’t work any more. This is a shame because I’d personally love it if WebsearchPR, since they can’t even rank for their own name, would rank for under such search terms as clueless numpties, fuckwits, slimy bastards, seo snake oil, carnal knowledge with dogs and other such fun terms but I guess that without the support of fellow SEO fanboys that’ll never happen.

Ho hum.

P.S. I realise that I’d already used the carnal knowledge with dogs anchor text for Network Solutions. Bugger. OK. Let’s leave the puppy fiddling to one side and concentrate on one of the others, eh?
P.P.S. Obviously I’d hate it if anyone were to spam or but I guess sometimes shit happens, eh?

Tags: Search Marketing

38 responses so far ↓

  • Tim Nash // Jan 28, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    Clueless numpties I like it, I think I know what tomorrow post might be about.

  • Mike // Jan 28, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Obviously if you think of some suitable anchor text to link to them do let me know. clueless numpties only has 2k results in Google and hardly any searches according to Wordtracker so if you can think of a better anchor text to use, feel free to let me know πŸ˜‰

  • Hobo Zombie // Jan 29, 2008 at 12:21 am

    LMAO – If everybody did this perhaps we’d see less of cold calling.

    Of course for legal reasons (all the other ones) I couldn’t possibly agree with anything you said but it was a bloody good read! LOL

    Stumbled, Sphinning whatever…. ha ha nice one.

    I think Paris Hilton gets a few hits by the way πŸ˜‰

  • Mike // Jan 29, 2008 at 12:36 am

    Fair enough, Shaun. I appreciate your reasons for not publicly agreeing but I’m prepared to make the stand against these kind of people.

    1) I’m sick and tired of this kind of pondlife besmirching the whole SEO industry
    2) Without the combined forces of the SEO savvy these ne’er do wells will continue to make illicit money
    3) I’m so broke that if they want to sue me then fuck ’em! The great British legal system will pay for it :)

    Maybe that’s the way forward. Expose the SEO scams…

    P.S. Britney gets more traffic than Paris πŸ˜‰

  • RankRanker sucks // Jan 29, 2008 at 4:34 am

    Heh, I was just writing something about this a few days back. I got similar twiddle from RankRanker, a “Free SEO system and Link Exchange With Extra Earning.”

    On a related note, you’ve got three spammy trackbacks to get rid of. The Wikipedia spoof is a nice touch, incidentally.

    p.s. I’ve added a link here from my RankRanker sucks page (anchor text Web Search PR), and am linking to them (albeit with nofollow) using clueless numpties anchor text; apparently anchor value still passes despite nofollow’s use. That said, I love that you’re giving PR love to commenters. So damn rare nowadays.

  • Mike // Jan 29, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Just read your post on RR and I think the two companies should merge to form one giant SEO spam factory. Still, the more of us who publicly out them the better, eh?

    Re the PR love, I’ve considered turning “nofollow” back on recently due to the number of people leaving spammy comments but I’m going to leave it in place for a while longer until I finally tear out what’s left of my hair.

    Thanks for dropping by, Gab, and leaving a comment. Much appreciated :)

  • Hobo // Jan 29, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Re: Dofollow – Considered “Linky Love”?

  • Mike // Jan 29, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Is that the one where the commenter has to leave 3 comments before they get to shoot their link juice into my comment box?

  • Hobo // Jan 29, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    Yes – Linky Love is great.

    By the way – went hot on Sphinn – a wee double! :)

  • Tyler // Jan 29, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    You forgot to mention that not only is their homepage the only page of their site that is indexed by Google, but they have the non-www and www version of their homepage indexed because they don’t have .htaccess implemented.

  • Sucker // Jan 29, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    Haha nice post! Nice work with the image too! I’ve used the same one but you did a better Photoshop job with it! :)

  • BigTequila // Jan 29, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    I used to WORK for a company that guaranteed page 1 rankings in Google, Yahoo! and MSN. I listened in pain to multiple clients buy into this nonsense. Let’s just say since I left that job my bourbon drinking has tapered off a bit…

  • Mike // Jan 30, 2008 at 12:02 am

    Shaun – Thanks for the Sphinn. Always nice to get a little bit of Sphinn lovin’ :) I may well look into Linky Love further. I’m keen to continue promoting dofollow but have noticed recently an increase in manual spam which takes up way too much time so Linky Love could be the answer.

    Tyler – You’re right. There are so many things you could rip them a new one for. Having done a bit more investigating, there are a number of copycat sites they’ve produced which I think may well be worthy of a follow up post at some point. hehehe

    Sucker – Lovin’ the Blog Crap widget on your site πŸ˜€

    Big Tequila – I can only imagine the kind of grief they must have given you. Mind you, it’s no excuse for not drinking πŸ˜‰

  • Li Evans // Jan 30, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    Heh… this post made me laugh. I love your humor at taking idiots like this to task for their stooooooopid ass marketing pitches.

    I wish there was someplace we could report these idiots too where their emails would just go into a black hole and never reach unsuspecting customers.


  • Mike // Jan 31, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Well someone has got to do it, Li, and I was in the mood πŸ˜€

    Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment

  • Mike // Feb 1, 2008 at 2:26 am

    This isn’t how it’s supposed to work, dammit! How come Sphinn is currently at #1 in Google UK for clueless numpties and I’m #2?

    Google search result for clueless numpties

    Mind you I don’t suppose me writing about it will help much either…..d’oh!

  • Debbie Dolphin // Feb 4, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    LMAO –
    Thanks to WebsearchPorkRations, we can add another fun search term: Snake Enchanter Oil (SEO) to your list!

  • Mike // Feb 12, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    Hehehe….Snake Enchanter Oil. I like that one. Will make a mental note to use that in future posts πŸ˜€

  • Tim Nash // Feb 19, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    Mike not sure if you looked at the SERPs for clueless numpties but I spy with my little eye a certain Googlebomb which seems to have worked!
    For the screenshot

  • Mike // Feb 19, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    Woohoo! Thanks for the heads up on that. Must admit I hadn’t checked for a couple of weeks :)

    Incidentally, are you still planning on going to the London SEO piss meet up on Thursday?

  • Tim Nash // Feb 19, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Sadly not :( I have teaching commitments that I can’t get out of on the Friday.

  • seo // May 18, 2008 at 7:19 am

    I think that celeb juicy news blog would get tons of traffics everyday and making me feeling like wanted to start up a new blog for that purpose..

  • Tina // May 30, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    Oh well…Good post Ehh…Such companies are playing with the SEO Holyness big time..

    Are they offering TOP 10 Results on “Loser” ?

    Please advice directly..


  • Mike // Jun 3, 2008 at 9:59 am

    Not yet but we could always target them again πŸ˜‰

  • Matt Hardy // Jun 10, 2008 at 10:41 am

    your things r good but noooooooooooooootttttttt gooooooooooood enoph

  • Mike // Jun 10, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    Thanks for the inspirational feedback. Much appreciated…..

  • zara clothing // Jan 9, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    I wish there was someplace we could report these idiots too where their emails would just go into a black hole and never reach unsuspecting customers.

  • Michael Sweigart // Jan 19, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    Funny, we wrote an automotive marketing article on our site about SEO being the next snake oil salesemen

  • Mike // Jan 20, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    You’ll have to forgive me if I’m laughing, Michael. Over here in the UK, the second hand car salesman is considered to be marginally above amoeba in the circle of life so an SEO blog about car sales just strikes me as being hilarious.

    However, having had a quick peek at the site, there’s some good stuff in there. If nothing else your post on PPC optimization reminded me I need to sort out a clients account :)

  • Dimi // Jan 20, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    If there is spam in mail, someone must read it, otherwise why would they send it out? So we must “illiminate” :) spam readers and it will vanish by itself :)

  • Abhijeet // Feb 4, 2009 at 11:48 am

    This is funny sh*t – I liked such ripping off of these companies. I had done with someone before, just to make my readers beware of any scammish looking companies.

  • keno for cash // Feb 12, 2009 at 11:08 am

    I am a newbie in the field of seo and and now i am very much inspired and have a clear vision for my future in this arena known as SEO. I think the most important thing to make it big here is “patience”, if you have that you are a winner here.

  • Earth4Energy // Mar 20, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    A really great post here. I assume there’s a chance to post more about related theme here. Really great. Thank you.

  • swarovski crystals // Mar 20, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Please do not give any payment before confirming that the links are live or permanent. Such E-mails are scam usually. keep these things in mind before getting in touch with them.

  • Siladitya Banerjee // Mar 21, 2009 at 10:26 am

    i’m not spam.i used to love commnets.
    i like ur blog articles and thats why commenting here.

  • windows 7 tips // Apr 3, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Obviously if you think of some suitable anchor text to link to them do let me know. clueless numpties only has 2k results in Google and hardly any searches according to Wordtracker so if you can think of a better anchor text to use, feel free to let me know


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