Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

Another Rant on SEO Spammers

One of our clients who has a medical practice in Windsor, CT has received a solicitation from one of those bogus SEO companies. They sent me information about that company’s “review” of my client’s SEO, and I couldn’t help but comment frankly. Here’s the story:

I did this website SEO overview for $10 with another company just to see things from a different perspective.  I have no intention of using them beyond the report attached.  It seems that my home page is lacking a bit.  I know that you made recommendations regarding my home page.  They ran the report just on my home page so that was what we focused on.  These are my questions that came up as a result:
1.  They said that the title tag was weak and that it should be a description of what I do rather than my business name and town.
[My reply] We’re optimizing that page for just your business name and town on purpose. If someone recommends you to a friend or relative, we want you to show up when they search for your business name. “What you do” covers too many things (and too many keywords) to cover on your home page; that’s why we optimized other pages for those keywords.
2.  They mentioned optimization maintenance of meta tags, which is I think what they were selling.  Not sure what was wrong regarding that.
[My reply] Meta tags are almost worthless for rankings, particularly the keywords meta tag. And the last thing they need is maintenance. You should only change well-written meta tags if the nature of your business changes and your keywords along with it. See this recent article about this sort of thing: … and this.
3.  They suggested that I had bad links or links that were draining energy from my resources page, although she could not give me an example of a broken link.
[My reply] Links do not drain energy from your pages. They share your linking page’s PageRank with the targets of those links, so if you have lots of outbound links each one you link to gets less value from the link than if you had fewer links on the page. But outbound links don’t hurt your “energy” one iota.
4.  Should I be doing some updating of either the content or meta tags as part of a regular maintenance?
[My reply] NO! That’s a scam perpetrated by sleazy SEO practitioners. You should update content on your site when it deserves to be updated — when you incorporate new techniques into your practice; when you react to new medical research, when you expand to treating other conditions … never just for the search engines. Please do this: go to Google and do a search for tutoring in New Jersey — see what comes up at the top of the organic results. Do you find A+ Home Tutoring? That’s my wife’s website, and it’s the first one I ever optimized. Back in 2000. Other than adding a single page for a new learning game she patented, this website hasn’t been touched in 11 years.

Sorry, I am sure that you roll your eyes about these companies just like Aarrgghh!I do when people go and get mall health screenings.  Thanks for your input.

[My reply] PS — I can’t believe they thought people would look for you by searching for the keyword “Windsor”. What are they? Stoopid? (Windsor is the town this client has an office in.)

And they make a big deal of your Keyword Efficiency Index? We abandoned using the KEI years ago.

Sorry to be so nasty about these guys, but these are the folks that give SEO a bad name and cause people to think it’s an unethical racket. They really push my buttons.

  1. Hi
    They obviously don’t know much about meta tags and keywords. And the “links draining energy from your pages”!
    I must admit, I don’t even know about the Keyword Efficiency Index…
    Thanks for your rant!

  2. Thanks, Catherine. KEI is a measure of potentially good niche keywords … it factors in search frequency (more is better) and competing web pages (less is better). You can learn more here:

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