Cheap SEO is Cheap SEO

Filed in SEO by Matt McGee on November 13, 2009 15 Comments

Dear small business owners,

Please promise me that if you ever get this same email that I got, you’ll have a hearty laugh and then hit the DELETE button:

Hi:
Affordable SEO services starting.

50 Social Bookmarking Your sites are bookmarked on 50 different sets(PR 4+).
Completion Time: ~3 Days $5.00

100 High PR Directory Submission(PR 4+);‰ We will
submit your site to 100 PR4+ directories that have good approval rates.
Completion Time: ~3 Days $5.00

100 Article Submission We will submit your article to 100 Article Marketing Websties and been one of the collections.
Completion Time: ~7 Days $9.00

I’ve seen offers for cheap SEO before, but this one takes the cake. $19? You might almost be of the mind to say, Why not do it? You’re only losing $19, right?

Sure, that’s the initial out-of-pocket cost, but submitting your site to 50 social bookmarking sites, 100 directories, and 100 article submission sites is pretty much the very definition of submission spam, and who knows what the long-term costs could be. Might be a lot more than $19.

(A much better investment that only costs $6 more: my How to SEO Your Site e-book.)

Comments (15)

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  1. For a second I was concerned about your Tweet; SEO for $19. My initial thought was that I am way over charging for my services. :)

  2. Bryan Phelps says:

    I have the How to SEO Your Site e-book and can attest that if you follow the instructions, it will have a much bigger impact than the $19 “SEO” package.

  3. Todd Mintz says:

    Just think…you could have purchased SEO services with the pocket cash you couldn’t put into the slot machine at the Vegas airport :.)

  4. Sue says:

    I think it is sad that people actually believe this can be beneficial – SEO or should I say ‘good SEO’ is worth every penny if you want it done properly.

  5. Craig says:

    AMEN!!!! This reminds me of the “article marketers” who claim: “Professional writers generally charge anywhere from $4 to $8 for an article depending on the word count and research involved.”

    As a professional writer since the Reagan administration, I take profound offense to these bozos. (Full rant here: http://www.lohad.com/?p=2016)

    STANDARDS! STANDARDS!!!

  6. That’s hillarious. I get those all the time. The best ones are when spammers give you the ol’:
    “I can help you market your website through seo…” and they send it straight to an SEO’s website contact form. I laugh everytime.

  7. Matt says:

    Cheap is just that…cheap! Still, there is a sucker born every minute who will try something like this. They then hire us to come in and fix it.

  8. jimmy says:

    lol, great post. I must get emails like this each and every day. I say, swot up and learn yourself!

  9. David says:

    Recently I came across a client’s website that appeared to have lost much of his rankings. After some investigation I realised that he had a large portfolio of spammy inbound links. When I asked if he knew where all those nasty links came from, he told me that for about 4 months he was signing up for all these cheap $69 dollars for 500links deals…. the question is now, how much does it cost to go one by one examining the most noxious inbound he has and attempt to remove them?

    • Matt McGee says:

      That’s a tough situation, David. It’ll probably cost a lot of time at minimum. And you may not be successful in getting rid of all of them. If you think your client is being penalized, remember to submit a Google reinclusion request if you manage to clean this up. Good luck.

  10. While by and large I agree with the general opinion of $19 SEO argued against on this thread, I think it’s noteworthy that:

    “Recently I came across a client’s website that appeared to have lost much of his rankings. After some investigation I realised that he had a large portfolio of spammy inbound links. When I asked if he knew where all those nasty links came from, he told me that for about 4 months he was signing up for all these cheap $69 dollars for 500links deals…. the question is now, how much does it cost to go one by one examining the most noxious inbound he has and attempt to remove them?”

    is most like a complete fallacy.

    If inbound links could harm us, we could all easily sabotage each and every one of competitors by paying to have spam links created, and pointed to their sites. Thus sabotaging their marketing efforts.

    Do you think the people at Google are actually so retarded to allow such a thing to happen, after millions if not billions of research and design? Honestly, can we assume they are that blatantly stupid?

    I doubt it. But who cares what I think, read about it on Google Webmaster Pages:

    http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters/thread?tid=3fab925e6f084970&hl=en

    So here’s the point:

    Inbound links are only one small aspect of SEO. But worse than paying for something that does only marginal benefit, would be paying an SEO consultant to somehow “undo” something that can’t do harm. That would be like paying someone to sand off a poor paint job on your house, and leave the wood exposed.

  11. I’m not sure it is as simple as Kyle states. I have read what Google says, but I think the very nature of their business means that they can’t always be as candid with us as they would like.They may not directly penalize for low quality or bad neighborhood inbound links, yet those links form part of the basis for the profiles they use to determine if the links look like they were the natural result of others linking to a site, and not simply ‘built’.

  12. “those links form part of the basis for the profiles they use to determine if the links look like they were the natural result of others linking to a site”

    Andrew has made a very good point. It is indeed possible that Google can create a portfolio of your link juice “quality”. I whole heartedly agree that 10,000 crappy links is not going to get you much further. But here is another thing: After 12 years, I can assume through experimentation that the ranking algorithm holds only so much “weight”, variable wise, for “inbound links”. I have not seen one single case of a site whose “spammed inbound links” component has cause any sort of drastic penalization. If for example, your number and quality of inbound links counted for 7% of your overall SERP calculation, and, you received a over optimization penalty” for that – THEN – it is likely that you just lose, at worse, that 7%. Anything more drastic would permit domain sabotage. I can go out today and create hundreds of horrible spammy links to http://www.smallbusinesssem.com. Will that cause a drastic SERP change for the site? Very unlikely. We live in a fiercely competitive business world, and to assume the experts at Google have created a system that allows simple effective sabotage is to say Google have no intelligent basis on calculating results. They are much smarter than that.

    That point aside, Io do agree with Andrew, and we all know, that in this world, you do ultimately often “get what you pay for”. A well round approach to link building that combines .edu profile pages, dofollow blogs, social media, theme based links and free submissions will do better. As an SEO consultant I am REALLY starting to see that necessity, this year, right now. And beyond that, I have learned over the years content, content, content. Themed content pages, hundreds of them are an SEO tactic that LASTS. I have two clients who are ranking Top 10 for the two phrases “recording quipment” and “financial planning” – >10M document searches. Neither of these clients could achieve this through link building alone, unless they miraculously obtained the best high PR links possible by every supplier and every competitor. They do it by having a themed word count that exceeds the 100,000 mark, site wide. A solid, SEO’d article, blog, or forum will do more over a 2 year period (if built and added to) than any typical link scheme.

  13. I should also add that i do not for one minute disagree that the spamming could add up to more damage than a said value of $19. I totally agree with that.

  14. Jason Decker says:

    Its funny how people done understand that if your links is submitted to a PR4 directory, even if its a reputable one, the page your actual link will be one will likely be a 1 or a 2 and probably wont get crawled for 6 months plus. Im so sick of seeing all these sketchy SEO deals that give this business a bad name. Unfortunately, this is never going to change.

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