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Bare Knuckle Blog
We have been working with a new client who came to us asking why their traffic dropped so much in recent months. We quickly found that they were working with a company for about a year who was engaging in a highly unethical link scheme. Lucky for our client, they hired Bare Knuckle to get in there and clean up the mess and get them back on track to earning quality traffic and leads.
What’s really scary is the fact that they probably never would have known that the $149/month they’ve been paying for a year has contributed to a significant loss in traffic. On average, they’re seeing around 100 visits per month from search engines right now. A couple years ago, it was over 500. Ouch.
The moral of the story here – if it seems to good to be true, it is. Link building is not easy. Therefore it is not cheap. If you find a “deal” or someone selling you the “lowest guaranteed price on the internet”, avoid that like the plague. These companies are slick, and they talk a good game. Arm yourself with the facts, and some solid knowledge, and please hire a professional with training, ethics, and solid references.
Just get real. You are not going to be an overnight internet success by paying anyone $149/month for anything. Invest in your success. If you can’t afford it, then perhaps you should go find another job and earn some capital before you invest another minute into growing your business.
This case study is a perfect example of link spam, a black hat operation, and how it can cripple a site’s traffic.
This so-called link building service has spent a year and more importantly – our client’s hard earned money – building 100′s of links that are complete garbage. What’s even more shocking to me is that this company willingly shared with me the spreadsheets of 100′s of links that they’ve built over the last year. Wow. Just… wow. Either they are completely clueless or so arrogant that they really think they can dupe people into shelling out cash for crap.
I checked out the links on those spreadsheets. What I found was red flags everywhere in the form of:
- poor quality sites – I have not found a single site on those lists that looks like anything I’d ever waste a second of my time on. Zero value.
- tons of dead links – sites are broken, shut down, or otherwise not valid. Who wants a link from a site that no longer exists? Again. Zero value.
- several sites with the same IP address. Link Farm. Smacking… my… head.
And if that isn’t enough evidence for ya, check this out:
That’s a screen shot of all traffic from Jan 1, 2011 to date. Click the image to get up close and personal. I compared organic search traffic (shown in blue) to direct and referral visits. Look where they took the biggest hit – search engine traffic. I also added annotations in Google Analytics for the Penguin updates – all updates that Google implemented to combat link spam. Hit… hit… hit. This company has thoroughly screwed our client. Lucky for them, the Bare Knuckle team is on the case now.
This is no joke people. There are a lot of sleazy businesses operating out there, and companies are falling for what they’re selling them every single day. My advice to you is to find an SEO that you trust, who has solid references and practices ethical SEO. If you enlist in the services of someone now because they’re cheap, you’ll pay for it in the long run.
So what are we doing to fix this? At this time, the scam artists in question (who will remain nameless for now) have agreed to remove the links. We’ll see what happens. If they do, we’ll submit a kindly request to Google to please reconsider our client’s site, as we’ve stepped in and saved them from the clutches of evil. If they don’t comply, well, then we’ll gladly share their name.
Oh and one more little nugget for ya – on these evil-doers site, they have a big old badge at the top that says “Ripoff Report Verified”. Bwaahahahaha. Even more proof that you can say whatever you want on the internet. Doesn’t make it true. Oh well. Onward and upward.Allison Kulage
There was a time long ago when hashtags on Facebook were clickable, and then they took that feature away. But for a long time, people were still using hashtags on Facebook. Even some social media companies and so-called experts were using hashtags. The rest of the social media so-called experts took their jabs at these companies, and some even created entire Facebook pages and groups around the subject, and weren’t too nice about it. Check this out:
Please note, I don’t condone the use of the “r” word in this context. I’m using this to illustrate a point.
And then, in one day these very people under fire went from idiot savant to marketing genius, thanks to Facebook introducing hashtags on Facebook. One moment they are being teased, and touted as non-experts who are behind the times and out of touch with the evolution of social media. The next moment, they are suddenly ahead of their time, brilliant forward thinking marketing experts, seemingly knowing something that the rest of us weren’t privy to. It’s all in the perception. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Does it matter?
What really matters is if those social media experts are providing value for your business. Are they raising brand awareness? Are they creating conversation that is engaging? Are they reaching out to your market and driving them to convert to a visit, a lead, or a sale? Are they bringing you people who are buying what you’re selling? That’s really all that matters at the end of the day.
My advice to you, make sure you’re working with someone who is keeping up with the news, and know that this stuff changes every day. And most importantly, take everything you hear with a grain of salt. The internet is still the wild west, and we’re all in this together, learning as we go along. Oh and one last thing… play nice. You never know when an insult is going to come back to bite you in the ass.Allison Kulage
Join the Bare Knuckle team! We’re looking for better than the best of the best. Do you have what it takes? Knuckle up and call us. Check out our job description here.Allison Kulage
There. I said it. I’ve been thinking it for years, and now I’ve just come out and said it. Pardon my frankness but I feel like a broken record lately, as I am continually trying to do damage control because someone Google’d themselves and didn’t see what they were expecting to see in the search results.
You may have done it yourself, or perhaps your boss just stormed into your office asking what the h-e-doublehockeysticks you’re paying for this worthless SEO stuff. It’s ok, you’re not alone. Google rules the world and we all want to win in Google. But it’s time to set things straight and really drive this point home: stop Googling yourself. What you see in the search results will be different than the person next to you, and different than what you see two hours from now. (more…)Allison Kulage
Seriously. It’s just that simple.
I hear the question all the time: how do I succeed online? How do I win with the search engines? How can I get more visitors to my site, more Facebook fans, sell more widgets… Many people look for a magic bullet or some secret sauce. They think Google is some amazing entity that will only grant you a top ranking position if you can crack their code. (more…)Allison Kulage
If you’re a Google Maps user, then you may have seen a local business listing that lets you take a virtual walk inside the location. Google Maps allows businesses to create a 360° panoramic view of the inside of their business and yes, it’s pretty sweet.
Aside from being a super cool feature, adding this to your digital marketing strategy can help your business rise to the top. (more…)Allison Kulage
So, you’re ready to take the leap off that cliff and start tweeting like a parakeet right? Ok, so maybe just a little hop, and you’d like to stay grounded for now? No matter what your comfort level is, that first Twitter experience is intimidating. We’ve all been there… staring at a newly created Twitter account with no clue how to build the profile page or what to post for our first tweet. And then the thought of keeping up with it every minute of every day? Yikes!
But to play in the social space, and to keep up with your competition, many businesses need to be tweeting. As if you didn’t already have enough to do in your day right? So we’ve compiled a list of a few sites to help get you started.
QR Codes are popping up everywhere. You see them on billboards, marketing materials, a menu at your favorite restaurant, business cards, and if you look close enough, they’re even on the back of your bottle of beer. Go get a beer and check it out for yourself. It’s ok, we’ll wait.