Today I was working on a SEO client’s website and made some very startling discoveries. Our client had been previously paying another person for optimizing their site. Obviously the client was not getting good results, which is why they are now with us.
This person who they had been paying actually built and manages multiple sites in the same niche, and is being paid to optimize them all. The original site ranks #1 for the top keyword phrase.
It is a BIG MISTAKE to hire someone that’s already working for all of your main competitors, who has longer relationships and more loyalty to those competitors. Really, that should be common sense. Our client told me they were paying over twice as much as the others, and that while the others were bunched up in the top 10, they were way below that. He was flabbergasted as to why that could be. Really, so was I.
I knew that the fella doing their optimization had to be up to something, and boy was he. Despite the hundreds of dollars a month being paid to him, I have found no evidence he did anything good. And worse, I found evidence he was doing BAD stuff. No, uh uh, not black hat even. I mean he appears to have been actively sabotaging the client!
1st – the most basic onpage optimization was not fully executed on the client’s website. Strike one.
2nd – there were very few links to the site. Actually around 50, and the other sites had hundreds. Strike two.
3rd – funny business in the .htaccess file. This server file was set up to redirect traffic AWAY from the client’s website if it were coming from any number of sources, including some small search engines, directories, and even myspace.com. We seriously think that any time the “SEO service provider” found a backlink into the site, he must have gone into the .htaccess file to discount it.
This whole thing made me feel sick to my stomach. On the other hand, we now have even more of a burning desire to blow the others away in the SERPs (search engine rankings). And the jerk who was ripping off our client, we can’t wait to KICK HIS A$$!