Blackmail and SEO?

Just came upon and interesting thread at High Rankings started by Leann Pass of IncreaseRanking regarding another “rotten apple” in our industry. This company combines blackmail with SEO – in other words, “let us SEO your site or we will resort to blackmail.” It sure is amusing how companies who obviously suck at what they do will resort to scare tactics to try to earn new business.

The company in question is Paramount Web Masters (www.paramountwebmasters.com). I’m am not going to link directly to them as I don’t want to give them link credit. The story in short goes like this. A salesperson cold called one of Leann’s clients essentially warning them that their site was going to be banned by Google because they were participating in a link farm. Nothing could be further from the truth as Leann’s company only builds sites of the utmost quality and does not participate in any types of schemes or tricks that would get a site banned by Google. This salesperson was obviously using a scare tactic to try to earn Leann’s client’s business.

When her client suggested that the salesperson contact their webmaster (IncreaseRanking), he/she refused stating that they were the culprits endangering their site. The client then comes to find out that it is Paramount Web Masters who can fix the problem. To make a long story short, the client passes on their service, obviously seeing through the salesperson’s questionable sales techniques of which they then resort to blackmail stating that he/she will now try to get Leann’s client banned from Google because they will not use their services.

Excuse me for a minute while I go throw up. Okay I’m back. I’m no salesman but a couple of things I do know. First of all, never talk bad about your competition. It is an immediate turn off to those you are trying to sell to. Second of all, don’t resort to threats. That is a call for legal action. At least it would be in my book. So if you get a call from Paramount Web Masters or anyone else using some kind of sleazy blackmailing sales technique like this, hang up. Or if you are a blogger or forum participant, call them out like I am doing here.

It is too bad there are rotten apples like this in our industry. However, keep in mind that they exists in every industry, not just SEO/SEM. Mechanics, contractors, restaurants, etc. There are rotten apples everywhere. I guess the positive side of it all is that the shiny apples can stand out when rotten ones exists as well.

Want to read all the details and even comment? Head on over to High Rankings Forum.

David Wallace

David Wallace, co-founder and CEO of SearchRank, is a recognized expert in the industry of search and social media marketing. Since 1997, David has been involved in developing successful search engine and social media marketing campaigns for large and small businesses. Follow +David Wallace on Google + as well as Twitter.

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