Hi Chuck. Please Drop Dead. Love, Julie.

At the very real risk of embarrassing my link building agency peers (and I type “peers” with all of the irony in the world) with the publishing of what has to be the truly worst attempt to get business EVER, I’d like to say a few things about the way some linking firms go about their business. Warning: this piece won’t use cussin’ because my cousins are now on Facebook and might tell my mama about my foul mouth (she’d at least pretend to be surprised, to keep up appearances), but it will definitely be narsty.

I own a link building firm. Yes, that is a poor attempt to build links for it but hey, this is partially my blog. And yes, our website is utter crap but that’s because:

1. I built it but I didn’t feel like building it really.
2. I’m too busy actually working for my clients to do a proper website.
3. Third verse same as the first. Just last night I was reminded of just how…ok.

Even so, anyone with even a tiny iota of sense (hey Jane!) would look at my agency’s site and know that we BUILD LINKS. The fact that I’ve recently received the aforementioned “worst attempt to get business” email that came to my WORK ADDRESS (sorry for all the shouting) makes me so angry that I want to smack my nearest link builder, who happens to be humming, which doesn’t help matters.

I’ve been very upfront about the fact that I have “different” ethics than others when it comes to marketing. However, I do occasionally take great offense to things that really, really make my skin crawl. I am not a big fan of trying to make people believe that they need something that, in all actuality, they don’t, at all. That’s more than an abuse of power; it’s just plain tacky, and if anyone knows tacky, it’s a Southerner. Has anyone ever visited Pedro at South of the Border? If so, I rest my case.

The offending email has three main highlights as follows: and note that I’m not including any identifying information, lest I be accused of outing anyone. These mothers freaking deserve to be outed, actually, but I’m feeling nice right now. Note that “freaking” is not an actual curse word, cousin Donna.

“I was looking at websites under the keyword large fish and came across your website http://www.linkfishmedia.com. I see that you’re not ranked on the first page of Google for a large fish search.” (Editor’s note: A large fish search. HA. Also, what kind of freak looks at websites under the keyword large fish? FREAK.)

“There’s no reason you can’t have a top three ranking for the keyword large fish based on your site structure and content. You have a very nice site.” (Editor’s note: um, no we don’t have a very nice site at all but thanks.)

“I didn’t send this email out to very many people but I am currently reaching out to a list of your ‘keyword competitors’ as well. But I do favor your website because I can see your website monetizing the targeted website traffic the keyword large fish can deliver.” (Editor’s note: still laughing about making money off the term “large fish”…can’t think clearly, gasping for air, ordering a handbag from Amazon to calm down, thinking about how good a movie Cat People actually was, fumbling about in cabinet for unopened can of Pringles.)

SEO scams really, really upset me, especially right now when the economy is the shakiest I’ve ever seen it and people are desperate. My friend Palmer and I used to joke about the horrible salespeople that we’d make, telling people “yes this car is only $25k…actually, it’s way overpriced and you just need a scooter, or even a skateboard. Would you like one? I’d be happy to buy it for you!” Attempting to sell people something that is truly ridiculous is quite inexcusable. It’s predatory, and it taints the rest of us who do actually try to be decent, to not talk clients into overspending, and to honestly help people grow their business. Now, lest anyone think that I’m in danger of being almost nice, let me assure you that I’m happy to take money from anyone who really wants to give it to me. However, companies that are inept enough to target another LINK BUILDING AGENCY with something so asinine…well, I am thinking of all the bad things I’d like to see done to these people, particularly Chuck, the author of the email.

Here’s what I think about young Chuck, if that’s his real name. I hope it is, because who’d use Chuck as a fake name? He’s been working out of his parents’ basement for years, picking his teeth whilst looking at online lesbian porn and thinking that Dakota and Symanthah actually both want him, then gets hired by a link building agency that must be run by someone who has the brain of a small bag of sand. Chuck hasn’t been trained on link building, SEO, or anything resembling a nuance, nor has he the social skills (or writing skills) of someone who has successfully completed first grade. Is this the future of SEO? Automated systems, faceless staff promising truly ridiculous and unnecessary services that can be obtained, most likely, for a very cheap price? I’m shaking in my socks, mainly because it’s late and I’m not wearing boots right now.

Just try explaining what you do for a living to people who aren’t in the industry, and it’s clear that there’s a bit of the occult in SEO. Yes, much of it can be quantified, but there’s still a large amount of it that is way more art than science. The most frequent response that I get when describing what I do every day is “um, I have NO idea what you’re talking about but it sounds cool.” Taking advantage right now honestly is not difficult. It is, however, almost criminal. Therefore, Chuck, if you’re reading this, and I doubt you are since I can’t imagine you could even spell SEO (although you might be able to spell chicks), stop trying to intimidate people, at least until the economy perks up a bit.

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12 Responses to “Hi Chuck. Please Drop Dead. Love, Julie.”

  1. First and most important… only a handbag?!? No shoes to match?

    Okay, enough of the fashion diversion. On average, I receive one-to-two of these emails/cold calls a month (Mainstreethost is the worst; sorry if you work for them). If its an email I forward it to our blacklist. If its a cold call I generally cut them off before they even get started. The last one was from a poor woman reading from a script. It was so pathetic… and she ended up calling me twice (and I cut her off twice).

    I’m not rude about it. I just give it to them straight — I’m busy and you’re busy. I’m not interested so let’s save us both some time. Thanks. Bye.

    I had one guy (I think from MainstreetHost again), who got rather indignant that I was not interested in listening to his spiel. He actually hung on me (the arse).

    I think the problem here is that hosting has become a commodity and dirt cheap (I can’t recall the last time I got a call about hosting). The market for web site development is saturated… or for lot of people, they just roll their own (for the good and the bad). That leaves SEO et al, which is still a box a magic tricks for most of the populate. And anything that is deemed “magic” is ripe for milking (or bilking as the case may be).

    p.s. I think Chuck was let go from the pizza chain due to tough economic times… so have some pity.

  2. Julie Joyce says:

    Yes and please note that this is not my beloved NYP Chuck! That guy rules. He really hooks us up on the cheese pies.

    It just all makes me worry about people who may not be that savvy…some company like that reaches out to them and pretends to have something helpful, and, being scared and unknowledgeable, many business owners will indeed take the bait.

    Maybe I’m naive…or maybe I’m seriously lucky that I don’t have to do things like that to keep my business afloat. If it ever comes down to trying to swindle someone, I think I’ll sell both kidneys.

  3. PoLR says:

    This made me laugh, I am so sick of these phonecalls and emails. We get at least three calls a day and like Gene Wicker Jr we were called yesterday twice by the same person who hung up on me the cheeky so-and-so! At least leave the pleasure of hanging up to the ‘victim’!

    As we were so peed off we published the funniest quotes from emails we received over (I think) a two day period on our own blog my favourite of which was:

    “Your site – has similar characteristics to some of our most successful publishers (for example, we are seeing that it has several pages indexed in Google)…”

    As you can imagine I was really happy that ‘several’ pages were being indexed.

    Don’t get me started on the amount calls we receive asking that we either ‘team up’ or outsource to India )…That’s a whole other blog post.

  4. Andy says:

    ‘Large Fish Media’

    It’s got a nice ring to it :)

  5. Oh dear God – I’m still in stitches at the idea of monetising a ‘large fish search’…

    I get some choice spam at the agency where I work too. My favourite to date is:

    ‘Our internet marketing solutions are filtered through the minds of experts… We can feel the pulse of your business… We are professionals with laurels’

    Hmmm – nil point.

  6. Julie Joyce says:

    Andy! Maybe that can be my next venture. I can really go after the big clients then har har har.

    I love this: “Your site – has similar characteristics to some of our most successful publishers (for example, we are seeing that it has several pages indexed in Google)…”

    and can only hope and pray that it wasn’t written by one of my link builders.

    That brings up a great point too…where are the people in charge? Are they also this stupid? Or are they just not paying attention?

  7. Jane says:

    And now we get to test whether or not Flora can comment from her phone. I hope so, or else this is going to rank highly on the lis of things on which I’ve wasted my time…

    I wrote about something somewhat similar on SEOmoz a while ago (and can’t link to it due to previously mentioned BlackBerry usage). I simply can’t believe the amount of emails my dad’s blog receives along these lines. He could have been taken for a ride over and over by these people… the main saving grace is that they’re too dumb to be taken seriously. Their emails are about as sensible as Chuck’s.

    The sad thing is that people lik Dad stop believing every email they get. He’s had legitimate emails from people who really do have something to offer and he usually believes them to be frauds. It makes actually doing business online even harder when you’re constantly trying to prove that you’re not a scam artist, or if you’re constantly trying to figure out who’s full of shit and who’s worth your while.

  8. Chuck Linker says:

    Bye Julie, drop dead, Chuck

    First of all I my real name is Chuckie but I done dropped the ‘e’ cause of that stupid doll movie. Maybe you should drop the ‘e’ on your names before they make a movie about you.

    I ain’t livin with my Ma and Pa and working out of the basement since I live with my granny and have a office in the garage so there and I ain’t no mother. I don’t know how you knew about the lesbian porn thing but you better not be hashing my computer. And I got me a sixth grade educashion so there!

    First of all people search things for large fish almost 50,000 of times a month (that’s what a search engine called google tells me, ever done heard of that?)

    Next I only said you had a nice site so you would feel better about yourself. You must have one of them infeareor complexes I heard about. That’s why your taking your flustrations out on me instead of spending time fixin up your site.

    Next thing after that, if you don’t see how much money you could make outta words like large fish and such then you ain’t got no cents at all.

    And one more thing, why you sitting around with only your socks on? Probably watching lesbian porn.

  9. Angela W. says:

    I think I got this e-mail a few times when I was dweebmaster for a small company. I don’t know how more obvious they can make it that they haven’t even looked at your website, but they must be hoping that their software gets the occasional site spot-on.

  10. Julie Joyce says:

    Chuck Linker…hahahahahahahaha.

  11. Rebecca says:

    Julie,

    I know how you feel about this. I received a request in LinkedIn.com from some one claiming that they can get a company top results in search engines, build a pleasing website, and other garbage that anyone with 1/2 a brain can talk about. Their site, albeit pathetic, showed lovely websites designed and developed for a few companies. The sites were “optimized” and yes, they did have top rankings .. FOR SEARCH TERMS THAT NO ONE SEARCHES ON.

    Since I’m a savvy SEO, I copied some random text, put it in quotation marks, and lo and behold, there are about 263 results with the exact same content (currently). I cannot tell you how much this irks me, and so, with as much niceness that I could muster up, this was my reply back to her request to be a part of my network:

    “I would connect with you, but I prefer to connect with people that are legitimately in the SEO world and that don’t have scheming web sites bolstering inflated claims for number 1 results in Google for terms that no one searches on.

    Good luck with your endeavors.”

    Rock on THE SEO Chicks, and drop rocks on schemers and scammers.

  12. “2. I’m too busy actually working for my clients to do a proper website.”

    I have same problem with seo. I can’t find time to do seo for some my websites while working for clients. :)

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