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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