For 15 years in business, I've seen so many con-artists in SEO and web development that you can't imagine. Unfortunately customers usually fall into trap straight. There is one more thing, many online marketing companies are actually managed by “sales” guys that simply outsource the work to 3rd party.
As a matter of fact, long ago, I've worked for that kind of company. The whole work process was outsourced to India.
Excepts Matt Cutts real Twitter profile, all other screenshots are related to con-artist and pseudo experts profiles.
Story One – Bad Management
Large percent of companies operate this way and even worse – a company outsource work to a company that outsource work to another company, recently I saw this with my eyes – Bangkok company X, give a job to company Y in Kiev (e-commerce shop based on Magento). The project cost - $7500, though the Ukrainians overcharged badly for this “out of the box” project, they even outsourced part of custom development to a company Z in Mumbai, paid them $900 and requested extra $800 from the company in Bangkok! Wohoo!
Good reason why this had happened at the first place – IT project manager of company X is accountant that is doing the job of web project manager and webmaster.
Right, lets get back on track.
How can you spot con-artists and impostors?
It is very easy for experienced web developers or SEOs to figure out that something isn't right. Practically 5 min conversation is more than enough, but... for business owners that doesn't have a clue of web processes, it is a tough call.
Often professionals like web developers or SEO practitioners doesn't have the sales pitch in their tone, on the other hand impostors and quite good sales people, they grab most of the deals from professionals.
Real story - some of these sneaky and shady individuals, managed to sell a mobile phone to 74 years old deaf lady, actually the grandma of my best friend Yani. Different businesses same operation.
Some SEO Impostors are too good!
Mr X.X, actually have worked as in-house SEO for 14 companies from Fortune 200, in the last 16 years, WOW!
He has never been unemployed in the last 16 years
Have offices in 4 countries on 3 continents, but he is one man band
49 Tweets only!
33k Fans on Facebook business page with 1 photograph and 3 posts!
LinkedIn – 300 reviews – 100 from John, Jack, Jill, Joe – Smith
Too good to be true right? Especially when you see the Twitter followers. Well, aparently MR. X, is working for one of the biggest companies and I've called my contact there.
BUSTED! They have never even heard about MR.X!
This isn't a fictional story, though I can't include the name of MR.X, though if you want to learn about this SEO con-artists, you can PM me or send me an email!
Unfortunately, statistics are scary and give the whole industry bad name. I personally think that about 80% of business in web business are con-artists, sales people, spammers or all together, but not a web professionals.
What is your opinion about that?