Beware The Honey Badgers of SEO: A Cautionary Tale
Beware The Honey Badgers of SEO: A Cautionary Tale
In the wild world of search engine optimisation (SEO), there are many players, each promising the moon and the stars in terms of online visibility and traffic. But beware, for among these players lurk the honey badgers of SEO—scammers who promise much but deliver little, if anything at all. To illustrate the point, let’s dive into a rather amusing yet instructive incident that recently transpired.
The Honey Badger Scam: A Hilarious Encounter
Thomas, the founder of Lucidica, was approached by Scammer via Whatsapp, who promised an astronomical increase in website traffic and a top-page ranking on search engines. Sensing something amiss, Thomas decided to play along and asked Scammer an intentionally absurd question: “What characteristics of a honey badger could you link to our IT support, do you think? and would you be able to write a blog post about it?”
To everyone’s surprise, Scammer, without missing a beat, sent over an article titled “How the Characteristics of the Honey Badger Are Reflected in LUCIDICA’s Patterns of Offering Its IT Services.”
In a twist worthy of a comedy sketch, Scammer, completely oblivious to the joke, proudly presented his masterpiece: an article linking the tenacity of honey badgers to IT support—a topic as related as ketchup to quantum physics. Despite the absurdity, Scammer awaited approval like a chef anticipating applause for a bizarre dish. Meanwhile, Tom, having served the scammer a slice of his own nonsensical pie, couldn’t help but chuckle at the situation. Scammer, lost in his own world, remained unaware that he was the punchline of the joke, still eagerly awaiting a collaboration that would never come.
This amusing incident not only showcased the scammer’s lack of awareness but also highlighted the importance of staying vigilant against such ludicrous tactics.
Just to entertain ourselves, we’ve asked ChatGPT 4 to write us a blog post tying the characteristics of a honey badger and an IT support company together. Believe us when we say a much better result was delivered!
How They Reach You
Scammers usually reach out via cold emails, social media messages, WhatsApp messages or even phone calls. They use high-pressure sales tactics, often flaunting impressive-sounding credentials and making grandiose promises about boosting your website’s performance.
In our case: Scammer reached us on Whatsapp (Legit SEO agencies wouldn’t choose this way of getting in touch with a business for the first time.) and says ‘’ I am providing guest posting services on High Quality Websites to get your website on google top page rank or to increase your online presence. Let’s increase your online presence with us’’
Plus, “ I have a number of Quality Websites. Please let me know Are you interested in guest posting?. ?. Waiting!!!” (Reliable SEO agencies wouldn’t communicate like this either.)
Navigating the murky waters of SEO scams can be daunting, especially when they are disguised under veils of technical expertise and flashy promises. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the tactics scammers employ, complete with examples:
Scammers often use templated solutions and strategies that they claim will work for every business. For instance, in the case of Thomas and Scammer, the absurd link between honey badger characteristics and IT services exemplifies how scammers can stretch any narrative to seem relevant to your business.
Different businesses have different objectives. One business might indeed need more website traffic, but another might require a higher engagement rate or an improved conversion rate. Effective SEO should be tailored to meet those specific goals.
So, if an SEO service is pushing the same package of increased traffic to a local bakery, a tech startup, and a law firm without considering their distinct needs, it’s a sign that they’re not genuinely invested in the success of those businesses. The bakery might benefit more from local SEO tactics, the startup might need a higher engagement rate to attract investors, and the law firm might be looking for a higher conversion rate to gain new clients.
Legitimate SEO experts take the time to understand these nuances and craft strategies that align with each business’s unique objectives.
Confusing Technical Jargon
SEO scammers often employ a barrage of technical terms without context, hoping that they’ll intimidate or impress recipients into submission. Phrases like “latent semantic indexing”, “canonical tags”, or “301 redirects” might be thrown around without proper explanation or relevance to the proposed strategy.
Example: A scammer might say, “We’ll amplify your latent semantic indexing to boost organic reach.” To the untrained ear, this might sound impressive, but it’s essentially a fluffed-up promise with no actionable strategy behind it.
In our case, unprofessional scammer even wasn’t aware the honey badger campaign around IT support was nonsensical and irrelevant…
Another red flag is the claim of having “secret” or “proprietary” SEO strategies. Scammers often assert that they have exclusive methods known only to them, making it sound like they possess the magic key to Google’s algorithm. In reality, there are no secret recipes in SEO – it’s a combination of best practises, consistent effort, and adapting to algorithm changes.
For instance, Scammer claims he guarantees top rankings on search engines and Five Million website visitors. However, a trustworthy SEO consultant will be transparent about their strategies and techniques, relying on industry-accepted practises and continuous learning.
Focusing Solely on Rankings
One of the most deceptive tactics is the overemphasis on rankings alone. While Scammer promised Thomas a top-page search engine ranking, he didn’t discuss how this would translate into genuine engagement or conversions. Real SEO isn’t just about ranking; it’s about attracting the right audience, engaging them, and facilitating conversions.
Example: If an agency promises to rank your local bakery’s website for a high-volume global keyword like “technology”, it’s a red flag. Even if they succeed, the traffic you’ll get will not be your target audience, leading to high bounce rates and no conversions.
Red Flags to Watch Out For
Evaluating an SEO provider’s website and other digital properties might provide vital insights concerning their reliability. Here are some important factors to consider:
How They Reach Out
Scammers frequently send cold emails promising dramatic improvements in SEO, website traffic, or online rankings. These emails often contain generic greetings and make lofty claims without any specific understanding of the business they’re contacting.
Website Design and Content
A reputable SEO company typically has a professionally designed website with clear, informative content. Poorly designed websites with vague or overly promotional content are red flags.
Legitimate companies usually provide transparent contact information, including a physical address, phone number, and email. Be cautious of companies that only offer a generic contact form or lack verifiable contact details.
Case Studies and Testimonials
Look for detailed case studies and testimonials from previous clients. Authentic SEO companies often showcase their success stories, including data and client feedback. However, be wary of generic, unverifiable testimonials.
Blog Posts and Resources
A reliable SEO agency often maintains a blog or resources section with insightful, up-to-date articles about SEO practises. This reflects their knowledge and commitment to the industry.
Social Media Presence
Check their social media profiles. A legitimate company usually has an active presence on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter, with regular updates and interactions with their audience.
Website Links and URLs
Be cautious of websites with strange or excessively long URLs. Also, check if the website has a secure HTTPS protocol, which indicates a basic level of security.
Professional companies often use domain-based email addresses (e.g., [email protected]) rather than generic ones (e.g., Gmail, Yahoo). Also, reliable companies wouldn’t use email addresses that don’t match with domain names. While not a definitive sign, a domain-based email tends to add credibility.
Transparency and Professionalism
Legitimate companies are typically transparent about their methods and professional in their approach. They won’t resort to high-pressure sales tactics or promise unrealistic results.
The Importance of Choosing a Trusted SEO Agency
Choosing a legitimate SEO agency is vital for businesses because it ensures ethical, effective, and sustainable practises for improving online visibility. These agencies adhere to search engine guidelines, focus on attracting quality traffic, and aim for long-term success. In contrast, unethical techniques used by scammers may offer quick but short-lived results and can even harm a business’s reputation and search engine ranking in the long run. Therefore, partnering with a reputable SEO agency is essential for achieving genuine, lasting online growth.
While the tale of Thomas and the honey badger scammer serves as an entertaining anecdote, it’s also a stark reminder of the pitfalls in the SEO industry. To navigate these waters safely, it’s essential to be aware, ask the right questions, and most importantly, choose partners who have a proven track record and a transparent approach, like Dsr Digital SEO Agency. In the complex world of SEO, slow and steady, not quick and flashy, is the way to win the race.