Over the last week a rapid prototyping company in Indiana, Realize INC, showed up in spam posted in the forum from several user accounts. This is the first spam to make it through our spam hammer filter with a link intact. By all accounts it was really well done spam. Since they are a real business, instead of a Russian porn site or online pharmacy, we called them up to report their spam and emailed screenshots.
For all intents and purposes, it sounds like they hired a “guaranteed 1st on google, we increase your search ranking, 100% wh1te hat, no spamz, 1337 SEO” outfit. And since they had never been on the internet before, they didn’t know that was code for forum spam. Unfortunately they don’t plan to address it until next week, so be on the lookout for more Realize INC rapid prototyping spam… A free PCB to the first person to spot one!
If you didn’t already know, most SEO, or search engine optimization, is code for some sort of spam. SEO services promise to make you the first result on a Google search for specific keywords. Good search ranking come from generating content people like, there’s no tricks to it, but everyone likes a shortcut. If it sounds to good to be true, it’s probably spam.
Today we got a reply from Realize INC CFO Tonya L. Reese. We are treated to a delight of justifications for using SEO that seem to include an admission they don’t have time or expertise to engage with customers one on one… Not the best PR job ever.
When you hire SEO, there’s a strong possibility they come spam in our forum. The proper response when you inevitably find out your SEO is spamming:
It’s tacky to justify it, and possibly illegal to wait a week to call off the SEO on the next convenient conference call…
Regular readers may want to skip this post if they’re not in the mood for a long rant.
Everything stated is strictly Ian’s personal opinion. We’re trying hard not to automatically assume they did it, but what other option is there?
I also wanted to write and reiterate our apologies for the spam to your site. It will be addressed in our conference call next week with our SEO company.
Please don’t wait a week. That could mean another week of poor quality Realize INC rapid prototyping spam hurting the search ranking of our site! Please find out if they did this, and fire them immediately if they did. This could effect 100s or 1000s of forums and blogs.
Realize works with engineering departments at mid to large size companies, so I honestly don’t even know why our SEO company would be on your site to begin with.
That is precisely what most SEO companies do. They find sites with great content and high search rankings, then spam low quality, low rated Realize INC rapid prototyping links to raise your rank by association. This is basically a scam to fool Google search to give you a higher ranking than your site warrants. Search engines will remove sites for unethical and potentially illegal rapid prototyping spam.
Definitely an error on their part, and please be assured that it has our upmost attention. However, this was not an intentional act by us as you assumed that is was, nor did our receptionist deserve to be spoken to in a difficult manner.
Low ranked, poor quality Realize INC rapid prototyping spam didn’t accidentally find its way into our forum. Spammers don’t work for free. We submitted the spam to online databases, and informed you that we would call your BBB and Chamber of Commerce. We may also have recourse available through the US CAN-SPAM Act. Please remember we did not seek your attention, we were victimized by Realize INC rapid prototyping spam.
We do not wish to spam anyone ever, nor do we need to solicit business on your site… in fact, we actually discourage requests from individuals and encourage them to seek companies that cater to the individual since we cater to engineering departments.
With SEO the goal is not to solicit business from us. Poorly rated, low quality Realize INC rapid prototyping spam links piggyback on the reputation of our business. It basically scams search engines for a higher rank by association. In the process, low rated, poor quality rapid prototyping links from Realize INC steal a bit of our rank. It can cause real damage to our business when poor quality Realize INC rapid prototyping spam links lower our search ranking. We feel that is theft with real monetary damages if left unchecked, and courts agree by awarding money to the victims of unwanted spam. Again, please do not let this continue until next week.
I did also note your comment on your board about us hiring SEO. Please let me explain. We were very careful to select one of the most recognized SEO companies in the business, and one of our top criteria was ethics because we have a good name to protect in our industry.
We have to assume Realize INC’s poor quality control allowed this to happen. It is Realize INC’s responsibility to know your contractors and their methods – methods that appear to include spamming our forum around 10 times on rapid prototyping keywords. You seem unwilling to protect your good name by addressing this immediately, as you will let us live under the threat of more poor quality Realize INC rapid prototyping spam damaging our business until next week.
Unfortunately, we have to hire SEO to rank because our industry is so competitive, and ranking organically is how new companies find out about us.
“Ranking organically” sounds like SEO speak for posting Realize INC rapid prototyping spam… The competitiveness of your industry is not a justification for posting badly rated Realize INC rapid prototyping spam in our forum.
Running a business and raising a family leaves us no time to write our own content, nor is that where our expertise lies. As business owners, we are already wearing numerous hats and working too many hours as it is.
You are not welcome to mooch our content if Realize INC doesn’t have time or expertise to interact with customers one on one. We also run a business, raise a family, write content, work 80 hour weeks, and get the pleasure of cleaning Realize INCs rapid prototyping spam from our business support forum…
I hope you will in turn understand that it’s equally frustrating on our end to have someone so upset and reporting us for something we didn’t even know about and would not have allowed.
Absolutely we are upset, graffiti for your business appeared all over ours. We followed the normal routine of submitting the Realize INC rapid prototyping spam to the various online spam databases. There may be 100s or 1000s of forums with Realize INC rapid prototyping spam. As this was most likely posted by your SEO company, at best someone at Realize INC seems to have hired spammers without doing the proper research, at worst you turned a blind eye.
However, it sounds like it will be a non issue going forward, and hopefully we can part with a better understanding.
We are going to highlight the Realize INC rapid prototyping spam and respond publicly. We hope that helps other businesses in your position understand the danger of shortcut SEO, and the impact it has on other businesses. Please address this immediately, we would prefer not to delete poorly ranked Realize INC rapid prototyping spam links from our forum for the next week.