The "Internet Advancement" - Scam

Rand Fishkin, a respected and well known SEO, was cold called by a jerk from a “SEO firm” (read scammer) who tried to sell him laughable services like monthly submissions to 8,500 minor search engines to “gain ‘linkpop points’ which boost the rankings in all major engines like Hotbot, Netscape and DMOZ”. Rand’s “Internet Advancement”-asshats transcript is pretty funny, and I agree that there should be kinda SEO-blacklist anywhere on the net to prevent small businesses from wasting their marketing budgets.

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4 Comments to "The "Internet Advancement" - Scam"

  1. Rae on 8 May, 2006  #link

    Ugh - I get this crap all the time LOL. I’ve had some pretty fun conversations with these guys.

    The best was the guy who told me that they are a cut above other SEO’s because they attend conferences and learn from the “industry best” who speak at them on a regular basis. I told them to make sure they attended my session at the next one (and no, I’m not that full of myself - it was just too good not to say at the time).

    Another great one was one who contacted me re: sugarrae and started pitching me SEO services. I’m like, did you READ the site? A few seconds later, a quite embarassed called was on the line realizing he called another SEO. And this guy was from a better known company.

  2. Anonymous on 16 February, 2007  #link

    Well- I feel really stupid as I sent them about a grand and waited and nothing happened. I guess they caught me at a weak moment. All sorts of excuses why it did not work. Complete BS. Now I see they got fined in 2004. I just emailed and told them I’d complain to the Attorney General, FTC and BBB if they did not refund the whole amount I spent.

  3. Anonymous on 26 June, 2007  #link

    Please post this to your blog as a WARNING to others. If I can prevent another small business from being ripped off by Internet Advancement than maybe some good will have come out of this.

    Internet Advancement scammed me by cold-calling me and telling me my shopping cart company, Volusion, referred them to me. The sales guy told me Internet Advancement had optimized hundreds of Volusion sites with great success. They told me Volusion had partnered with them to handle all of Volusion’s client’s SEO accounts. Volusion has their own SEO services, but I was told by the Internet Advancement guy that Volusion was trying to “get out of” the SEO end of things and contract with Internet Advancement to do it for them. I’ve since learned Volusion has never partnered with them and is trying to build a legal case against them for making such claims.

    In the meantime, however, I fell for it. The fact that they were “experts” at optimizing Volusion sites and that they had “proprietary technology” no other SEO/SEM firm was using that was guaranteed to get me results sounded good at the time. But $1,200 and four months later, my site isn’t even being indexed by the search engines, let alone ranking in the top 25 of 3 of the major search engine. Report after report they submit to me every 30 days indicates that my site does not even exist as far as ANY of the search engines are concerned. For anyone out there whose not that familiar with SEO, rankings,etc., that means, you could type in ANY of my keyword phrases and go through each and every page of results that comes up on Google and my company’s site doesn’t even show up on the very last page!

    They offer a written warranty that states they’ll give you half of your money back if they fail to deliver on the “25 of the top 3″ goal, but I’ve since read several blogs full of posts from people who didn’t get results but never got any of their money back. Internet Advancement seems to always find some loophole. But even if I get half my money back, that’s still $600 I’ve spent for nothing. In fact, I’m a little worried that whatever they did has actually done more harm than good…that they violated some Google or Yahoo submission policy that got my site blacklisted.

    It’s sad that honest, hardworking people like myself with relevant websites have to jump through so many hoops and shell out so much money just to get in the search engines. Prior to owning my own website, whenever I ran a search on Google or any other engine, I actually believed I was getting a list of the most relevant sites on the www for my keyword(s). Now I realize I’m just getting those that know how to play the game or can afford to shell out thousands and thousands of dollars to get their site in the engines. No matter what kind of algorithms the search engines come up with to get the most relevant results, it’s never going to be a fair playing field for small businesses. Yahoo has a submission process you can pay extra for to have human editors look at your site for relevancy rather than rely on the spiders, and I went ahead and paid for that, but I have yet to see if that’s going to work out for me.

  4. Sebastian on 26 June, 2007  #link

    You should check your site for links and pages you didn’t create yourself. Post your URL here to get help. And change all your passwords.

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