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Since the dawn of SEO time, this industry has had to fight a constant image battle because it has been called everything from snake oil, to spam and has been considered “dead” more times than I care to mention.
SEO is very much alive and kicking and will be for the foreseeable future, albeit in a different guise to how it originated. Despite the ever-increasing tightening up of SEO loops at Google, there are still many SEO’s playing a dirty game and inviting more mud slinging in our general direction so we decided to engage with one section of the rightfully angry crowd…

Generic email outreach templates
Probably the biggest gripe from a blogger’s perspective was the obvious generic spammy email template which gets sent, with no attempt to personalise the email (even getting the name wrong in some cases) and not even taking the time to read the blog.  In most cases, of the bloggers asked, said they wouldn’t even read this kind of email and would simply delete it. They found the “read your blog and loved it” dishonest and quickly put them off.

Failure to maintain relationships after the deal is done
Not communicating with the blogger after you’ve worked together was high on the list. Failure to maintain the relationship meant the bloggers can find it pretty soul-destroying to work with SEO agencies.  The bloggers said they were keen to have long-term relationships with SEO agencies and value SEO’s more who take the time to keep the contact going, read their future work,  and comment or share good articles.

What are SEO agencies trying to achieve?
Most of the bloggers agreed that they find it hard to work with different SEO agencies, as they all have a different set of guidelines; each one has their own set of rules, metrics that matter, and terms and conditions etc. This is hard to solve but none the less the problem exists. The bloggers asked for clarity, how does an SEO agency value different metrics and why? And what are they trying to achieve for their various clients or client in question?

Irrelevant Content
Sending content that’s completely irrelevant to their blog was a big bug bear to the bloggers we asked.  Once again highlighting SEO’s who don’t read or understand their blog and its audience. They suggested discussing topic ideas before the content was written would be valuable, and would limit the amount of posts being rejected.

Increasing the number of agreed links
The bloggers don’t appreciate it when an SEO agency sends the content over with more links than the agreed amount, and they found it quite deceitful.  They said if an SEO agency wants more than 1 link, then they should simply say this in the first place, don’t try and be sneaky.

It’s no secret that having successful relationships with bloggers can significantly improve the success of an SEO campaign.  This discussion has emphasised what too many SEO agencies is obvious, but highlights that so many still fail at. Starting off on the right foot and taking the time to build and maintain relationships with bloggers can only help to improve the impact of the campaigns, with far more chance of secondary shares and promotion plus most importantly creating good quality content that is right for the blogs audience. Better relationships mean both sides win.

Many thanks to Will – www.willpeach.com , Vago – www.vagobond.com , Cole – www.fourjandals.com, Anthony – www.manvsclock.com and Annabel – www.getinthehotspot.com.

We’d love to get more comments for the worst things about SEO agencies, so please don’t hold back!  Why not join us on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter as well!

Being a true passionate online geek, Carly is always researching new ways in which brands and site owners can work together to bring valuable content to users. In her current role at Red Mud Media Carly is responsible for coordinating content publication and relationships between brands and site owners. Check out .

8 comments on “The 5 Worst Things About SEO Agencies (from a blogger’s perspective)

  1. Cole @ FourJandals.com on said:

    Great article Carly and it was a pleasure chatting with you guys about this. Hopefully we can continue to partner together!

  2. crazy sexy fun traveler on said:

    Great post. I agree with all the 5 points. It is really annoying to get a content that has nothing to do with my blog and the things I usually write about, and also when we agree on a certain number of links and then there are 3 times more! It looks like SEO companies think bloggers are stupid idiots!

  3. Raymond @ Man On The Lam on said:

    My pet peeve is the SEO folks who pretend to want to write a guest post offering “free” and “unique” content. This is from one I received yesterday, “The best part is I won’t be charging you a penny, but in return all I need is just one link within the article.”

    Drives. Me. Nuts.

  4. Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot on said:

    Loved hearing it from your point of view Team Red Mud and working out ways how we can all work together and help each other and maintain best practices:)

    The future is uncertain but I know we’re all working in a great industry and it’s an exciting place to be.

  5. Thanks for the comments, please feel free to add anything else you dislike! Carly

  6. Interesting thoughts here Carly. While this year has been a learning curve for me on the SEO side of things and has been filled with mostly positive experiences, I can concur with all of these to some degree. Keep up the good work!

  7. David Sneen on said:

    As one who is in SEO, I am marking and avoiding these points.

    I might underscore your theme about links. SEO companies who continue to create phony links risk getting their client delisted…with very little risk to themselves. This is beyond galling.

  8. seo agency on said:

    Excellent post.informative and helpful post.Enjoyed your article.Thanks for sharing this information whit us.Keep up the excellent work!

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