Some may see “ousting” as a bit of a dick move, but when it comes to plain idiotic SEO that can potentially ruin clients sites on a massive scale, then I say it’s fair game.
Yesterday, Profoundry put out a Tweet, in which I was the first person to ReTweet:
â€” Profoundry (@ProfoundryCo) July 31, 2014
It quickly saw responses from Tom the SEO Guy (Who also did a post on it) and Chris Dyson (who was just taking the piss) on this companies blatant stupidity. Essentially, “SOZO Design” have used their own clients sites to create a medium sized link network from one page across every site – network.php
Originally, Col (aka ProFoundry) managed to find 64 different sites. Thanks to his help, and a bit more research.. We’ve managed to actually find a total of 94 different sites:
After a bit more digging, we found that a number of the “network.php” pages have had the file names cloaked to try and hide the network,Â examples:
This tells me that they probably know what they’re doing is highly risky and linking in-between all these sites is pretty ridiculous.
Hidden? Psch.. No.
I suppose at least they tried to hide it via mixing up the URLs, unfortunately though.. They’ve hosted nearly all of these sites on the same server: w00.sozoserver.co.uk /Â 220.127.116.11 I’d understand if they’d built an actual private network of sites and not just used their clients sites. Putting their own site as #1 on every site’s link farm is the best bit, and what do Google reward them with? The #3 spot for their companies targeted keyword, which has 320 monthly searches:Â web design cheltenham As well as being #2 for: seo cheltenham – Must be the 2nd best SEO Company in the city, aye? SOZO did eventually reply on Twitter –
Hi @ProfoundryCo. The network is 100% our clients only. But we take your concern onboard, and we’re already working to phase the network out
â€” SOZO Design (@sozodesign) July 31, 2014
But it really wasn’t long enough, so Profoundry got a phone call from them, which he kindly decided to send my way:
“I wanted to put the network into context, which was basically, we started it a while ago and it was a lot bigger, then reduced it when Google released updates.Â Then clients would leave us so we removed them then saw their rankings drop so we have kept it going to safe guard client rankings.”
P.S. – Not a direct version of the call log, but pretty close!
I’m guessing the whole “Reduced it when Google released updates” means they know that they’ve built a link farm from their clients sites that was so ridiculously easy to find every single site on said link farm that it was laughable.
So, that’s how to be the Worst SEO Company Possible.
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