Many of our clients have gotten an email similar to this:
Does This Video SEO Email Look Familiar?
In case you didn’t notice the scammy, spammy way this email was written, and were tempted to sign up, DONT!
Companies like this—and we get similar emails all the time—are attempting to sell their brand of video SEO services (the key word in that sentence being “attempting”). What they’re really doing is running a link scheme that they call a “link campaign.”
There are many legitimate ways to promote your YouTube videos. This is not one of those legitimate ways. These companies use videos to try to claim a page one position by spreading the links of their victims (err, “clients”) around the Internet, but these are low quality junk links.
Our friend and client Gerry Oginski has spoken with representatives from some of these companies. He finds that if he digs too deep into the links they use or asks too many questions, they pull the “proprietary” card. This is a common trick of the black hat SEO trade: claiming a trade secret if you attempt to get to the bottom of their methods. And that should be clue #1 that these guys aren’t above the boards! A legitimate online marketing firm should have nothing to hide.
The Results From Using an SEO Video Scam
Yes, in the short term, a video “promoted” in this way will get multiple views. But the views that the video gets are not from users who are interested in the content featured in the video. These are junk links that often point back to a low quality website. And we all know that sites like these—sites that farm leads—are destined to go down in flames.
If you take a closer look at the videos that this company and others like it are promoting, you’ll find that very few have any:
- User engagement
- Discussions about the content
All these videos have are a bunch of views and sometimes page one ranking. I know this sounds tempting; after all, isn’t the name of the video game to get more views on YouTube? Yes, but only if they are views from people who are searching for a lawyer.
Buy into this program and you may get a temporary high ranking. You do not get clients.
In the end all that participants in this scheme have done is waste their money. Most of these companies charge monthly for ongoing campaigns, not to mention initial fees. And if you dare stop writing the checks for the unnatural links? Your video will virtually disappear from search rankings.
At best, this is walking the fine, gray line of ethical marketing strategies. At worst, it’s black hat SEO. YouTube has already hinted that they have noticed that there are in an increasing number of videos with high view counts but no engagement or interaction. It’s only a matter of time until Google or YouTube goes ahead and punishes everyone involved. Goodbye, #1 video. Goodbye, hard-earned money.
Do Not Play With Fire
A falsified view count is not the goal of your video marketing plan. Your only goals with your videos should be the same as with every piece of your marketing strategy: convert viewers to paying clients or customers by using, authentic, white-hat techniques.
You need to make videos that people want to watch, videos that show you, your knowledge and your expertise. And if these videos only have 15 views and one comment? So what? If your compelling video gets you a single six-figure case it’s way better than a video with 7,000 views that gets you zero cases, or, even worse, gets you busted by Google. If this happens it’s not just your video in danger, it’s your entire channel. It is well within Google’s rights to take down your YouTube channel if it finds you’ve been cheating.
Play Nice. Don’t Cheat. Don’t Use SEO Tricks or Scams!
Make high quality videos that speak to your target audience, do your best to optimize your videos and promote them, and the rest will come naturally. And trust me, natural is always better.
Our goal is to stop companies like this from taking money from hard-working businesses like yours. Gerry sent us this gem, and we couldn’t wait to share it with you. If you’ve been contacted by a SEO company that you believe is trying to cheat the system, let us know! We love exposing the dirty secrets the black hat industry tries to hide.