(This is an archive about posts on Topseos ver the years, and is all 100% professional opinion. As one of the companies rated in the past, I think I have a right to comment on it. My thoughts in no way reflect on individual companies on the list.)
When I wrote my post about TopsSEOs recently (which was retweeted some very influential seo) and questioned the reporting by the Drum Magazine in Scotland, I found it pretty difficult to find any of the tons of bad press on Google about the company I knew existed. The articles I am looking for are buried under a TON of self-promotional press releases and a myriad of domains and subdomains in (in my opinion) an attempt to bury all those complaints or criticisms about the company, written by trusted seos in the industry.
IN FACT – I couldn’t find ONE good editorial link to Topseos site(s) (that I would be proud of) that I didn’t question the editorial authenticity of it.
So, I thought we could have our own little awards ceremony and list the top complaints I could find about Topseos.
Contenders for the Complaints Awards 2012
ADDED: Disclosure: I don’t know if TopSEOS is a scam. I just think it needs to be A LOT more transparent in it’s practices, claims and promotional material.
I reviewed a lot of material, snippets of which are below. (EDIT – 2013 I have removed the links from this post – I don’t want to be accused of manipulating results).
1 ScamWhile drinking Santa’s milk and spying on a few of my competitor’s websites (oops), I noticed they had a fancy graphic of an award claiming their link building tool was…. 2 A Review of the Top SEOs Paid Rating Service | SEO Book.comWho is going to pay to tell people that they are good enough and their lives are fine as they are? A fundamental truth of advertising is that advertising the truth usually isn’t very profitable – … 3 Continues Deceptive Practices | Search Marketing WisdomTOPSEOs was built on deception, article scraping, and bait-and-switch practices. The industry cried foul, [Name Removed] blew it off as motivated by ulterior motives, I called him out, and 3 days later they issued an official apology, vowing to change. Fast foward a full month, and they continue their ways, laughing in the face of reality… 4 Press Releases
After the SEO community cried out, and lashed out, at Top SEOs for alleged deceptive practices the TopSEOs brass rushed out to do what they do
bestthe most, they created some press releases. They made claims that they have listened and will clean up their act. Did they? Not according to Alan Bleiweiss in his Top SEOs Continues Deceptive Practices article. 5 TopSEOs.com $15,000 per month listing feesThere has been a lot of talk recently about how TopSEOs.com might not be the Independent Authority on Search Vendors they claim to be. 6 Why I don’t display my numerous TopSEOs awards | Net MagellanA long time ago I alerted my friend Edward Lewis about this company that purported to rank SEO companies and awarded them badges. I had been working as an in-house SEO at a large IYP… 7 User ReportsUser reports and information about . TOPSEOS bestwebdesignagencies.com http://www.bestwebdesignagencies.com/ contacted our firm after ranking us multiple times in their fraudulent ranking 8 An Independent Authority?I wrote about TOPSEO’s earlier this month. Since I’m new to TKG, I asked around to see if we would’ve gotten involved with this organization years ago…. 9 An Independent Authority?I don’t care if you’re tired of seeing TOPSEOs at the moment. This is something you MUST see to really understand what this organization is doing. I understand why folks around here are somewhat reluctant to get involved as many of you may be paying for your rankings over there. Or, you’re promoting their service on your website properties. I’m guessing some of that will come to a halt here in the near future. There is too much garbage coming out of the woodwork in regards to this company and their related entities. 10 Scam. STAY AWAY
I need to vent- topseos.com is a SCAM. In order to even be on their so-called list of TOP seo firms you must pay- and pay BIG. I sent an email today and one of the owners of the company said that it would cost $1,000 per month to even be ‘considered’ and ranked on ONE list.
11 Apologizes – Legit or more Deceptive Business? | Search Marketing WisdomThere’s been a flurry of renewed activity in the past few days regarding the fact that TOPSEOs has been caught using deceptive business practices in their operation. Apparently someone at TOPSEOs, perhaps [Name Removed] himself, finally felt that enough pressure was being applied, because yesterday morning (April 28th), a press release was posted through PRWeb.com where TOPSEOs issued an official apology “to the community” for “confusion”, and where they vow “Changes to the Site”. 12 Infamous for Fake “World’s Best Local Internet Marketing Awards.”TopSEOs Infamous for Fake “World’s Best Local Internet Marketing Awards.”Six reasons you should steer clear of TopSEOs and those who market the acceptance of their “World’s Best Awards.” 13 Awards For Best SEO Company Not Transparent EnoughApparently Top SEOS produce rankings and award badges for best seo companies in various countries (including the UK) … except folk are of the opinion you might have to pay TOPSEOS.com thousands 14 ARE THEY A SHAKEDOWN OPERATION OR LEGITIMATE SERVICE?
This week’s buzz in the SEO community is all about complaints against TOPSEOs (and questions for [Name Removed], one of their owners) – a company that sells rankings and awards within the SEO industry. While they bill their rankings as a “competition”, people from a number of highly reputable companies in our industry have come out essentially saying that TOPSEOs is nothing more than a shakedown for money.
17 Deceptive Practices – An Interview
The real concern for me with respect to TOPSEOs is the fact that they have no problem utilizing the Bait & Switch tactic. Potential clients think they are taking action on TOPSEOs.com to contact Company A but get Company B instead. Bait & Switch is fully illegal, as in AGAINST US LAW. Anyone who has suffered through this should contact the Better Business Bureau immediately, or companies like TOPSEOs are going to stick around.
18 False Claims?
My company has been in Top seos in the past, but because we do not buy their leads now, our ranking has dropped. They claim to simpy “evaluate” seo companies, however, that is loaded with B.S. They tell consumers that they should look at their rankings because they have a stringent policy of ranking. Well, if you think that stringent rankings involves how much you are willing to pay Top SEOs, then I guess you should use them! TOP seos is a total scam. If you are person trying to evaluate SEO companies, dont use them. They lie.
Lately many people must have seen SEO companies publishing results about getting top ranked as the best seo company in a given country or best link building company in a given country by TOP SEOs so i decided to look into it further. One of my old client ranks ranks at position one for best seo company in UK for almost last 1-2 years and he told me that they pay a large chunk of money to top seos to maintain this listing. My partner in Australia asked top seos for the top spot in Australia but they were told that its already booked by the same UK company and they can get the 3rd position and lately the UK company stopped their operations in Australia and we were given the top spot again for money. So in short TOP seos is basically a SCAM and there is no actual research done for ranking the SEO companies on the basis of the seo services they provide.
20 Verified SEO: The Latest SEO Scam?
topseos.com. a company claiming to rank SEO companies on the service they provide and then supplies them with badges listing their rankings to use on their website and emails etc. I came across them a couple of years ago and thought it would be good to get the SEO company I work for reviewed and listed so we could use it in marketing collateral, after all, looking at the criteria we ticked all the boxes to rank well. So we contacted them to ask for a review and inclusion in their rankings and how we got included. Their response? “You need to pay” or to put more detail on it, you have to pay anything from £400 per month to £1800 a month to be considered for rankings. Hardly sounds impartial does it!
21 Ripoff Report Directory | Complaints Reviews Scams Lawsuits Frauds ReportedTopseos.com or Top Seos rates and reviews companies based solely on how much they PAY, the more money you give Topseos.com the better your rating. Basically I can be a crappy SEO company, pay Topseos.com 1000′s of dollars and they will say I’m number one! 22 Fell for TopSEOs…advice?
So yesterday I check out their site and we were ranked #1 for SEO Copywriting. For about two seconds I was jumping for joy…but after that I got sick to my stomach. In all the chaos with end of year stuff and the holidays I never considered the fact that they didn’t take any references. They never evaluated anything. Here we were ranked #1 and they couldn’t possibly know anything about us. Not to mention that there are plenty of more established SEO Copywriting companies. I’m starting to freak out…
23 Kill The Hypocrisy, It’s Time To Take a Stand
Yesterday a press release, uncritically regurgitated by The Drum, made the rounds on various social media platforms. It concerned a company’s “number one UK SEO company” ranking, as awarded by none other than TopSEOs. Aside from the editorial blunder of publishing this drivel, there are massive levels of fail in evidence here. Anyone in the SEO industry who can rub more than two braincells together knows that TopSEOs is a scam (as should be evident from the links provided later in this post).
24 Best SEO companies in Australia
So in a few words: If you want us to rank you for what you want to be ranked… you need to pay 1K per month. mmm fair isn’t?
So who actually wins the Complaints Awards 2012 – you ask?
Well, that’s going to be difficult as there could be legal matters. I dont want people putting the Hobo logo on their sites saying I rated them as a “Award Winner”. I will need to get some disclaimer….. hang on….
I will quote this bit from Topseos themselves – which basically says my rankings awards aren’t worth the bits they are written with – that should protect me:
User agrees to not hold topseos.com and/or [Name Removed], LLC and/or any members and/or any managers and/or any of our partners and/or suppliers liable from any decisions they take. Furthermore, [Name Removed], LLC is not liable for any statements, representations, descriptions, comments, or opinions posted on the Site. [Name Removed], LLC cannot guarantee the accuracy, integrity, or quality of Rankings. Under no circumstances will [Name Removed], LLC or any third-party providers of the Rankings be liable in any way for any Ranking, including, but not limited to, any errors or omissions in any Ranking/s, or any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of the use of the Ranking/s.
OK – with my disclaimer out of the way – I can now present the Topseos Complaints Award 2012 to……
- Alan Bleiweiss – Gold Award Winner | Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/AlanBleiweiss
- Edward Lewis – Silver | Twitter - https://twitter.com/#!/pageoneresults
- Aaron Wall – Bronze | Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/aaronwall
You want a few hundred thousand spun press releases to go with that award, Alan?
Let me know.
Oh – and I forgot – if you want to keep your award – I want £1,000 a month for it. Or a beer. Whichever is easier.
PS – Yes – Edward Lewis was also a champion of this – a truly animal reporter. Alan edged it by introducing a human element to the investigative journalism that was led by Edward, by actually interviewing the man behind Topseos. Aaron Wall featured as often, it takes someone with the celebrity he has to get the rest of the seo world to take notice.
PPS – I also emitted any single person’s name from the entries quoted from around the web, including the man, the myth, the legend behind topseos. The problem is with the organisation – not one individual. This isn’t a witch hunt and I don’t want to besmirch any one person’s name.
This article is 100% MY OPINION BTW. And that opinion is that they (and their Top SEO Awards) suck balls, wether they ‘work’ as advertising or not for the seo companies who want to be associated with them – which I hear they do – very well. Go figure.
*IMAGE CREDIT – THE MIRROR
Opinion: TopSEOs Sewage Leaks To Scotland via The Drum Magazine
— Shaun Anderson (@Hobo_Web) January 16, 2012
Jan 16, 2012 - Man. I was so disappointed when I saw the Drum Magazine today – surely recognised as one of Scotland’s – and the UK’s – top marketing and advertising publications – at least it used to be (or I had that impression) when I worked as a junior in ‘advertising’ in the 90s.
Why the disappointment?
For spreading, in my opinion, more TopSEOS sewage about. This time, wait for it – promoting “The number one SEO company in the UK” – LOL :
What an astonishing – even, misleading, claim to make about ANY SEO company in the UK.
Lets be clear – I don’t have a beef with the company mentioned – they are using a marketing channel – and it obviously works for them. Why they need to go into bed with Topseos I have no idea – we got @50 new business leads over the last 4 weeks without paid advertising – at all – anywhere – but that’s up to them – but if they want to put their name to that crap – they are putting themselves in the firing line. Big profits to make – it would seem.
My problem is actually with the Drum for spreading this sewage about companies WINNING AWARDS when they - according to many reports – ARE PAYING TOPSEOS TO WIN THESE AWARDS.
I asked the Drum if they were comfortable with that editorial on their site and (very nice of him, it has to be said) -
- the Drum’s editor, Gordon Young, replied:
Although The Drum likes to make sure all our editorial is as strong as possible, I have to confess we are not infallible. That is where we benefit from the strength of our online community who do a fantastic job providing additional balance where necessary, or at least putting forward alternative viewpoints from those reported in some of the news.
Apparently the content was not paid for, either.
So – this was an editorial?
Well this was a massive fail, in my opinion.
This one article has destroyed any trust I would have had in the Drum to publish accurate news. Hell, even publish accurate press releases.
The TopSEO website rates companies on a number of categories including needs analysis, keyword analysis, on page optimisation, off page optimisation and reporting methods.
That is laughable.
I don’t know of ONE respected SEO, from anywhere in the world, who has came forward and defended the practices of TopSEOS over the last few years – OR ANY of TOPSEOS astonishing claims.
I DO know of PLENTY of SEO who have came forward claiming Topseos awards and processes was – paraphrasing – a ‘joke’.
Want to see what the GLOBAL SEO COMMUNITY THINKS of Topseos and their worthless awards?
- An informative new twist in the Topseos Awards, lead generation and accused copyright infringment (of article content) saga – opinion from Alan Bleiweiss on TOPSEOs Deceptive Practices – An Interview with Jeev Trika
- Topseos APPOLOGISE to “SEO industry” – http://www.prweb.com/releases/2010/04/prweb3934014.htm – “SEO industry” not amused it seems.
- Topseos APPOLOGISE to “SEO industry” – Alan’s response – http://searchmarketingwisdom.com/2010/04/topseos-apologizes-legit-or-more-deceptive-business/
- More on Topseos here and here.
- TopSEOs.com $15,000 per month listing fees
- TopSEOs on Seobook – he knows a thing or two……
FFS – Need I say more?
Seriously – these topseos awards are a disservice to this industry – and clients looking for good seo companies – everywhere. I can’t believe I am getting worked up about a crappy LEAD GENERATION site….but it annoys every time you go to Google and see these “TOP AWARDS” and “No1 SEO Company” all over PPC ads.
Thank you – The Drum magazine – for spreading this sewage about in Scotland, and helping make it even harder to compete as a small SEO company in 2012.
— Shaun Anderson (@Hobo_Web) January 16, 2012
Topseos Awards For Best SEO Company Not Transparent Enough
The industry seem to have turned their attention to TopSeos - “identified as an independent authority on vendors” (by themselves apparently) and it makes for a good read.
It seems the legitimate SEO community, for the most part, finds what TOPSEOs does to be distasteful at best, a shakedown service at worst. Alan Bleiweiss
Apparently this organisation produce rankings and award badges for best seo companies in various countries (including the UK) … except folk are of the opinion you might have to pay TOPSEOS.com thousands of pounds to be considered for these industry awards.
UPDATE - I asked for Hobo to be removed from the directory, and asked the “best uk seo company in the UK” (according to themselves) to stop bidding on our brand name with this nonsense. Generally speaking, I’m happy with that, now, both have complied with our requests.
As of 2010-03-31, there are 3,247 search engine optimization companies listed. Of those 3,247 SEO companies, 170 are listed in the Best Search Engine Optimization Companies category. @pageoneresults
My experience is we were ranked the 4th best seo company in the UK a few years ago, about a year just after we launched Hobo, (just above Andrew’s team the week that they sold for £60 million or something like that lol).
Actually this is the exact email I sent to Michael when I was informed we were ranked in 2007.
“Title – 4th best seo company in the uk lol
(Note the above link is now redirected – there’s no archive on the site but there is a record in the Web Archive). Actually in November 2007 we were 3rd it seems – shows how much attention I was paying.
I’m not sure if I actually submitted my seo company to be ranked or at least included in what looked like a large on-topic directory for seo companies. I honestly can’t remember. Anyway for 3 months we ranked, unpaid. Even appeared in a magazine. Then we disappeared. (UPDATE - No, I just found out it was my MD the amateur – lucky I keep him on accounting detail these days :p !)
I KNOW FOR 100% they hadn’t contacted any of my clients at any time and nothing had changed in that 3 months since we had been ranked so I didn’t think it was anything worth “supporting” or anything much worth promoting – that’s the only word I can remember from the communication I had with them - other than a nice bit of linkbait (if pointless and potentially misleading from where I was standing). (EDIT - i had some sort of telephone communication with them when i (**think**) I enquired about updating my inaccurate profile to see if it improved my ranking (as if!) or encouraged them to contact my current clients – which also did not happen).
So I forgot about them.
Well I would have, if I didn’t see TONS of online press releases out at the start of every month from SEO companies who claim to be the best seo companies in the UK, as voted by a company who themselves herald they have been “identified as an independent authority on vendors“.
It seems a nice merry go around if claims are to be believed. You pay. They award and then you promote the fact you’re a top seo company to customers who are looking for the best seo company. Everybody wins – even the unsuspecting customer if the seo company they get is any good lol :)
Here’s what one company won in the last 3 months:
- #1 – Best Search Engine Optimization Company (Canada), April 2010.
- #1 – Best Search Engine Optimization Company, April 2010.
- #1 – Best Reputation Management Company, April 2010.
- #2 – Best Search Engine Optimization Company (Australia), April 2010.
- #3 – Best Link Building Company, April 2010.
- #4 – Best Social Media Optimization Company, April 2010.
- #5 – Best Pay Per Click Management Company, April 2010.
- #1 – Best Search Engine Optimization Company, March 2010.
- #1 – Best Reputation Management Company, March 2010.
- #1 – Best Search Engine Optimization Company (Canada), March 2010.
- #2 – Best Search Engine Optimization Company (Australia), March 2010.
- #3 – Best Social Media Optimization Company, March 2010.
- #3 – Best Link Building Company, March 2010.
- #5 – Best Pay Per Click Management Company, March 2010.
- #1 – Best Search Engine Optimization Company (Canada), February 2010.
- #1 – Best Reputation Management Company, February 2010.
- #1 – Best Search Engine Optimization Company, February 2010.
- #2 – Best Search Engine Optimization Company (Australia), February 2010.
- #3 – Best Link Building Company, February 2010.
- #3 – Best Social Media Optimization Company, February 2010.
- #5 – Best Pay Per Click Management Company, February 2010.
If carlsberg made seo companies lol - the company above “enjoys a solid reputation in the online marketing services industry” according to themselves in an article, backed up with awards from an organisation who is “identified as an independent authority on vendors” according to THEMselves.
It’s amazing to think a SEO company THAT GOOD would stop to think about looking after your little company…. perhaps they can come out and detail their evaluation process and bring an end to the apparent speculation that it’s not legit.
I think it would be nice if TopSeos stated which SEO companies WERE ACTUALLY EVALUATED FOR RANKING AWARDS each month and listed those that are NOT EVALUATED for the awards – like Hobo – for whatever reasons. My opinion (this whole article is purely opinion) is that’s not going to happen though, is it.
My opinion – I don’t think the seo community needs any body to govern it, if the seo community governs itself. I don’t think these awards are of as much value to customers looking for a seo company as they are to the marketing department of a seo company who is awarded them. I think most awards and badges out there on the net are either fun linkbait, bollocks or plain inaccurate and often misleading. Some are a total scam.
If you are looking for a seo company, I hope you are lucky. It’s a minefield at the best of times. At the moment, we are VERY CAREFUL with the projects we take on to make sure they suit what we are good at and we deliver for our PAYING clients. Chances are, we won’t take you on as a new client if you are thinking of hiring a seo at the moment especially if you have not been referred to us by a current customer – we’ve said NO to the biggest of the biggest international companies because they didn’t fit our small agency.
If you are a small business you might want to check out our free seo guide to get an idea of just what’s involved.
We’ve never asked anybody for work, or sent out a spam email, or paid for leads or used CPC to get leads in 4 years and we won’t ever (we don’t have a sales team) and I bet there are a good few companies out there in the exact same position you won’t ever hear about EXCEPT from folk you know.
We’ve learned over the last 4 years you can’t win all the rankings, you can’t be the best at every aspect of internet marketing and your better sticking to the type of projects the team enjoy and have experience in and so get better at them. Our business model is in total transition at the moment as we move more and more into affiliates and pay-per-performance with long term clients we already have a good relationship with because if you do SEO you know it’s a long term commitment to get good rankings.
Topseos Rate The Best Web Design Companies In The World, Too?
Supposedly, Topseos rank the Best SEO companies in the world - see this list. Now, they call themselves the independent authority on search vendors, and give out awards every month to the ‘winners’ but the SEO community forced an apology from topseos here.
What you are not told clearly, to win these top awards you need to PAY TOPSEOS a lot of money (aparently) TOPSEOS is a lead generation company it appears.
In fact, probably the leading authority on SEO in the UK according to Shaun, Dave Naylor, said in a recent interview Topseos was a sham and another respected UK SEO Patrick Altoft pitched in here detailing how much these things cost.
For a complete picture of this – see this site which lifts the lid on Topseos.
Now Topseos also rank the “best web design companies in the world” and whether or not they actually pay for those awards, how they operate in the SEO industry could well be the shape of things to come.
Effectively once a company pays and is awarded the top awards, these companies then PROMOTE THE HELL out of the fact they have WON these awards, using Twitter spam bots and Press releases – see this Twitter feed!
Now the SEO industry (those that aren’t just spammers! I know I know ;)) is trying to educate consumers to this, but I wondered what the web design industry thought of Topseos rankings for best web design companies.
But in a wider sense, it would be nice to get an idea of what web designers and developers think of these paid for awards and if they serve to serve anything other than getting those who pay for the awards, more unsuspecting clients.
Please leave your comments :)