I would like to say that I wholeheartedly recommend Gmail accounts for the access you receive to highly useful applications like AdWords, Analytics, Webmaster Tools, Docs, G+, and various others. Provided they are used effectively, they offer immense potential for businesses all over the world.
Quite frankly, most SEO consultants and content marketing specialists would be left scrambling for alternatives without Google apps. And without a sizeable operating budget, many professionals are dependent on those tools to earn their livelihood. They can’t simply pay for all of the premium tools, no matter how much better they are.
But what happens when SEO and digital marketing professionals become over-reliant on Gmail? Well, they become a known trend in the digital world. Since the start of 2014, the general enquiry form of my company website has received a litany of queries from so-called SEO consultants. And along with imparting their pitch through shoddy copy, there was a prevailing trend: 90 per cent had Gmail addresses.
Meet the Gmail SEO spam consultants
There is nothing wrong with Gmail addresses. I use one myself for accessing Google apps and general correspondence, but I do so alongside my company email address. When it comes to contacting clients, I always use my official email address to convey a higher level of professionalism than a Gmail address would.
The truth is that the vast majority of freelancers are treated differently to companies – and they should be. Considerably more effort and resources are required to establish viable businesses for the long-term. And on that scale, the freelancers who can compete with established brands are those willing to invest a couple of hundred pounds/dollars a year to maintain their website.
All of this is to say that unsolicited Gmail SEO consultants promise you the earth, moon, and stars – and they don’t even sound anywhere near as elegant (not that I was being particularly poetic). I have even received emails from American freelancers that may as well have been written based on their drunken ramblings from the evening before.
To summarise, I have coined the aforementioned term for these SEO freelancers because they are basically all the same. They promise unreachable results using shoddy language ridden with typos – and their emails come from Gmail accounts. Below are just five of many, many SEO freelancers who have mailed me in 2014:
These freelancers have a number of characteristics that define their approach. To receive the dubious honour of being classed as they are, it is imperative that they fulfil every one of these characteristics:
- They emailed a pitch/plea to you without invitation.
- Their email address ends in @gmail.com.
- The language is poorly written and riddled with typos.
- They discuss dated SEO techniques like link exchanges.
- Irrelevant or untrue comments are made about your business.
Along with the five characteristics above, there is one that irritates me above all else. And that would be that they do not have their own website, yet persist in attempting to deliver SEO and/or content marketing services to an established provider of said services. That only tells me that they perform no research ahead of sending out their canned pitches.
These freelancers are the reason why email marketing gets no respect. I just hope that nobody is falling for this crap. The services many of them promise would do more harm than good.
How they can change
Before rising to a position of authority, business owners and directors have typically paid their dues by working for other people. During which time they will have learned invaluable lessons and developed a worked ethic that enabled them to succeed when they eventually became leaders in their own right. Successful freelancers also have to work before exclusively pursuing their career dreams.
The offending Gmail SEO consultants need to go and get a job (any job) and then use the income as support while they learn the intricacies of the craft. Only then can they deliver SEO services that will be worth paying for. Unless your family can rob banks, you can’t just provide a service because you want to. These “consultants” need to get rid of their ignorant pitches and start learning as much as they can.
By Mike Porter