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My original intent for this whole test was to see how TOPSEO’s would go about contacting TKG. Would they send the company an email through our sales email address? Would they try to call us? Would I get a response to my personal email address? I was a little surprised with what happened next... I received an email from a local web marketing company, SageRock.
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from pageoneresults 1709 Days ago #
Votes: 6

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.



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from Jill 1709 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Holy smokes! That's pretty despicable. I hope that TKG contacts Sage Lewis from SageRock to get his take. Perhaps TOPSEOS just forwarded him the lead, but didn't mention that it was supposed to be for another company.The plot, most definitely, thickens.(I don't really want another topseos thread hot on Sphinn, but this is really a new twist.)



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from karon 1709 Days ago #
Votes: 3

I've tried for years to get our profile removed from TOPSEOs. They have the wrong information (some of it they just simply guessed at as there is no way they could have found out without contacting us directly).  They even list supposed clients of ours that we've never heard of!  Would love to be deleted from their site.



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from AlanBleiweiss 1708 Days ago #
Votes: 4

I spoke with Jeev Treka this morning on the phone.  We had a lengthy discussion on a lot of this and though there was tension in the atmosphere (must be a cold front moving in), it was a mostly civil conversation.  He provided some insight into this specific blog article's findings, as well as information related to the bigger discussion that's been taking place.

I am putting in the footwork to see if I can verify some of the things he said during the call, will need to really take the time to think all of this through in how I go about writing up the results of the conversation.  At the very least, I can say that there's validity to both sides depending on individual perspective...



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from AlanBleiweiss 1708 Days ago #
Votes: 1

And for the record, Jeev did say that he's been well aware of the ongoing dialogue.



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from Jill 1707 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Thanks for taking the time to do things in a professional manner, Alan. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.



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from ArnieK 1707 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Just adding to what Jill said.  I think it will be interesting (and fair) to finally hear from Jeev on all of this.



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from qwerty 1707 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Karon: That's really surprising. When I found out that I was listed there (and that they'd used text lifted from my site as my "description" and indicated that I provided some services that I don't) I sent the following message in an email to info@topseos.com:

Please remove the listing for Raise My Rank SEO Services (raisemyrank.com) from your directory. Thank you.

They didn't respond, but I checked later that day and my listing was gone, for the most part: if you do a search on their site for my company name, a listing comes up, but if you try to click through to it via the "View Company" link you're redirected back to their home page.



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from pageoneresults 1704 Days ago #
Votes: 3

There was a bit of a storm last night on Twitter after discovering scraped articles from a variety of authors who post here at Sphinn and other online resources, mainly EzineArticles. Scraped articles were discovered from David Naylor, Aaron Wall, Kim Krause Berg, Jill Whalen, the list goes on and on. Oh, they even have one from Matt Cutts.

We all know that scraping is a part of SEO, for these folks anyway. But, TOPSEOs have taken it one step further and have added a Contact Author link to every article. A few of us tested this feature yesterday and have yet to receive any responses, I even sent one to Matt Cutts from his article. We're assuming the contact requests are going to the authors of the articles but according to a few of those authors, nothing has been received. I wonder where those contact requests went? Those wouldn't be part of the TOPSEOs Leads Program, would they?

It appears that TOPSEOs is expecting this to blow over like previous complaints have. I don't think that is going to be the case this time. I still have more than a handful of documents to publish that expose the TOPSEOs operations further. There's much more to this than meets the eye.

I've come to the startling conclusion that TOPSEOs is an SEO FFA Directory. There is NO rigorous evaluation process as quoted by SmartMoney whom by the way has ignored my 2 requests to confirm the rigorous evaluation process quote that is utilized throughout TOPSEOs marketing materials.



Avatar Moderator
from Jill 1704 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Okay now I'm pissed. They do have my articles and have no bio or link, and yes the contact ME link.


They need to go down.



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from Jill 1704 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Apparently the secure location that the rigorous evaluation takes places is at the Crosswalk Bookstore. I guess they get some reading done in between evaluations.



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from pageoneresults 1704 Days ago #
Votes: 1

There's even an article from Matt McGee, I wonder if he submitted that? http://www.TOPSEOs.com/articles/matt-mcgee/how-to-seo-your-site-in-less-than-60-minutes/4662/

Original article here...

How to SEO Your Site in Less Than 60 Minutes by Matt McGee



Avatar Administrator
from MattMcGee 1704 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Nope, didn't submit it nor give them permission to post it.



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from pageoneresults 1704 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Thank you Jill and Matt for confirming that your articles are being used at TOPSEOs without your permission. Kim has also confirmed the same.

I've taken the liberty of documenting this practice and have posted an article showing the process I went through when contacting Matt, Kim and Kalena.

Is Matt Cutts Moonlighting at the TOPSEOs Knowledge Zone?



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from Jill 1703 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Edward, when you're done putting an end to TopSEOs scam, I stumbled upon another one. It's not necessarily a scam, but it's another one like Charles was going to do.


Check out seocertification.org.



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from pageoneresults 1703 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Did you say SEOCertification.org? Ah yes, been watching that one for a few years now. In fact, I've been right on their tails in the SERPs for quite some time. When I have some free time, I'm going to launch SEOCertification.com and just whack the .org from that top position.

SEO Certification



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from DianeV 1703 Days ago #
Votes: 1

TopSEOs sounds like a lead gen site. Nothing wrong with that, but if it is what it appears to be, there's everything wrong with gaining leads based on others' articles, names and reputations (particularly without their knowledge or permission) and then handing them off to someone else.



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from pageoneresults 1702 Days ago #
Votes: 1

TopSEOs scam
A fraudulent business scheme. Fraudulent meaning intended to deceive.

Jill, I'm convinced your terminology is best suited for this operation. After seeing the procedures in place at the Knowledge Zone and putting them to the test, there is deception.

I'm going to provide a short summary of my findings to date. I have 100+ current research hours into this not to mention my following of various activities over there since their inception. I MUST preface this with the fact that these are my opinions only and do not represent those of the SEO community at large. If they did, there would be much more activity with this. As it stands now, it appears this one is going to take the same route as previous discussions, nothing ever happened. Before that happens, I'm going to have my say.

Shells and Shills

TOPSEOs appears to be a shell for a large outsourcing operation. I've found at least 5 shill companies in the ranked results and a host of other questionable companies that may also qualify as shills.

A shill is person who is paid to help another person or organization to sell goods or services.

The number one ranked company has paid in advance for their rankings. You won't see any others filling that position at the moment, history also shows the same routine. The number one ranked company is a shill. There appear to be 3 salespeople who handle incoming leads and then send them to the offshore companies that are part of the network.

I believe one member who is paying over there opened an office in a particular country because of the lead generation program. Remember, these are just my opinions based on 100+ hours of research and putting pieces of the puzzle together.

TOPSEOs claims to have rigorously evaluated 4,000+ firms. That is a lie and I have proof to back that statement up, it is not an opinion. If 100 of those firms have been rigorously evaluated, I'd be surprised, I really would.

I believe the quote you see from SmartMoney was never made by them. It came from a Press Release that was submitted by TOPSEOs which contained the "rigorous evaluation process" quote. After that Press Release ran it's time, the quote was then used as you see it today, as being from SmartMoney.

The above are just a few of the things I'll be publishing in an upcoming summary of findings. Since everyone is going to let this blow over, I'm going to load the 15.0 guns and fire away one last time.



Avatar Moderator
from Jill 1702 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Did @AlanBleiweiss give up on this too?

P1R, do you have any suggestions on what any of us can do if we don't want to let it blow over?



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from pageoneresults 1701 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Did @AlanBleiweiss give up on this too?

I think the wind blew out of his sails after the telephone conversation with Jeev.

P1R, do you have any suggestions on what any of us can do if we don't want to let it blow over?

You know I do! Contact the organizers of these conferences and ask them not to provide the venue for TOPSEOs and Visibility Magazine. By the way, VM is TOPSEOs answer to an SEO Buyers Guide with over 4,000 firms rigorously evaluated.

Which conferences are providing the venue you ask? Are you ready?

adtech, Click 4.0, DMA, Pacific Conferences, PPC Summit, PubCon, Search Engine Strategies, SMX, Web 2.0 Expo

Yes, the very same company that supports this platform also supports TOPSEOs and Visibility Magazine. This is a prime example of the industry turning its back on what it knows just isn't right. It's all about the money.



Avatar Moderator
from Jill 1701 Days ago #
Votes: 3

I doubt the conferences will turn away a paying sponsor unfortunately. Would be pretty awesome if Danny and the gang took the lead tho and did.


Danny? Are you reading this? Any thoughts on TOPSEOs? (Eek, now I'm calling him out like P1R does. I will drop him an email as well!)



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from Jill 1701 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@pageoneresults, where do you see SMX as having TOPSEOs as a sponsor? I couldn't find it anywhere.



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from pageoneresults 1701 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Am I confusing Partners and Exhibitors with Sponsors? On the TOPSEOs home page at the bottom left is an area where the Partners are shown.

http://www.SEOConsultants.com/TOPSEOs/Media#Conference-Presence

And there was a Press Release that hit Twitter this morning...

http://www.OnlinePRNews.com/news/32088-1271865718-topseos-is-exhibiting-at-smx-sydney-in-australia-april-2223.html




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from evision 1700 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Well I’m not happy about this.  George from eVision.  We’re number 22 on the TOPSeos list of PPC Management Companies. We’ve been on it for well over a year, never paid for anything.

 

I always see people clicking through from the TOPseo’s listing to our site in Analytics, but shame on me, I’ve never tested the “contact eVision” link. After seeing some of the comments I decided it was probably a good time to test it out.

 

So Monday am I submitted an inquiry using a personal email and asked Jill who submitted one from up her way.

 

Four days now and I’ve not received any notice of the inquiries from TopSeos.

 

I see in the “TOPSEO's - An Independent Authority?” post linked to here that this has been happening to many on the TopSeo lists, i.e. “...need to be part of the led program in order to get the leads….they get a message that someone is interested in contacting them”

 

We received nothing now 4 days later (checked spam folders too). I’ve never received a message about a lead

 

Have you heard from TopSeos yet? I’d like to hear what they say about all this.

 

 

For those of you haven’t see my original comment on the SEOConsultants posting, here it is,

http://www.seoconsultants.com/topseos/#comment-45378315

 



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from NickWilsdon 1700 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@evision

Yep unfortunately this seems part of the TopSEOs "lead generation strategy". If you don't pay, those contact forms for your company reportedly feed through to TopSEOs customers. They appear to be using the reputation of other companies both in the listings and the articles section. Very questionable behaviour.


I'm guessing TopSEOs have seen a few removal requests in the last month.



Avatar Moderator
from Jill 1700 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Ah yes, Edward, you are correct, I see them now as an exhibitor on the SMX Sydney exhibitor/sponsor page.


Also, for what it's worth, Danny told me that he's in charge of editorial not ads/sponsorships. He did mention that if any sponsor or partner was proven to be doing somehing illegal, then of course he would not want Third Door Media to continue working with them.



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from pageoneresults 1700 Days ago #
Votes: 2

eVision Ranked One of The Best Integrated Search Firms for SEO & PPC by TopSEOs

George, are you aware you have one of those big honkin Best in Search Badges on your home page? Not only that, but it links through to a full page promoting your TOPSEOs ranking. I'm a little confused?

Jill, let's not forget there are two companies being discussed here; TOPSEOs and Visibility Magazine. VM is the shell to promote an SEO Buyers Guide which of course contains the 4,000 rigorously evaluated companies from TOPSEOs. Both companies are now appearing as Sponsors, Partners, whatever.

He did mention that if any sponsor or partner was proven to be doing somehing illegal, then of course he would not want Third Door Media to continue working with them.

I wouldn't expect anything less. Thing is, they've become part of the old boys club and it would pretty much take a devine act for anything to happen at this stage. Like I said before, it will be forgotten before month's end and TOPSEOs will continue to deceive and the members they are promoting will continue to rip people off. Ya, I said it, they have members ripping people off. Quite a few of them too. Members who pay for their rankings.

It's really a shame that this industry lacks a backbone. :(



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from evision 1699 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Yes, all this nonsense has just come to light to us the past week or so with these postings. We are in the process of laying out a new home page that will remove the TopSeo’s badge. However, I have been waiting to see the outcome of all this before deciding what to do with TopSeos altogether. You are learning that some, perhaps many of the companies on their lists have not paid to be there, so there may be legitimacy as to why many of us are there (remember they have definitely contacted some of our clients we’ve submitted and there are others on that same list who we know do a great job so perhaps they are their for legitimate reasons too). I’d like to hear if they will change the way they handle the issue with the “Contact this Company” links and how they address some of the other issues and accusations brought up



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from pageoneresults 1699 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Remember they have definitely contacted some of our clients we’ve submitted and there are others on that same list who we know do a great job so perhaps they are their for legitimate reasons too.

If you take a very close look at what makes up the membership over there, you'll have a better idea of why there are quality firms and consultants in the mix. Remember, this is an SEO FFA Directory, there is no rigorous evaluation process as stated in their marketing materials, I've proven this more than 10+ times already. If need be, I'll be happy to spend the rest of the year reviewing each and every ranked member over there.

I've already found a host of questionable business practices both by TOPSEOs and their ranked membership. There are a plethora of online complaints filed against many of the companies that make up the TOPSEOs top ranked firms. What type of message does that send? What more does this industry need to see what is going on? Maybe I'm seeing something completely different? I am, because I've done the extensive research to back up everything that is being reported on.

It's okay, this particular challenge has proven to me what the majority of this industry is made of.



Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 1699 Days ago #
Votes: 2

I don't think you can make judgments about the entire industry over this. I don't think anyone even knows what the entire industry is all about.

To be honest, Edward, it's been really hard to follow your complaints. I'm not doubting there's a lot that feels iffy with the "rankings." But this:

http://www.seoconsultants.com/topseos/

was really hard to digest. You've got all these badges from them, various quotes from people, questions you raise but no answers, no clear rundown of how companies are added, vetted or not or so on.

The Sphinn discussion about the topic was more interesting:

http://sphinn.com/story/146009

Especially good was where Mark Jackson talked about how apparently there is no real confirmation of how people end up getting ranked. And Mark's own post from earlier this year was much clearer to read and digest:

http://www.vizioninteractive.com/top-seos-my-rant-continues/

That's the heart of the matter. If this company is putting out a Top 50 list that supposedly has real evaluations:

http://www.topseos.com/rankings/search-engine-marketing-agencies/evaluation-criteria/search-engine-optimization

then those evaluations really damn well should be followed. Of course, even if they are, pulling in from client results is easily skewed if you hand pick the clients - along with other things that could be done.

And if they're not. Well, that's the bigger issue. This annoys you in part because you're so close to it, I'd say -- you run your own listings service. So you see someone like this, and it's a huge issue to you.

But, I think it's far to say, the vast majority of people who are finding and selecting SEO firms are not using this service nor being influenced by it. Most of them probably have no idea it exists.

That doesn't make it less sucky if it really is a buy-your-way in type of thing. But that also doesn't make it the worst of the worst things in the world to worry about in the SEM Industry.

Me, I get far more annoyed by emails from some company telling me they have a Google AdWords certification as if that somehow qualifies them for squat, especially for SEO. Or when I get someone who tells me they have a SEMPO certification -- something that doesn't exist, but they try to use their SEMPO membership (which anyone can buy, in an organization far more visible than TopSEOs), as proof they're competant to do anything.

I wish there was a really solid, great guide to the various SEM firms out there. From what I've seen of the industry, those who have tried to compile these often get stuck in the debate on whether firms are following the "rules" or not. Then other issues flow in to prevent such a listing. It's a brave soul who wants to wade into that mess.

It's not hard for anyone to get a ranking from something -- that's why rankings can often be meaningless. Want to help consumers? You get the message out that they ask for references, lots of them, before going with some particular firm.

Anyway, I do appreciate you putting in the good fight, as it were, against things that aren't as they should be. I wouldn't get disheartened. People do notice; good information does flow out.

To the point Jill raised about ads/exhibiting, as I said, I stay out of that. You can imagine the mess. Do we not accept SEMPO advertising, because someone finds them misleading? Google's got a conviction in Italy -- do we wipe them out.

If Google's even advertising, at the moment -- I don't keep track. It's not my job. And it's a good system, because I do my thing however I want on the editorial side and don't have to worry about these things.

Having said this, no, I'm not pleased about the "contact" forms that seem to pretend to contact a company without really reaching out to them. I'm extremely displeased over the idea that they may be scraping and reprinting content without permission. For a writer, that's about the worse of the worse things that can happen. It's something I may look into more -- and yes, it's something that might make me push that these are ads that we can do without.



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from choosyal 1699 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Hi Danny, I appreciate what you are saying. I don't know if it is the same for all the 'number 1' companies, but the one I trusted was/is shouting about how they were votes the best, no.1, top, etc. SEO company. Although this may only take a small amount of customers away from authentic companies, it does certainly pull in some very 'unfortunates'. Knowing what I know now about TopSEOs, I would not have trusted them AT ALL.I did my 'homework' on the SEO company, but did not do my homework on the people I did my homework with!Still, 1 court case later, and it is all done. It's just the next guy, and the next.



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from pageoneresults 1698 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I don't think you can make judgments about the entire industry over this.

I think I can safely say that when it comes to TOPSEOs and the SEO Industry, there are enough people involved, associated, etc. to be able to make some basic judgments about the industry. With over 4,000 firms listed, I'd say that was a respectable chunk of the industry, they've made sure of that.

I don't think anyone even knows what the entire industry is all about.

If you would have said that 10 years ago, I would have agreed. These days, I think many more people are aware of our industry.

To be honest, Edward, it's been really hard to follow your complaints. I'm not doubting there's a lot that feels iffy with the "rankings."

I'd expect more than a few to have difficulties following along. Particularly anyone who has not read ALL of the documents associated.

Was really hard to digest. You've got all these badges from them, various quotes from people, questions you raise but no answers, no clear rundown of how companies are added, vetted or not or so on.

I'll agree, that first document you reference is a little choppy. It was the starting ground for the other 9 documents that followed. The other 9 explain most of this in detail, complete with screenshots too.

And Mark's own post from earlier this year was much clearer to read and digest: http://www.vizioninteractive.com/top-seos-my-rant-continues/

Danny, I don't see that any of the previous discussions prior to this went anywhere. In fact, they died right in their tracks, there was no real discussion. If those previous articles are much clearer to read and digest, then why didn't people speak up then? Why didn't you add to the conversation and get involved like you are now?

And if they're not. Well, that's the bigger issue. This annoys you in part because you're so close to it, I'd say -- you run your own listings service. So you see someone like this, and it's a huge issue to you.

Here we go, the competitor bit. If there is one thing we are not to TOPSEOs, that is a competitor. Not even close. What do I have to gain out of approaching this from a competitor standpoint? More members? Pffft, we're happy adding a member or two here and there as time goes by. We're not looking to become a global SEO FFA like TOPSEOs. No, the competitor angle won't work. ;)

But, I think it's far to say, the vast majority of people who are finding and selecting SEO firms are not using this service nor being influenced by it. Most of them probably have no idea it exists.

You surely could have fooled me. With folks paying $12,000, $30,000 and $42,000 per year to sport a badge and be ranked, there's a bit of business going through that platform, MUCH MORE than meets the eye. Heck, I think there's even one company that opened another office in a particular country because of all the business coming in.

That doesn't make it less sucky if it really is a buy-your-way in type of thing. But that also doesn't make it the worst of the worst things in the world to worry about in the SEM Industry.

Statements like that are what causes these topics to blow over and everyone to move on with their business. It is absolutely one of the worst things that could happen to this industry.

Or when I get someone who tells me they have a SEMPO certification -- something that doesn't exist, but they try to use their SEMPO membership (which anyone can buy, in an organization far more visible than TopSEOs), as proof they're competant to do anything.

You've just described the TOPSEOs process. Danny, I've got 10 documents, ooops, 9 documents that you may find of interest that provide complete details for the above. You're welcome to peruse them in detail to get the BIGGER picture.

Want to help consumers? You get the message out that they ask for references, lots of them, before going with some particular firm.

Yes, I want to help consumers. One of the best ways to do this is to address the source of the issue. In this case, we have 4,000 plus firms being toted around in an FFA directory that is gaining quite a bit of exposure in the industry. That is the root of the problem to begin with. And now they have Visibility Magazine (owned by TOPSEOs) pimping an SEO Buyers Guide with over 4,000 firms rigorously evaluated which we ALL know is an outright lie.

Anyway, I do appreciate you putting in the good fight, as it were, against things that aren't as they should be. I wouldn't get disheartened. People do notice; good information does flow out.

I really hope so. Unfortunately, based on your comments above, I don't have good information, it may not be flowing out. But, all of those topics that have spawned may have some better information, there are quite a few of them. This time I don't think it will be forgotten like all the other times in the past. You know, the times where some really good information was put out there and no one reacted?

Having said this, no, I'm not pleased about the "contact" forms that seem to pretend to contact a company without really reaching out to them. I'm extremely displeased over the idea that they may be scraping and reprinting content without permission.

I'm glad to see that there is SOMETHING over there that displeases you, I was beginning to worry. You say "may" and we say "are". We've already proven the above without a reasonable doubt.

For a writer, that's about the worse of the worse things that can happen. It's something I may look into more -- and yes, it's something that might make me push that these are ads that we can do without.

I'm happy I read everything! I was really starting to get worried as I read through your responses. There are quite a few things I'd like to expand on but those will have to wait. I'm retaining specific information for the last document I publish. Maybe now that you've responded, some of the folks who have contacted me will reach out and talk with you too. You'll receive a plethora of emails with all sorts of damaging information. I've got a good portion of it posted here http://www.SEOConsultants.com/TOPSEOs/Complaints < that document is updated regularly as new information is researched and confirmed.



Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 1698 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Again, in terms of what you're seeing representing the entire SEM industry, are all 4,000 of those firms listed actually paying for it, or are many of those listings auto-generated?

I also had a typo. What I meant to say wasn't that no one knows what the entire SEM industry is about but rather no one knows exactly how big the industry is, the number of companies in it, etc.

I mean, quick, what's the largest SEM agency? It's hard to get good stats on that people will agree on, much less then have a list of all the companies that are out there.

As for why things didn't go anywhere with previous articles, I don't know. Sometimes things don't change the way you expect. Hey, I and others have done big huge articles on things like Mahalo -- still runs, still ranks just fine in Google. Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets fixed; sometimes it doesn't.

One the competitor stuff, you run a service that lists SEM firms. You're a competitor. I'm NOT saying that this means what you're reporting is wrong or motivated from a competitive standpoint, however. The point I was making is that you see what's happening at other services far more keenly than others do -- and feel the wrongs you see far more sharply. Someone else not in the space, looking over all the things that are issues in the SEM space, might see other issues as being bigger -- in particular, issues of things happening with Google.

As for the badges, people paying so much and these supposedly being so important, well, maybe. Or maybe people buy the badges not because they send traffic directly but because it's worth having something that makes them see better on their own sites, or to show clients. But then again, you can do the same thing with SEMPO. You're not vetted or reviewed or checked to join the group. Just pay your cash, and there you go. And I have gotten far more emails over time from company that cold-email me about their services that try to leverage a SEMPO membership or being a Google AdWords certified company than TOPseos badges.

As for "Why didn't you add to the conversation and get involved like you are now?"

Because I have a lot of things I do, Edward. I have a variety of stories I'm already in the midst of writing based on things that are already flowing to me, that I think are priorities -- plus I do more than write, I'm also in the middle of organizing our next show. I've also had a pretty busy travel schedule this past month including actually taking a vacation in the middle of it. That leaves a lot of catching up to do.

I saw the initial post, read it with interest, pretty sure I sphunn it. I think I tweeted it out, as well. It might have been the one about the visible SEO people or whatever, though -- or maybe both. You had two different things that you attacked at the same time within days, so it's easy to get them confused.

Suffice to say, I'm better aware of the concerns with them, and I may follow up with an actual article to review the general situation of rankings and directories, which would include TOPseos, as well as other services people might look at, if they're trying to find a company. I've done that type of thing in the past, as you're probably aware. But it takes time, especially if you're dealing with accusations against a company.

That's one of the reasons we started Sphinn -- so that stories can spread out if we haven't yet covered them on Search Engine Land or if we're working different stories at a particular moment.






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from pageoneresults 1697 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Again, in terms of what you're seeing representing the entire SEM industry, are all 4,000 of those firms listed actually paying for it, or are many of those listings auto-generated?

Danny, I've only reviewed the SEO Category for the five countries represented up to this point. There are 20+ Categories. Out of the 170 SEOs listed in the SEO Category, 22 of them are paying for their rankings.

TOPSEOs Paid Membership Statistics

What I meant to say wasn't that no one knows what the entire SEM industry is about but rather no one knows exactly how big the industry is, the number of companies in it, etc.

Thanks for clearing that up. It raises an interesting question, just how many SEOs are there worldwide? I did some very rough calculations and I put the number in the 150/200k range. I could be way off, just guessing.

As for why things didn't go anywhere with previous articles, I don't know. Sometimes things don't change the way you expect. Hey, I and others have done big huge articles on things like Mahalo -- still runs, still ranks just fine in Google. Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets fixed; sometimes it doesn't.

Mahalo isn't claiming to be an Independent Authority for a particular industry either. "Sometimes it doesn't?" History has sure proven that statement to be correct eh?

The point I was making is that you see what's happening at other services far more keenly than others do -- and feel the wrongs you see far more sharply. Someone else not in the space, looking over all the things that are issues in the SEM space, might see other issues as being bigger -- in particular, issues of things happening with Google.

Danny, what I'm seeing is way beyond what you may be describing above. The problem is, the amount of information required to expose this operation is something that most people are not going to read. I'm fortunate in that there is a very large group of folks following along this time. I have to wonder why previous attempts at exposing this were qwelled?

As for the badges, people paying so much and these supposedly being so important, well, maybe.

Danny? Those badges are what much of this revolves around. Those badges are the fuel for the TOPSEOs spam that is sent out each and every day. I'm guessing there are upwards of 100-200 Tweets per day promoting badges in addition to multiple Press Releases via PRWeb and OnlinePRNews.

Because I have a lot of things I do, Edward. I have a variety of stories I'm already in the midst of writing based on things that are already flowing to me, that I think are priorities -- plus I do more than write, I'm also in the middle of organizing our next show. I've also had a pretty busy travel schedule this past month including actually taking a vacation in the middle of it. That leaves a lot of catching up to do.

Danny, this has been ongoing now for at least 3 years. Hopefully at some point, you'll put a few hours of your valuable time aside and address something that is becoming a concern for many in the industry, not just me!

I saw the initial post, read it with interest, pretty sure I sphunn it. I think I tweeted it out, as well. It might have been the one about the visible SEO people or whatever, though -- or maybe both. You had two different things that you attacked at the same time within days, so it's easy to get them confused.

That I attacked? Oh come on, all I did was started a Sphinn discussion and the SEO Industry took off with it. I didn't even write an article on the Verified SEO thingy. Now, TOPSEOs? That's an entirely different story. One that will be expanding as we continue into 2010 May and possibly beyond that. I'm not letting this one go.

Suffice to say, I'm better aware of the concerns with them, and I may follow up with an actual article to review the general situation of rankings and directories, which would include TOPseos, as well as other services people might look at, if they're trying to find a company. I've done that type of thing in the past, as you're probably aware. But it takes time, especially if you're dealing with accusations against a company.

I'd be more than happy to provide you with ALL the information you may require. Hopefully you can find something that is a little more palatable and digestible here...

TOPSEOs - Table of Contents

If you'd like, I'd even be willing to list them ALL out here so that everyone can follow along. There's still a bit of information to be published and I can always publish first here and then add to my collection.

Either way, I've had various individuals contact me via email and telephone to discuss these challenges. I have calls scheduled next week to verify information that has been submitted to me through various channels.

Oh and Danny, I have things to do too. But, I realized that this particular challenge with TOPSEOs is worth me investing whatever available time I have to expose the operation. And, I've allocated another 40 hours for the month of May 2010. There's just too much information yet to be published and I want to make sure the industry knows exactly what is going on with the TOPSEOs FFA Directory.

Thank you sir for taking the time to respond! :)

Note: If you'd like, you can list out whatever questions you have here and I'll do my best to provide answers based on the information I have available to me. Much of it has been published to date but there is still some very important information that I need to verify 100% before posting.

Danny, you should know, e-ventures LLC has at least 4 other websites like this. They've done this same thing for Law Firms/Attorneys (launched 2010 March), Web Design Agencies and Retirement Communities. There are a few lawyers who are now speaking up about the Law Firms/Attorneys rankings. In fact, they see the same exact thing we are seeing for the SEO Industry, lies and deception.



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from pageoneresults 1697 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Having said this, no, I'm not pleased about the "contact" forms that seem to pretend to contact a company without really reaching out to them. I'm extremely displeased over the idea that they may be scraping and reprinting content without permission. For a writer, that's about the worse of the worse things that can happen. It's something I may look into more -- and yes, it's something that might make me push that these are ads that we can do without.

Since this is one area that you are extremely displeased with, let me share with you our findings regarding the contact forms.

TOPSEOs - Is Matt Cutts Moonlighting at the Knowledge Zone?

I'm sure you're aware of the TOPSEOs Leads Program? If not, read the information they have posted publicly and within the 2010 Media Kit. Leads are probably one of the areas where things are the least transparent at this point. Based on my research, that has been confirmed by more than a few, the Basic Membership listings and the Articles are the two primary sources for the Leads Program. If a Basic Member (not paid) does not respond to a Lead Request, it goes to someone who is paying for leads. I'm going to guess out of the 4,000 firms listed, a majority of them are not responding to lead requests.

They're scraping articles from EzineArticles and then stripping all links which is against the EzineArticles TOS for article usage. Not only that, they've got that Contact [Author] link at the top of every scraped article. I've alerted EzineArticles to this and so have others in the past, nothing has been done. It makes me wonder if EzineArticles is involved with this. That's just my opinion.

Thinking Out Loud: Do you really think that those 4,000 firms have been rigorously evaluated and that there is a valid email address sitting behind each and every one of those Contact Us links? I don't. They end up in the Leads Queue and are dispersed to those who pay for them. Nasty practice!



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from Ezer 1697 Days ago #
Votes: 1

For those of you who don't know me, I'm Danny's partner in Third Door Media responsible for the business. I hope that provides some context for my comments.

TopSEOs is an exhibitor at SMX conferences domestically and internationally, and a Search Engine Land advertiser.

Lets see if there are a couple things we can agree on:

  • Stealing intellectual property is despicable. If TopSEOs is doing it, they should stop. 
  • Protecting intellectual property is the property owner's responsibility. We find instances of people who've posted our content without permission every day. I'd like to have $1 for every e-mail I've written to a site owner who's illegally posted our content. Defending our copyrights is my responsibility. It is yours if you produce content. 
  • Companies wouldn't be paying "$12,000, $30,000 and $42,000 per year" (as @pageoneresults claims above) if they weren't getting value from TopSEOs. Some of those companies listed on TopSEO's home page are pretty well known in the industry. They are our clients and prospects too. I can assure you they are not reckless spenders.
  • Judging the claim that TopSEOs "rigorously evaluates" the companies listed in its directory is the responsibility of site users.
  • We (Third Door Media) have responsibilities too. So I'm posting this here and sending to the management at TopSEOs:

    • If you are posting others' intellectual property without permission: stop it, take it down, apologize, and don't do it again.
    • Take our SMX logo off your site. We haven't given permission for that. 
    • If you don't address the first two of these points, we will be forced to terminate our relationship. 
    • We will continue to allow the community to post its complaints about your methods to our sites. You should address them and put these issues behind you.

    Advertisers all say their products and services provide benefits to their customers. Media companies -- including ours -- generally don't pass judgement on those claims. Finally, you've asked us to fire TopSEOs as a client. TopSEOs explained what happened in TKG's case. I have no reason to doubt that explanation. We have no reason (other than the scraping, if they are) that would warrant us firing them. Of course, we will revisit our decision if information is uncovered that warrants it.



    Avatar
    from evision 1697 Days ago #
    Votes: -1

    I’m glad that these concerns about TOPseos have been brought up. It turns out that some of the accusations may not be as egregious as first reported, but more importantly many issues that TopSeos needs to address where bought to light and one very important issue that the SEM consumer market (and consumers in most markets) need to be aware of about these “Top, Best of, Evaluated” and even Association Member listings.

     

    First some accusations where made, such as “list of shills”, “all paid for” etc. You’ve heard from some on the list, including eVision, that there are legitimate, high quality SEM firms on that list who never paid to be there and do not advertise on the site.

     

    It was first reported that the “Click to Contact this firm” feature was really there to get leads for TopSEO’s shills. However this was explained as a paid lead generation service that some firms on the list choose not to pay for.

     

    You’ve pointed out that TOPSeos offers SEM firms to pay to be “ranked” and possibly included on this list. This practice unfortunately is not unusual. I’ve gotten over the initial shock years ago when I learned that many of these “Top, Best of, Evaluated” listing sites charge companies to be evaluated and placed on their list. We were contacted by a few firms in our early years that charge companies to be “evaluated” for placement on lists of “Best Web Designers in XX/territory” for example, that appeared in newspapers looking like and editorial piece except for the small “advertisement” at the top of the page. I remember asking the first one “You mean the companies on your list paid for you to evaluate them?”

     

    I’ll bet if you check into it you’ll find that more than half of the lists many consumers are familiar with charged those on the list to be evaluated, including sites such as the “find a dentist” sites, “Top Doctor” sites, lists such as “Best Steak Houses in the US” etc.  This practice is not uncommon and apparently it’s not illegal. It just smells really bad!

     

    The important point is that any companies relying on these lists that convey that they evaluated their members, whether it be the “best of” type of listings, or those that charge firms to be evaluated before being included on their lists like SEOConsultants.com, or even association member lists that give the impression of credibility because they’re a well known national association like SEMPO, need to take these listings with “A grain of salt”  and use these lists only to find candidates who offer services and then perform the necessary “due diligence” to evaluate those candidates.

     

    However a lot has been pointed out that TopSEOs needs, and I hope will, address such as –

     

    Better transparency of the the evalution criteria used to rank the firms on its lists.

     

    Rethink the way the “Click to Contact this firm” feature is handled. It’s entirely possible that we were contacted early on, the first time someone used the “Click to Contact link” to contact us and I decided it was too expensive and never answered. But I hope they will now consider changing the way this works.

     

    Make it very clear who is an advertiser on the site and try to ensure visitors that those who advertise are not getting ranked better (not easy to do, e.g. Google Adwords advertisers getting preference in organic rankings).

     

    And finally, if TopSeos has seeded the list with Shills, they should be on notice that they are being watched, especially by the firms who pay to be ranked or pay for advertising on their site. In other words fly straight of you’ll be losing advertisers.



    Avatar Moderator
    from Jill 1697 Days ago #
    Votes: 3

    It was first reported that the “Click to Contact this firm” feature was really there to get leads for TopSEO’s shills. However this was explained as a paid lead generation service that some firms on the list choose not to pay for.


    Where was this explained? I missed that piece of the saga.



    Avatar
    from pageoneresults 1697 Days ago #
    Votes: 1

    Chris, I'd like to thank you and Danny for joining us in this discussion and contacting TOPSEOs on behalf of what I think are a respectable portion of the SEO Community at large.

    I want to expand on the TOPSEOs Leads Program so everyone knows how it works. There is transparency here but only at the point where you are given a TOPSEOs Media Kit for 2010.

    I've extracted the information regarding leads and here is what TOPSEOs have to say about how leads are handled...

    This first piece is the lead in to the Leads Program...

    If you are looking to increase your revenues then we have the perfect solution for you. topseos leads program gives you access to an array of quality clients who are eager to associate with reputed search engine optimization, pay per click management, and other internet marketing firms. The plan not only connects you with quality clients but also gives you flexibility to choose the a 3, 6, or 12 month option. The advantage of signing up for the leads program with topseos. com is that you align your company with an independent authority on search vendors. topseos.com site visitors are not just looking for another internet marketing firm, they are seeking the best in the industry.

    This second section are the TOPSEOs Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Leads Program...

    Why should I join the leads program?

    With 1-3 leads on a daily basis from quality clients, the topseos leads program is ideal for anyone who is looking to boost their sales revenue. We also offer leads instantaneously.

    How does the leads program work?

    After we receive a client’s profile, we verify and authenticate the firm. Once the client is verified, you will be notified of the new lead via email. You can then access these leads through your personal account which can be viewed and managed at any time that you wish.

    How many other agencies will receive my lead?

    Leads are only dispersed to agencies who subscribe to our lead distribution service. We restrict the number of vendors who get a lead to 5-7 agencies, eliminating the competition from hundreds of agencies that you would otherwise face if your agency could be found only on a search engine.

    How do I join the leads program?

    You can begin purchasing leads by choosing the duration for which you want to join the program and then clicking on check out.

    What is the average budget for a lead?

    The budget of a potential client ranges from 500 to 8000 dollars a month for clients seeking organic optimization services and anywhere from 500 to 50,000 dollars a month for clients seeking assistance on their PPC campaigns.

    How quickly will I get the leads?

    The process of verifying clients and forwarding them to you is usually done within 4 hours.

    What is the profile of a lead?

    topseos gets requests from small and midsized businesses and on occasion enterprises.

    I think it is important that we all understand how the Leads Program works and where those leads may be coming from. I think we can logically deduce that the Basic Memberships who have opted out of the Leads Program are one source and then of course the scraped articles with the Contact Author links.

    Based on the 4 hour turn around time for lead response, I'm going to guess that many of our tests were visible and those were just ignored. But, I'm almost certain there were some other tests that were not as visible. Those were not ignored.



    Avatar
    from DavidBlizzard 1697 Days ago #
    Votes: 3

    Jill, thanks for asking that question because evision has me confused too. How is this action anything but a scam? There is no explanation for listing contact information for companies that never asked to be represented by TopSEOs. To make matters worse it appears they accept messages for people they are not authorized to represent. Then they forward those messages to OTHER companies. I don't care if they CLAIM they tried to contact the original party or not, isn't it still a scam? Where is the information that will change my opinion about this?

    RE: Knowledge Zone at TopSEOs

  • Does TopSEOs accept inquiries for companies they are not authorized to represent?
  • If target company refuses to pay for their messages are they sent to a paying account?
  • Has it been proven that companies are not always given the chance to claim (Pay) for their messages?
  • Is it illegal to state that I accept messages for Buy.com on my website?
  • Would it be illegal to then send the messages and contact info to Amazon.com?
  • Does TopSEOs accept messages for Matt Cutts?
  • Does TopSEOs accept messages for Jill Whalen?
  • Does TopSEOs accept messages for Eric Enge?


  • Avatar
    from NickWilsdon 1697 Days ago #
    Votes: 2

    I'd agree with David. This process, even explained - seems very wrong. One other question I'd add -

    When a client is trying to contact agency X, but agency X is not paying for leads and therefore never receives this contact - is the client informed of this or just left thinking agency X couldn't be bothered to respond to their request? (and turns to one of the 'lead-payers' who have emailed them instead).

    If so, you have a situation where agencies are generating bad-reputation with potential clients because they fail to reply and act professionally.

    This also seems quite a good way of trading off the reputation of the larger agencies involved. At the lower/mid end of their budget scale, these site owners want to get well-known companies but end up with no response and other (paying) companies emailing them. They would assume their project was of no interest to the agency they wanted to contact.

    If the lead-payer following up on the client words their email carefully, it might even be taken as a referral?



    Avatar
    from losangelesinternetmarketing 1697 Days ago #
    Votes: 3

    Any SEO company who is losing leads to competitors because of it definitely has a lawsuit on their hands.

    It is a shame that we've let our industry get run over by a company with these types of practices. IMO, they should change their model to something more legitimate (how hard is it anyways?), and we can just scratch it off and move on.



    Avatar
    from trainsem 1697 Days ago #
    Votes: 3

    David and Nick have raised a new and very valid point about a third party purporting to take a message on behalf of a company without disclosing that the lead might end up with some other company if the intended recipient hasn't paid for the privilege.



    Avatar
    from evision 1696 Days ago #
    Votes: 0

    Sorry for the confusion about the “Click to Contact this firm” feature. Somebody brought this issue to light and while I was testing it out on our listing the original issue was developing more, on another thread I guess, that another firm was asked to follow-up on the lead because the company in the listing had turned down the Lead program.

     

    But in any case we are all saying the way this leads program is being handled is wrong and must change.



    Avatar
    from evision 1696 Days ago #
    Votes: -1

    Edward, would you exlpain why eVision has been removed from the seoconsutlants directory listing and our login has been disabled?



    Avatar
    from pageoneresults 1696 Days ago #
    Votes: 2

    Alan Bleiweiss has posted his interview with Jeev Trika from TOPSEOs. I've got to seriously digest this one as I'm sure most others will too. Alan confirms most of what we've been discussing over the past month in reference to this organization and their business practices. Get this, Jeev confirms those practices too. o_O

    TOPSEOs Deceptive Practices – An Interview with Jeev Trika

    Jeev was quite clear with me in stating that they make it perfectly clear that TOPSEOs is a lead generating company, and that if you want to get those, you have to pay. He also confirmed that their rating system and their SEO / PPC Competition are two distinctly separate services. But he also confirmed to me that he thinks it’s quite reasonable to give only companies that pay a fee consistently high rankings in the general rankings system. Jeev’s stance, as far as what he communicated during our phone call, is that they run a legitimate business offering legitimate and perfectly reasonable services.

    New Sphinn Story: http://Sphinn.com/story/148294 posted by Alysson



    Avatar
    from pageoneresults 1695 Days ago #
    Votes: 0

    Take our SMX logo off your site. We haven't given permission for that.

    I wanted to document the process of this and have set up a Partners Infographic which is as of Apr 27, 2010. While the SMX Logos disappeared off the US website, they still appear throughout on the other websites. Not to mention SMX is mixed in with providers and have what appears to be small and medium size ads running on the site. This picture shows what look like "Partners" that support the TOPSEOs services.

    TOPSEOs Partners Infographic



    Avatar
    from NickWilsdon 1695 Days ago #
    Votes: 1

    @pageoneresults

    "Partners with" is an awesome phrase for "I've bought a stand at" isn't it.






    Avatar
    from Alysson 1695 Days ago #
    Votes: 1

    Just a little update on the whole "Contact" link that appears atop their basic (read: "unauthorized") profiles, as well as in atop their blatantly stolen content saga...

    I submitted a form via one of Kim's scraped articles in the "Knowledge Zone".  I have not been contacted.  Kim has not been contacted (at least not last we spoke).  If I'm "Joe Business Owner" looking for help, TOPSEOs has succeeded in making Kim look like an ass for completely ignoring my request and burned a bridge that could have led to a great business relationship for her.

    Isn't it against the law to impersonate a brand, feign affiliation with a brand or serve as an apparent go-between without a specific agreement between yourself & the vendor?  It seems the more the curtain is pulled back on the TOPSEOs business model, the more nonsense we uncover and the more based in fraud their core business model & SOP becomes...



    Avatar
    from AlanBleiweiss 1695 Days ago #
    Votes: 1

    Alysson -  I really believe TOPSEOs is ripe for a class action lawsuit- shared among all of their web properties.



    Avatar Moderator
    from Jill 1695 Days ago #
    Votes: 1

    Class action suits seem to help nobody but the lawyers tho. Although I suppose they can bring about change.



    Avatar
    from AlanBleiweiss 1695 Days ago #
    Votes: 1

    Jill,

    Class action suits can typically be a very effective means of shutting a company down.  I'd be happy to see that in this case.



    Avatar
    from pageoneresults 1694 Days ago #
    Votes: 0

    TOPSEOs apologizes to the SEO Community and vows to make changes.

    Further, the individual responsible for its unauthorized placement Ajeet Kumar has been terminated. topseos.com will also be changing its policy for SEO vendors who have not responded to requests for participation on topseos.com's either as a sponsor or non-sponsor. topseos.com will be removing their content, and writing a brief synopsis about each company consistent with safe harbor practices used on leading review sites in all industries.

    Personally I think it is way too late for these actions. These folks have already used our industry to build their platforms and now they want to change them so they work for us?

    I'd like to see those TOPSEOs sites shut down never to return again. The name in itself is deceiving.

    http://www.PRWeb.com/releases/2010/04/prweb3934014.htm



    Avatar Moderator
    from Jill 1694 Days ago #
    Votes: 2

    Welp, I guess that puts an end to that. Now they will go on operating as a pay to rank directory and shitty SEO companies everywhere will fool unsuspecting customers.


    Oh well.



    Avatar
    from pageoneresults 1694 Days ago #
    Votes: 0

    topseos.com Apologizes to the Community for Confusion, Vows Changes to Site

    Sorry Jeev, but it is just a bit too late for that. While others may be a little more forgiving in this instance, you seem to forget that many of us are quite aware of the activities taking place over there. No matter what you change on the surface, you built your business USING and ABUSING the SEO industry while DECEIVING your site visitors along the way. You can't just apologize for this and expect the community to now accept and support your paid rankings model and ongoing deceptive business practices. No, it won't be that easy.

    topseos.com apologizes to the community for problems with its onsite content, its leads program and vows immediate changes, and other site improvements. topseos.com also further clarifies its advertiser programs to the community, and will provide a venue for complaints and changes.

    Those are just some of the challenges. If you wish to continue down this path, I shall produce more documents exposing the offshoring operations further. You've lied to this community and have just admitted to your bad business practices in the process.

    Plymouth, IN (PRWEB) April 28, 2010 -- In a review of topseos.com's operations, it appears there was a challenge with specific content having been placed on topseos.com, despite following third party site protocol for its use in many cases. This content was identified, and is in the process of being removed. Further, the individual responsible for its unauthorized placement Ajeet Kumar has been terminated. topseos.com will also be changing its policy for SEO vendors who have not responded to requests for participation on topseos.com's either as a sponsor or non-sponsor. topseos.com will be removing their content, and writing a brief synopsis about each company consistent with safe harbor practices used on leading review sites in all industries.

    Ajeet Kumar. None of us know who Ajeet Kumar is. I don't think any of us have ever met and/or engaged with this Ajeet Kumar. Who is/were they? I'm apt to believe it is a fictitious person who is being used as a scapegoat in the process.

    topseos.com's lead program is being altered, because despite the disclosure given to participating companies, there still was confusion amongst some companies, and topseos.com has decided to change the system to enable contact forms for all vendors listed on the site. This means that if a potential client requests to contact the vendor via the profile on topseos.com, the email listed on the profile will receive the contact in real time. This modification will be enabled within 7-10 days.

    And I'm sure there will STILL be confusion after the changes. What you describe above is pretty much the same way that process is handled now with the exception of the 4 hour turnaround time for lead disbursement.

    topseos.com has always vetted its companies in its top rankings for all categories with its proprietary algorithm for ranking. While it is true that vendors do pay for vetting, topseos has always disclosed there are fees involved to be vetted to enable ranking. In the interest of consumer's, topseos will more prominently include this detailed disclosure throughout its site.

    Jeev, you're lying again, in a published public Press Release no less. Just how much longer do you plan on carrying on this charade? You're tempting me to perform full blown reviews on your vetted companies and to expose their operations also. In fact, I've already done reviews on a large portion of your vetted companies. I'm here to let you know that your review process is less than satisfactory.

    Jeev Trika, Managing Partner of topseos.com said, "We sincerely apologize to the community, both consumers and vendors, for the confusion caused. We deeply regret them. We have learned from our mistakes, vow to fix them to even better, more transparently educate the consumer, and with our forthcoming changes hope to provide an even more valuable, product to the SEO industry, and marketplace moving forward. I want to thank the many happy clients of vendors on our site, who have reached out to share their successful stories. I also want to thank SEO's around the world, both sponsors and non-sponsors alike, for suggestions about making topseos.com site an even more detailed, and credible resource for all."

    Typical TOPSEOs style, do everything via a Press Release through PRWeb.com or OnlinePRNews.com. At some point, those resources are going to stop accepting your Press Releases.

    We have learned from our mistakes.

    Oh, if I could cuss here without being arrested, I surely would be at this moment. You're lying again Jeev. These issues have been brought up multiple times over the years and each time you've avoided them. This time the industry is banding together and speaking up.

    I'm putting a call out to the industry to request that TOPSEOs and its associated properties be shut down. Your name in itself is deceiving.

    STOPSEOs.com

    Note to Third Door Media: As of Wednesday, April 28, 2010, your SMX Logos are still appearing on the country specific properties. You're even listed as a Search Vendor in one area. Who is accepting SEO clients on behalf of SMX?

    Partner Infographic



    Avatar Moderator
    from kerimorgret 1694 Days ago #
    Votes: 1

    I searched ["Ajeet Kumar" topseos] on Google and the only results were the press releases about terminating him.



    Avatar
    from Hobo 1694 Days ago #
    Votes: 1

    Ajeet Kumar - A new name synonymous for "the guy who screwed up and got sacked". Hasn't every company got a fake patsy for such occasions?




    Avatar
    from pageoneresults 1694 Days ago #
    Votes: 2

    This is why TOPSEOs needs to be shut down. Their paid members have over-extended the meaning of their rankings. Take a look at this image just in from IWExpo...

    The UK's No 1 SEO Company

    They have an entire booth promoting their paid rankings. I don't see any disclaimers anywhere on that picture informing the public that they paid for that privilege, do you?



    Avatar
    from pageoneresults 1694 Days ago #
    Votes: 0

    Ajeet Kumar - A new name synonymous for "the guy who screwed up and got sacked".

    I wonder if Ajeet Kumar is any relation to the CIO at TOPSEOs? Neeraj Kumar - CIO. Probably not, that must be a real common last name? Like Doe or Smith?



    Avatar
    from choosyal 1694 Days ago #
    Votes: 2

    This is why TOPSEOs needs to be shut down. Their paid members have over-extended the meaning of their rankings. Take a look at this image just in from IWExpo...

    The UK's No 1 SEO Company

    They have an entire booth promoting their paid rankings. I don't see any disclaimers anywhere on that picture informing the public that they paid for that privilege, do you?

    If you Google(.co.uk) nearly any major SEO term, you see the same in AdWords.

    If you read the reviews TopSEOs have on 'SEO Consult', one of them is from 'Planetphonecards' who are the same company - 'SEO Consult' (and Click Consult) are trading names.

    I beleive this is known as 'astroturfing'? TopSEOs have been made aware of this but done nothing about it.

    I do however know of at least 2 seperate 'poor reviews' (not my own) being removed. I guess you cannot rate them top/perfectly (100%) with real customers shouting "THAT IS FALSE!"



    Avatar
    from Nicksy 1694 Days ago #
    Votes: 5

    I have had to join this site to put over my side of the story too! We were taken in with The UK's No 1 SEO Company - SEO Consult or Click Consult after seeing them on TopSEO's and after seeing 'the awards' on the table in their office! To cut a long story short we signed a 12 month contract worth £12000 and saw our traffic dive by over half. We too have written a poor review on TopSEO's about SEO Consult on two occasions and both times, they were removed within 24 hours with a promise that they were investigating fully. However we never heard from them again even though we have chased them up a number of times.

    We too have looked at the positive reviews and found them all very suspicious and have highlighted these to TopSEO's again without any form of reply.

    I would think the Advertising Standards Authority would find this site in breech of their laws - does anyone have any views on this?

    Anyway I will be watching this thread with interest as no doubt there are loads more out there (I know of a few others myself) hat fallen into this trap!



    Avatar
    from pageoneresults 1694 Days ago #
    Votes: 2

    I have had to join this site to put over my side of the story too! We were taken in with The UK's No 1 SEO Company - SEO Consult or Click Consult after seeing them on TopSEO's and after seeing 'the awards' on the table in their office!

    Thank you for joining us Nicksy. I'm really sorry to hear that you were ripped off and/or received less than satisfactory services by a company that was rigorously evaluated by TOPSEOs, that isn't supposed to happen.

    We too have written a poor review on TopSEO's about SEO Consult on two occasions and both times, they were removed within 24 hours with a promise that they were investigating fully. However we never heard from them again even though we have chased them up a number of times.

    I really want to thank you again for sharing your story with us. You've helped me connect another dot in the process. This SEO Consult company appears to be operating similar to what I see as Shills for the TOPSEOs offshore network. Why else would someone invest that type of money in a trade show booth? Something is not quite right with the relationship here between SEO Consult and TOPSEOs. There are more than a few signals pointing in the wrong direction, that's for sure.

    The more this is discussed without any interaction from the TOPSEOs Partners, the more garbage is exposed. By the way, where are the other 3 Partners of TOPSEOs? Do they even exist? Where are Neeraj Kumar the Chief Information Officer, Bill Peden a Partner, and Fahmi Adib the Head of Development?

    There's a fourth person tied into this and that is Alan Rabinowitz, Chief Executive Officer at SEO Image. Where are these people at? Have any of you ever met these folks or know of them? Step forward please.



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    from essceeoh 1694 Days ago #
    Votes: -7

    I have been following this little crusade that you have been running for a few days now Edward and all it has proved to me is that your little witch hunt both here and on Twitter has become so farcical that it can only be rivalled by the sensationalist drivel that you would find in the Daily Mail or on Fox News. Whilst it is clear that there have been some dubious practices used by TopSEO's, in particular the use of other websites content lauded on their own without prior knowledge, you haven't actually provided much in the way of cold hard facts about the process of TopSEOs rankings other than some hearsay and conjecture with more than a hint of your own extreme bias on the entire situation. Having researched your name I can see that this is not the first time you have taken it upon yourself to become the SEO industry's very own (self appointed might I add) judge and juror of what is right and what is wrong and this only suggests to me that you are merely stirring up supposed controversy in a bid to make a name for yourself.

    In addition I just wanted to point out that you appear to be making a big deal out of finding an SEO agency who have may have one or two disgruntled ex clients. I'm 99% sure that this would be the case with every business in the entire world and is hardly newsworthy nor are they doing anything wrong in my eyes when utilising a marketing tool to promote their business in the same way any other sane company would do.



    Avatar
    from pageoneresults 1694 Days ago #
    Votes: 2

    I have been following this little crusade that you have been running for a few days now Edward and all it has proved to me is that your little witch hunt both here and on Twitter has become so farcical (broadly or extravagantly humorous) that it can only be rivaled by the sensationalist drivel that you would find in the Daily Mail or on Fox News.

    Did you just compare this to something on Fox News? Thank you!

    Whilst it is clear that there have been some dubious practices used by TopSEO's, in particular the use of other websites content lauded on their own without prior knowledge, you haven't actually provided much in the way of cold hard facts about the process of TopSEOs rankings other than some hearsay and conjecture with more than a hint of your own extreme bias on the entire situation.

    I've provided facts in quite a few documents that have been published to date, apparently you haven't been following as closely as you state. By the way, thank you for joining us in the discussion, it sounds like you have something of value to add, let us continue...

    Having researched your name I can see that this is not the first time you have taken it upon yourself to become the SEO industry's very own (self appointed might I add) judge and juror of what is right and what is wrong and this only suggests to me that you are merely stirring up supposed controversy in a bid to make a name for yourself.

    Oh-oh, you're lying. Make a name for myself? Okay. If you wish to believe that, then so be it. I'd prefer to remain low key as I have for many years. My Peers will tell you that too. :)

    No, this is not the first time, probably won't be the last either. Let's list out some of the Expose's I've been involved with...

    Traffic-Power, USASEOPros, FindYourSearch, TOPSEOs

    I also did one on Sphinn that got me Banned for a long time, that hurt but you'll also see that some changes took place and I think it has become a little more palatable since that time. I pissed a lot of folks off at the time but it appears to have influenced changes along the way, changes for the good.

    There are probably some other smaller challenges that cropped up inbetween those mentioned above (like that VerifiedSEO thingy) but that pretty much covers it. Did I miss anything or did you have something else to add?

    In addition I just wanted to point out that you appear to be making a big deal out of finding an SEO agency who have may have one or two disgruntled ex clients. I'm 99% sure that this would be the case with every business in the entire world and is hardly newsworthy nor are they doing anything wrong in my eyes when utilising a marketing tool to promote their business in the same way any other sane company would do.

    Interesting how you folks on the other side of the pond use "s" instead of "z", I really wish you guys/gals would stop doing that. Google even suggests the correct spelling with a "z". :)

    I would expect a disgruntled client or two when dealing with volume. I would also expect those to be handled with kid gloves and turned into a fan for your company. Not deal with it as outlined above.

    It's difficult to take you seriously when you just signed up and are in anonymous mode. It leaves me guessing as to who you might be. Would you care to step forward and share with us your Name, Rank and Serial Number? ;)



    Avatar
    from essceeoh 1694 Days ago #
    Votes: -4

    Did you just compare this to something on Fox News? Thank you!

    Aww bless, you took that as a compliment.

    I've provided facts in quite a few documents that have been published to date, apparently you haven't been following as closely as you state. By the way, thank you for joining us in the discussion, it sounds like you have something of value to add, let us continue...

    I have read enough of your "facts" to understand that whilst you would like to think (or appear to think) that you have good intentions that you still have no admissible evidence to back up your apparent concrete claims.

    Oh-oh, you're lying. Make a name for myself? Okay. If you wish to believe that, then so be it. I'd prefer to remain low key as I have for many years. My Peers will tell you that too.

    No, this is not the first time, probably won't be the last either. Let's list out some of the Expose's I've been involved with...

    Traffic-Power, USASEOPros, FindYourSearch, TOPSEOs

    I also did one on Sphinn that got me Banned for a long time, that hurt but you'll also see that some changes took place and I think it has become a little more palatable since that time. I pissed a lot of folks off at the time but it appears to have influenced changes along the way, changes for the good.

    There are probably some other smaller challenges that cropped up inbetween those mentioned above (like that VerifiedSEO thingy) but that pretty much covers it. Did I miss anything or did you have something else to add?

    I love the fact that you have claimed in one sentence to have no interest in making a name for yourself and then in the very next sentence proclaim the amazing "scandals" that you have personally uncovered. Very noble of you.

    Interesting how you folks on the other side of the pond use "s" instead of "z", I really wish you guys/gals would stop doing that. Google even suggests the correct spelling with a "z".

    I would expect a disgruntled client or two when dealing with volume. I would also expect those to be handled with kid gloves and turned into a fan for your company. Not deal with it as outlined above.

    It's difficult to take you seriously when you just signed up and are in anonymous mode. It leaves me guessing as to who you might be. Would you care to step forward and share with us your Name, Rank and Serial Number? ;)

    I appreciate the grammar lesson, I really do, but you seem to be blissfully unaware that it is our language you are writing, albeit in a bastardised form (oh look there's that s instead of a z again!)

    As for the treatment of the disgruntled client, I don't really know the circumstances of the above case so I wouldn't want to jump to any conclusions as in my experience there are always two sides to every coin so who am I to say that the above case is either correct or incorrect. I just wanted to make the point that the above case could happen to any legitimate and caring business when it is only one side of the story.

    I also don't feel my identity really matters in this debate but for the record I work as an E-Commerce Manager for a national brand, hence why I follow the trials and tribulations of SEO including the companies and individuals involved in it as it is pertinent to my position. I don't generally get involved in the discussion side (hence the sign up for this) but I felt obliged in this case to provide the yin to your oh so very yang in this particular case.




    Avatar
    from pageoneresults 1694 Days ago #
    Votes: 2

    I have read enough of your "facts" to understand that whilst you would like to think (or appear to think) that you have good intentions that you still have no admissible evidence to back up your apparent concrete claims.

    If there are any questions that you may have, please do present them. If there is something I've stated as fact that does not have supporting documentation, I'd like to know so that I can provide you with direct links to whatever supporting information is required.

    It is possible that with the sheer amount of information becoming public that some will miss pieces of the puzzle and it is a somewhat big puzzle, one of those 500 piece gigs. ;)

    I'm prepared to backup my statements with supporting documentation. The challenge is, potential collateral damage which at this point really isn't needed. That's a choice you'll have to make in determining which supporting information you'd like to see. ☯



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    from AlanBleiweiss 1694 Days ago #
    Votes: 3

    essceeoh sure sounds like Jeev in regard to his attempt to discredit Edward, completely ignoring the entirety of the complaints that have come in from so many people across the board - both SEO companies and clients who were duped by companies supposedly ranked 100% by TOPSEOs - and even those who have stated, on the record, that their complaints registered with TOPSEOs  have been deleted from that site.  Without any reason given.


    See, the truth is, TOPSEOs has perpetrated a scam against both the SEO industry and usnsupecting clients for too long.  Today's press release was an attempt to perform serious public facing damage control.

    And I'm guessing that essceeoh is just a shill for TOPSEOs and will stand by that view until whoever this person is reveals their true verifiable identity.  Because anonymous hacks don't carry any weight.


    Expect another follow-up article from me shortly in response to the press release.  And hey - TOPSEOs - don't think we're going to let up and become sheep on this.



    Avatar
    from Hobo 1694 Days ago #
    Votes: 3

    "no admissible evidence to back up your apparent concrete claims"

    LOFL.



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    from AlanBleiweiss 1694 Days ago #
    Votes: 3

    Shaun - clearly essceeoh believes that every one of the now "on the record" complaints registered by site owners and SEO company owners is all inadmissable as evidence.  Because hey - Testimony given by upstanding people must surely be disallowed if it doesn't put TOPSEOs in a positive light...  On the other hand, I'd say that TOPSEOs is now in serious trouble and by the time this is all said and done, they could be out of business.  Which wouldn't be a bad thing.



    Avatar
    from Hobo 1694 Days ago #
    Votes: 2

    @Alan :)

    On a side note, is this the biggest manufactured reciprocal link network you have ever seen lol

    link:

    A master class in how to get links, and how to promote (!) a site via press releases and badges. THat is without a doubt. We can all learn a thing or two there ;)

    If the actual awards were peer reviewed or something, this thing would have been a success, and i would have commended it lol

    WOW - You REALLY need to dig into those links to find an organic link that isn't criticising though.... how many companies are tarnished by association in this (by that, I mean paying for the awards obviously if that is the case) and even on the surface innocently associated in those rankings by being allowed to be "analysed"?



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    from AlanBleiweiss 1694 Days ago #
    Votes: 4

    Shaun - clearly TOPSEOs has got their claws deeply entrenched in several communities - SEO being just one.  It's a primary reason I think Edward is correct in saying the only proper solution is for TOPSEOs to shut down.  And when they do, all the companies that spent thousands upon thousands for those badges will be red-faced, as they should be.


    I bet there are many "innocent" companies that will become disillusioned which is a good thing - because any company that doesn't do serious checks on that kind of offering really needs to wake up.



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    from pageoneresults 1694 Days ago #
    Votes: 1

    A master class in how to get links, and how to promote (!) a site via press releases and badges.

    Don't let that fool you, that's just the surface of it. You've got PRWeb.com and OnlinePRNews.com which are the two primary sources of PRs. I count 900+ in the last 12 months between the two of them.

    Then you have the Twitter accounts. There are 100+ Twitter accounts that are set up via Twitterfeed. These things feed Twitter Timelines most of the day. For example Intrapromote spammed Twitter big time this morning with 110+ Tweets promoting their Ranked the Best rankings from TOPSEOs.

    There is a very large network of sites involved with this. The partnerships run deep and there are more than a handful. I'm thinking those need to be brought to light so we can discuss them in further detail.

    I think there is still much to learn about this operation and how far reaching it may be. Apparently it must reach a broad audience? Visibility Magazine just shipped in 23 cartons of printed mags in 2010 February. That's a lot of magazines going out to lot of executives and top level decision makers. I wonder if it has the same typos and grammar mistakes I've documented from current website media?



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    from Alysson 1694 Days ago #
    Votes: 1

    Well, well...if I were a bookie, I'd be taking wagers on the true identity of this "essceeoh" character.  In any circumstance I tend to dismiss as suspect the arguments of those unwilling to identify themselves.  In this case, I would take that a step further and point an accusatory finger at both whomever this individual is and TOPSEOs itself for making a feeble attempt to manufacture a false argument in defense of the indefensible.

    And the hits just keep on comin'...




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    from kendesantos 1694 Days ago #
    Votes: -6

    I am certainly not an advocate of taking others content, nor am I an advocate of the notion that somehow TopSEO's failed to share leads to the right sources. I am a practicing Christian however, and believe in forgiveness and redemption, for all, not just some. If in fact TopSEO's has a true intention, as they expressed, to clean up their admitted mistakes, and also more clearly disclose their rankings represent a paid review ranking system -- then it seems: who are we to be further chastising if it seems that they are sincere in trying to do the right thing. Wouldn’t we be better off as an internet marketing community to support the clean up as a step in the right direction? 

    While I understand there are deep feelings on this issue, to me it seems we all benefit by having a system where companies self-regulate, and are held accountable to continue that process, versus a summary conviction by those with the loudest, tireless voices. While it is overwhelming clear that TopSEO's is about generating income. It is simultaneously clear that Edward Lewis - Pageoneresults.com, appears to have a financial and self promotion agenda, self- interest motives, and is selling a competing service SEOconsultants.com (without disclosure in his arguments), where people it appears can buy ads on his ranking service. While TopSEO's stands to benefit from selling reviews, and ads, Edward stands to financially benefit from his attempts to shut down TopSEO's and sell ads of a different sort. Where is the true independent review here of both of them, their motives, actions? 

    I am not an expert prognosticator, it does seem that Jeev will reform, disclose, and clean up his act, or lose further credibility. And from what I can see both Jeev, and Edward may well face, in time, a rash of lawsuits for misrepresentation, and tortious interference respectively. While Jeev admittedly under-disclosed, used proprietary content, and re-routed emails, amongst other admissions; Edward has SEOconsultants.com, a competing company with TopSEO's, appears to be clearly trying to damage, hurt TopSEO’s and the thousands of companies appearing on it in part for his own gain, – and resorts to arguments that undermine his legitimate arguments against TopSEO's rankings, through references to complaints sites that literally anyone can post on without any independent third party confirmation. Again, where are the complete independent reviews that are credible on either side? While I am a supporter of the internet marketing industry in total, and free speech, I don't feel we have the right to convict as criminals either Edward Lewis, or TopSEO's. This is best placed in the Court of law, where either can face a trial of their peers.  



    Avatar
    from Alysson 1694 Days ago #
    Votes: 3

    @kendesantos - I call shenanigans on your argument.  What Edward's SEOConsultants Directory does is absolutely nothing at all like the scam-o-rific business model developed by TOPSEOs.  For more information about the SEOConsultants.com directory, I would encourage you to review the directory submission guidelines here:  http://www.seoconsultants.com/submit/guidelines/

    More important than the differences between the business models of TOPSEOs and SEOConsultants is the fact that Edward Lewis is a LONG time, well-known and highly-respected member of the industry community.  As such he possesses the knowledge and experience to properly vet the members of his directory.  To my knowledge, TOPSEOs has no such experience, understanding or working knowledge of the search marketing industry that would qualify them to assess, evaluate or judge the performance of any search marketing professional or company.

    Therein lies the fundamental problem with the TOPSEOs pay-to-play business model.  This is not merely a flat-fee, "pay to be evaluated" scenario, as is the case with Edward's SEOConsultants directory.  TOPSEOs charges its members thousands of dollars PER MONTH and the per month fees directly correlate to where they're ranked.  Those who pay more, rank higher.  Thus their ranking system is inherently flawed, intentionally misleading to consumers and not at all based on merit.  Christian or not, choosing to turn a blind eye to such an egregiously fraudulent business practice is equivalent to condoning it.

    The judgmental finger wagging directed at Edward for what you perceive as his unwarranted and self-serving attacks of TOPSEOs is Christian hypocrisy at its best.  You condemn him for being among the most vocal members of the industry fighting on behalf of both vendors and prospective clients, yet you defend the actions of the offending party just because they apologized - an action they were undoubtedly forced to take largely because of Edward's diligence.  Wow.  The Pope called.  He's got a seat reserved for you in the Vatican's PR department.



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    from AlanBleiweiss 1694 Days ago #
    Votes: 2

    I need to say that while I think the TOPSEOs network of sites and ranking schemes is so vast, and the deceptions that have gone on are so severe, that "cleaning up their act" would also need to require every member who displays an "award" also disclose on that award, that it's a "paid" award, and anything less would not be sufficient enough from a consumer protection perspective.  Given that, it may just make more sense for TOPSEOs and all their sister sites to shut down altogether.


    At the same time, as I stated in my last article, I personally am willing to see what they're willing to do to clean up and disclose.  So in that regard, given my well established stance of calling for the clean-up of our industry, I need to agree with Kendesantos.

    Even then, I think it's just tiresome that Edward's business model is once again brought into the equation.  This is not about Edward and as such, his integrity being questioned is an invalid arguement.



    Avatar
    from AlanBleiweiss 1693 Days ago #
    Votes: 1

    Nicksy - I mention your complaint in my latest article over on my blog where I split apart the "official" apology TOPSEOs gave regarding the other complaints - so we'll see how they respond, if they respond.

    And for the record, we plan on staying with this until true change happens - whether that is in the form of improved service or TOPSEOs shutting down altogether.  Unfortunately that will not get your money back form the company that harmed your rankings.



    Avatar
    from Hobo 1693 Days ago #
    Votes: 3

    It speaks volumes that in this place the seo industry invariably meet up - the only supporters of this business model are annonymous puppets who've joined specifically to attack Edward and it's not washing.



    Avatar
    from pageoneresults 1693 Days ago #
    Votes: 3

    I think it's time I stepped forward and quelled this competitive angle that a few have mentioned so far. I'm sure everyone who knows me, understands how we operate at the SEO Consultants Directory. We've had 1,035 submissions since June 1, 2002. 939 of those have been declined, or removed due to attrition, or have failed to keep their profiles updated, etc. We put the onus on the member to maintain contact with us every 120 days through a Roll Call procedure. It also reminds us to perform a cursory review to make sure everything is in order with the destination website.

    We started off as a free directory and realized after a bit of time operating under that model that it was an absolute waste of our time. So, we implemented a paid submission review process that originally required a $200.00 per year annual renewal fee, that has since changed to a one time $200.00 review fee that is refundable if not accepted into the directory.

    Unlike TOPSEOs, we DO perform ongoing reviews of our members. Our members also keep an eye on the directory and will quickly let us know if they see something that isn't right. We're not perfect and with only 95 Active Members, we are far from being anyone's major and/or minor competition in this space. Especially not to a company like TOPSEOs (e-ventures LLC), don't even compare us to an FFA SEO Directory like that.

    To show you just how transparent we are, all of our transactions have been handled through PayPal since our inception, I dig PayPal! I generated a report for those who may be questioning my motives in this and I can assure you, I have nothing to gain financially, this is actually costing me money.

    Here is our Refunds Statement covering the period 2009-01-01 to 2010-04-28. You'll notice a few $25.00 entries, those are for Job Postings that we would not accept. You see, we review everything that you see on our site, right down to the individual white spaces in the code.

    SEO Consultants Directory - Refunds

    Now, let's answer a few things brought up by kendesantos...

    If in fact TopSEO's has a true intention, as they expressed, to clean up their admitted mistakes, and also more clearly disclose their rankings represent a paid review ranking system -- then it seems: who are we to be further chastising if it seems that they are sincere in trying to do the right thing. Wouldn’t we be better off as an internet marketing community to support the clean up as a step in the right direction?

    How do you forgive a company that has been deceiving the industry from its inception? This didn't happen overnight and it surely isn't something that I see as being forgivable in any given time period, religion aside. On a side note, have you forgiven Bernard Lawrence "Bernie" Madoff?

    There is no way the SEO industry SHOULD allow TOPSEOs to exist. They could launch a totally different website and it wouldn't make a difference. They've built their entire business model around deception. In the process, I think they've done more harm to our industry than many other challenges we've been faced with.

    While it is overwhelming clear that TopSEO's is about generating income. It is simultaneously clear that Edward Lewis appears to have a financial and self promotion agenda, self-interest motives, and is selling a competing service SEOconsultants.com (without disclosure in his arguments), where people it appears can buy ads on his ranking service.

    You would be best served to review our published information about Advertising. It has been there for years and it rarely changes. We've been very strict in how we handle advertisements. In fact, we've removed a few members over the years for over-extending the meaning of their membership. Those same members are now listed in TOPSEOs. What a coincidence.

    You say without disclosure, I say you're lying. So, do let me know where we've not disclosed how our directory is operated. I think you're going to find that you have no valid arguments in this instance, not one. If you do, we'll be happy to address it immediately via any public channel you wish to choose. I surely don't have anything to hide.

    While TopSEO's stands to benefit from selling reviews, and ads, Edward stands to financially benefit from his attempts to shut down TopSEO's and sell ads of a different sort. Where is the true independent review here of both of them, their motives, actions?

    Really? Maybe some of the folks I've made donations to will step forward and just smack you upside the head. I could care less about any financial gain. Do you know that I am semi-retired and rarely take on new clients?

    You're welcome to do an independent review of me if you'd like. Best thing to do is start with Google and my username, that should keep you busy for quite some time. If you read everything, you should find yourself somewhere back in the late 90s when I first made a peep. Anything prior to that and you'll need a Level 3 security clearance. ;)

    Edward has SEOconsultants.com, a competing company with TopSEO's, appears to be clearly trying to damage, hurt TopSEO’s and the thousands of companies appearing on it in part for his own gain, – and resorts to arguments that undermine his legitimate arguments against TopSEO's rankings, through references to complaints sites that literally anyone can post on without any independent third party confirmation.

    Oh stop already. You're going to find that to be a failed argument in all of this. Did you say thousands of companies? Companies that may or may not exist? Companies that may or may not be shills for the TOPSEOs network of websites?

    Complaint sites? No, this goes way beyond the complaint sites. There are DMCAs and published consumer complaints outside of the complaint site dominion. I think maybe you should review some of the information posted so you have a clearer unbiased view of this.

    This is best placed in the Court of law, where either can face a trial of their peers.

    You've hinted at the legal angle and it has been discussed. If you are here to expand the discussion into that area, please do add something of value. If it takes a Court of Law for action to be taken, then so be it.

    @kendesantos - I call shenanigans on your argument. What Edward's SEOConsultants Directory does is absolutely nothing at all like the scam-o-rific business model developed by TOPSEOs. For more information about the SEOConsultants.com directory, I would encourage you to review the directory submission guidelines here: http://www.seoconsultants.com/submit/guidelines/

    I have to take a moment and thank those few of you who are supportive of this major challenge in the industry. The rest of you remaining silent? [Shakes head...]

    Therein lies the fundamental problem with the TOPSEOs pay-to-play business model. This is not merely a flat-fee, "pay to be evaluated" scenario, as is the case with Edward's SEOConsultants directory. TOPSEOs charges its members thousands of dollars PER MONTH and the per month fees directly correlate to where they're ranked. Those who pay more, rank higher. Thus their ranking system is inherently flawed, intentionally misleading to consumers and not at all based on merit.

    The entire rankings model in our industry has a major underlying flaw as is seen by those TOPSEOs members who have over-extended the meaning of their paid and unpaid rankings (Best in Search Badges). You cannot claim to be the number one SEO in the world. You cannot claim to be UKs number one ranked SEO and not have a BIG disclaimer attached to it. There are zero disclaimers in this entire process. If they're there, they are not visible in the primary click paths. Show me a disclaimer in this picture from the UKs number one SEO...

    The UKs No 1 SEO Company

    I need to say that while I think the TOPSEOs network of sites and ranking schemes is so vast, and the deceptions that have gone on are so severe, that "cleaning up their act" would also need to require every member who displays an "award" also disclose on that award, that it's a "paid" award, and anything less would not be sufficient enough from a consumer protection perspective. Given that, it may just make more sense for TOPSEOs and all their sister sites to shut down altogether.

    I'm drafting up a document to do just that. I'll be asking the SEO Industry to come together and ask that the TOPSEOs website and any sister sites be shut down. This can't be salvaged with a Press Release Apology, how tacky is that? You know who turned them on to those Press Releases? I'll let you guess.

    TOPSEOs reform was beyond salvageable when the first topic went public years ago. It is very unfortunate that we didn't get involved at this level back then. There are many probably regretting their decisions to not speak up at that time, myself included.

    At the same time, as I stated in my last article, I personally am willing to see what they're willing to do to clean up and disclose. So in that regard, given my well established stance of calling for the clean-up of our industry, I need to agree with Kendesantos.

    Alan, being the diplomat that you are, I can understand your approach to this. I'm not as forgiving - obviously.

    Even then, I think it's just tiresome that Edward's business model is once again brought into the equation. This is not about Edward and as such, his integrity being questioned is an invalid argument.

    One last note on this. I doubt it will be brought up again. And, if it is, I'll be more than happy to provide whatever documents are requested. I pay my taxes every quarter. I usually get a check back because I overpaid. I don't mess with the IRS. Speaking of the IRS...



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    from kendesantos 1692 Days ago #
    Votes: -2

    While I have read the position of Allyson, (who it seems is not just a defender of Edward, but a paid review client, beneficiary of his at SEOconsultants.com http://www.seoconsultants.com/profile/2799/) who attempts to show the difference between a paid site like TopSEO’s, and Edwards SeoConsultants.com variant pay directory site. To me, besides the content and lead challenges, it seems the difference is an issue of an extra decimal point in terms of fees, as each has the same “discretion” for ranking, as does each have the same clear and overt lack of disclosure relating to money received for placement. For instance, where is the disclosure to the consumer who visits this page that the review for Allyson’s listing has been paid for? http://www.seoconsultants.com/profile/2799/.  

    Further, and collateral to the debate: Is it credible to have Edward recently de-list George, at Envision.com (perhaps because he had a prominent topseo’s sticker on his homepage) only to reinstate him with the same prominent TopSEO’s winning badge on his home site?

    “Edward, would you exlpain why eVision has been removed from the seoconsutlants directory listing and our login has been disabled?”

    Yet, consider how many more topseo listed companies are in the SEOConsultants.com directory. Is Edward saying by implication that his paid directory is highlighting so called nefarious members, and misrepresenting to the public, given that he clearly has topseo winners as paid reviews on his site? http://www.seoconsultants.com/profile/2678/ www.envision.com

    I personally don’t feel he is, at the same time it does highlight what appears to be a case of the pot calling the kettle black, by attempting to on the one hand impeach the prowess of some the many respected TopSEO’s members like BruceClay.com, SEOInc.com, and CustomerMagnetism.com, and then on the hand prominently highlight them as consultants on his own SEOConsultants.com site.

    While I can understand the position that being a “LONG time, well-known and highly-respected member of the industry community” is offered as a rationale for any future conduct, at the same time , it doesn’t appear to afford one a pass to then conduct themselves in what seems to be self-serving ways. For example, Bernie Madoff was a long standing well-known, respected member of the community, so were others like him in scores of other industries. I am not suggesting that Edward Lewis is Bernie Madoff, I am suggesting that proffering reputation alone as the sole determinant of guilt or innocence, versus a review of the facts, is not a salient argument.  

    Therein lies the fundamental problem with the TOPSEOs pay-to-play business model.  This is not merely a flat-fee, "pay to be evaluated" scenario, as is the case with Edward's SEOConsultants directory.  TOPSEOs charges its members thousands of dollars PER MONTH and the per month fees directly correlate to where they're ranked.  Those who pay more, rank higher.  Thus their ranking system is inherently flawed, intentionally misleading to consumers and not at all based on merit.  Christian or not, choosing to turn a blind eye to such an egregiously fraudulent business practice is equivalent to condoning it.

    Do we know 100% that TopSEO’s is pay per ranking in all cases, some cases or any cases? Where are those facts? Where are the signed declarations? Or is it just more hearsay? Edward Lewis published a payment list that suggests many members were paying the same amount, which undercuts his same pay for exact ranking placement argument? Are you saying George from envision,com, who is listed under SEOconsultants, is paying to play for exact placement, and thus paid for his ranking versus earned it from his review?

    The judgmental finger wagging directed at Edward for what you perceive as his unwarranted and self-serving attacks of TOPSEOs is Christian hypocrisy at its best.  You condemn him for being among the most vocal members of the industry fighting on behalf of both vendors and prospective clients, yet you defend the actions of the offending party just because they apologized - an action they were undoubtedly forced to take largely because of Edward's diligence.
    While no reasonable person in this community, of which I consider myself a fellow member, condones TopSEO’s past behavior that may or not be cleaned up to the level of respect and stature it demands, I am all for seeking the  truth, and justice. I am equally against hypocrisy and self-serving agenda’s, and people, whoever they may be destroying others when they have personal benefits attached.

    Wow.  The Pope called.  He's got a seat reserved for you in the Vatican's PR department.

    With respect, I feel it is more beneficial for us to have a constructive debate without resorting to denigrating any member of this community’s personal religious beliefs. I am a Christian, and while I am not a catholic per see, I do feel those remarks insult a wide swath of Catholics, and don’t have a proper place in this debate.  

    I think it's time I stepped forward and quelled this competitive angle that a few have mentioned so far. I'm sure everyone who knows me, understands how we operate at the SEO Consultants Directory. We've had 1,035 submissions since June 1, 2002. 939 of those have been declined, or removed due to attrition, or have failed to keep their profiles updated, etc. We put the onus on the member to maintain contact with us every 120 days through a Roll Call procedure. It also reminds us to perform a cursory review to make sure everything is in order with the destination website....We started off as a free directory and realized after a bit of time operating under that model that it was an absolute waste of our time. So, we implemented a paid submission review process that originally required a $200.00 per year annual renewal fee, that has since changed to a one time $200.00 review fee that is refundable if not accepted into the directory.

    Given the statements by Mr. Lewis, it seems to me fair to ask the questions, ‘where has all the money gone? Who is the beneficiary of that money? What about the ads highlighting specific members, are those paid for?

    Unlike TOPSEOs, we DO perform ongoing reviews of our members. Our members also keep an eye on the directory and will quickly let us know if they see something that isn't right. We're not perfect and with only 95 Active Members, we are far from being anyone's major and/or minor competition in this space. Especially not to a company like TOPSEOs (e-ventures LLC), don't even compare us to an FFA SEO Directory like that.

    While Edward admits he is different than TopSEOS because of ongoing reviews, the question is who did the original on going review of Pageoneresults? http://www.seoconsultants.com/profile/1007/

    Doesn’t it seem extremely incredulous for one to be the judge and jury of oneself? And, fellow community members, this is the pattern many take issue of with Edward. Edward Lewis, as the self appointed evangelist of truth under the guise of consumer protection, can at times appear more arrogant than Jeev was prior to his contrite admission of error and promise to get things right. . Where is the disclosure on Edward Lewis’s site that the reviews are paid for? Where is the disclosure on his site that he himself reviewed? It would be one thing if you didn’t have a competing product, or service, but Edward Lewis and Pageoneresults is the beneficiary if TopSEO’s goes down. As is Alysson at SEOaly, or Shaun, because they both appear as well, but don’t appear in any top list on TopSEO’s. Why doesn’t Edward Lewis change his directory to free, and reveal the criteria, and let a third party rank people and himself, so he can at least have an objective perspective in this debate?

    To show you just how transparent we are, all of our transactions have been handled through PayPal since our inception, I dig PayPal! I generated a report for those who may be questioning my motives in this and I can assure you, I have nothing to gain financially, this is actually costing me money............Here is our Refunds Statement covering the period 2009-01-01 to 2010-04-28. You'll notice a few $25.00 entries, those are for Job Postings that we would not accept. You see, we review everything that you see on our site, right down to the individual white spaces in the code.

    While Mr. Lewis puts forth a step in the right direction, his list has no names, is blank, and clearly altered in Photoshop. I suggest if he is going to offer exculpatory evidence, that he do it without altering the evidence, because it reflects poorly his offer of proof to show is innocence.

    Now, let's answer a few things brought up by kendesantos..

    If in fact TopSEO's has a true intention, as they expressed, to clean up their admitted mistakes, and also more clearly disclose their rankings represent a paid review ranking system -- then it seems: who are we to be further chastising if it seems that they are sincere in trying to do the right thing. Wouldn’t we be better off as an internet marketing community to support the clean up as a step in the right direction?

    How do you forgive a company that has been deceiving the industry from its inception? This didn't happen overnight and it surely isn't something that I see as being forgivable in any given time period, religion aside. On a side note, have you forgiven Bernard Lawrence "Bernie" Madoff?

    There is no way the SEO industry SHOULD allow TOPSEOs to exist. They could launch a totally different website and it wouldn't make a difference. They've built their entire business model around deception. In the process, I think they've done more harm to our industry than many other challenges we've been faced with.

    First of all, while my opinion is similar to many in the community in that I do not condone TOPSEO’s past behavior before their statement of promised reform, I simultaneously do not condone hypocritical behavior which points a finger over things one is doing himself. While many believe in a fresh start, or the concept of redemption for individuals and companies, on both sides, if they do the right thing, this does not mean that they shouldn’t pay a price for misrepresenting, or other damaging prior actions. I leave this to the Courts of law to weigh and pass judgment.

    While it is overwhelming clear that TopSEO's is about generating income. It is simultaneously clear that Edward Lewis appears to have a financial and self promotion agenda, self-interest motives, and is selling a competing service SEOconsultants.com (without disclosure in his arguments), where people it appears can buy ads on his ranking service.

    You would be best served to review our published information about Advertising. It has been there for years and it rarely changes. We've been very strict in how we handle advertisements. In fact, we've removed a few members over the years for over-extending the meaning of their membership. Those same members are now listed in TOPSEOs. What a coincidence.

    You say without disclosure, I say you're lying. So, do let me know where we've not disclosed how our directory is operated. I think you're going to find that you have no valid arguments in this instance, not one. If you do, we'll be happy to address it immediately via any public channel you wish to choose. I surely don't have anything to hide.

    The review performed of SeoConsultants.com revealed there is no disclosure required under the FTC guidelines for blogs and other social media assets that the “reviews” have been paid for.  

    http://ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf

    Where is the disclosure under Pageoneresults own review consistent with the FTC guidelines?

    http://ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf

    What I can further say is that any solid lawyer who understands Tortious Interference and other torts to protect businesses and their advertiser/client relationships would have a solid case against Edward because of the lack of “unclean hands”. I still predict this will come either from TopSEO’s post cleanup, if he continue to attempt to injure their desire to clean up, or one of their ranking members like a George, or otherwise, who was hurt by self-serving attacks.  While people may suggest that such conduct brings up images of McCarthyism, where he used communism as a platform, it seems the calls for an investigation of SeoConsultants are equally valid and will be forthcoming, and followed by lawsuits for hurting people like George and others who are ethical practitioners.

    While TopSEO's stands to benefit from selling reviews, and ads, Edward stands to financially benefit from his attempts to shut down TopSEO's and sell ads of a different sort. Where is the true independent review here of both of them, their motives, actions?

    Really? Maybe some of the folks I've made donations to will step forward and just smack you upside the head. I could care less about any financial gain. Do you know that I am semi-retired and rarely take on new clients?

    You're welcome to do an independent review of me if you'd like. Best thing to do is start with Google and my username, that should keep you busy for quite some time. If you read everything, you should find yourself somewhere back in the late 90s when I first made a peep. Anything prior to that and you'll need a Level 3 security clearance. ;)

    If Edward has taken dollar one as a paid review site, which he has suggested he has, then to my view he has lost much standing of objectivity in my opinion, because he stands to directly benefit from TopSEO’s injuries. The fact that he may allege to be semi-retired, suggests he still take clients, again a beneficiary of the positioning here of SEOconsultants, as if they are the only objective directory, and which he is the controlling owner.

    Edward has SEOconsultants.com, a competing company with TopSEO's, appears to be clearly trying to damage, hurt TopSEO’s and the thousands of companies appearing on it in part for his own gain, – and resorts to arguments that undermine his legitimate arguments against TopSEO's rankings, through references to complaints sites that literally anyone can post on without any independent third party confirmation.

    Oh stop already. You're going to find that to be a failed argument in all of this. Did you say thousands of companies? Companies that may or may not exist? Companies that may or may not be shills for the TOPSEOs network of websites?

    Complaint sites? No, this goes way beyond the complaint sites. There are DMCAs and published consumer complaints outside of the complaint site dominion. I think maybe you should review some of the information posted so you have a clearer unbiased view of this.It seems Edward has an intention to hurt companies on their list. Yes, for his apparent gain, notoriety, and to hurt TopSEOS. It is a narrative that echoes like a drumbeat.  And he lists complaint sites as his argument behind some of the TopSEOs not being warranted. Complaint sites like Ripoffreport, subject as we know to their own ridicule for objectivity and rumors of extortion, and sites that any competitor, or John Q Public can post with no ethical bar, or third party vetting process. And what’s more, some of his own consultants, who have paid to be reviewed, have ripoffreports, and other online complaints. Why do you not highlight those? Where is the balance, the sense of fairness, the full truth? I will leave that conclusion to be drawn by the wider community at large, not the supporters of Edward who stand to benefit from his conduct.   

    This is best placed in the Court of law, where either can face a trial of their peers.

    You've hinted at the legal angle and it has been discussed. If you are here to expand the discussion into that area, please do add something of value. If it takes a Court of Law for action to be taken, then so be it.

    I have spoken to others, and yes many feel Edward and Jeev both will end up as litigation defendants, for similar and different reasons, and this debate and their points will at some point result in summary judgment against both parties. It seems fair to highlight that if Edward is going to damage other SEO’s or TopSEO’s for his own gain, then perhaps Edward should take responsibility for the repercussions. It only seems just that if one is going to point fingers for disclosure issues, then don’t have one's own disclosure issues of a different magnitude.

    While I do find it interesting that the defenders of Edwards, are almost all prominently listed as consultants, from Shaun http://www.seoconsultants.com/profile/2792/ to Alysson http://www.seoconsultants.com/profile/2799/, and have a vested, personal interested in protecting Edward’s lack of disclosure according to the FTC requirements, and their own legal disclosure requirements as advertisers.  What’s more, the notion that someone’s opinion, whether anonymous, or my own, after clearly delineated my identity, is somehow discounted from the debate on the merits, seems both limiting and inconsistent with the best interest of the community. The reality here, either side should not be afraid to let the whole truth be known. Both sides appear to have disclosure, and financial gain motives, whether some are larger than others is not the point, the real point is not the issue of magnitude, but rather the issue of truth, justice, and fairness.

    If this debate does nothing more than to unmask motives and hypocrisy on either side, and clean things up on both sides then that is a good thing. It seems to me that it is fair to believe that both TopSEO’s and Edward Lewis Pageoneresults are driving self serving agenda’s, not fully disclosing the conflict of interests, some more than others, and attacking each other, and in Edward’s case others, for their own ultimate business and reputational gain. In TopSEO’s case, to defend against what has been a record of fast and loose with content, and an assortment of other items that they state they are now committed to clean up. Time will tell in both cases. We as a community benefit if both are corrected, and fast.    



    Avatar
    from pageoneresults 1692 Days ago #
    Votes: 1

    While I have read the position of Alysson, who it seems is not just a defender of Edward, but a paid review client, beneficiary of his at SEOconsultants.com http://www.seoconsultants.com/profile/2799/.

    I do believe you just stepped in a big pile of you know what. I'll let Alysson handle the above comments.

    Further, and collateral to the debate: Is it credible to have Edward recently de-list George, at Envision.com (perhaps because he had a prominent topseo’s sticker on his homepage) only to reinstate him with the same prominent TopSEO’s winning badge on his home site?

    According to George, he is in the process of making changes and if I'm not mistaken, will be removing the TOPSEOs references from his site. And yes, he was removed from the directory for a period that did not exceed 12 hours while issues were sorted. Anything else you'd like to know about that one?

    Do we know 100% that TopSEO’s is pay per ranking in all cases, some cases or any cases? Where are those facts? We are the signed declarations? Or is it just more hearsay?

    Maybe you could do a little research first before responding next time? No one said that all the rankings were paid for. It is quite obvious which ones are as there are badges associated with each level, 3 total.

    With respect, I feel it is more beneficial for us to have a constructive debate without resorting to denigrating any member of this community’s personal religious beliefs.

    It would be best for you to keep your religious beliefs out of this topic as they don't apply. One of the last things you want to inject into any public topic is religion, especially at this level. You're more suspect now that you're in here pushing the religious aspect, just stop already.

    Given the statements by Mr. Lewis, it seems to me fair to ask the questions, ‘where has all the money gone? Who is the beneficiary of that money? What about the ads highlighting specific members, are those paid for?

    Where has all what money gone? You mean the $1,000.00 I've made in the last two years on those members that were accepted? Don't be fooled by what you see. A very small portion of our membership paid for their reviews. Many are from our original free based model and quite a few were hand picked and invited to join the directory at no charge. You're going to get spanked by a few of them here shortly and I'm going to enjoy every single byte of it. :)

    Who did the review of Pageoneresults? http://www.seoconsultants.com/profile/1007/

    I did. Did I do a good job? Even though the guy is a schmuck, he does a fairly decent job at that SEO stuff.

    Edward Lewis, as the self appointed evangelist of truth under the guise of consumer protection, can at times appear more arrogant than Jeev was prior to his contrite admission of error and promise to get things right.

    You sound like a preacher or something. Are you serious?

    While Mr. Lewis puts forth a step in the right direction, his list has no names, is blank, and clearly altered in Photoshop. I suggest if he is going to offer exculpatory evidence, that he do it without altering the evidence, because it reflects poorly his offer of proof to show is innocence.

    I'll be happy to offer those documents unaltered in a court of law when requested. How's that? Did you really expect me to expose all those folks who were declined? No, I have a little more respect for them than that not to mention business ethics. And by the way, they were altered in Fireworks, not Photoshop. All I did was crop and dropped the gray areas in to cover up names. Most respectful folks would do something like that.

    Wouldn’t we be better off as an internet marketing community to support the clean up as a step in the right direction?

    They've had the opportunity to do this since way back in 2007 when the first complaints started to appear publicly. They missed their chance. No, it wouldn't be better to support the cleanup of TOPSEOs. Oh wait, yes, I'll support the dissolving of that company along with any related entities.

    What I can further say is that any solid lawyer who understands Tortious Interference and other torts to protect businesses and their advertiser/client relationships would have a solid case against Edward because of the lack of “unclean hands”.

    At this point if legal intervention is required to make things happen, we shall make it so. I'm willing to defend myself in a court of law, is everyone else?

    While TopSEO's stands to benefit from selling reviews, and ads, Edward stands to financially benefit from his attempts to shut down TopSEO's and sell ads of a different sort.

    I think most already know that is not the case although you can keep making feeble attempts at suggesting so.

    Because he stands to directly benefit from TopSEO’s injuries.

    Personally? We don't want a large majority of those folks in our directory. In fact, a large percentage of those we've declined are in the TOPSEOs membership now. No, we don't stand to benefit in anyway with TOPSEOs closing down. Oh wait, yes we do, maybe other SEOs will get a few more leads now that they aren't being siphoned through some deceptive lead generating platform.

    Edward has SEOconsultants.com, a competing company with TopSEO's, appears to be clearly trying to damage, hurt TopSEO’s and the thousands of companies appearing on it in part for his own gain, – and resorts to arguments that undermine his legitimate arguments against TopSEO's rankings, through references to complaints sites that literally anyone can post on without any independent third party confirmation.

    Sounds like you are trying to make a case for court. Maybe you should be talking with Jeev about this?

    Complaint sites like Ripoffreport, subject as we know to their own ridicule for objectivity and rumors of extortion, and sites that any competitor, or John Q Public can post with no ethical bar, or third party vetting process. And what’s more, some of his own consultants, who have paid to be reviewed, have ripoffreports, and other online complaints. Why do you not highlight those? Where is the balance, the sense of fairness, the full truth? I will leave that conclusion to be drawn by the wider community at large, not the supporters of Edward who stand to benefit from his conduct.

    Of course we are all quite familiar with how the ROR works. But, when it comes to SEOs, it is by far the best resource for research as 99% of the reports submitted are true.

    If there are members in our directory with RORs, then I'd like to know about them. We will investigate and most likely remove the member(s). It's as simple as that.

    I have spoken to others, and yes many feel Edward and Jeev both will end up as litigation defendants, for similar and different reasons, and this debate and their points will at some point result in summary judgment against both parties.

    I am prepared for whatever may transpire from all of this. Maybe the others you have spoken to can join in the discussion? Let's get all of this out into the open now.

    Both sides appear to have disclosure, and financial gain motives, whether some are larger than others is not the point, the real point is not the issue of magnitude, but rather the issue of truth, justice, and fairness.

    I'm standing right now with my hand over my heart pledging my allegiance to this cause.



    Avatar
    from pageoneresults 1692 Days ago #
    Votes: 0

    I'm going to let Alysson and Shaun answer your concerns about their membership at the SEO Consultants Directory. I think you'll be eating crow after they respond. There is also a comment from me that is currently arrested where I've opined to some of your comments above.



    Avatar
    from Hobo 1692 Days ago #
    Votes: 4

    kendesantos before you mention my &^%$ing name you better check your facts.

    1. Edward INVITED me to join SEO consultants, and REVIEWED my profile, AT NO CHARGE I assume because he recognises (it takes a certain sort) how passionate I am about what I do. I actually SEO my own clients sites - I am not a shill company who outsources and cannot manage the quality of links.

    I have NOT paid EDWARD one PENNY ever and will have no need to. Edward has built a solid directory, and wants it full of genuine SEO. I've NEVER asked any one for work. I've NEVER paid for ADVERTISING EVER, in 4 years running this company.

    I'm out of the office but I will respond more in full to your last post when I get a minute.

    Have you disclosed who you are or did I miss that nugget? Put up or shut up.

    EDIT - I am in the UK, running a seo company. We get a lot of leads every day free. We currently are not taking work on. Disclosure - The reason i am involved in this as I support Edwards stance - I am discusted with the PR circulating citing in the UK citing companies BETTER than others SIMPLY because they are involved in a (opinion) DUBIOUS leads program.

    I approached the "Best SEO in the UK" and told them to stop biding on my brand name with such NONSENSE. Today, they complied.



    Avatar
    from yoshimi 1692 Days ago #
    Votes: 4


    There is one comment that always seems to come up against Edward, that he is some sort of self appointed guardian or police - That's true, but when there are enough people who support his stance it really doesn't matter. He is the only one who is consistently looking to protect consumers, and the reputation of the industry. If anyone else wants to take on that role, and thinks they could devote the time & energy to it that Edward does, then let them appoint themselves & see if they can do as much.

    Edward himself keeps pointing out that unless a large number of people in the industry all act, nothing will happen, as far as I can see all he is doing is making the rallying cry, and providing people with the information to let them act.



    Avatar
    from pageoneresults 1692 Days ago #
    Votes: 2

    Given the statements by Mr. Lewis, it seems to me fair to ask the questions, ‘where has all the money gone? Who is the beneficiary of that money? What about the ads highlighting specific members, are those paid for?

    I felt it was necessary that I at least let you know where the money goes. I can give you a full breakdown to the penny if you'd like but for now, I'll just give you a summary for this year...

    $500.00 - Donated to Rhea for SEO industry related legal fees. By the way Rhea, did you receive any donations from TOPSEOs? I didn't think so.

    The rest of it is still sitting in PayPal and will be used for donations to other causes I may be involved with. I'll probably send my Sister a few hundred dollars for new baby stuff. I may transfer a little to my business account if the balance exceeds $1,000. But for the most part, the money is well spent. I'd say a large percentage of it goes right back into the operation of the directory. All of it is documented with the IRS and all payments to and from the directory are handled via PayPal so there is a complete record of all transactions if anyone wants to see them. Again, I'll be as transparent as I can without revealing the personal information of those involved with the transactions.



    Avatar
    from pageoneresults 1692 Days ago #
    Votes: 2

    I personally don’t feel he is, at the same time it does highlight what appears to be a case of the pot calling the kettle black, by attempting to on the one hand impeach the prowess of some the many respected TopSEO’s members like BruceClay.com, SEOInc.com, and CustomerMagnetism.com, and then on the hand prominently highlight them as consultants on his own SEOConsultants.com site.

    Excuse me, but none of those three companies you mention above are listed in our directory. What point were you trying to make in that instance?

    Also, I'm going to respectfully request that you step forward and do let us know who you are. In your current anonymous mode, your contributions to this discussion are suspect to say the least. Be a man/woman and reveal yourself.



    Avatar
    from NickWilsdon 1692 Days ago #
    Votes: 3

    As yoshimi said, the 'competitor' argument against Edward doesn't carry weight here. If it helps, I can also confirm that he's offered me a free place in his directory in the past - he's not motivated by money here.

    If you take into account the hours/days/weeks that he's spent on these cases (VerifiedSEO/TopSEOS/Traffic-Power) you have to conclude that he (a) must have alternative income and (b) he cares passionately about these causes.

    Also to pick on Alysson and Shaun is a false argument. What about the other community members who have commented on this and aren't listed in Edward's directory? People obviously care about this issue, without ulterior motivation.

    Lets keep this about the facts, not the personalities and a quick reminder to the Sphinn rule below the comment box - "Be respectful and polite". Thank you and welcome to all the new commenters in this thread. 




    Avatar
    from Alysson 1692 Days ago #
    Votes: 2

    @kendesantos - Shaun covered the substantive inaccuracies of your previous attempts to impugn our character as members of Edward's SEOConstultants directory.  I too was invited, reviewed and added to Edward's directory at NO CHARGE.  Even if that weren't true, my previous argument that the SEOConsultants business model bears no resemblance to the TOPSEOs business model is entirely accurate.

    And I would reiterate Shaun's suggestion that you identify yourself if you wish to have any of your comments considered a constructive contribution to this debate.  Since I am an active member of this community, I was curious why I'd never come across your name.  I have done a search for "Ken Desantos" on Google, Yahoo! and Bing...to no avail.  It seems I can't find a single result for the name "Ken Desantos" related to any search marketing site or company.  I wonder why that is...

    As for the introduction of religion into this debate, that responsibility rests solely with you.  I simply elected not to let your feeble attempt to wag a judgemental finger at those who are attempting to defend the integrity of the search marketing industry pass unchallenged.  In doing so you were attempting to shame people into forgiving Jeev Trika for his trespasses against the industry as if his apology were sincere and not a direct result of having been outed as the charlatan he is.  When the apology results from having been caught, rather than motivated my genuine remorse, forgiveness isn't warranted or deserved.

    To insinuate that anyone willing to stand up against fraudulent and misleading business practices by demanding that something be done to change them is somehow un-Christian or unwilling to forgive is despicable.  You should be ashamed for having brought religion of any kind into the conversation.  I have no qualms for having called you on it, nor will I offer any apology to you or to Catholicism as a whole for having compared your blatant hypocrisy with their recent scandal.

    This conversation is not about Edward Lewis or the SEOConsultants directory.  It is about the questionable and borderline fraudulent business practices of TOPSEOs, which claims to be an independent industry authority.  The more you defend TOPSEOs, the more likely it becomes that you are a paid shill of the company whose attempts to deflect attention away from the real issues is failing miserably.

    You have attempted to defend a position without proper investigation.  And, more importantly, without having separated facts from conjecture and offering absolutely no evidence to support your claim that TOPSEOs is in any way, shape or form a competitor of or comparable to the SEOConsultants directory.  In another industry and with another group of people, you may get away with such poor debate preparation.  But not here.  And certainly not with Edward.  Nor with me.

    Until you reveal your true identity and properly introduce yourself to the community you claim to be a part of, I will not engage in any further debate of issues - substantive or otherwise - with you.  I would suggest that others adopt a similar policy toward anonymous commenters.  Good day.



    Avatar Moderator
    from Jill 1692 Days ago #
    Votes: 1

    Alysson said:

    Until you reveal your true identity and properly introduce yourself to the community you claim to be a part of...

    I believe @kendesantos did in fact already reveal his true identity. You must have missed where he said:

    So, do let me know where we've not disclosed how our directory is operated. I think you're going to find that you have no valid arguments in this instance, not one. If you do, we'll be happy to address it immediately via any public channel you wish to choose. I surely don't have anything to hide.

    Emphasis mine.

    TopSEOs is kendesantos's directory apparently.

    My guess, from reading his post is that he is TopSEOs in-house counsel. Although, maybe not as an attorney would probably not speak publicly on the legal issues I would think.




    Avatar
    from Alysson 1692 Days ago #
    Votes: 1

    @Jill - those were Edward's statements regarding the SEOConsultants directory.

    Don't get me wrong - I certainly don't dispute that this "kendesantos" character is likely affiliated with TOPSEOs in some way.  I would also tend to believe he is merely a shill for the company, as I'm in agreement that an attorney would probably not engage in a public debate regarding potential legal issues.



    Avatar Moderator
    from Jill 1692 Days ago #
    Votes: 1

    Awww crap, sorry about that. I could have sworn I saw it as part of the other guy's post! He mistakenly had it outside of the blockquote.



    Avatar
    from Alysson 1692 Days ago #
    Votes: 1

    @Jill - no need to apologize!  There's WAY too much quoting and rebutting going on here to think mistakes that like aren't going to happen to all of us at some point as this discussion rolls along.  :)



    Avatar
    from pageoneresults 1692 Days ago #
    Votes: 1

    Jill, you really got me excited there for a moment (you know how you can do that) and then I saw it was my quote. ;)

    Alysson, Nick and Shaun, thank you for adding to the discussion. I don't think this person did any research before joining us. And at this point, I'm apt to believe they are a TOPSEOs plant and/or a plant from one of the companies that is about to be exposed that is ranked at TOPSEOs, one or the other.

    Why doesn’t Edward Lewis change his directory to free, and reveal the criteria, and let a third party rank people and himself, so he can at least have an objective perspective in this debate?

    Do you really want to know why we won't change it to Free? I think TOPSEOs is a prime example of why. Ever take a look at the listings over there? Ever see what happens on a daily basis in the Latest Members area? Here, let me give you a peek...

    http://Twuna.com/TOPSEOs/Latest-Members-India

    Do you think we really want to deal with that type of stuff again? No thank you. The fee is there to deter all the junk sites from submitting, and there are thousands of them. All one needs to do is review the TOPSEOs directory listing for SEOs and you're likely to find almost every bottom feeding SEO out there.

    How do you think the Partners in the above screenshot feel having their logos sitting next to that stuff? I'm sure SMX and SES won't be happy about it.

    Thanks to everyone who continues to be supportive in this cause. I'm not going anywhere until TOPSEOs has a GOING OUT OF BUSINESS sign on the front door.



    Avatar
    from AlanBleiweiss 1692 Days ago #
    Votes: 1

    kendesantos

    Here's how you can grow up:

    1.  Drop the entire "Edward Lewis is the bad guy in all this" nonsense.  It's adolescent behavior to try and use the finger pointing tactic in this situation given that Edward is just ONE person in a SEA of professionals here who have come out against TOPSEOs.  While a couple of people among us may be listed in Edwards system, I'm not, and neither are the overwhelming majority of people.

    2.  If you still insist on trying to divert the attention away from TOPSEOs and their blatantly deceptive business practices, do so using intelligent business and legal methods that repudiate the claims made by all of us - (not just Edward).  Read my blog - three articles.  You'll find plenty of evidence that you'll have to dispute.

    3.  If you are incapable or unwilling to do the above tasks, go somewhere else and play your games.



    Avatar
    from pageoneresults 1692 Days ago #
    Votes: 0

    I'd like to bring this discussion back to TOPSEOs and now Visibility Magazine. While we're over here discussing TOPSEOs, VM is being distributed to executives across the world. Have you seen the latest issue?

    http://www.VisibilityMagazine.com/3dissue/spring2010/pageflip.htm

    Take a look at all 64 pages. Look at the full page advertisements. Remember the company names. As we progress with this discussion, I think we're going to find more than a few of those companies to be directly associated with TOPSEOs and e-ventures, that's just gut instinct speaking at the moment and only my opinion. ;)

    Oh, there's even a full page SMX advertisement. It's a shame these folks paid for that space and are lending credibility to the entire network. :(



    Avatar
    from AlanBleiweiss 1692 Days ago #
    Votes: 1

    Edward,

    Like I said in my dissection of their press release - whatever changes they claim they're making, those will also need to be implemented in the magazine.  I assume there's a deeper relationship between TOPSEOs and the companies that have the highest ratings, get the full page ads going, but at this point, it's just an assumption.

    The fact that they have the magazine and distribute it out into the business world just reinforces my belief that their primary objective is to pull out all stops to spread the deception and lure more legitimate industry companies into both joining the service and unsuspecting business owners into filling out the contact forms which then go to the lead generation paying companies, even when the contact form that's filled out is for a company that didn't even have knowledge of their profile existing, let alone all the other deceptions.

    Thats also why I'm curious to learn whether any stolen content was ever used in the magazine before now as well.



    Avatar
    from abhishekrungta 1692 Days ago #
    Votes: 1

    Hi Everyone,

    I have been following this very interesting discussion since last couple of hours. I have some experiences and inputs that might add some value.

    1) They initiated a discussion before the SES London 2010 show about how we can advertise on their website. Then we did met on the ground. He came over to our booth to discuss as what we do. When he found out that we are a proper 'outsourcing' company, he said 'my customers may not like that i list you'. I did not find this very encouraging and respectful remark. I also found the idea of "ranking for money" a little odd and felt that this might cause more problems than benefit to our profile. Thus I kept away.

    So, I might have had a close shave. I never heard from them again. Not sure why!

    2) Said that, I know owners of few of the companies listed there personally. I have been to their office and I know the kind of work they do. Some of them are 'real companies' and have 'real business' delivering very good services to their clients. Therefore, I feel that 'association with topseos' should not be considered as 'supporting the evil' by default. Many of them may not have any idea about the kind of things these guys are doing and may have paid top dollors to get listed there.

    RegardsAbhishek



    Avatar
    from pageoneresults 1691 Days ago #
    Votes: 0

    Thank you for joining us Abhishek, your input is appreciated.

    1) They initiated a discussion before the SES London 2010 show about how we can advertise on their website. Then we did met on the ground. He came over to our booth to discuss as what we do. When he found out that we are a proper 'outsourcing' company, he said 'my customers may not like that i list you'. I did not find this very encouraging and respectful remark. I also found the idea of "ranking for money" a little odd and felt that this might cause more problems than benefit to our profile. Thus I kept away.

    That's very interesting, that part about "my customers may not like that I list you". I wonder which customers they would be referring to? Is it possible they were referring to the outsourcing network that is part of TOPSEOs? The same network that has been reaping the benefits of the TOPSEOs Leads Program all these years? Those same customers?

    I wonder which of the companies shown over there are part of that outsourcing network? I have a document showing relationships that I'll publish sometime in the near future. I just need a few more confirming pieces of information before making that available.

    2) Said that, I know owners of few of the companies listed there personally. I have been to their office and I know the kind of work they do. Some of them are 'real companies' and have 'real business' delivering very good services to their clients. Therefore, I feel that 'association with topseos' should not be considered as 'supporting the evil' by default. Many of them may not have any idea about the kind of things these guys are doing and may have paid top dollars to get listed there.

    I also know of a few listed there that are real companies and are providing quality services and products. Thing is, most don't know they are listed there to begin with and many of those companies that you see in the mix are there to lend credibility to the network of outsourcing companies, that's my take on it.

    At this point in time, any Paid Memberships at TOPSEOs are suspect to me. Even some of the Basic Memberships that are not paid. Don't let that Basic Membership Badge fool you, some of those folks may be taking advantage of the Leads Program while not being in the Paid Rankings Membership.



    Avatar
    from pageoneresults 1686 Days ago #
    Votes: 1

    Take our SMX logo off your site. We haven't given permission for that. If you don't address the first two of these points, we will be forced to terminate our relationship.

    Just checking in. I wanted to verify if there was any sort of deadline for the SMX logo removal? While they removed it from the U.S. portion, it is still prominently displayed in the other 4 countries. Not to mention SMX have an SEO slot in the banner ads, makes it look like you are an SEO in the mix.

    If I'm not mistaken, they've also got a few print references to remove. They promote the SMX Partnership heavily in their documentation.

    TOPSEOs Partners Infographic



    Avatar Moderator
    from Jill 1684 Days ago #
    Votes: 3

    Well guys, I'm happy to report that we did some good with this thread!

    At least one company was saved from using TopSEOs and any of their pay-to-be-best SEO companies because of the information here.

    I mentioned as part of my latest SEO Myths article that there is no such thing as a "certified SEO" or any type of rankings for being the best SEO company in the world. And I linked to this Sphinn thread.

    Well, lo and behold, yesterday I got a call from someone who was looking for some SEO services, and in the course of the conversation he thanked me for saving him from wasting huge amounts of money with a company he had found through TOPSEOs. He had assumed they were truly a highly ranked SEO company, not that they had paid for their rankings. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to provide him with SEO services as his website wasn't a good fit for my company, but it definitely made my day to know that we are making a difference by calling attention to these fake pay for your SEO award scam sites.



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    from pageoneresults 1682 Days ago #
    Votes: 0

    Thanks Jill, that's one down and who knows how many more to go. Did you happen see the latest Press Release from TOPSEOs on Friday, May 7, 2010?

    TOPSEOs Implements Changes... Looks to Expand Relationship with Content Partners

    Furthermore, TOPSEOsRemovalRequest.com has been launched for authors who would like their article, case study, or other research materials removed even though they may have initially approved the usage of it directly or indirectly through a content provider. topseos.com is in talks with their content providers in order to see what they can expand on through their relationships and ensure that the site is currently posting content to their satisfaction and negotiated terms of use.

    That's the 5th website TOPSEOs have launched since 2010 April.

    TOPSEOsApplication.com, TOPSEOsEvaluationCriteria.com, TOPSEOsSeals.com, TOPSEOsVideos.com, TOPSEOsRemovalRequest.com

    Did TOPSEOs just pass blame to their Content Providers saying that the scraped content came from someone else?

    How about the 5 articles that TOPSEOs scraped of mine? I have screenshots of all that, I've not published them yet. There were no Content Providers authorized to use that content in the manner that it was.



    Avatar
    from qwerty 1682 Days ago #
    Votes: 1

    I wrote a comment in this thread about three weeks ago indicating that when I found out I was listed by TopSEOs I simply wrote to them asking that they delete my listing and they did. Apparently, I have to take that back now.

    I've just received an email from them asking me to update my profile and showing what's in my current profile, and it's all the stuff that I thought they'd removed: they claim I provide services that I don't, they claim I accept forms of payment that I don't, and most of the content is simply the text from the home page of my site.



    Avatar
    from DavidBlizzard 1682 Days ago #
    Votes: 1

    @qwerty - That's the H*ll that a service like TopSEOs creates. You don't control your own reputation or listing. If someone calls you for a service that's listed at TopSEOs but you don't provide that service then the caller thinks you are responsible for wasting their time. If a client does his homework and decides he doesn't trust anyone at TopSEOs and you are listed then you lose a potential client. There really is no excuse for them listing anyone that has not agreed to be there. If it was just advertised as an SEO directory I wouldn't mind them scraping listings. By claiming to be an authority they are in a position to get a bad reputation themselves and they can damage the reputations of the scraped members too.

    Avatar
    from Rampage 1678 Days ago #
    Votes: 1

    I would love to know how the company involved in this - http://www.searchengineoptimisation.org/submitedge-com-seo-scammers/ - could possibly win multiple "best link building company" awards. Disgraceful!



    Avatar
    from Kabra 1576 Days ago #
    Votes: 0

    There was a discussion about partner of Topseos Neeraj Kumar. Somewhat I come to know about his details.. He handles Indian operations for Topseos and encourgage SEO Companies in India for listings and their other products. On the same time this guy also works as distributor for Visiblity Magzine in India. For his Complete Details see http://delhi.justdial.com/eventures_janak-puri_Delhi_uSvV.vdvmomqztspd.yrXX.boXXPkfq.htm

    I hope this one will help tracking one active Partner for TOPSEOs



    Avatar
    from SteveOllington 1410 Days ago #
    Votes: 1

    I must admit, I don't know anything about the lead generation forms, etc... and I haven't read through the documents. But I do think when it comes down to it, it's as simple as this:

    Awards for a service should be given due to competence, they should not be given just because companies are willing/can afford to pay extortionate fees for them.

    It's just plain wrong. We have clients at the moment who were with a couple of the companies who according to TopSEO's are the best in the UK... we've achieved massive results for them since then and the reason for that is, the companies in question weren't doing things correctly at all, their SEO work was awful. One company I had to deal with during the hand over process and it was apparent that they had no idea about actual SEO, I more or less had to teach them basic things over the phone and through email. This company has it's awards due to the size of its marketing budget, not because of the skills, abilities of it's people or results it's been able to achieve for its clients.

    Imagine if a plumber could get an award as the best plumber of the year just because he paid for it, when he doesn't know anything about plumbing. Absurd.

    I'm not saying every SEO company on their list is like this, I know that some of them are good companies, but they shouldn't be helping to promote this scam by wearing that TopSEO's badge. They know they've paid for it, but they're looking at the short term ego trip and extra sales for themselves due to the naivety of the general public on the issue of SEO, rather than the long term effect on the industry as a whole.

    TopSEO's is quite simply a scam. I've been trying to get our own profile removed from their site for a while now but to no avail.



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