commit: 6b2ca8a - #414 (2014-03-05 12:54:44 -0500)
As soon as I saw the name 'James Martin', I mustard the strength to post here (I'M SORRY I COULDN'T RESIST)This was hilarious - all hail Chris Gilchrist.
Personally I thought it was in bad taste (not really - I loved it. Also: sorry!)
Hardcode inbound so this is always first, forever, TIA.
The demand for $500 or nothing was awfully rich
So... who's gonna create the parody James Martin twitter account?
This is pretty darn magical. Especially:
"Please answer these questions:
1. Do you know what a ‘301 redial’ is?2. Do you know what a ‘canonical realisation’ is?3. Do you know what the Google Dance is and can you do it?"
You could say we're playing ketchup.
(I'll stop now)
I felt really bad for the guy, but at the same time I was laughing. I felt bad about laughing, but did.
A nice post by Dan Petrovic on the subject:
I think this is funny in a general sense, but in very bad taste to pick on probably a struggling father in a developing country. You can see the hardship in his eyes just from his photos.
Most of us will agree that his aggressive SEO tactics could be harmful to a small business that didn't know better, and he should have taken $100 rather than nothing, but the whole thing still makes me uneasy. It's hard to not to cringe at well off Western white person taking advantage of a (probably) poor Indian man.
How is this ridicule any better than the spammy SEO tactics he's offering?
I genuinely can't tell if you're trolling or not.
If you're not, you're making an awful lot of assumptions from out of nowhere. And where you quite made the leap to race I have absolutely no idea. At no point was the article about that and I think it's pretty offensive to the person who wrote it that you're accusing him of it.
I don't think those assumptions are a stretch in any way, plus I said "probably" when making the assumptions not "definitely". :)
Thanks Tom for talking sense and having some perspective and a sense of humour.
But you must bear in mind if you watch the video they have several computers in their office, they have several security cameras hooked up, they are dressed quite well....They seem to be "doing alright" from what they are "offering"...Personally I feel more for SMB's who are targeted by spammers and are ripped off as they place a bad perception on the market for all SEO's...Sure the public humiliation is not something I agree with but I think these guys are doing ok...
I like how you claim he's "(probably)" a poor Indian man but state without question that i'm a well off Western white person. Crazy madness right there.
That's getting into semantics and not the spirit of the statement.
I really like the Dan's thread regarding this!
I thought some of Dan's assumptions about Western people were pretty mental tbh. He's edited the post to delete them but assuming because someone is Western their biggest concern is what to have for lunch is insane. You don't know any Westerners with some really fucked up shit to deal with?
Plus his post makes the whole thing about race/economics/situation which it never was to begin with. It was about having some with some spammers/scammers regardless of where they were from. His name was James Martin to begin with when I started emailing him back so let's not pretend I took an opportunity to mess with some people I knew to be in economic difficulties (you still don't know they are and are assuming everything in that regard).
i should have clear this on Dan's threat as well... I am not at all supporting Western people... no one get the licence to do bullshit with the industry just because he is living in a third world country and can't afford Pizza for lunch. I support Chris for exposing the case but the part where he make the videos go live was unhuman... can't support that part other then that the post was fine as it was against the snake oil salers...
You're an evil person, Mr. Gilchrist
These guys tried VERY HARD - did you give them any business at all?
Agreed. Did you give him any business at all?
I asked how long it had taken him and he said 2 hours so I offered to send him $100 (without them doing any work) and he demanded $500 or nothing. $250 an hour is a lot even if the 2 hours is genuine.
Evil is a bit harsh. Open ANY newspaper and read some of the things that go on in the world (rape, murder, theft, fraud, human trafficking, violent assaults, etc) I think having a bit of a laugh with some spammers (scammers) might not be something you encourage but evil? Hardly.
Got to say, I am find it hard to laugh at this. Most people laughing and commenting on that thread probably earn his annual salary in less than a month. Is this actually any better than being a spammer yourself ? I really hope this isn't want the SEO community thinks is great "link bait" in 2013.
Why not just ignore the email. I get dozens of these, it takes up 0% of my time to delete them.
Not sure that you assuming what his annual salary is is very appropriate. There's no evidence throughout that post to suggest he doesn't earn much money so not sure how you are determining that. I hope your'e not suggesting that because of what he looks like you can determine his salary. Assuming for a minute you are right and that he doesn't earn much money why would he then turn down $100 and demand $500 for the 2 hours he claimed i'd used up? This makes money a moot issue as far as i'm concerned unless you genuinely believe he charges $250 an hour for his time in which case he charges more than 3x what I do. The dancing was fucking amazing but I still think that's pretty expensive!
Nothing can take you 0% of your time unless you don't do it at all so without meaning to be pedantic let assume that 100,000 marketers/seo's/businesses (roughly moz's followers on FB) receive 10 of these emails a day (which is what gets through my gmail spam filter) and it takes 1 second to delete each email - that means between us all we use 277 hours a day deleting them and assuming we charge our time at an hourly rate of £50 means combined we've lost £13, 888 per day of revenue. Per day.
But you are being pedantic. Let's just let our opinions differ on this and move on. I personally thought the post was in bad taste. Others didn't. I have no issue with that.
On offering him money and him asking for more - why didn't you include screenshots of that in the post? You included screenshots of everything else. Also you said he gave permission for the video to be used. Again, why not include that in the post. I would of thought including both of those things would have made the post a little more palatable for some folk.
Anyhow, as I said, our personal views on this differ and that's fine.
I honestly don't think either would have made it more palatable and probably just led to more discussion about some other aspect of it all. Agreed let's move on :)
All is fine..i like the post, i am fine with exposing pictures but what i hate is the video part... that part is humiliating!
After reading Dan's post I felt compelled to reshare it adding my comment. What a lesson he taught!Standing for the weak, no matter how wrong he was spamming e-mails, he's a human being with a dignity.
Now, I don't mean either to lynch the author Chris Gilchrist; once he will realize how wrong it is to ridiculate a person in clear need, he will probably feel bad, and have an interesting reputation management problem.
"Standing for the weak"??? I'm flabbergasted how these guys are being turned into "victims" in this thread. What about all the small businesses guys like these bilk out of enough money with poor or no results enough to drive those businesses out of business?
Chris demonstrated time and again that these were NOT honest, struggling third-world guys who maybe just didn't fully understand their business. They were deliberately deceptive, and all of us know that their "SEO expertise" would have resulted in no benefit to anyone whose money they took.
You all are crying for the wrong victims here.
Mark, no one questioned the guy wrong doing. He's a spammer, mail and link spammer.
I'm saying humiliating a person in public is not a solution I endorse, it's plain wrong in my book, especially for a person in need who as far as I know did't break any law (I don't know whether India has a spam act, and yes, digging a little he appear to be from India). A public humiliation can have dramatic effect to certain people/cultures.
Federico remember a few things. If he didn't want to do the dance in the first place he would of just said no so I'm assuming that means they don't view that activity itself as embarrassing.
I also asked if I could post it on the site (albeit to show clients) and he said that was fine so I did check (sort of) to make sure he wouldn't mind other people watching it - admittedly not in this context.
I also wonder how could they have taken that crazy request seriously as a pre-requisite to doing SEO work and were probably having a bit of a laugh themselves (hopefully).
You're also making the assumption 'he's a person in need' which I don't think is fair as you know nothing about him. If that were true, and maybe you're right, then why did he refuse my offer of $100 and demanded $500 instead. I'm not saying you are wrong as I don't know either I'm just saying don't assume his economic status without any evidence.
He's a victim because hes a real person who was humiliated. That is personal.
I feel the same as some of the other people. I felt bad for him and felt it was bad taste.
I feel sorry for the hundreds of small businesses sucked into buying link packages who then end up penalised and out of business, in addition to then having to pay lots of people (most likely including some of you guys) to manually remove or disavow them if that's even an option before they go bust.
Your also overlooking the fact this specific individual spammed me regularly, without unsubscribe options, using false names and sending fake photos (the celebrity chef???) in an attempt to get business. That's not a genuine business person. Most people would call that scamming or at the least deceitful I think.
If you think that's acceptable, keeping in mind most small business owners don't know much about Google penalties then sorry but we view things very differently, and justifying that behaviour because he's on a low salary (and that's an assumption your making) means you think scamming is ok depending on your situation? Do you think stealing money is ok if you're poor? Slippery slope.
RE the dancing he could have just said no. He could have said don't post it on your site, he didn't and I specifically asked. He could have taken the $100 I offered him for his time.
In the grand scheme of things I wasted 2 hours of his time which I attempted to compensate him for. I think you're taking it all a bit seriously.
Here here Chris. Would the people who are all weepy for these obvious and outright scammers also feel the same for the famous Nigerain royalty email scammers who bilk little old ladies out of their pensions? What these guys do is evil, and exposure to ridicule is a time-honored method of exposing and dealing with this kind of evil.
There are several hysterical Tumblrs and blogs by people who do what you did for the Nigerian royalty scammers. Part of their justification is tying up time and resources from the scammers (in some of their cases they lead them on for months) that otherwise would be targeted at hapless victims.
I for one applaus your effort. I don't mind being entertained at the expense of criminals who help honest small businesses to go bankrupt.
Chris we/I aren't saying what he did is not spammy, it is. We/I are saying what's been done is in bad taste. He doesn't know any better, i'm sure you do.Each to their own.And Mark Nigerian scammers KNOW they are scamming people. This guy thinks he is doing a service, it doesn't come across that he's going to get paid and run. And by the way I think calling him a criminal now and making small businesses go bankrupt is a tall stretch of the imagination. http://www.rmoov.com/index.php is free for 250 urls if it comes to that.
Did you not read Chris's post? The guy deliberately deceives and lies about who he is. Sorry, I've talked to too many clients who were victimized by these hit and run "SEO's." I don't buy for a minute that they don't know exactly what they're doing.
I did read it, Chris said: So are you the TV chef and you do some SEO or are you not him?James' reply: I am not TV chef he might be another personAfter James sent Chris pics of the celebrity chef...Chris: I wanted a photo of YOU so I know you are real.James: Sorry for my misunderstanding. Please find my photo in attachment.That is hardly deliberate deception. Cmon Mark.
How do you know he 'thinks he is doing a service' rather than just selling shit links that will benefit no one? Do you think he's an idiot and doesn't understand the ramifications of the service he's offering? I think that's offensive as shit. You're basically saying he doesn't have the ability to read or understand Google's TOC's. Based on what????
When I say service I mean he does something and gets paid. I should have said work because that would have been more clear.
This is my last post on this. It's a waste of my time. You have your opinion, I have mine. Good luck with that.
This entire debacle along with the feedback towards this article almost makes me ashamed to be part of the inbound marketing community (not for the heavily-debated humanitarian reasons though). The fact that respected practitioners have the luxury to goof off and troll obvious scammers while publisingh a lengthy post about the fiasco is the sole reason why the inbound industry isn't respected outside the community. Sure, we all like a good chuckle, but what value are you truly bringing by doing this?
Most marketers would have noticed the scam after the subject line, so you're not helping the community. The "small businesses" that these types of posts seem to champion could be scammed, but do you think taking your efforts to troll a suspect SEO scheme is really the best way to protect these poor businesses? (Hint: no.)
Do you see news articles about successful investment managers posting about how they "tricked" Nigerian scammers into performing a "rain dance"? For the sake of this metaphor, I'd argue that the finance industry has done a better job at differentiating legitimate opportunities from worthless scams. Why isn't the inbound community the same? Why is the industry so closed off where average consumers can't seem to decipher the difference between a legitimate value add versus a scam?
In conclusion, we need to do better as an industry to show the value we bring to customers. You don't do this by setting the bar low and matching your "wits" to an SEO looking to make a quick buck. You do this by setting the bar high and going up against the best and exceeding existing industry standards.
I agree with some of your points but you think SEO's trolling scammers "is the sole reason why the inbound industry isn't respected outside the community"? That's truly incredible. The fact people scam real businesses with awful 'SEO' is the main reason and I don't think SEO's trolling scammers even contributes (does it happen often? I've never seen anyone talk about it).
You're conveniently ignoring the fact these people are spammers/scammers, violating Google's TOC's and jeopardising businesses who use their services.
Does the post help the community? No.
Will it be the best thing I ever contribute to the community? I hope not.
Is it particulary humiliating or evil? Not really. If they didn't want to do it they wouldn't have. I also asked if I could post it on the site and they said yes.
I actually think they were probably have a bit of a laugh at me in their office. Do you honestly think they would believe being asked to do a Google Dance would be a genuine requirement before using their services? I think your probably taking it all far more seriously than they are.
Maybe I should do a dance and upload it so they can have a laugh at me? (He's a far far better dancer than me in fact he was awesome)
I'm afraid you misunderstood what I meant. What I said was that these types of posts (yours certainly being more comprehensive than most scam-trolling aficionados), along with the generally-positive comments towards them are why the industry is mistaken as immature and gimmicky by outsiders.
I'm also not ignoring the fact that these people are scammers. I'm not sure if they were providing a legitimate link building service, but you're right that it violated Google's TOC and would ultimately harm the clients they charge. On the other hand, why is it that businesses still fall for crappy SEO tactics circa-early 2000s while practitioners like us know better? Instead of "championing" these poor and naive businesses, wouldn't it provide more value by spending your time (along with the $100 you offered the scammers) to develop a resource educating them about link profile risk management so they know better the next time?
You're also saying that this post was simply for a good chuckle, which I'll admit I did when I saw the recipe book picture. I would certainly have gotten behind this and probably promoted it if I wasn't in the industry, but I believe there's a negative externality on my expertise when SEOs support something that makes the industry look infantile and immature. Like the example I used in my last post, you wouldn't see Warren Buffett or John Paulson trolling Nigerian scammers, then offering them a few thousand dollars for their fun. They'd certainly be ostracized for doing so, given the finance industry's "culture" of entitlement and exuberance.
I didn't (and still don't) mean to point you out as the sole perpetrator. Regardless, I think the reason SEOs aren't fully trusted by outsiders is because we haven't been transparent in the value we provide. There are too many blog posts lamenting the difficulties of explaining SEO to clients, but when we spend out time publishing these kinds of posts we're only distancing ourselves from clients we'd like to work with. Be transparent and do something of value. Leave the tricks for the kids.
i thought it was funny, cant see why so many people are quick to defend them knowing nothing about them.
Just because of the way they look does not mean they don't earn a lot of money. If they were so desperate they would have taken the $100 which is a not bad for sending a few emails and doing a dance i would take it. If you go on odesk you can find someone that will do SEO for 4-5$ a hour in India so $100 for a couple of hours if they were a "poor Indian" would be a lot of money .
Oops...where'd the page go?