If your business operates anywhere within the digital realm, you’ve probably been the target of digital marketing scare and fear tactic sales driven by software bots. Does the following narrative sound all too familiar?

Email: During my recent visit to your site, I noticed several performance hiccups negatively impacting your search engine rankings…

Phone call: I’m a representative from Google, and your business listing is on the brink of deletion…

Such alarms, among thousands of others, are not genuine concerns. Instead, they are machinations of software bots or automated call center messages designed to instill fear and coax you into transactions. No one has personally audited your website to pinpoint its deficiencies. And rest assured, Google isn’t placing that call.

These fear-inducing tactics are often deployed by low-tier (or outright scam) businesses aiming to generate sales. These tactics leverage your emotions, provoking dissatisfaction with your current service provider and leading you to hire the very villain causing the supposed issues.

A common ploy of these scare-tactic sellers is to serve technical insights such as “Your website isn’t W3C Compliant” or ambiguous statements like “Your site lacks sufficient inbound links.” However, such warnings are essentially meaningless. To illustrate, even isn’t W3C compliant, and no website ever has “enough” inbound links. The concept of enough links is a misnomer in itself.

Stay One Step Ahead of the Scammers

The reality is, most evaluation software is designed to highlight faults, irrespective of their actual impact. Their purpose is to cast your website in a negative light, as no sales are made by stating “your website scores an A+ across all categories, but you should still sign up.” What truly unfolds is a barrage of scare-tactic emails and calls targeting business owners, with thousands inevitably falling prey. For instance, a widely used SEO check website rates at a shocking 0/100, flagging five critical errors and seven warnings. In a more balanced evaluation, we assessed the top-ranked website for a highly competitive, national keyword “credit card processing.” This leading site scored a mere 53/100, with three critical errors and 16 warnings. Despite scoring an apparent “F,” it’s the number-one ranked website globally for a fiercely competitive search term. The design of these tests inaccurately downgrades your website’s performance to drive sales.


Ask for an SEO Review From a Reputable SEO Agency

You don’t have to be a tech wizard to discern when you’re being led astray. If you sense a potential issue, you could consult a tech-savvy friend or hire a professional to conduct a brief site audit. Alternatively, assess your website’s ranking for your target keywords. If you’re struggling to rank well, it might be time to seek assistance from a reputable SEO firm. But if you’re ranking favorably, continue your good work. Above all, avoid impulsive reactions to fear-mongering emails from anonymous sources. Patience and wisdom will always triumph.