SEO Juice Australia

Continuing from my previous article about the damage that a search engine optimization company can cause to your online business, in this posting I’ll demonstrate how SEO Juice based in West Sydney Australia did just that and brought my online gemstone jewellery business to its knees.  I hope anyone out there who’s looking to promote their website so that its ranking in Google improves, reads this article carefully and doesn’t get stung in the way that I was despite being extremely knowledgeable in this field.

I initially came across SEO Juice (seo juice . net) in September 2012 whilst reading a forum in the hope of finding a company who could promote the visibility of my website online.  Ranking well in Google is vital if you want to become successful as an online trader and it’s something that I’ve worked extremely hard for during the ten years that I’ve had my gemstone jewellery business Stone Mania.  Although I’m definitely no expert even after all this time, I do have a pretty good knowledge about what it entails.  I’ve also used several SEO companies over the last few years and am well aware that not all can be trusted with achieving good results so you need to be very careful who you choose.  Having read their extremely long posting in which they made all sorts of promises and guarantees, I initially decided not to use them as companies like this should always be treated with caution as nobody really knows exactly what it is that Google looks for in order to achieve top place ranking hence such guarantees are extremely difficult to fulfill and even more so for the relatively low fee that this company was asking.

Screen Shot from SEO Juice's website

Screenshot of one of the rotating banners at SEO Juice . net

Having found an alternative company, I quickly became concerned over some of their work because although they were achieving pretty good results, they were not native English speakers hence some of the articles they were posting online to promote Stone Mania were written in poor English and I felt this may go against me so ceased using them and started looking around once again.  By chance, SEO Juice were then recommended to me by a reputable source and this time I decided to give them go but sadly, that would be a decision I would live to regret.  Having contacted them through their website seojuice . net, I soon received a reply from Dave Adamson, the owner and operator of the company.  Having advised him of the reason for me leaving the previous company, he replied and I quote from his email:

I am sure we can help you when the time comes that you need to switch to an English speaking and writing firm.  The main thing that troubles me with non-English SEO firms is that SEO requires a lot of content generation, it is not enough to simply put links out there, these links need to be backed by and often incorporating topic related content. If results are achieved without doing this properly it just isn’t a good foundation for your SEO because when the search algorithms catch on to the websites with poor grammar and little traffic the links are diluted and thus your rankings could slip.

He agreed the Small Biz package at $350 (US dollars) per month would be the best choice and I subsequently signed up.  Little did I know at the time that had I signed up through the link on the Warrior forum, it would have been significantly cheaper.

Screenshot taken from Warrior Forum ad'

Screenshot taken from Warrior Forum ad’

After almost three months I started to become concerned when I did not see any significant improvements in my ranking despite this usually being the time frame that improvements start to become noticeable.  Once again I emailed Dave and received the following reply:

Regarding the 3 month projection, that is a globally recognised time frame to judge how an SEO campaign is progressing.  Traffic and rankings typically start improving from the 2nd month onwards but in some cases this will vary depending on a number of factors out of our control.  From what I can see so far in your rankings some keywords have moved up and some down, so we are yet to see a strong and consistent rise in your rankings.  As I can see that our links are now being picked up by the search engines and indexed I would anticipate that you will start to see some strong improvements over the next couple of weeks at the most.

Satisfied with his reply, I sat back and waited in anticipation for the following month’s report but when it arrived, I was once again shocked to see that out of the six keywords that were being promoted, one had climbed very slightly and the other four had fallen yet again.  Upon sending another email expressing my disappointment, he replied with the following:

That is a good sign that traffic flow has steadied out a little, however the fact that the rankings have not made significant improvements over the last few months is a little disappointing so I understand where you’re coming from.  The good thing is that all the links are permenant and will continue to build upon the new links we are creating to grow the link popularity and quality of Stone Mania, which in turn will improve rankings, traffic, and sales over the next few months.  Sometimes it can take some time for the search engines to make significant progress on rankings, we will be monitoring the movements closely this month as I anticipate things are set to skyrocket anytime now. If the results have not improved significantly this month we will provide additional links to give the site a boost in the search engines.

Normally by this time I would have left and found an alternate company but as I had been well recommended, I decided to stick with it and trust what I was being told.  I’m far from naive in this field and was already very worried but decided to hold out for a few more months.  April’s report was just as disappointing with Gemstone Jewellery slipping down yet again, two other keywords remaining unchanged and three moving up by just one place.  It was time for a stronger email and below is what I wrote:

I have given you access to my Google analytics account which you should be able to access through your own Google Analytics log in.  My reason for doing this is because I’d like you to look at the impact that the your SEO work has had on my website.  If you set the date span to start at the 15th December and finish at the end of March, you’ll see that bounce rate, time spent on site and overall traffic has remained relatively unchanged during this time period.  Although I’ve mentioned this a few times now, I am now beginning to get rather concerned as all the SEO companies with whom I’ve worked with in the past have been able to show results after three months and on the 15th April, you would have been working for me for four months and still there is virtually no improvement at all let alone any significant changes.

Five days later, I received the following which was part of a longer response:

Sorry for the late response, I wanted to review your progress thoroughly before responding.  After reviewing your Google analytics I can see the rather steady traffic flow with not too much improvement so I am definitely keen to improve this for you before June.  What we will do to boost your rankings throughout April is create an additional layer of backlinks for you which should create some potency in the search engines and have you getting first page rankings for the majority of your keywords by June.

SEO Juice had so far not had any success at all in promoting any of the six keywords that we had both agreed on and Gemstone Jewellery had always been in the top ten listings for as long as Stone Mania had been online, yet it too continued to slip down the rankings.  Dave suggested this was down to the nature of my keywords and said he wanted to promote a range of different keywords which in his words ‘should rank quite quickly and hopefully give you a significant boost in traffic within the next month or so.’  Needless to say, they did neither!

In mid April I received my monthly report from Ally Church, Operations Manager at SEOJuice . net.  This was interesting because after I stopped using the company and referred back to their posting in the Warrior forum, I found a sparkling review which highly praised the company.  I think the article and the author speak for themselves.  I’m very pleased to see that since reporting this post, the author has been banned.

Screen Shot from Warrior Forum

In the next email to Dave in which I yet again complain that there has still been no significant improvement in ranking for Stone Mania on Google, he replied:

You may have heard about Googles next major update “Penguin 2.0” which is just around the corner. I am very excited to see the results from this on your campaign as we have been travelling in the same direction as Google in terms of link quality for some time now.

In reply to yet another concerned email, he stated:

I can see the drop for “gemstone jewellery” which seems quite concerning, as well as a few other drops so I can definitely understand your concern.

He then started to blame the poor results on the platform that my website runs on which is not only one of the largest but it also hosts hundreds of thousands of eCommerce sites all around the world.  The platform which he subsequently recommended I change to is totally unsuitable for any eCommerce site:

I honestly think that in order to save your online business the last straw would be to convert your website to…………This will dramatically improve loading speed, the ease of the search engine bots to crawl the website, plus many more benefits.  Another idea is if we move your budget from the consistent monthly backlinks to a higher level of content concentration for just a month or two we should see some decent improvements which could potentially save your online business.

By this time my patience was running very thin and I was already looking for someone else.  When my search engine ranking report for June arrived, Gemstone Jewellery was sitting in 48th place (it was in second when I first went to SEO juice) and Gemstone Rings was at 69.  This was after six months work.  At the beginning of August I advised Dave Adamson that I no longer wanted to do business with his company to which he replied:

Although it is disapointing, I definitely see your point of view in terminating the SEO plan due to the results just not picking up despite our efforts and extra work.

In my next posting I’ll detail the guarantees this company make and what they claim they’ll do to keep your business.

Thankfully my gemstone jewellery business Stone Mania is slowly recovering from the immense damage this company caused and it is my intention to try and warn others to stay very well clear of them.

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About Stone Mania - Crystals, Rocks, Minerals
Stone Mania is a London based wholesale and retail supplier of crystals, rocks, minerals and ladies gemstone pendants. We are a small team of mineral enthusiasts who travel to Africa, Asia and the USA several times a year in order to buy pieces for our collection. As well as shipping minerals back to the UK, we also bring up to seventy kilos back with us at any one time and thanks to our wonderful clearing agent and UK customs, we're usually through in pretty good time. Stone Mania started life in the winter of 2002 and those early days were spent trading one day a week from behind the counter of a cramped stall in Camden market. Dedication, passion and a huge amount of hard work meant that the business grew steadily and went from strength to strength and despite a few ups and downs especially during the credit crunch of 2008, we never had any doubt that Stone Mania would pull through. Fifteen years on and we're just as enthusiastic about Stone Mania as we were on that very first trading day back in 2002. We love what we do and are very happy to say that our customers also love what we do and together, we all get to enjoy some of the worlds most beautiful and fascinating crystals, rocks and minerals. If you're a retail customer you can shop online with us through our website but for those interested in buying wholesale from Stone Mania, please contact us first in order to set up an account.

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