Ethical SEO and a Company to Avoid

Stone Mania is a UK based company who sells crystals, rocks, minerals and ladies gemstone pendants online.  Our business is extremely competitive especially the jewellery side because there are thousands of websites which sell jewellery so to be successful, it’s important to have a presence on page one of Google for the search terms which are most relevant to the type of jewellery that you sell.  The best way to achieve this is to use specific keywords in well written articles and include quality backlinks to your website.

When we search Google using keywords, it scours millions of pages looking for the most relevant results so if for example you’re looking for a gemstone pendant and use these words in your search, Google will return pages or websites that it feels are of the highest quality and these will appear towards the top of page one.  A quality website is one which contains strong, relevant and well written information, one that has links pointing to it from other quality websites, it should be well built, operate efficiently and most importantly be designed using ‘white hat’ SEO techniques.  SEO or search engine optimization is the practice of promoting a website for the purpose of increasing search engine ranking and this must be done in an ethical way and with the additional aim of improving the overall quality of the website and experience for those who visit it or in other words, using ‘white hat’ techniques.  Trying to cheat your way to the top by doing things in an underhanded manner in order to attract the attention of search engines solely for the purpose of increasing ranking, is not acceptable and these practices are known as ‘black hat’ techniques.

When a website is identified as using black hat SEO, it will be penalized and possibly even banned completely.  Black hat SEO is an absolute no go area for any online business who wants to do well in search engine rankings.  Putting together a few random words to form a sentence and then pasting it over and over again in hundreds of different forums all over the internet and linking it through a specific keyword back to the website that you’re trying to promote is a perfect example and it’s sure to get the website penalized or banned completely.  Genuine articles on the other hand which are well written, interesting and feature a few relevant keywords and that include a well placed backlink will attract the search engines attention in a positive way and you’ll be rewarded with an increased volume of traffic being driven to your website.

Whilst there are many companies out there which offer a great service to help you to achieve excellent search engine ranking, SEO Juice owned by Dave Adamson is certainly not one of them.  Looking for a company to work with can be an absolute minefield and when you search for SEO in Google, it’s difficult to know which companies are genuinely going to be able to help and which ones are just looking to cheat you whilst taking your money.  Sadly I was taken in by SEO Juice and Dave Adamson’s friendly approach but the damage that he caused to my online business in just six months, was quite shocking.  Whilst you may think that if you don’t see the results that you’re expecting within a few months you’ll just move on, things are not always quite as simple as that.  If you don’t see any improvement after three months, you should absolutely start looking elsewhere but by that time the company you’re working with may well have caused your website a great deal of damage by using ‘black hat’ SEO techniques and that’s exactly what SEO Juice was doing with Stone Mania.

 

A screenshot of the promo posted in the Warrior Forum by SEO Juice

Stone Mania has been selling crystals, rocks, minerals and ladies gemstone pendants online since 2002 and we’ve always done most of our SEO ourselves and so have a pretty good understanding of how things work.  We have always followed Google’s guidelines with respect to white hat SEO and in return, our website has done pretty well in search engine rankings.  We have used a few SEO companies to help us along the way but had not used anyone for a few years so wanted to find a company who could once again give our website a boost. Whilst reading a thread in the Warrior Forum, a company called SEO Juice owned and run by Dave Adamson in Sydney, Australia caught our eye and although we were initially very wary because of their claims of “guaranteed page one ranking”, after reading the many positive comments posted in the thread we decided to give them a go.  Despite speaking to Dave every few weeks to complain that we were not seeing any results from his work, nothing changed and after six months our Google ranking and the volume of traffic to our website had plummeted.

Having terminated our contract with SEO Juice and instructed another company, we began to see why our website had been doing so badly and it was all down to the black hat SEO techniques that they had been using.  He had farmed the work on the Stone Mania website out to India and because of the low quality spammy links that were being built, we had been penalized by the search engines.  When we started with SEO Juice, our main keywords were all within the first ten pages of Google but after six months, five out of six were outside of the top one hundred and the sixth was on page eighty!

An example of black hat SEO techniques can be seen in the image below.  The keyword jewellery online is one of our keywords and it links back to our website.  These kind of links were posted by the hundreds in every type of forum imaginable right across the internet.  Having been picked up by Google, stonemania.co.uk fell like a brick through the rankings.  All of our credibility online had been lost and everything that we had worked for in relation to SEO over the last ten years had been erased in just six months.

One of many links created by SEO juice. URL was sent to us in our monthly report

One of many links created by SEO juice.  This URL was sent to us in our monthly report

 

Since terminating our agreement with this SEO Juice, we haven’t received a penny back from them, they never worked for free for us and certainly never offered to keep working with us until we received our desired results.  In fact in the last email I received from Dave Adamson, he sympathized with the disappointing results and wished me all the best for the future.

Phony Guarantees from the promo of SEO Juice posted in the Warrior Forum

Phony Guarantees from the promo of SEO Juice posted in the Warrior Forum

What is even more frustrating is that I submitted a number of replies in the Warrior Forum to Dave Adamson’s various threads detailing my experience with his company so that others wouldn’t fall victim in the same way I had but my comments were continuously deleted by the moderators as they were seen to be inappropriate.  In fact SEO Juice has continued to post their promotional ads in various forums and when I comment on the threads, they are almost always deleted by the moderator.  So audacious is SEO Juice that their so called “Operations Manager” Ally Church wrote a sparkling review of the company that she was employed by and not only did she post it as a ‘customer’ in the Warrior Forum but Dave Adamson even featured it in his promotion.

Review written by Ally Church, Operations Manager at SEO Juice

Review written by Ally Church, Operations Manager at SEO Juice

One of my monthly reports from SEO Juice

One of my monthly reports from SEO Juice sent to me by Ally Church | Operations Manager

 

With regards to the review which was written by Ally, Dave Adamson states:

RE: Review written by Ally Church

As you’ll see from the screenshot above, the ‘review’ was posted on the the Warrior Forum on 24th January 2011 and in it Ally states that she signed up with SEO Juice in November so that must have been November 2010 yet Dave’s company SEO Juice was only formed in January 2011.  This is just one of many lies that Dave Adamson tells in order to save his skin.

So in the months since parting company with SEO Juice, we have spent a great deal of time and money removing the hundreds of damaging links that they built in order to rebuild the reputation of our website.

Trading online is already competitive enough without being knocked back by a cowboy company such as SEO Juice.  I only hope that anyone who is considering using Dave Adamson’s company who I can only describe as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, finds our reviews of their services first.

A screensot from SEOJuice.net

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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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