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    Dear Sirs or Madams,

    “Greetings of the day!” We received your 20,000 emails describing all the ways that you can help our business. They’re right there in our spam folders with the messages from Nigerian princes and snake oil peddlers, and there are about a million things wrong with them. You asked us to get back to you, so we thought we would send along some feedback:

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    • Why on earth did you use that font?
    • Your prices are just a little too low to believe.
    • You offer services that are essentially free. In other words, a report that we can get from Google Analytics does not add value to your services.
    • You make claims about our sites that just aren’t true, and you make claims about your success that Google has told us to ignore:

    Some companies claim to “guarantee” high ranking for your site in Google’s search results. While legitimate consulting firms can improve your site’s flow and content, others employ deceptive tactics in an attempt to fool search engines. Be careful; if your domain is affiliated with one of these deceptive services, it could be banned from our index.

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    But the main thing—the biggest thing—that is wrong with your message is that SEO is dead

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    Okay, maybe that statement is a little hyperbolic. For the types of firms that send these emails, the SEO that you do is dead. I mean, come on! If you were so great at SEO, this email wouldn’t be the first time we have heard of you, we would have found you via search! Instead, all we know about you is that you run a very poor email marketing campaign.

    For years, Google has been improving their system to connect users with exactly the content they ask for in that little search bar, and for years, companies like yours have been trying to game the system to make their sites show up in searches they really shouldn’t.

    You’ve been to these sites, and they suck. Remember the sites with a long string of random words at the bottom? The content aggregators compiled by robots to “answer” every question about a topic or just serves up links to content on other sites?

    Those sites GOT IN THE WAY of what we were really looking for and basically ruined the internet. That was the work of some SEO genius (like you?) who found a way to exploit some part of the Google algorithm. Thanks a lot.

    SEO is dead—long live content marketing

    I guess this is a fan letter to Google, too, because they keep identifying these loopholes and closing them. As a user, I get these crappy results less and less. As a web professional, I feel confident that if we create great content for our clients, people will find it (and them!).

    And that brings us back to all those SEO emails in our spam folders. If content is what drives search, and this is the best content you can deliver……

    “[name redacted]” works on International Delivery Model (IDM), which emerge as a riotous strength in the web industry to grow the demand of offshore outsourcing.

    – Actual quote from a marketing email

    (seriously, what does that even mean?) ……then how in the world are you going to help any of us? User expectations have changed, and this approach just isn’t helpful.

    Do you want to know what is helpful? Caring about your users and their user experience. Creating great content and displaying it well. Supplementing on-site efforts with digital marketing campaigns on social media platforms or via email. Understanding and reacting to changes in the industry or your users. Even better— seeing those changes coming and preparing ahead of time.

    The point is, the solution isn’t the same for every organization, and it definitely isn’t $99 per month. In fact, any SEO firm that gives you a fixed price in their email, without knowing anything about your organization or the competitive landscape in your industry, is a firm you should avoid at all costs.

    We all know this. It’s the reason your emails end up in our spam folders to begin with. What we’re asking is that until you can figure out how to compete in today’s digital marketing landscape, could you please remove us from your contact lists?

    Thanks for your time. We look forward to your positive reply!