Saturday, May 5, 2007


As a webmaster for many small business people for many years, I have become increasingly disturbed by so-called "Search Engine Optimizers" that, in my opinion, are taking advantage of millions of web site owners and small business people. Let me clarify here, I am not speaking of legitimate SEO professionals who put time and effort into helping their clients, and who are honest with their clients about what is involved with getting and keeping a high ranking on the important search engines, like Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL, Ask and so forth. I am speaking of companies that continue to promote the outdated fallacy that monthly automated search engine submissions and the insertion of a few magical bits of html code will propel a web site to a top ten position for the most popular key phrases for it's subject matter. I am talking about "services" (more aptly called "disservices") that convince small business people that they need to spend a lot of money to have their web site among those included in a mysterious system that has an "in" with the search engines and can instantly get your site a high ranking.

Those who have base knowledge of how search engines are evolving and changing would likely snort coffee out their noses and hang up the phone after being presented with such a fine bit of fiction, but, unfortunately, there are too many web site owners who know little or nothing about how their site gets indexed, or who are laboring under outdated information. These web site owners are the prime targets of a growing industry that profits by preying on panic and promoting misinformation.

One such company is

Mainstreethost employs extremely pushy telephone sales people that make cold calls to web site owners. I've heard about many scenarios for the inital conversation. One client of mine told me that a woman called her and said that her web site was nowhere to be found on the Internet. (Hmmm... I thought, how did they find you, then??) Another client told me of a "bait and switch" scam - a woman called several times saying she had adopted a puppy from a shelter that looked exactly like one on the client's web site. Apparently this woman called several times, but refused to send a photo of the apparently identical puppy. Finally, she called to talk about the wonderful work that a company called "Mainstreethost" had done for her web site, propelling her search engine position in just days. Of course, that call was followed by a call from a pushy salesperson to close the deal.

The bottom line: Mainstreet host claims that they will "put your web site on the search engines" for a mere $400 and then $100 a month, each and every month thereafter. The $100 monthly is to "keep you on the search engines". And, better yet, if you decide to stop paying the $100, your web site will magically disappear from the search engines. (By the way, that amounts to $1600 in just 1 year! - imagine how much advertising you could buy on Google Adwords for $1600!!)

I've heard and read many second hand reports of the ridiculous claims made by this company. I've heard about how they initially employ "scare tactics" to put the potential "customer" in a state of panic by advising that this person's web site is not being found on the search engines. (Of course, this finding would be subject to the search terms entered into a given search engine when looking for a given site.)

Additionally, they even had the audacity to phone me (a webmaster and SEO specialist) to try and convince me that their "services" were needed for my web site (on which my experience and expertise are thoroughly documented). I've had first-hand experience with their hardball phone tactics. The woman that phoned me was very pushy and rude. She actually started yelling and swearing at me when I told her I was not interested in her services. After I hung up on her, she called again to continue her tirade. I can only imagine that it would be difficult to say no to this type of sales tactic if you were not forearmed with knowledge about current search engine positioning procedures.

So, my plan for this blog threefold;
1. I hope to expose the lies about SEO,
2. I plan to expose those who promote and profit from lies about search engine optimization
3. I hope to promote the truth about Search Engine Optimization, something that everyone with a web site can do for themselves, for FREE, without having to know a thing about technical matters or be fluent in Search Engine Optimization lingo.

I invite anyone who has been taken in by SES's (Search Engine Shuysters) to post comments on this blog. Let's spread the word and hopefully keep honest people who hope to succeed with their web sites on a small budget from falling victim to the SEOS (Search Engine Optimization Scam).

Please feel free to let your friends and associates know about this blog. I'll be adding information on how you can be your own SEO for FREE, or find a legitimate Search Engine Optimization specialist to help you achieve your goals.

Thanks for dropping by, and hope to see you again soon!

Princess Headbutt


Rita Deo Barber said...

I received a call from Lisa at Mainstreethost, soliciting my business for an amazing, great deal. Well, you know what they say: If it sounds too good, it probably is & it was. I checked this and other sites, the BBB, & spoke with my webmaster, who said "don't even go there". The next day the solicitor called again (BTW: I was to call her, NOT the other way around) & I said, "No thank you". Well, she bullied and bullied me, til I said, "We're done. No thank you" and hung up. She called me back and started screaming that I was a liar by my saying I had read complaints about them. Give me a break! I would NEVER do business with a company that hires loons, let alone one that had this many complaints about them.

Anonymous said...

I was contacted several times by this company. Very pushy. He claimed if I typed "optimization" in google, they would come up first, which they did at that time, but no longer. At any rate, I did not trust and did not deal with them. Turns out this was the right thing to do.

Diana Lynn said...

I have had my business go from good standing in the search engines to entirely invisible. Main Street Host promised to raise our standings, but instead did irreparable damage to our site/business. We have not had one order since they posted their work, metatag changes, etc. They entirely misrepresented their services. When asked to make the changes to correct the errors, they never returned our calls or made the changes. We are waiting the 6 weeks for the search engine robots to come through and pick us up again, after commissioning someone else to repair our site. HUGE loss of business on our end. Do't use MainStreet Host.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Princess. You have done me a good favor by running this blog. I got a call from an almost-professional guy at mainstreet, and I told him how I designed my own website, and that I wondered what he could do. Well, he began to explain to me about SE spiders, as if I had not heard of them.

So when I got a chance, I googled for comments about his company, hit your blog, and found out what I had sort of suspected.

The deal at this time is that it's $9.95, via credit card, to sign up. You supposedly get "unlimited" time talking with their experts (who are likely just additional sales staff). The guy used the "presumed close" technique, getting all the info needed to write up the order before they even making sure I was convinced. As I never gave him my CC info, I have no idea what they would have done with it. Probably billed me $100/month or worse into eternity.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I too was contacted by these pigs. The sales guy Dave was very smooth. We talked two or three times and he sounded legit. I would not give him my credit card #, paying the $9.95 by PayPal for the initial report they promised. the report was useless. I show up in the to 20-30 rankings in several areas. They said I was not in any top rankings and called several times leaving messages that they could help me. I finally wrote and told them that their "Report" was inaccurate and that I did not want to use them. They called a couple more times then apparently gave up. A couple days ago I got a message from PayPal that my $9.95 was returned to my account because did not have a proper PayPal process in place.

I'm glad I did not give my CC#.

Anonymous said...

I used main street host for a couple years. I did get pretty decent rankings on the web. I was satisfied but when I realized that once the SEO is finished there's only so much you can do, I decided to not renew my contract with them. The sales person, began threatening me and yelling at me and swearing at me. I was so afraid that he would sabotage my website that he got another 500.00 out of me. I used the next couple months to get a new host without telling them. So far so good. my site is doing better since leaving them, strange. They say they're in the website working on it every couple of days, that's a lie. it was three or four weeks before they even realized i left them. They called but I didn't answer and they didn't leave a message because they knew they weren't getting me back. I know the person name, wish I could write that too.

Anonymous said...

I am so thankful that I decided to research Mainstreethost on the internet before I call them back tomorrow to tell them I am not interested. I've been scammed before and after reading what you have posted on this site and input from others I almost was again.

When I was initially called by a Mainstreethost person I purchased the 9.95 offer to analyze my website but I used PayPal to pay for it so that they would not have my credit card. They could tell I was a bit skeptical and they actually sent me an email with a recording of our message talking about not being obligated to anything further.
My payment did process through PayPal without a hitch (unlike what happened to another person who posted on this blog). The sales person seemed really nice and had an answer for everything to include why I was seeing my company on page one of Google search (they indicated because I've used the site so many times, my IP address was being recognized by the search engines which would keep me on page one of the Google search). I am not technically inclined so this could possibly be true, how was I to know? So I called several people I know who had never visited my website and had them do a generic search for our product and I was on Google’s first page almost every time using different search criteria. The mainstreethost rep actually had me go to a site so I could watch him search for things on his PC to show I was much lower. I don't know why I was so far down when they did their searches perhaps because he just wasn’t clear enough in his search criteria...but most people ordering from our site KNOW what they want and what to type in the search engine. We only do one thing!

Either way...most of our customers are repeat and referrals anyway. Sure it would be great to expand our client base but not lose money in the process. I just didn't get a good feeling about these folks so I’m glad that I can feel better about not accepting their “services.”

Thanks again for starting this site. I appreciate you all helping me to make the right choice and NOT go with mainstreethost.

princessheadbutt said...

Typical scenario, and it seems there are a lot more of these crooks joining the game.

I'll be happy to give you some pointers on how you can get more new business through SEO. Just call me on 1-888-541-6650 and I'll be glad to chat with you.