SEO company ‘Digital Spark’ using Spam link tactics

When you hire an SEO company to work on your website you need to ensure that they know what they’re doing, they’re ethical and they don’t do anything to endanger your website in Google. Sadly, many SEO companies (including some UK based ones) engage in spam linking tactics, such as spamming the comments of blogs with badly written copy in the hope of building links.

For example, the following ‘comment’ was left on one of our sites recently (today actually, on a Saturday) using an IP address based in Asia. As you can see, the comment is asking for a link to the client’s website (an ‘SEO’ company based in London) and has been written by someone who clearly has English as a second language. The line: ‘There is following our link details once you will add then confirm the same’ demonstrates the poor use of English.

Have a read of the comment we received:

Author : smith (IP: , E-mail :
Whois :
Dear webmaster,

I just visited your website. After reviewing your website, I thought you would be a great resource for exchanging link.

There is following our link details once you will add then confirm the same.

By using following details:

Title: seo company
Description: SEO Consultant London – Digital Spark

Awaiting for your response

Thanks & Regards,
Link Exchange Expert

This type of spam link building doesn’t do a website any favours, and merely serves to highlight the unethical practices of the SEO company involved. The fact that these links are FOR the SEO company makes matters even worse.

You shouldn’t spam websites for links using poor quality, broken English.

SEO company demonstrates distinct lack of SEO

One of the things that’s always bothered me about the SEO industry is how just about anyone can claim to be an SEO specialist, and offer search engine optimisation services to unsuspecting clients regardless of their actual knowledge of the industry.

The people that do this, without any real knowledge of SEO, tend to be web designers (or sorts) who have realised that their clients now want SEO and, rather than pass them on to a credible SEO agency, claim to be able to do it themselves. They’ll often charge a flat rate for one off work too, because, let’s face it, they don’t really know what they’re doing anyway so what difference does it make how they do it?

Whether you’re a plumber in Cheshire or a national accounting firm, whether you’re going after geographical keywords or generic keywords, they charge the same… because they have little or no idea of how to rank a website anyway, why the heck not?

I was looking at one website this last week and noticed they’d had SEO done (kind of) but there were a few, shall we say, glaring errors. It was apparent that whoever had performed the SEO wasn’t an expert in their field, and had more likely cribbed off some notes from a blog or forum before attempting the work. For example, they’d even spelt the word ‘Stockport’ wrong in the client’s Title tag!

So, I looked at the website for the company responsible and found that they were in fact a rather well known design agency in Chester… a design agency also offering ‘SEO services’; well, who doesn’t these days?

A quick look through their site and I could see just how they’d have made a mistake with the client’s website; their blog didn’t even feature a Title tag… on ANY of the pages. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of SEO will tell you about the importance of a Title tag, yet this SEO company didn’t even have one, on any of the blog’s pages. The Title tag was blank…


I presume this was an oversight; perhaps someone was updating the template and forgot to put the Title tag generator back in? Whatever the reason, it wasn’t checked and the rankings of the website will be affected as a result; just like any website’s Google rankings would be affected if similar errors were made while optimising a website.

When you let someone loose on your website for SEO, make sure they know what they’re doing.

Oh, did you want to know who the SEO company in question is? Sorry; I’m not tipping them off 😉

See, I’ve grown as a person.

Paint, wallpaper and carpets – the cost of being a landlord

As a landlord, one of the things I often have to do is have a property decorated for tenants. It’s one of those necessary expenses that I’d rather not fork out for, but alas has to be done.

sarah beenyBeing a fan of the Been (Sarah Beeny) I also know that when you have a house decorated for tenants you don’t go and spend ludicrous amounts of money having it decorated to your own exacting standards. While yes, I might like the best furniture, expensive wallpaper, feature walls and plush carpets – when it’s for rental purposes a simple cheap carpet and some magnolia painted walls will suffice – which is just what I had done the last time I had a house decorated for rental (yet it still cost a few quid mind, as even cheap decorators know how to charge).

The carpets were a particular bone of contention too, as when I first let out a property at the start of 2007 I had new carpets installed for the tenants, and when they moved out (some 18 months or so later) the carpets were knackered and I needed to fit new ones again. The letting agent did try to have them cleaned, but this wasn’t working as they were in too much of a dreary state.

Thus a valuable lesson was learned about installing cheap carpets in the first place.

I remember too from my visits to Leeds University that carpets in student accommodation were fairly cheap. One of the students on a particular level in one of the halls had placed a hot saucepan down in the hallway, outside the kitchen, scorching the carpet. As nobody had owned up to this, every student on the level was threatened with being charged for the repair. The mark was burned into the carpet too, so it couldn’t be dealt with by carpet cleaning. Leeds University had the right idea (albeit unfair for students) in the way it makes tenants pay for repairs or replacements and, because it has deposits from all of the students, it can deduct the costs of repairs without worrying that they could come to more than they’re holding.

Perhaps I should look at properties near universities in future?

CSA riled by

Sometimes I just have to laugh at the Child Support Agency. When I first encountered them, like most people, I was staggered by the lack of understanding, their indifference, their incompetence and, yes, their lies. I thought I must be really unlucky. Of course, four years on I realise that I wasn’t unlucky, I wasn’t cursed, I wasn’t being singled out – the CSA really is that bad… to everyone.

The website (which is being mentioned in the Sunday Telegraph this weekend) receives dozens of emails every day from people pouring their heart out about how the CSA has failed them, is persecuting them or just isn’t listening to them; and no, it’s not just fathers – it’s an equal split between mothers and fathers. The CSA is useless on every level.

We have documented proof of their having lied, their having sent documents to the wrong addresses, breached the Data Protection Act and, most worryingly, of them having attempted to goad fathers into suicide. This isn’t rhetoric, this has all happened and has all been reported on the website These are facts.

Now however it seems that the Child Support Agency isn’t happy with the website and, in particular, its Facebook page. It seems that the CSA is unhappy that members of the Facebook page have been posting links to profile pages of people who have listed the CSA as their employer.

This news story chronicles the complaint from the CSA, and reports how they’re intent on shutting the website down. Here’s a quick quote from the piece, where Dave Richards, the PCS DWP Group Assistant Secretary, boasted:

“Staff in CSA do an important job collecting record amounts of maintenance and helping lift children out of poverty. They should have the right to do so free from harassment and threats of violence.”

“I am pleased to report that CSA and the Security Management Team are taking the matter very serious and are having successes in closing the site and/or having the worst elements removed.”

“It’s important that any staff with a Facebook account make sure it’s locked and they remove their employment details from their pages. This will stop such anti CSA sites from getting easy access to your details and putting you on their name and shame list”.

I find it hilarious that the CSA is looking to close the site down, and that they’re upset over how our members have been posting links to the profiles of their staff. However, here’s some advice for the CSA…

If you don’t want your staff to be plastered all over the Internet, how about you:

  • Don’t post on websites such as Facebook that you work for the CSA
  • Don’t post up photos of yourself, next to the aforementioned information that you work for the CSA
  • Don’t set your profile to ‘public’
  • Don’t post on websites such as and the Facebook page abusing people

These simple ideas aside, here’s one for the CSA itself. Rather than investing so much time (and public money, our money) trying to cover up the mistakes, incompetence, lies and general abuse of power by trying to shut down sites like, and trying to gag people from speaking about their cases online (yes, we’ve heard about them too) why not just tackle the route of the problem and do your jobs properly in the first place? We, the public, have had enough of the corruption, the lies, the feathering of nests, the hatred and the lack of empathy from the CSA – we’re not going to go away quietly, we’re not going to stop what we’re doing, we’re not going to give in to your demands.

Throw your worst at us. We’ve already taken more than most would believe humanly possible by the very fact they we deal with the CSA. That in itself is more than any threats could afford.

We await your next move.

MrDaz appears on Radio Five Live with Gabby Logan

I was approached this week via the website to offer my opinion on the new paternity testing kits that are being made available across the UK by Boots. The kits will cost £29.99 to buy, and a further £129 to send off to the lab, and will prove (or disprove) the paternity of a child.

The idea of paternity testing kits being so readily available on the high street, much like pregnancy testing kits, is a significant worry for families as, through, we have seen countless family units broken up over disputed parentage.

I gave my views on the subject on BBC Radio One’s Newsbeat, which you can read here, and appeared on Gabby Logan’s show on Radio Five Live yesterday. Here a short extract from the radio show where I explain my concerns to Gabby.

How to optimise title tags for SEO

StuckOn’s new website launched this week, and with our new YouTube channel which will offer advice and tips on SEO. The first SEO advice video on the channel is all about optimising your Title Tags for search engines.

Title Tags are one of the most important on-page factors for SEO and, even though a simple tweak to a Title Tag can make all the difference to a website’s rankings, some websites even leave them off altogether. This video offers five top tips to formatting your Title Tags to increase your website’s rankings in the search engines – and it’s under a minute in length!

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

You can also watch the video on SEO advice here.