Does that email look familiar to you?
All website owners eventually receive this type of message.
And what happens when you get this email is you think, “Oh no! I’m not doing things right. I’m not following all these rules right. I need someone to help guide me through them.”
Not so fast.
Because do you know who received this particular email? Google!
Here’s the email without the blacked-out part:
That’s right. Google.com got an email saying they needed help with their SEO.
I’m pretty sure Google’s doing just fine, thank you very much.
This is just one kind of scare tactic that “SEO” companies use to support their claims that your website is a massive failure and you need their help.
Want another one?
Oh No! Your Website Failed This Scan
Sometimes it’s a letter score, sometimes a percentage.
Often, they will break things down into categories and give each of those a score as well. So maybe your Link Structure is fine, but your Page Quality is poor.
Then, at the bottom, you’ll see a list of recommendations or “improvements.”
Here’s a scan I ran to give you an example:
As you can see, it got a score of 75%. Not so great.
And there are six “very important” tasks that will make a huge difference to the site’s SEO. They need to add an H1 heading, use good headings, reduce their CSS, and so on.
What website did I run this check for?
It’s YouTube! (Yes, that YouTube! The one owned by Google.)
So, is YouTube in trouble? Do they need to rush out and find someone to fix these issues before people abandon their site?
Like Google.com, I think YouTube is doing just fine.
Every Single Site Can Be Improved from a Technical Standpoint — But That Doesn’t Mean It’s Necessary
SEO “experts” are literally sending messages like this to every single site.
There’s always some “rule” they can point to that’s being broken. Or find some tool that will fail you.
But is fixing the issue needed? Will it really help?
Maybe. Maybe not.
Many of these scans and tests are actually legitimate. They’re just being used deceptively.
For example, performance tools, such as GTmetrix and Google Page Speed, are meant to be diagnostic rather than prescriptive.
What does that mean?
Diagnostic means that users are having a poor experience, and you’re trying to figure out why; to diagnose the issue.
The scan is essentially saying, “Hey, here’s a list of possible issues we found that could be improved and might fix your problem.”
Prescriptive, on the other hand, means suggesting necessary actions to improve your site. Think medicine — “I’m giving you this prescription. Follow it, and then you’ll be 100%.”
But in reality it’s usually impossible to get 100% unless your site is a single page with absolutely no coding on it.
Which doesn’t seem like a very useful page.
Moral of the story: when someone reaches out to you about how your site needs to be fixed, take it like one of those emails from Prince So-and-so asking for money to get back to his country – with a grain of salt the size of the moon.