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You Give Search Engine Marketing a Bad Name

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

Cold calling telemarketers hoping to attract new clients from small-business owners are advised to do more research before making those sales calls.

Owning a small business in a major metro US area, I could easily be perceived as your average local small business owner. I receive faxes, e-mails, direct mailings, and telemarketing calls just like the rest of my neighboring business owners.

However, when it comes to topics like internet marketing and search engines, I have a bit more information and knowledge, than most telemarketers are prepared for.

My Los Angeles chiropractic office receives telemarketing calls related to search engine optimization, customized web sites, pay per click advertising, niche directory placement, and internet marketing, on a near daily basis. We also get calls from toner companies, equipment financing companies, and the like. I’m particularly interested in the search related marketing calls though, as they can be lots of fun.

I received a telemarketing call last week from an internet marketing company based out of San Diego, California. A young woman named Sarah asked if I had a web site. She then asked me if I would agree that small businesses in Southern California were closing their doors left and right and if I was interested in the solutions that would keep myself from becoming a failed business statistic. I decided to play along, so I showed an interest (at least I’d get some content for this blog).

Sarah was very excited and she worked hard to get as much information from me as she could. I was told that the company Sarah worked for had the ability to separate me from the competition. I would benefit from their years of trial and error in internet marketing. I would earn trust and confidence with my new prospects. I would see increased exposure on all major search engines. I would be positioned on the top two most visited search engines daily. I would significantly increase my returns on advertising and marketing.

Sarah continued, making it sound as though she and her company had the secret formula to my success. She mentioned “keywords” so I asked her one question… “what tools do you use for keyword research?” “Hold on,” she said. You could hear her hand over the phone while she was yelling across the room for someone to get an answer to this question. A guy got on the line and told me he could help me. I let him know that I was curious as to what kind of keyword research tools the company used. He told me that all the tools being used by his company were proprietary and that they had “back end access to Google” which allowed them to have new information daily about my website. I acted as though I was impressed and asked again about the Google backend access. He told me it was proprietary information, and it was something no other company had.

Sarah got back on the phone and wanted to get my fax number so their head of research could send me over some really important information that related to my web site and my potential clients. I received a three-page fax later that afternoon.

The first included some information about the San Diego marketing company, along with corporate logos for Yahoo!, Google, MSN, and AOL. The second page nearly resulted in a concussion, as I almost fell to the floor in laughter, after seeing the “research” I was provided.

searches per day The page was a print out from a web site I’ve been to many times in the past. It was a “Searches per Day” report from April 20, 2006 authored by Danny Sullivan, one of the world’s most renowned individuals in the area of search engine optimization (SEO).

It’s an impressive list but it’s more than a year old, and it had me wondering why a telemarketing company would have bothered faxing it to me. Was I supposed to get excited that 91 million Google searches per day were being made in March of 2006?

The third page was similar to the first page, with more search engine logos, and more information about these Southern California Internet marketing specialists, who listed among their superior products and services… pop up and pop under banners.

I never did get to finish my conversation as I missed the telemarketer callback and I got busy focusing on other things.

Here’s my advice to search engine marketers. You folks call me nearly every day. Since you already have my name and the name of my business don’t you think it would be a good idea to do 30 seconds of research before calling?

I’ll keep it simple. When you are calling a prospective marketing client, do a quick search using the individual’s name and then the name of their company. For example, you can Google my last name “Dorausch” and see if any information related to my business appears.

You can also Google the name of my business “ADIO chiropractic” and see if there’s anything interesting, or if there is even any result that somehow resembles my business.

While you are unlikely to get my business by sending faxes like the one shown in the screenshot here, don’t count yourself out. I’m still waiting on a telemarketing call that I can say yes to.

Do your homework and stop giving search engine marketing a bad name. Probably a good idea to stop sending faxes with articles by Danny Sullivan as well, unless of course, you are Danny Sullivan.



  1. Hi Mate,

    There is no way that a telemarketing
    company would do any research at all!

    Sarah, has probably got to get through
    her list of 10000000000000 calls before

    I know exactly how you feel…I get these
    phonecalls everyday too!

    We must be on the same list 😉

    Take Care,

    Michael Silvester

  2. Hello,

    Interesting article. I also once worked as am ‘internet marketing specialist’, AKA ‘cold caller’. Even though my skills as a sales agent prevailed, it was a tuff chore. Since then, I have realized that the only true way an internet marketing company can prevail is through 2 methods. 1, being they optimize their own site so that they are easily accessible by searchers and 2, is through referrals (since they do such incredible work). I left the horrific company that I worked for, and since then started up my own internet marketing company: One thing is for sure, no matter how much we are interested in gaining more business, we refuse to let telemarketers/sales agents devour our reputation by cold calling businesses in our local area and giving off a pathetic pitch, that many small business owners are accustomed too.

  3. LOL, that’s hilarious about the ‘tools’ they had for keyword discovery. Seriously, if you’re going to call a small business, help yourself out and get some basics. Most of the people they call probably know more than them about that stuff…ha!

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