Considering WME to do your SEO work? Read below before you proceed.
After we lost a good chunk of our organic search engine traffic due to the August 2018 "Medic Update" we thought it was a good idea to outsource our SEO. We found WME, a Melbourne based SEO company and after a few phone calls made with Erik Shaikh the decision to go ahead with them paying 3300 $AU per month was made. Erik promised us the recoup all organic traffic and was very confident to get even more.
To make a long story short our dealings with them were more than disappointing to say the least. Nothing happened for the first 3 month and we were told that SEO takes time and we should see results soon. "Results" never happened and after 6 payments of 3300 $AU we decided to pull the pin on them based in there inability to supply the service we were paying for. Later we figured out that the SEO reports WME was sending us on a monthly basis were fabricated and real life google analytics data confirmed our suspicions.
From the time WME started their work on our website from early November 2018 until March 2019 there was a total of 3 logins to the admin resulting in less than 2h total "work" made on our website. The "work" WME did resulted in failure of the navigation menu of the website and we had to spend hours to fix their errors.
The SEO work that was carried out by WME offsite through backlinks was so ineffective that our website ended up with less organic traffic than we had pre WME. Our suspicion was that WME used blackhat tactics to generate higher page ranks which eventually will get penalised by google and is highly disregarded by website owners. WME uses their clients websites as link farms and also create backlinks from non related foreign websites. Our page ranks never increased.
In March 2019 we once again confronted Erik Shaikh about how unhappy we were with their work and informed him that we will no longer pay for their questionable services and instructed WME to go on a performance based contract where we will make payments once we receive what we are paying for, which is an increase in organic website traffic and not an increase in bogus ranking data from fake reports. We made our last payment to WME in April 2019. Taking our total payments to $19,800 for absolutely nothing and a google ranking penalty as bonus on top of it.
We kept getting invoices from WME until July 2018 and it was promised work will commence once all invoice were paid. We had no interest in WME continuing their damaging work.
We have done a lot of research about WME and there are a lot of people that have been getting scammed by this company. A company that we believe should not be trading. WMEs history goes all the way back to 2012 and we can not believe how they keep getting away with it.
From the www.productreview.com.au website it is pretty obvious that the 5 star reviews are fake and published in an attempt to bury all legitimate 1 star reviews. The 5 star reviews are all written in the same template style.
Long story short. We are $19,800 out of pocket and it hurts a small business when you get scammed by a company that has been doing so since 2012. Then this Monday (07/09/2020) we received an email of a debt collection service informing us we would still owe and outstanding amount of $19,800 to WME as was agreed on the 12 month contract.
We almost forgot about the bad experience we had with WME until we received the collection notice in September 2020. We can not let WME get away with this forever. We have decided to launch an application with VCAT to recover the money we have paid them.
Money paid so far: $19,800
Total time WME spent working on our website: less than 2h
Work that was done: 2 Collection pages had title and description changes
Work that was done off site: backlinks included link farms of WME client pages, backlinks from unrelated website
Result of their work after 5 month: Less organic traffic, broken shop navigation, google penalty
Been working at WME for >3 years now (would prefer not to give exact timeframe as I'm still employed). When I started out I was pretty excited and gung ho about the position, but over time I've realised what a mistake it was. I'm currently attempting to get out the door without burning any bridges so that I can move on to an *actual* agency. The environment is utterly, utterly toxic. You are forced to sell products that nobody, and I mean *nobody* (not even Nick Bell) actually believes has any viable impact on a client's business. The tech team in-house is looked down upon and is essentially left to "get things done" while the sales team is forced to push products that are, at best, a rip-off, and at worse, actually harmful to a clients web products.
I wanted to like WME, I really did. The idea of helping out clients have more effective sites, and to do it by making *real* suggestions and providing *actual* solutions is cool. I just wish these were things that WME valued. Instead, it's just churn, churn, churn - with no real care towards any particular client. As Nick Bell would say (and has said, on more than one occasion) - "There are plenty of clients out there - we can't worry about just this one."
more: Ex-employees about WME