TOPSEOs Deceptive Practices – An Interview with Jeev Trika

UPDATE 4/29/2010 – TOPSEOS issues Apology - But Is It Enough?

_________________________________________________

The TOPSEOs discussion (mostly industry leaders and participants calling for TOPSEOs to stop their deceptive marketing practices) has been raging for a while now. Not long after this all started, I attempted to contact Jeev Trika, one of the owners of the company.  At first, I did this with a direct email to Jeev via his LinkedIn account.  When I got no response to that after 2 weeks, I called them and was actually able to talk with Jeev himself.  It turns out that Jeev not only stands firm in his view that they have a legitimate business model, but he even told me he sees this as just a witch hunt out to smear a good business.

My Apologies For The Delay

Before I continue I need to apologize for the lengthy delay in the time between that call and this article.  The fact is that I have a life outside my blogging.  Go figure.  Sometimes I’m swamped with client work.  Other times, personal life takes over.  In any case, even though it’s now been a couple weeks since that call, I think this is still a timely article, and as a follow-up to my own original article.

Especially since Third Door Media has most recently contacted TOPSEOs and demanded they cease and desist with not only their blatant scraping of the legitimate content created by Search Marketing industry professionals, but that they remove the SMX logo from the TOPSEOs site, as they have used that without permission.

And, of course, more companies have come out with complaints against TOPSEOs, a number of which can be found in the comment threads over at Sphinn.

A Desire To Hear The Other Side

Okay – so I called TOPSEOs and asked to speak with Jeev Trika directly, because hey – nobody from their company has had the willingness to participate in a legitimate discussion about their business practices.  And rather than just being one of the people who raises a concern based on personal opinion or just because several complaints have shown up, I figured I’d get Jeev’s take on this whole thing.

Jeev Sidesteps A Desire For Accuracy

Now mind you, I’m not a reporter.  I don’t have professional journalism training.  And I’m not an investigative journalist nor a private investigator.  So I didn’t know exactly how to go about this.  But I figured I would want to be as accurate in my reporting on this conversation as possible.  And so I invited Jeev to either answer a series of questions by email, to get his replies in writing (can’t get much more accurate in quoting someone than that) or perhaps we could do this over Skype and record it, for later transcription.

Jeev laughed at both of those suggestions.  And declined them as well.

Now, on the one hand, that decision can be seen as an innocent choice.  On the other, given the situation we’re dealing with here, it could also be seen as Jeev not being willing to be quoted on the record with any of his responses to my questions – so that he could later deny everything.

So given the fact that this was purely a verbal conversation, I can not guarantee that everything I state as being attributed to Jeev is his actual words.  All I can do is my best at paraphrasing and offering my own opinion on what I felt came out of that call.  It’s not ideal, but this isn’t a court-room either, so it will have to do.

The Court Of Public Opinion

Okay so this isn’t a court of law.  We’re not going to get all of the facts, presented as pure facts, when it comes to TOPSEOs official corporate stance on all of this.  As a result of their unwillingness to provide an official response, as much as Jeev might not like the altnerative, it’s the alternative we have to go by – the court of public opinion.  So here goes…

Jeev Shouts Witch Hunt, Tries To Evade Reality

When we first started talking, Jeev acknowledged having read the original Sphinn article, as well as my own original article.  He summed all of that up as being a witch hunt perpetrated by a competitor of his (Edward, who runs SEOConsultants.com – he (Jeev) really was clear on painting the discussion as an unwarranted attack on his business.  He even pointed me to an old article that was written a few years ago where that article painted Edward in less than stellar light.

Oh – Look – a Shiny Object

Personally, I read that article but will not link to it here.  Not because I have any desire to prop up Edward as a saint or some such nonsense.  Instead, I won’t because this discussion isn’t about Edward Lewis.  It’s about Jeev Trika, TOPSEOs and the now growing list of complaints about their company.  If Jeev Trika wants to try and get us to discount the entirety of the complaint base due to one person’s participation, that’s not going to fly with me.

The Link Bait Tactic

I need to say that overall, Jeev was quite pleasant to speak with – and communicated both an appreciation for my being the first person to actually call him directly, as well as for my willingness to actually get his side of this whole thing.  He did, however, say that the thought the only reason I’m doing this is for link bait.  Which is NOT true.  And I informed him that when I write articles, I do so because I am passionate about our industry, and that passion leads to my writing on things I care about.

He also told me that while he was quite open to answering questions I presented, that it couldn’t be an unending list of questions – and I acknowledged the fact that I didn’t expect him to sit there on the phone with me for hours on end.

The Honey Buys More Than Venom Tactic

I need to mention up front that at one point toward the end of the conversation, Jeev mentioned my being a columnist at SearchEngineJournal.com and he invited me to write articles for the magazine they (Jeev and his cohorts) put out. You know – the one that happens to share part it’s name with that of the company they rank #1 in the SEO field…  I thanked him but declined.  go figure.

Why Complaints Matter.  And Don’t.

So on the one hand, there’s an ever increasing list of companies complaining about the TOPSEOs service.  Some have paid money to companies that TOPSEOs rates as highly rated, only to believe they’ve either been ripped off, or at the very least, that they’ve gotten far less in services than they were promised. Others have complained that though they’ve never paid, and nobody from TOPSEOs has ever spoken with them, that they were rated nonetheless.  And in those situations, some of them have reported that they then got a call from TOPSEOs offering to boost their ratings in direct relation to that company paying into the company’s monthly fee structure.

Still others have complained that TOPSEOs took their articles without permission, and the list of other complaints of varying types just keeps mounting.

99.8% Satisfaction

According to Jeev during our conversation, the reality is that they rate thousands of companies, so it’s reasonable that a few people would complain – you can’t satisfy everyone all the time.  At that point, there had only been perhaps five specific companies that had come forward online (that we’d been able to find or who joined the conversation at Sphinn). So Jeev was like – what’s 5 complaints compared to 3,000 companies in their system? That’s like a 99.8% success rating.

The Illusion Of Numbers

Truth be told – by itself, that concept – in its most simplistic form, is not unreasonable.  The fact is that in all my years in business, from time to time, I screw up just like everyone else does.  Occasionally, clients end up unhappy.  For a host of reasons.  So in that light, if that was the only issue, TOPSEOs would be considered an outstandingly good service provider.

Yo, Dude, It’s Not So Simple

It really isn’t so simple in this situation though.  Because we have to also look at the type of complaints, and the response mechanism in place to determine, in this court of public opinion, whether the “vast majority are happy” claim is true or not.  And how severe the complaints are. And how TOPSEOs responds.

The Toyota of the SEO World

Okay so this isn’t a perfect analogy, but it’s close enough.  If the complaints that come out against a company are of the “we’re not satisified, or “we didn’t get what we paid for” type, then the easy fix is to do what I do – to refund your client’s money.  And acknowledge that you’re far from perfect.  And to strive to do better next time.

But if the complaints are ones like Toyota recently faced – failed brakes, stuck gas pedals… well, those are much more serious in terms of how you need to go about addressing the complaints and what you’ll do to compensate for them, how you’ll take corrective action.  Because people die otherwise.

Now, I’m not saying that TOPSEOs is causing SEO industry people to die.  No, it’s not THAT serious.  What I am saying though is when we look at the complaints, – like stealing other peoples articles for your own gain, or claiming to allow site visitors to contact a company in the database even though that company has not paid to receive leads (and therefore that company will NOT receive those leads, but a company – a DIFFERENT COMPANY than the one the site visitor EXPECTS to contact, one that pays TOPSEOs for leads, will…

See – now we’re talking about some very serious complaints indeed.  Ones that you can’t rectify through reimbursement.  Because in both those cases, we’re talking about people who did not pay TOPSEOs in the first place and- in the case of stolen articles, TOPSEOs did NOT seek permission nor did they obtain it.

SCRAPED PROFILES – OR NOT

In at least one case, it was reported that a company had NOT paid to be listed, and that their listing was scraped, without permission or knowledge of that company.  It turned out, during my call with Jeev, that someone at that company had, in fact, a couple years back, submitted their company for a free listing.  I confirmed this with the person who made the original complaint.   Except Jeev told me that the person who had submitted the info originally had even contacted them afterward to have the profile updated.  That aspect of the rebuttal from Jeev is still being denied by my contact.  He says the profile info is at least 3 years old.

Either way – whether it’s been updated or not, in this one case it turned out that someone inside that company did, in fact, submit the information to TOPSEOs.

So that begs the question – of all the other companies claiming that nobody in their organization submitted their profile – that it was scraped without their knowledge – how many of those instances are like the one I investigated, and will turn out to be situations where one hand doesn’t report to the other what they’re doing?

I expect that at least some of the profiles in the system were scraped, because that’s how most directories get the beef of their content – they go out and gather information.  They don’t in fact, wait for companies to submit profiles, nor do they bother to contact those companies directly to ensure the information they are posting is 100% accurate.

But given that in at least one instance a person at the company did submit the profile, it’s a legitimate question that I ask of our industry.

SCRAPED ARTICLES

Clearly, in the case of those people claiming that TOPSEOs took their articles without permission, I tend to lean toward believing that to be a serious, legitimate complaint.  After all, if I wrote an article, I know damn well whether I gave someone else permission to use it or not.  And honestly, I’d love to see how Jeev counters this one.  We didn’t discuss it on our call so I can’t even begin to imagine how he’d dodge this bullet.

DECEPTIVE VISITOR SERVICES

Here’s one of the more serious charges – a visitor goes to TOPSEOs, scans the list of companies in the directory, clicks the link to contact that company, reasonably expects that someone from THAT company will contact them, and then gets pitched by another company.

I don’t care how you couch it, that is scum tactics.  Nowhere in the form process are you informed that you may not in fact be contacted by that company unless they pay a fee for leads, but that instead, you’ll be pitched by another company.  It’s not like the form says “Fill out this form to have an as yet undisclosed company pitch you on services”.  It specifically communicates that this is a form being sent to a specific company.  A company you, the visitor, took the time to select.

Heck, the moment you fill out the form, the confirmation even says you’ve contacted that company.  The one you THOUGHT you were contacting.

A Glimmer Of Hope In A Sea Of Bile

To Jeev’s credit, when I brought up that concern, he did tell me that “maybe I can improve that”.  He alluded to the possibility that disclosure could be improved in that contact form process.

But that was weeks ago.  And when I tried just now, nothing has changed.  There’s nothing obvious or clearly communicated, either on the profile page, or in the contact form process that states at all that you may or may not receive a contact back from the company we just told you that you contacted.

Why That’s Serious And Disgusting

It’s been said by others, but I’ll say it here.  In my own words.

Deceiving a site visitor into believing that they are submitting a contact form to a specific company and then diverting that contact form to another company is pure bullshit.

Jeev Has An Answer For Everything

Jeev’s rebuttal to my view on that tactic was cold, matter of fact, and pure “unethical business 101″.  He said – when that form gets filled out, we do send a notice to the email we have on record for that company.  We then invite them to join our leads program (the one for the hefty fee).  If they decline, it’s not our problem.  We then pass that lead along to another company.

WOAH JEEV – THANKS FOR NOTHING

This is simple business ethics.  Really people. It is.  If the recipient declines to participate, the ethical thing to do would be to inform the person who filled out the form that you could not, in fact, pass the lead along because that company chose not to participate in your leads program.

Better yet, you need to inform site visitors of how your system works in a clear, obvious and reasonable manner BEFORE they fill out the form or AS they’re filling out the form.  On that same form page.  Not buried in some disclaimer somewhere either.

And by failing to do that, your actions cause the person who filled out that form to consider the possibility that the company they tried to reach doesn’t care to even bother to respond to a simple contact form request.  Even though that’s not what happened.

WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON HERE?
Jeev was quite clear with me in stating that they make it perfectly clear that TOPSEOs is a lead generating company, and that if you want to get those, you have to pay.  He also confirmed that their rating system and their SEO / PPC Competition are two distinctly separate services.  But he also confirmed to me that he thinks it’s quite reasonable to give only companies that pay a fee consistently high rankings in the general rankings system.  Jeev’s stance, as far as what he communicated during our phone call, is that they run a legitimate business offering legitimate and perfectly reasonable services.

My take on it is that Jeev and whoever else runs that company are of the “business ethics is a game” mentality.  If you do a whole bunch of scuzzy things, it doesn’t matter as long as you convince enough people that you offer a legitimate service.

And that’s where we cross into no-mans land….

Questionable Ethics In the SEO Industry

The SEO industry is just like any other in many ways.  One of those ways is that many business owners think that it’s either perfectly acceptable to buy awards, buy ratings, or buy a place in some phony “Who’s Who” book (SOOO 20th Century), or that it’s actually a legitimate business marketing tactic that helps you differentiate your company from the rest.  Even if they’re not truly unbiased, truly independent awards or ratings.

Some business owners are perfectly happy to pay their way to the “appearance” of being the best.  They just don’t care about consumer rights, or fair play, or anything else in that realm of life.  They’ll do whatever it takes, or almost anything this shy of their own ethical threshold, to get ahead. 

The truth is, it’s just marketing to them.  And at a societal level, it’s condoned across the board.

Fact – Fast Food will kill you.

Fact.  Smoking Cigarettes will kill you.

Fact.  Taking prescription medications based on a doctor’s best guess that they’re what may help you, may also kill you.

Fact.  The fine print that flashes on the bottom of the television screen for 3 seconds is so tiny and gone so fast, that no reasonable human being will ever be able to read them during that commercial.

But we don’t live in a society that truly cares enough about the consumer – we live in a society where those facts are discounted, laughed at, and otherwise spit upon by business owners, politicians, and the sheep society they’ve mastered.

So a company like TOPSEOs will, in all likelihood, continue to prosper.  Because so many companies will continue to pay for bullshit awards that aren’t otherwise worth the toilet paper they should be printed on.

CALLING ON TOPSEOS TO REFORM

Okay so lets pretend we live in an ideal world.   One where a serious bunch of legitimate complaints are filed against a company.  Complaints that point to flagrant abuse of industry companies and clearly stolen content.  In that ideal world, here’s what I think Jeev Trika needs to do.

1. Remove the Stolen Content

Delete every single article ever re-purposed that came from people or companies that did not provide clear, written permission to use those articles.  Not only is their use wrong, it’s a crime.

2. Clarify The Lead Re-Routing

Provide a disclaimer directly on the contact form on company profiles that unless the company in question has signed up for and paying for leads, that the form will be rerouted to another company of TOPSEOs choosing, and to offer the site visitor the option to opt out of having that form submitted if they don’t want another company to contact them.

3. Get Honest About Ratings

Provide a disclaimer directly on the top of every page that lists companies currently billed as “Best companies” in a given field that not all of the companies listed have, in fact, been thoroughly vetted as is claimed in the vetting process descriptions elsewhere on the site. 

4. Declare A Spade A Spade

Provide a disclaimer plainly visible in a substantive way on the site as appropriate, that informs visitors that only companies that pay a fee for a rating are going to end up with the highest “awards” and that “awards” are tied to money exchange.

5.  Stop The Spam

Clearly the volume of “press releases” sent out by, for or on behalf of TOPSEOs is at a volume directly proportional to the shear asshattery that this whole sham of an awards system is at.  Either stop sending them out altogether, or include the above mentioned disclaimers directly in every press release.

6.  Respond To Complaints Maturely

When so many perfectly legitimate companies complain and get no positive resolution, it’s disgusting.  There should be a clearly explained mechanism for complaint handling and every company that has lodged a complaint in this discussion to this point should be contacted by a TOPSEOs manager with the promise to resolve this issue to the complaintant’s satisfaction (within reason).  And then that needs to be carried out.

7.  Remove every single reference to the word “independent”

Look – billing your company as “independent” gives the appearance of being unbiased, and that you really do rate all companies fairly, not based on financial compensation.  If you don’t make it crystal clear that this is a paid rating service, at least you can have the decency to not claim independent status.  Because you’re not independent.  You’re bought and paid for.

I am sure there are plenty more desired goals that will come from our industry peers, however personally, I think if Jeev steps up to the plate and does these, I’d be quite surprised, and would be happy to write a new article detailing those actions, and show that TOPSEOs really does care about ethical business practices.

What do you think?

______________________________

UPDATE 4/27/2010

As I was perusing the TOPSEOs site just now, I came across their complaint form.  The one where you get to register a complaint against a member.  So of course, I took the time to fill it out, given that I have a legitimate complaint.

It read:

See my latest article detailing the litany of complaints that now add up to a clear situation of deceptive practices, questionable yet clearly unethical business methods, and outright theft of other people’s intellectual property.  Would love for Jeev to dispute these in a public format or in writing.  Otherwise we will have no choice but to contact every company in your public database and challenge them to stay with you or bail.

Have a nice day.

I hope they’ll make an appropriate response and chastise themselves because after the form was completed, I got a little popup saying how seriously they take complaints.4

________________________________________

FOLLOW-UP TO THIS MORNING’S UPDATE

I got an email response back from TOPSEO’s regarding my submission of their complaint form – where I complained to them about them  :-)

Alan,

The form you filled out is focused on trying to resolve issues with those who have purchased internet marketing services and tools and with those who provide such services.  Your complaint doesn’t meet that criteria.

Thank you.

THANK YOU?  You thanked me for not using the form as it was intended?  And that’s all?  < sigh >  I guess they only care about complaints against their members, not against their own company.  How unexpected.

About Alan Bleiweiss

Just another guy. Who happens to have a lot of experience living, breathing and sleeping organic SEO. So that's my primary focus - high end SEO audits and consulting for sites ranging from thousands to tens of millions of pages. In my spare time I blog, rant, write eBooks, and speak at industry conferences.

Read more from

27 Comments

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shaun Anderson, Edward Lewis, Edward Lewis, David Wallace, Alan Bleiweiss and others. Alan Bleiweiss said: TOPSEOs Deceptive Practices – An Interview with Jeev Trika http://bit.ly/cfpHGL [...]

  2. Jill Whalen says:

    I guarantee they won’t do anything you recommend. In the end it’s also the consumer’s job to recognize all these fake awards sites for the scams that they are. And there are many.
    Jill Whalen´s last blog ..Google Places (Formerly Local Business Center) My ComLuv Profile

  3. Jill,

    Well sure, it’s a “caveat emptor” society, as much as anything. Which I personally believe is just one more excuse that unethical business owners and marketers use as a cop-out. Being a recovering addict, I know all about cop-outs. The longer they’re tolerated, the more insane the things are that someone gets away with.

    It’s why I have a policy to always refund money if someone complains and that complaint is due to my actions or lack thereof. I will not allow myself to get away with it. Even if it means I have to pay someone back in payments, or give up some of my food money. Only by suffering the consequences of my own actions can I ever hope to evolve.

    And that’s the crux of it. Companies like TOPSEOs have no true desire to evolve.

  4. [...] 26th 2010: Top SEOs Deceptive Practices an Interview With Jeev Trika by Alan [...]

  5. Arnie Kuenn says:

    Alan,
    Been waiting for you to write this… and it was worth the wait. You must have been a journalist somewhere in your past… or past life. Unfortunately I agree with Jill, I don’t see them changing. I think they have demonstrated that they are going to curl up, take the body punches and wait for this all to blow over.

    The only thing we can really do, is hope that the current sponsors will be willing to stop paying for their ratings & badges. This will be the true test of doing what is right versus doing what helps their business.

    And yes I think those top rated companies are getting a lot of leads. Try doing a search for “best seo companies” or “top seo companies”, you will see who is ranked #1. And it’s not just “SEO”, try “link building” or some of the other categories on TOPSEOS – just a frickin crime.

    Arnie
    Arnie Kuenn´s last blog ..7 Ways Your Business Can Help the Environment My ComLuv Profile

  6. Arnie,

    Maybe the next step is for us to go after all the badge owners (they do own them, since they pay for them, yes?) I know Edward was working on that angle but perhaps we need a site dedicated to a wall of shame… Something like NotTopSEOs.com or TOPSEOsWallOfShame.com

  7. Everyone knows the Search Marketing Industry has been plagued with ethics-challenged opportunists which is one of the reasons it’s quite difficult to build something you can be proud of, and that others in the industry will notice. I think this is a great overview of TOPSEO’s but you’re missing something very, very important.

    As a consumer, if I am on TOPSEOs.com and take action to contact Company A but instead hear back from Company B, this is called Bait & Switch. Not only is that unethical, it’s completely illegal, meaning there are US laws that protect consumers from this kind of devious, under-handed marketing practice.

    We can bitch and moan all day long about article scraping, ranking Search Marketing firms based on whether they pay the monthly fee, but Bait & Switch is officially an illegal practice which is punishable by law.

    I urge anyone who has been experienced the Bait & Switch from TOPSEO’s to take action with their Better Business Bureau.
    Nate Schubert´s last blog ..Things To Do In Tampa When You’re Done My ComLuv Profile

  8. Nate,

    Bait & Switch it may be. But sadly, I am not a lawyer, and can not say that it is clearly bait and switch. It LOOKS like Bait & Switch. It SMELLS like Bait & Switch. It FEELS like Bait & Switch. It even SEEMS to be Bait & Switch. But only a prosecutor or an attorney general or some such entity has the ability to say whether it really is Bait & Switch.

    And since My company has not fallen prey to these things I personally can not seek legal action against TOPSEOs.

    Rather than calling on victims of this to contact the Better Business Bureau, I urge them to contact the appropriate governmental agencies. Like the FTC or their state’s attorney general.

  9. [...] An informative new twist in the Topseos Awards, lead generation and accused copyright infringment (of article content) saga – opinion from Alan Bleiweiss on  TOPSEOs Deceptive Practices – An Interview with Jeev Trika [...]

  10. Kat says:

    Alan,

    Thank you for writing this article. As an in-house marketer, I’m often tasked with the duty of reviewing potential vendors. These companies that tout their TOPSEOs awards oftentimes put me in a difficult position. Upper management feels that they must be good because of their award, and then I have the burden of trying to prove whether or not the company does quality work. Articles like yours makes it easier for me to point out that these awards mean NOTHING.

    For those folks that are interested in filing a complaint: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/
    Kat´s last blog ..urbanwebkat: RT @AlanBleiweiss: If you care to: @Sphinn: » TOPSEOs Deceptive Practices – An Interview with Jeev Trika http://bit.ly/bOuRNG My ComLuv Profile

  11. Alan, I read you quite a bit and I must say, this is one of your best pieces to date. I must note that I’m somewhat biased in my opinions too. :)

    e-ventures LLC is the holding company for TOPSEOs.com. Did you know they also use this exact same platform for other industries?

    TOPSEOs.com
    BestWebDesignAgencies.com
    BestAttorneysOnline.com
    BestRetirementDestinations.com

    Look at all the pretty badges…

    http://www.seoconsultants.com/topseos/badges#Other-e-ventures-LLC-Membership-Badges

    In reference to the BestRetirementDestinations.com, there was a DMCA filed against Priyajeev Narain Trika (Jeev Trika) and e-ventures LLC on 2009-10-28. They were scraping content to generate listings. I wonder if those listings were going to be used to generate leads for the Leads Program?
    .-= pageoneresults´s last blog ..State Board for Certification of SEOs – Official Announcement.

  12. Kat,

    You bring up a primary example of why I and others have spoken up about companies like TOPSEOs. Upper management doesn’t typically have the time to delve into every industry that vendors might come from, and thus leaves the digging to others such as yourself, which means having to expend many more hours performing due diligence.

    In this situation, there are many otherwise quite capable companies in the member listings. But since a number of the highest rated vendors appear to be quite inept and would potentially cost companies like yours thousands of dollars in wasted marketing money. This is further reinforced by all the people who have come out reporting actual cases where they hired one or another of the highest rated companies only to get burned.

    I wish you the best. And feel free to point your boss to this and all the related articles – I’d even be happy to answer any of your boss’ questions that may arise around this subject, no charge…

  13. Edward,

    Yeah – I have been bouncing around the other sites they run looking for companies I might know of. Here’s one for you – so we’re pretty confident they scrape probably the vast majority of their listings. That in turn means that the vast majority of leads end up being distributed to TOPSEOs choice of 5 or 7 paying members – which may or may not be full-on bait and switch right? right. So last night I realized – if that’s the case, and we know of at least a couple/few companies already that have been burned by that.

    Which begs the question – doesn’t that mean there’s a potential class action lawsuit about to come as a result?

    Think about it – 3,000 listings just in the SEO category – multiplied by how many categories across how many sites and industries? I bet if enough companies step up, there’s a class action in there.

  14. “I guess they only care about complaints against their members, not against their own company. How unexpected.”

    Actually they didn’t care up until about a week ago when they started removing negative complaints from the top ranked members like Increase Visibility. I have screenshots of the complaints that were there prior to the recent removal.

    http://www.seoconsultants.com/topseos/complaints#Doesnt-deliver-what-they-promise

    Both of those complaints have now been removed along with seeded positive comments. They just added one positive comment on Apr 23, 2010 after removing the others. I’d say someone was covering up their tracks at the moment, or at least that is what it appears to be. Why would they remove those comments at this time? They were there from Feb 25, 2010 and Mar 9, 2010 and remained for a full month. They didn’t even know they were there.
    pageoneresults´s last blog ..State Board for Certification of SEOs – Official Announcement My ComLuv Profile

  15. SO TOPSEOs is now in the business of deleting negative comments on their #1 rated listings, so as to support the phony 100% ratings? Not surprising that they’re doing this as a way to try and make that 100% rating as more legit.

    Yet in our world we know it’s a scam, especially in light of Arnie K’s testimony about how they told him his rating (for not paying them a monthly fee) went down due to complaints that never really happened.
    Alan Bleiweiss´s last blog ..TOPSEOs Deceptive Practices – An Interview with Jeev Trika My ComLuv Profile

  16. http://Twuna.com/STOPSEOs

    I am seriously considering the moving all of my documents to http://STOPSEOs.com/ – I’m going to wait it out just a little bit longer.
    pageoneresults´s last blog ..State Board for Certification of SEOs – Official Announcement My ComLuv Profile

  17. For the record, TOPSEOs came out with a press release today and in it Jeev Trika apologized for their ways, vowing to make changes for the better. The release was rife with marketing spin, and at least one outright lie, so I’m working on a new article dissecting it and commenting accordingly.

  18. If you’re following this story thread, stay tuned – TOPSEOs posted an apology press release today and vowed changes coming. I have a new article coming out here in the morning reviewing and commenting on the release…

    And thank you to everyone who commented and those who let me know about additional deceptive practices!

  19. [...] did Jeev Trika finally get the message, and are they really going to implement the changes I called for in my article Monday as well as those required by Chris Elwell from Third Door Media? Will they go [...]

  20. [...] professionals and business owners who had been deceived, I reached out to Jeev in an attempt to get his side of the story and wrote about it on April 26th.   Three days later, TOPSEOs issued an official apology press [...]

  21. Rohan Rajan says:

    Hello

    I still remember the day when I paid $2100 to Topseos for their lead generation program (which was costing $2100 for three months/90 leads in 2008)

    Within a period of two week I realized that leads are fake because We have sincerely answered and sent quote to each SEO RFP. But never received reply from all 90 leads.

    I talked to Jeev trika 2-3 times where besides solving the problem with lead program he redirected me to the “term of condition” section on the site which reflects a term which states that they don’t check the quality of leads, whereas their lead program defines a feature that topseos verify each lead and then only dispersed to lead subscribers

    At the end of 3 months I have 90 useless leads with no responce and Topseos earned $2100 for selling me that crap.

  22. Thomas says:

    I know Jeev Trika personally. I met him several years ago. He is nothing but a low-life thief. I guaranteee it. He’ll do black seo technigues on your site like cloaking then bamm… your site’s rank plummets to the depth of no return or is completely banned by Google. But Jeev(the trickster))still wants paid. He need to be banned completly from working on anything to do with the internet. He’s scum.

  23. Mick says:

    I say we stop complaining and starting doing something about it. He claims publically to be an ‘independant authority’ yet the rankings are based purely on who is willing to pay and how much. That is, by legal definition fraud. SO, let’s get a class action lawsuit as its evident we could get hundreds of companies to join. The point is to not make money from a lawsuit, but to get this site shut down.

    • Mick,

      I’d be happy to see that unfold. At the same time though, I’m not an attorney and have no clue what’s involved in getting a class action lawsuit going other than assuming there would have to be major evidence of fraud. Sure, we’ve got a handful of people who have already come out saying such things, but to take it into the courts?

  24. [...] An informative new twist in the Topseos Awards, lead generation and accused copyright infringment (of article content) saga – opinion from Alan Bleiweiss on  TOPSEOs Deceptive Practices – An Interview with Jeev Trika [...]

  25. QI says:

    Maybe it’s time for someone to regulate what shows up on Google for any keywords with a minimum # of searches performed daily/monthly?

    Google and Cutts must be aware of TopSEOS and the scam. I was under the impressions “quality” was their department. Something as big as TopSEOs should be removed from the index just like any “spam site” or sites infringing on copyrights. The quality department should manually review the website and consider removing it from the index as it is not a QUALITY site being served up in the search results — that’s the purpose of Google in the first place, to receive high quality, relevant results.

    Alan, reach out to us sometime. We’d love to speak with you and bounce ideas around.

    • Google has an overwhelming responsibility when it comes to quality – and to expect that they’d take a stance on ethics regarding a specific result rather than what has already been deemed illegal is something I think is asking too much from an “ideal world” perspective, especially since ethics is so subjective. Until and unless someone takes TopSEOs to court and wins, I don’t see where Matt’s team could even possibly take such action.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv Enabled