This week I was amazed to see this article that I wrote being shared around by a bunch of my friends in the digital agency space.
It looked like it was getting some attention. People I respect were putting it on their social feeds and making nice comments that they’d happily promote it.
It was so cool to see this post getting attention that had my name on it!
Except that I didn’t write the article.
And the article was total crap.
I mean total crap. Reading it back you couldn’t even understand what it was trying to say.
Where did it even come from?
I assume that people wanted to share it because they assume I write things that are actually helpful, like I’ve tried to in the past. That there is why reputation is so important.
But this stupid mistake I’d just made would put that in jeopardy.
Digging in further it was worse than I thought.
Several months earlier I’d hired an SEO agency to build some links.
In their onboarding, they asked if they could send outreach as me, because it gets much better results. Not really thinking too much about it, I said “sure”.
Fast forward to this week, and here’s this guest post being shared with my name on it. Not only was the outreach done as me, but the awful quality post was written as me.
Some people even pm'ed to say “what on earth is this” (fortunately, in a nicer way)
So then I dug into the other link prospects they’d outreached to. The list of “won” links was a bunch of people that I already knew - from years of building relationships with people in the industry.
Who knows what the email thread looked like. I’m too embarrassed to read them.
At least for now, I’ve re-written the post that was being shared.
If this was left unchecked, it could have burned relationships and reputation.
If you ever hire an SEO agency for link outreach, maybe don’t let them do it as you.