Scoville Units Unite

18 May

First Search Consultancy – SEO cowboys with a different technique

I am used to seeing all the scam letters from SEO companies guaranteeing first place on Google etc. Lately a friend has been getting pestered by phone calls.

Today she had one from Google.

Or at least a company impersonating Google.

The company was First Search Consulting (). A bunch of snake-oil selling cowboys.

I won’t link to their shit website as it:

  • Plays music when you load it
  • Doesn’t have valid HTML
  • Will help them in search engines

Amusingly, like all SEO companies, their own search results are pitiful. The only search page keywords which get them on the first page of Google are the company name.

SEO isn’t the only thing they do though, oh no.

They also do Broadband and Web Design.

On broadband, they don’t actually have that yet, but they are taking orders for a too good to be true deal. Their expertise in the area shines through when they mention they need your MAC code, which changes on a monthly basis.

Fuck knows what they mean by that.

A MAC code in relation to broadband would be a code put on your network card when manufactured which stays the same forever unless you go into the guts of the software and intentionally change it. It certainly doesn’t change frequently never mind monthly.

But their web design side.

Holy crap what an abortion.

Their portfolio has 9 examples of their work.

None of which validate.

Nine of which have table based layout.

These fucking cowboys shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near computers.

39 Responses to “First Search Consultancy – SEO cowboys with a different technique”

  1. 1
    ukgimp Says:

    The geek in me needs to mention the MAC code 🙂

    With respect to the MAC code there is the MAC address that is associated with the network interfaces on a PC and there is a MAC code which is like the PAC code you have with a mobile phone when you wish to change provider. You request the MAC code from your current broadband provider which your new one uses to migrate you. This does last for about 28 days before you need to request a new one.

  2. 2
    Alan G Says:

    Ah, forgot about that. Their explanation of it changing every 30days still isn’t accurate though 🙂

  3. 3
    ROY JAMES Says:

    Have been prstered by this company and unfortunately appear to having fallen foul of their sales patter. My company is only just over a year old and is obviously keen to gain market share. Have also been using Lavora Marketing who have got me firsy page adword space on Google at some expense. Being a semi retired Chartered Surveyor with no experience of such things I guess I was a soft touch. First Choice originally approached under the disguise of being Google. Any comments would be appreciated.

  4. 4
    Alan G Says:

    Hi Roy,

    If you haven’t seen it already the blog I linked to have removed their post due to legal threats. Another blog is collectings stories of people scammed by FSC and other similar companies

    http://www.ronanobrien.info/selling-first-place-on-google-scam/

    You are not alone in being pestered by them. Share your story there too to help centralise a list of their operations.

    Cheers,
    Alan

  5. 5
    julian Says:

    Hi, I was harassed by First Search and Steve Lyons for around 2 weeks and fortunately recorded some of the calls.. I was promised 1st page listings on GOOGLE for 7 key phrases and paid £290.00. I currently stop at page 20 and cant find my ‘Splash Page’ anywhere. Take my advice and record the telephone conversations so then you have the evidence to support my comments. WHAT A RIP OFF, IT’S A JOKE…!!!! If I had more time I would take legal action…. A total waste of money and what they produced for me could have been done by a High School teenager with minimal knowledge of web design and probably have cost me £20……

  6. 6
    ROY JAMES Says:

    I must be mad to have agreed to use them for a second year, only doing so after they demonstrated that they had got us a natural listing on one page. I was pressured into an agreement after they showed a scam site for another SEO company. Despite many unanswered calls, emails and a threat of legal action today 16.04.10 still no response. When first contacted they represented themselves as representing Google, clearly an absolute con and waste of money. I intend to investigate legal action. Any help appreciated.

  7. 7
    Ryan Says:

    I also recieved a legal threat after posting about this company, I’m currently rewriting the post to avoid any possibility of legal issues whilst maintaining the same message. Check out my post for info.

    They are rather odd, huh?

  8. 8
    Scoville Units Unite » Blog Archive » First Search Consultancy Says:

    […] was recently contacted by someone else who had received legal threats from First Search Consultancy. They have since edited and […]

  9. 9
    Alastair McDermott Says:

    We have a client who had the pleasure of dealing with these guys. We’ve recently had to change their FTP passwords, completely unrelated and not due to any threats of taking down the clients site, of course!

    I think I’ll have to link to Ryan and Alan’s posts with the relevant keywords.

    Cheers,
    Alastair.

  10. 10
    Scoville Units Unite » Blog Archive » First Search Consultancy send in the lawyers Says:

    […] SEO company previously discussed here with a dubious reputation has sent in the lawyers against someone who posted about […]

  11. 11
    Scoville Units Unite » Blog Archive » A Rank SEO Company Says:

    […] Having dealt with this sort of thing before she responded that this sort of claim was a scam and that her site was already on the front page of Google. Additionally companies claiming to be Google were scammers. […]

  12. 12
    webmaster Says:

    First Search Consultancy contacted one of our clients and totally mis sold their “Services” to him. Stay well away, I know how to SEO a web site and what they offer is a joke, their design skills are woefully inadequate, just dont go there, they are also part of Unitel Direct, so bodyswerve them too if you dont want to be ripped!

  13. 13
    nick Says:

    SUE THEM AND GET YOUR MONEY BACK – I DID – THEY DIDNT EVEN TURN UP
    i bought into their sales crap about a year ago, their customer service is crap, the company is crap and the service they try to provide is equally so

    STAY WELL AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY – BUT IF YOU BOUGHT. . .

    i just sued them to get my money back as they didnt achieve the page one rankings promised. i went to court and they didnt even turn up so i got a couple of hundred pounds more because of court costs etc

    they couldnt even pay me on the right day though so i just had to call them again, the flunky on the desk couldnt or wouldnt put me through to accounts and the management is to cowardly to come to the phone

    MORAL OF THE STORY – STAY AS FAR AWAY AS YOU CAN FROM THIS COMPANY

  14. 14
    annonymous Says:

    I recently had them call asking odd questions such as my full name and address without actually offering a service at all… obviously i didnt but kept them talking… it was quite clear they were looking for personal info.
    I did a bit of research and found that a local rival company uses them to optimize his site.
    I can only imagine they wanted to gain access to my website (since it sits above his) to sabotage it.
    Really shady company…….

  15. 15
    Jo Says:

    Hi everyone,

    have just paid out to use this company for my new website. After reading what you have written – I don’t know what to do, they are working behind the scenes now. I was told that I would get 1st page position. Any advice? It would be much appreciated!

    Jo

  16. 16
    Alan G Says:

    What you’ll get is charged a lot to post some ads on google which you can do yourself you will not get 1st page on google for any useful queries regarding your jewellery from their “help”. They’ll also dump loads of keywords at the top and bottom of your page which will help in the short term but looks bad and will put off visitors. Post your story here too as Ronan has a larger collection of his type http://www.ronanobrien.info/selling-first-place-on-google-scam/

  17. 17
    Glen Says:

    I have been completely ripped off by these scammers! I paid £1000.00 upfont for a 7 page website – they took the full amount from my card despite saying they take half upfront and half on delivery of the site. I explained that, being a photographer, image and design were of paramount importance. I sent in graphics which I wanted including on my site, I sent in examples of other sites which I wanted mine modelled on and what they eventually delivered was a one page splash page which was an insult to my intelligence, an insult to web design and ultimately damaging to my business. I looked like it had been design by a blind 5 year old child and was so bad that I got them to take it down! I asked for my money back and they refused saying they had fulfilled their obligations to me as it did come up on page one of google, but under their name ‘first search consultancy’. Does anyone have any advice about how I can get my money back?

  18. 18
    Dennis C Says:

    Yes they were Shite at everything. No customer service, and totally clueless in design. They tried to rip me off for hosting, but I one the battle to get a better deal for myself. But stear well clear of them!

  19. 19
    Steve Says:

    Hi I was contacted by First Serach as I have a website. Thay charged me a lot of money. And did a very poor job of the SEO work on my website. Thay are a load of Cowboys. Good sale’s man with lot’s of Chat. Thay say thay will do so much for you and then Rip you Off. Then keep on calling you to pay out more Money.
    Tell then to Fuck Off. COWBOY’S

  20. 20
    Peter Kelly Says:

    Same old story for me: Not enough time myself to do any SEO so thought they were reasonable.
    However, they said they would optimize my site, but then created that single page redirect nonsense, which has their name first in the address. Clearly, that is the only part to get results as they must be relying on it being a page of a vast website, so to speak. It is NOT what they sell though.
    However, after endless complaints, they did some work on my site and amazingly it worked!
    Unfortunately, they optimized for Sunderland, even though I live in Merseyside!!!!
    When I told them this they denied doing anything and said it must have been me!!!!!!!!
    So, on the one hand they told me they had optimized my site, then they told me they hadn’t done any work, despite my paying for it…
    They can’t even get their own stories right. AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!!!

  21. 21
    Ben Says:

    Was contacted by a company called Unitel, on a Google search it says it incorporates a company I think we are talking about. They informed me that my current SEO, another bunch of cowboys, as they have folded. One thing though I did reach first page on google search as promised by my former SEO. Anyway they wanted to charge me £200 to keep first page status. They were trying to pressure sell. I did not fold. Keep away from this lot!

  22. 22
    Guy Says:

    I have just got off the phone to unitel direct which is also first search.
    They have offered me 1st page on google within 4 weeks at the most
    They have offered to split the payments of £250 plus vat into two payments over two months.
    They said i will not have to pay the second payment until the work is completed and i see results on google.
    According to them there is no obscure search phrase, they have emailed a breakdown of what they will do.
    They sound genuine, but reading the comments on this site i am not so sure.

  23. 23
    Alan G Says:

    You are right to be wary. Even according to Google no-one can guarantee first page ranking https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35291?hl=en

    Anyone claiming such is either using underhand techniques to get your money or underhand techniques to get you ranking higher. When Google are happy to drop BMW from rankings http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/4685750.stm for black-hat SEO stuff why would they hesitate with you or anyone else?

  24. 24
    Richard Thomson Says:

    First Search Consultancy are thieves and cowboys, liars and scam artists. If you read through their terms and conditions, which if you are for some strange reason considering, you will find that they not only don’t have to provide results but can charge you for not getting them! If they decide that your updating of your site harms your listing in Google or whomever then they can and will charge for “fixing” your site. As for me, we paid £1000 and were promised first page positions for 14 keywords within the UK and European listings. I had their promise clarified several times that all 14 would have us on page one of Google and they said every one. Out of all of these there are only 4 keywords where we are on page one and then only in the UK. After several months of complaining I am no further forward and now just want my money back. Will try suing them.

  25. 25
    Bella Says:

    Dear All

    Reading the above comments, I am also compelled to write about my experience with the said company.

    All beware, if you have any dealings with this company you may have the same results as myself. Stress from not being able to talk to anybody and when making a complaint having to wait 36 hours for a non-existent call back. No one in authority is ever available to take your call. They con you out of your money by promising fantastic results from ALL your chosen key words which also never materialises. In my case they did not provide a copy of the terms and conditions until after I had paid. In the T&C you will see that their sales statement of ‘All keys words’ working for page one listing changes to ‘up to 7’ which in fact means just ONE. When you want to cancel your contract with them you have to give them your pass codes to access your site to “remove their work” and if you do not they will ‘take you to court’ if you do not pay for another year. (the following is an extract from an email received from them) ” Failure to pay the renewal invoice within 14 days of receiving this then the account with become a bad debtor which may or be passed onto a 3rd party collection agency to retrieve the monies owed” After they had ‘removed their work’ I had to spend hours fixing my site.

    Just as a comparison, my second site which I SEO’d myself is far more successful than the site they did.

    I cannot with any conscience recommend this company and would suggest to anybody considering using their services…think very carefully!

  26. 26
    Beware the adwords cowboys | EWD Says:

    […] Search Consultancy – Blog post –  Blagger « How to avoid the SEO link building scam What’s wrong with Google […]

  27. 27
    Dave Says:

    I am just in the process of taking legal action against Unitel Direct or first search consultancy as I later discovered, via my credit card company as they sold me a load of keywords over the telephone and a guaranteed first position in Google, Bing, Yahoo, for seven keywords of my choosing.

    They optimised my website with different keywords than I specified over the telephone and removed a lot of local areas from my keywords that I considered very relevant to my business without my consent.

    I am now worse of than I was before in terms of google ranking thanks to them removing areas from from keywords.

    I have also just spend over a full day preparing a very lengthy case against them printing emails off and documenting my dealings with this company from start to finish all in the hope that I get my £250+VAT back.

    My advise to anyone considering using them is don’t they should be avoided like the plague.

  28. 28
    Beware the adwords cowboys | Effective Website Design - Website Assessments Says:

    […] Search Consultancy – Blog post –  Blagger and […]

  29. 29
    Thomas Arnold Says:

    WHAT A BUCH OF CONNING BANDITS.I HAVE NEVER KNOWN A COMPANY LIKE THIS IN MY LIFE,HOW DOES THE MANAGER AND STAFF SLEEP AT NIGHT?

    GOOGLE CANT GUARANTEE 1ST PAGE LISTINGS SO WHY DO THE STAFF KEEP ON CALLING ME SAYING THEY ARE FROM GOOGLE WHEN ALL THEY ARE IS A LITTLE SHITTY COMPANY BASED IN A DINGY OFFICE CONNING PEOPLE LEFT RIGHT AND CENTRE JUST SO THE STAFF CAN LINE THE MANAGERS BANK BALANCE. I WONT NAME MY WEBSITE HERE AS AT THE MOMENT THIS IS GOING THROUGH THE COURTS,TRADING STANDARDS AMONGST OTHER AVENUE’S,LUCKY I DONT PAY HIM A VISIT WITH A FEW CRONIES TO GIVE HIM A GOOD HIDING FOR WHAT HE’S DONE. PLEASE PEOPLE ALL OVER STAY AWAY FROM CHRIS WILKINSON OR ANY OTHER NAKES HE GOES UNDER AT HIS SHAM OF A COMPANY AND HIS COMPANY 1ST SEARCH CONSULTANCY/UNITEL DIRECT OR WHATEVER ITS CALLING IT ITSELF THIS WEEK

    BUNCH OF COINNING BANDITS

    I BELEIVE IN KARMA

  30. 30
    Imogen Says:

    I have had the misfortune in dealing with First Search or Unitel. when I didn’t want to renew for the 2nd year as I couldn’t see what they had done for £200 they used bullying tactics. I don’t know how they are getting away with it in this day and age. You really really should consider everything that has been said above, I have taken the time to write this as I don’t think they should get away with it.

  31. 31
    Alan G Says:

    I’ve had a comment I wasn’t particularly comfortable publishing. If you wish to assault the people at FSC then please announce so on your own website. If you wish to joke about it, don’t do so on mine. Cheers.

    Keep the reviews of this company coming 🙂

  32. 32
    stephen Says:

    I have had the misfortune in dealing with First Search or Unitel. They do very little work or very poor quality & standard. Do not use this firm (First Search or Unitel) they have even contacted me from a different office, to sell there services, when I asked if they were the same company as I had given money to & but not done any work, you guessed it no reply same as when I asked about my guaranteed 1st page of Google ad campaign that can not be found no reply. Top tip don’t pay till the work is done, or as we are now a mouthy contract with a small firm that can be cancelled at any time. BUT DO NOT USE First Search Direct or Unitel

  33. 33
    Olivia Says:

    Last year I was conned into taking a year of being the first hit on google with my chosen 7 phrases for £300, They implied they were from google!!.. Only one of my words turned up on google first page all year! I kept complaining but they do nothing. It seems to be just a scam. I would have taken them to court had I not just had my first baby.
    DO NOT USE!!

  34. 34
    steven walton Says:

    mmmmmmmmmmmmm…….. fell into so many traps here! alwaysbeen a little unsure of this company, gave them the benefit of the doubt tho and they did a decent job. But last year i got a fewphone calls saying i had to pay £300 for something here and there! this happened a few times at each end of the year, like you do when you pre-ocupied working when they ring – paid it. i have recently change my sites to their server! problems are filtering in now, pics dont upload etc and im being told i have to pay £150 per web site for them to sort it?????? like hell i will. they have spoken to me on the phone, but they havent met me in person yet!

  35. 35
    Marah Says:

    It is their latest attempt at scaring companies into paying money to them and would be classed as a protection racket if only they had the power to knock a site off Google. The Cowboys don’t have this power, though some of the techniques they use could get a site banned by Google. Techniques such as link farming are designed to ‘trick’ Google into giving a site higher rankings and some big names have fallen fowl of this technique

    Marah

  36. 36
    Martin Says:

    Unitel Direct https://www.uniteldirect.co.uk/ are a bunch of cowboys.
    They have just sold one of our business partners a £2.99 domaion for £200 and keep pestering her to buy more.
    It turns out see dosn’t get the domain but rents it, having to pay the same amount per year.

  37. 37
    Vicky Says:

    I’ve been a customer of theirs in the past. A guy called Simon from there just phoned me from a mobile number which I answered, and said in accusatory tones that they have been trying to get hold of me for ages (I see their number on my phone and don’t answer). Automatically assume that I’m going to repeat order, try to rush it through and take even more money off me than last time. Are really shirty when I say I want to think about it, saying “How long do you need to make a decision” in a tone that suggests I’m some kind of idiot. Then tell me that I have until Thursday or I will ‘lose rankings’ if they cancel it off. They seem to have zero compassion for a small business owner, they just want to sell sell sell. They’ll get you on the first page of google in some cases, but not necessarily for search terms that people are looking for!

  38. 38
    Andy Says:

    I can see that this is an old thread, but anyhow … I would be interested in finding out what exactly their SEO techniques consist of. I have a client and upon going through comments I found a link to a WordPress.com site using the domain name followed by wordpress.com. I queried it with Unitl and they denied all knowledge they had anything to do with it. This WP site contained complete nonsense written in poor English.
    After heated emails going back and forward they are threatening to remove everything they have done in the background.

    I would love to find out from an ex-employee what exactly do they do in terms of SEO ? I have found lots of entries in business directories, but again they claim it is nothing to do with them.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated
    Thanks

  39. 39
    Alan G Says:

    Hi, it is of course possible someone else has taken their domain name and set up a spam blog. Given the previous behaviour of this SEO company though I wouldn’t put it past them.

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