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Shady SEO Practices? Do I need it?

By muzicman82 ·
Hi all,

I manage a small business Wordpress website for a company. They have a marketing guy that in turn hires a big marketing/SEO company. I won't mention which one unless that is allowed here. I am questioning whether they are needed, doing anything for us, and whether their practices are legit or if they are tracking stats just to try to claim Internet traffic and give reasons to the customer to keep their money.

First off, they are supposedly managing Google Ads for them. If I search for the company name, a paid Ad appears at the top, but the domain name is changed from .com to .co and the phone number is not the company's correct phone number. I did some snooping and it appears this "window" site simply live loads my site, but definitely changes all references to phone number to some intermediate number and forwards to the customer. I find this really shady. If the business is paying for a vanity number or an 800 number, why would an SEO company intercept the call and forward it?

Back in December, I got complaints that customers were dialing a wrong number found on the website and it was disconnected. After looking into this further, they weren't on the right website at all, but a clone of the website (or this live window thing), and calling an intermediate number that had been disconnected.

This company has also done things like clone the site, make some sort of mobile version and attempted to sell it to the customer. After purchase was declined, this alternate version of the site was not taken down.

They also sent a header JavaScript they told the marketing guy needed to go in the header of the site to make the site compatible with Google's Extended Ads change in January. I beautified the script and it looked to me like it had little to nothing to do with Google, but was tracking site traffic. I saw code references to creating popups and collecting personal data. I told the guy I wasn't adding it to the site until I had a reason to.

Am I crazy? Or is this all really shady?

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