UpWeb Digital Marketing Solutions
Catching Up with a Cowboy
Following on from my previous article about UpWeb formerly SEOJuice a search engine optimisation company based Sydney Australia, having suddenly remembered on the afternoon of New Year's Eve 2017 that this company still hadn't refunded a penny of my money I was curious to see what they were up to nowadays. It had been five years since I had signed up with them and after six months of them working on my website I was slapped with a penalty notice by Google because of their black hat search engine optimisation techniques. Despite all of their guarantees of page one ranking or your money back I was told none of these offers were applicable to me and having paid them almost $3000, I wanted my entire investment back.
Having Googled SEOJuice I discovered they were now also using the name UpWeb SEO and had created a second website at upwebseo.com (more recently they've updated the name again to Upweb Digital Marketing Solutions and have created a third website at upweb.com). A chatbox then appeared and I was invited to chat with them about their services. To my surprise just a minute later and I was talking to Dave Adamson founder and primary employee of this cowboy search engine optimisation company but as soon as he realised who he was talking to, he blocked me. This fraudster clearly wasn't happy that I had reappeared out of the blue after so long. Not one to give up that easily I decided to take advantage of the free audit they were offering on the homepage of their website and as requested entered my details. Well kind of.
It was 4 pm on 31st December 2017 or 3am in Australia on the 1st January 2018. Quite why that's relevant will soon become clear.
Whilst looking for something in my spam file on 19th January 2018 I noticed an email from Dave Adamson which was in response to the free SEO site audit that I had requested. Quite ironic really that it went straight to my spam file. Clearly as soon as anyone enters their website address into this field the company receives an alert. Dave's reply can be seen below.
Now on any other day of the year there wouldn’t be too much of a reason to be suspicious but this cunning fraudster was telling me that at 07.48 (local time Australia) on New Year’s Day that it had been brought to his attention by one of his staff that I had been trying to get in touch with him. Don't be fooled, this is a company that's run by Dave Adamson with some help from his wife and although he states on his website there are two other members of the team, they're freelancers who work for him as and when required. It should be noted that this guy is a compulsive liar which I have proved time and time again throughout the articles that I've written about my shambolic experience with his company. I don't want to bring undue attention to these two "members of staff" but let's just say that a quick search on LinkedIn confirmed without a doubt that neither are employed by UpWeb or SEOJuice. With that in mind, this cowboy expects me to believe that although on holiday with his family at the time I requested a free site audit, one of "his staff" contacted him to say I was trying to get in touch. In the highly unlikely event that were to be true, they could only have done it between 02:40 and 07:48 local time on New Year's Eve/Day.
Clearly Dave Adamson thinks I'm stupid. He's obviously forgotten that having responded to his invitation to chat with him about their search optimisation services when I landed on his website, he then ended the chat and blocked me as soon as he realised who he was talking to.
It should also be remembered that wasn't the end of it, as well as blocking me to ensure I could no longer use the chat facility, the entire website was then taken offline but not only that website, he then took UpWeb SEO offline as well plus my IP address was blocked to prevent me from accessing both websites.
More Phoney Reviews
As if further proof is needed to confirm what a fraudster this guy is, I found an interesting video on YouTube about UpWeb SEO from another apparent happy customer who was so delighted with the results of the work carried out by this cowboy search engine optimisation company that instead of simply writing a review, he recorded a lengthy video testimonial. Ahhh what a very nice chap. Thing is it was uploaded to YouTube in April 2011 which is just three months after SEOJuice was formed. Considering Mr Williams says they have been working for him for the last six months something doesn't add up. I've included a screenshot of the comment that I left about the video review because I expected it to be deleted which of course it was.
Having been deleted the only comment which remains can be seen below which by the way, sounds very similar to the comment written by Yada Yada Marketing on their website about UpWeb.
There's another reason why I believe this review to be phoney. Putting my Sherlock Holmes cap on I noticed how professional the background is in Mr Williams' testimonial so he's really gone to great lengths to ensure the presentation from his office in Birmingham in the UK is truly professional. Why does it matter where he's recording the video from I hear you ask and why am I even mentioning it unless of course, he's not really in Birmingham at all but is instead in Australia. Why do I say that? Take a look at another video that I found on YouTube of Dave Adamson, this one was posted on May 24th 2012 just six months before I signed up to one of his black hat search engine optimisation packages. I'm assuming it was recorded from his "office" which is his home in Springwood, Australia but how strange, the background in his video is almost identical to the one used by Mr Williams who was in his office at the other side of the world in Birmingham in the UK. The only difference seems to be the lighting. What a coincidence.
With a little more digging I discovered the video was also uploaded to the website of a company called YadaYada Marketing who are based in Clearwater Florida and they state the testimonial is regarding a great SEO service that they've been using which achieved "awesome results". That's pretty strange coming from a company who themselves offer search engine optimisation services.
YadaYada Marketing are in the USA, UpWeb are in Australia and Mr Williams is a very happy customer in Birmingham in the UK. Whilst I'm not entirely certain what's going on one thing I can say for sure is that it all sounds very strange.
Five Years to Get my Money Back
Having replied to Dave's email in which he said he would refund my money, I waited patiently to see what happened next.
On the morning of 23rd January 2018 I finally received a refund for the black hat SEO work that had been carried out by UpWeb on my website. Unsurprisingly however Dave Adamson had still not learnt how to do business in an ethical and honest manner, not only had he charged me the fee for the PayPal transaction for the refund of my money but it was also $129.90 short and I wasn't going to let this fraudster get away with a single penny of my money.
When you run your own business mistakes are sometimes inevitable but when they occur you should always do your best to make it up to your customer and ensure they never lose out. With that mentality you'll preserve your reputation and your conscience will be clear. Additionally one would hope that in order to move forwards you'll also learn from these mistakes which can only be beneficial for long term success. Dave Adamson founder and primary employee of SEOJuice, UpWeb SEO or UpWeb Digital Marketing Solutions doesn't operate like that and instead continues to try to con and deceive people at any given opportunity.
Having contacted him again regarding the fee and outstanding amount of money he then refunded me in full. What a shame it took five years almost to the day for him to do that.
The only thing you can kiss goodbye to when using this bunch of fraudsters is your business.
The following post was written over twelve months after I terminated my contract with SEOJuice. According to this fraudster's own personal Facebook page the company was established in 2011 yet when this post was submitted in 2014 he says they've been around for the past five years. On their latest website he says the company was formed in 2010 and has since "grown into one of the most desirable digital marketing solutions out there." Having looked at how much traffic they get to all three of their websites I find that statement extremely difficult to believe.
Goodbye to Bad Rubbish
Since refunding me in full Dave Adamson has said the following:
“We employed some very low quality link building services at the time and outsourced some of our work to less than desirable places which was obviously detrimental to your business and mine.”
There was no apology for the penalty notice that I received from Google following the thousands of spammy backlinks that had been built to my website, nor was there an apology for assuring me they only use white hat techniques and "native English writers". My gripe with this company is not just about some poor decisions they made, it's also about the barrage of lies which started the second I got in touch with them and which have continued ever since. Every single aspect of the way they run their business is dishonest from the phoney guarantees of page one ranking or your money back to all the glowing reviews written (and recorded) by apparent satisfied customers. They even lied in their response to a review that I had written about them on a review website and said I had been a problematic customer who had lashed out at them in 2013 and much of what I had said has been blown out of all proportion. Nothing about this shambolic company is honest and nobody wants to deal with a fraudster especially when it comes to promoting your business.
Dave Adamson tries to run away from negative reviews that have been posted online by changing his company's name and creating multiple websites. Since I signed up with them in 2012 they've gone from SEOJuice to UpWeb SEO to UpWeb Digital Marketing Solutions and each has its own website. Despite masquerading as a large, successful and well established business, a few minutes on Neil Patel's website will reveal what a small and insignificant company this really is. Neil is a search engine optimisation guru who gives great advice on this subject and through his website it's also possible to see the volume of traffic that lands on a given website.
Having seen all the glowing customer reviews and feedback written about Upweb SEO in various places online, I foolishly believed they knew what they were doing and were the right people to help me to promote the online side of my business. Having now seen the number of visitors to all three of their websites it's further confirmation as if that was needed, that instead of being honest and upfront with potential customers Dave's priority is to lie, deceive and to try and make out his company is something that it's really not. I don't' believe that he'll ever truly understand the importance of being honest and upfront in business. Being a one-man band or new startup is nothing to be ashamed of, we all have to start somewhere but pretending that you're well established and can offer your customers expertise in the field of search engine optimisation when you really don't have a clue what you're doing is no joke. At a time when my website was beginning to do well it then crumbled completely because of black hat techniques used by Dave Adamson and it was two long years before it really fully recovered from the damage he caused.
Of course Dave wants me to remove the negative material that I've posted online and had he not dragged the matter out for five years and been such a prolific liar I may have considered it. With that said, considering that I genuinely believe that he still poses a real threat to any small business, I feel it's important that people be aware of who they're dealing with before deciding whether to use this search engine optimisation company.
“.......are you possibly able to remove those reviews? Otherwise, please let me know if you have any further concerns that I can assist with.”
Sorry Dave the answer is no, I cannot remove the reviews and I have no further concerns.