Recently a friend asked me about why their newly developed website wasn’t showing up at all in the Google SERPs. I had a quick look about and picked up a few points in addition to a few others about performance of the site etc. Just some ‘low hanging fruit’ that would be easy to pick and fix to help improve the site overall.
These comments were passed onto the account manager that managed developing the site. I say developing, what I should have said is “customised a WordPress theme”. To keep things short the email that came back from him to my friend was super snaky and not at all professional. However at the end of it he did say he would be happy to chat it over (with me) if I wanted to call in and discuss…. so I did.
I made the call from the office on my lunch break. My friend had previously had discussions with him regarding the design of the site and tried to stress to me that he was not helpful and very grumpy. My friend and I (who I also work with) both know that she doesn’t like conflict and so in my head I thought she was over reacting. I was expecting a slightly grumpy older man who made annoyed sounds but eventually comes around to the right way of doing things.
I was so wrong!
Bear in mind the man I am calling is a digital account manager for a marketing agency based in Richmond. An ACCOUNT MANAGER doing ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT with PAYING CLIENTS!
Calling the account manager
I make the call, he answers and I introduce myself. Form this moment the aggressiveness of the man towards me is extreme. He basically stopped short of telling me to F off, but barely. He agreed that the site was not showing in Google but refused to accept any advice or help in correcting it. As it is the site for a friend I suggested that he upload a verification HTML file so as I could view the site within Google and try and see if it was reporting anything at all. The fact that they hadn’t done this already to investigate the problem internally was shocking to me. It’s a painless 5 minute process to gain access to very valuable data. I personally always do it for sites I develop.
Throughout the call he kept telling me to just ‘take the site’ while I explained that I wasn’t trying to take the site away from him or do anything underhand I just wanted to help him sort out the issue as quickly as possible. He harped on at me that he ‘just didn’t care’ anymore and that the site was more trouble that it was worth. I finally dropped any pretence of us getting on and said that since I was obviously pi**ing him off I am just going to say goodbye and hang up. But he didn’t even end it there. He kept going on about how I would also be annoyed if I were in his position. I can tell you dear reader I have been in his position (everyone makes mistakes!) but I most certainly did not react the same way to the advice of a third party.
I eventually accepted to receive FTP details to then download the site files to make any changes I wanted, which was none! But It was a way to end the call in a civil manner so I took the out! I left the account manager with the task of correcting the issue of the site not being included within Google’s index.
It just so happens however that I had five minutes to quickly look into the issue myself and it took about that amount of time to track down the issue. They had made a massively simple mistake. Within the theme templates they had added the meta tag to instruct Google to not index any pages of the site. You can see this in the featured image at the top of this article.
Now it’s not the mistake that prompted this post, it was the agency’s account manager’s attitude. It completely blew me away how unprofessional it was. I am barely able to stop myself typing his name and the agency’s name and screaming in all caps at everyone to stay the hell away from them. They did after a few days eventually correct their mistake however the story he told my friend as to why it wasn’t showing up in Google was a complete fabrication! He made up some story about their ‘sever being blacklisted or something’.
Now I’m in no way a perfect account manager but the call did force me to realise that a lot of people out there in management positions just do not have the skill or temperament to be able to do the job.
I’ll not ramble on anymore dear reader, but please, if you are looking about for an agency of any type do make sure you speak to the account manager that you will be dealing with before signing on the dotted line. Otherwise you may end up getting someone as truly horrific as I had to deal with.