If you do some sort of SEO (whether you lean towards the white or black hat side of the coin), then the name Neil Patel rings a bell.
Superstar SEO expert and owner of some of the industry’s most successful digital marketing blogs like Quicksprout, Neilpatel.com and Crazyegg.com, Neil is a strong advocate for white hat SEO and seems to be one of the few who actually practice what they preach.
But what if I told you that this seemingly law-abiding, angel-looking blogger was in fact not what he appears to be?
If you’re the biased type, you definitely think I’m faffing right now, hell, this looks like some sort of libelous shit I could get sued for by the nigga in question.
But the facts I’m about to reveal today aren’t my own words (disclaimer ) but the in-depth investigation of Glen, owner of Viperchill who claims that Mr Neil Patel (who strongly advises against black hat tactics like buying links) in fact pays for links himself from top blogs, an act google frowns upon.
Here is the except that first appeared on Viperchill where Glen outed Mr Patel:
“One client touted by AudienceBloom is an entrepreneur and writer named Neil Patel. He was quoted about the value of AudienceBloom in a testimonial on the company’s site, recommended its services in a video clip on AudienceBloom’s YouTube channel, and wrote about his experience with the firm on his own marketing blog.
“They are pitching authority sites, like Forbes, stories about my website,” he wrote in the blog post. “Sometimes they accept the pitch, and other times they don’t, but the good news is Audience Bloom only charges you when a story gets accepted.”
In late May, DeMers ranked Patel alongside Elon Musk and Sheryl Sandberg in a roundup, published by Entrepreneur, of entrepreneurs with exceptional personal branding. It was the fourth time he’d brought up Patel in that publication. DeMers previously called him a “highly successful entrepreneur,” a “marketing and conversion expert,” and a “world-renowned marketing expert and extremely successful entrepreneur.”
In total, DeMers has referenced Neil Patel or his various blogs and companies in 12 separate articles for publications including Forbes. One of the Entrepreneur stories was republished by NBC News, and another by Business Insider.
But in spite of his glowing testimonials and many mentions with associated links from DeMers, Neil Patel insists he was never a paying client. Before even being contacted by BuzzFeed News for comment, Patel sent a reporter four back-to-back emails vigorously denying he’d hired the firm and threatening legal action.
Patel asserted he had never paid AudienceBloom for any “marketing or link services” and offered to allow a third-party accountant to review his financial records as proof.
“I never paid Jayson or AudienceBloom,” Neil Patel wrote in an email. “I met Jayson 5 to 8 years ago in Seattle and let him use my name as a testimonial as we are friends.”
But Patel did more than just allow DeMers to use his name. Until recently, AudienceBloom’s YouTube channel featured a video in which Patel praised the marketing work he said the company did for him.
“I’ve been using AudienceBloom for around two years now when it comes to SEO, content marketing, and guest posting, and they’ve been doing an excellent job,” Patel says in the video. He also says, “AudienceBloom is a great company to work with. They’re cheap, they’re affordable, and they provide an awesome ROI [return on investment] for the price that you pay.”
After BuzzFeed News followed up to ask Patel about the video, it was removed from AudienceBloom’s channel. He also deleted his blog post about the company after being asked about it, and AudienceBloom removed the Patel testimonial from its website as well.
Now over to you. What do you think about Neil Patel’s tactics?