Dennis Yu

How Andy Davis (Pilot Plumbing & Drain) got Scammed by Digital Marketing Agencies

If you’re a plumber who has been wronged by their digital marketing agency, this blog post was written for you. I recently had an audit with Andy Davis, the CEO of Pilot Plumbing and Drain. Pilot Plumbing & Drain is a plumbing company that serves residents in Portland, Vancouver, and Longview

However, after taking a look into the work that was done, it was pretty easy to see that Andy was robbed of his money, and there wasn’t much to show in terms of results. This is a very common story in the world of digital marketing, and my goal is to help plumbing company owners like Andy realize what’s truly going on behind the scenes. 

So, how can a company like Pilot Plumbing & Drain, who has countless 5-Star reviews on Google, get destroyed like this? Let’s take a look at what happened to Andy:

Exploring Efficient Ad Spending with Dennis Yu and Andy Davis

Dennis Yu and Andy Davis shed light on the art of identifying high-performing ads. Dennis begins, “Let me show you how easy this is.” He points out that in most campaigns, a significant portion of results often stems from a single campaign. By sorting ad groups by metrics like clicks or spend, one can swiftly identify the heavy hitters.

Dennis highlights, “These conversions, they’re all driven off of this one [campaign]. It’s all about ‘plumber’, ‘plumbers’, ‘plumber near me’.” This simplifies maintenance, as the focus narrows down to a few key areas. Discussing ad rotation and dynamic keyword insertion, they note how these tactics keep ads relevant and targeted.

Andy then brings up the cost aspect, observing a rate of “20 bucks a click.” Dennis acknowledges this, attributing it to the rising costs in the industry, but implies that such spending can be justified given the efficiency of the targeted approach. Their conversation underscores the importance of drilling down into data to find where the bulk of conversions originate, ensuring maximum return on ad spend.

Uncovering Local SEO Missteps with Dennis Yu and Andy Davis

In a recent discussion, digital marketing experts Dennis Yu and Andy Davis delve into the effectiveness of local SEO strategies using the LocalFalcon tool. Dennis explains the results of a map grid analysis, highlighting a significant issue: “Your office ranks for ‘plumber’ and plumbing terms locally, but as soon as you go a couple of miles outside, you fall off the search results.” This drop-off, Dennis suggests, indicates inadequate SEO efforts.

He elaborates that a quick examination reveals only basic directory submissions, likely automated through services like Yext, with no substantial SEO work evident. Dennis’s expertise in analytics, built from his experience developing analytics for a search engine over two decades ago, lends weight to his critique. He states, “There’s no evidence of SEO having been done on this site.”

When Andy mentions the current SEO spending of “$5,690 a month,” Dennis’s response is unequivocal: “You’re flushing money down the toilet.” This conversation underlines the importance of not just investing in SEO but ensuring that the investment is strategically and effectively utilized. Dennis’s and Andy’s insights offer a stark reminder that not all SEO services provide equal value, especially in the realm of local SEO.

Fake Directory Listings

“SEO people, they’re not all liars, but it’s almost always a scam.” He explains that 80% of the power of SEO lies in obtaining relevant links that are geographically and topically pertinent. For instance, for a plumbing business, links should be related to plumbing and localized to areas like Vancouver or Portland.

They discuss how some SEO efforts are limited to simple directory listings, such as yellow pages or local business directories. Dennis points out that anyone could accomplish this with minimal effort, suggesting, “You could just have a VA spend a couple weeks doing all of this.”

However, the conversation takes a turn when they analyze specific backlinks. Dennis shows Andy a link from an article about plumbing linking back to their site, demonstrating some effort in obtaining relevant backlinks. But as they delve deeper, they uncover links from irrelevant blog posts on varied topics like marriage, wine in Italian dining, and cricket in the U.S., none of which relate to plumbing or the targeted geographic area.

Dennis highlights the deceptive nature of these tactics by pointing out a blog supposedly written by a woman named Mila Light. Upon investigation, they discover that Mila Light appears to be a fabricated persona, with her image being used as stock art across various sites. This raises serious doubts about the authenticity and effectiveness of the backlinks.

Their analysis underscores a critical issue in SEO: the quality and relevance of backlinks are paramount. Using unrelated, fabricated content to create links can not only be ineffective but also detrimental, as Google is likely to flag such tactics. Dennis and Andy’s discussion serves as a cautionary tale about the importance of genuine, relevant SEO strategies.

Spam Site Backlinks

Dennis Yu and Andy Davis on the Perils of Spam Site Backlinks

In a revealing discussion, Dennis Yu and Andy Davis analyze the impact of using spammy tactics to artificially boost a website’s Domain Rating (DR). Dennis points out a perplexing scenario: “This site has a DR of 31, which is okay, but it ranks on no keywords.” He notes the alarming fact that despite having a decent DR, the site fails to rank for any keywords and has virtually no traffic – a clear indication that Google labels it as a spam site.

Andy raises a critical question about the consequences of building links on spam sites. Dennis responds by revealing a deeper issue: the same entities buying or creating these fake links for one client are likely doing it for others too, creating a network often mislabeled as a Private Blog Network (PBN). This network includes dubious links to casinos and other questionable entities.

Dennis challenges the notion that such tactics are undetectable, asking rhetorically, “You think Google can’t catch this?” His comment suggests that Google’s algorithms are more than capable of identifying and penalizing such practices. This conversation emphasizes the risks involved in adopting such black-hat SEO strategies and serves as a warning about the short-sightedness of trying to outsmart search engine algorithms with spammy backlinks.

The Truth

Most digital marketing agencies suck. Plumbers are getting scammed left and right by agencies promising results that never come. Luckily, Andy is now working with Will Troup, the founder of LocalSink, a company that helps plumbers like Andy fix their digital marketing and recover from the damage caused by these scam agencies. 

Dennis Yu

Dennis Yu

Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads. He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations. You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel. You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.
I'm a member of Blitzmetrics Academy and a friend of Dennis to boot. Not only is Dennis highly intelligent and full of great and creative ideas, he's also incredibly generous with both his knowledge and his time. Success couldn't come to a better guy. Thank you for all that you do for the world, Dennis! 🙏

Michael Pacheco

Marketer

Thanks 🙏 for being shining light in this industry. Love what your building for works overseas too network for jobs so innovative. Dennis helped me navigate having bad experiences with marketing agencies and doing dollar a day marketing which has helped my personal brand tremendously. Highly recommend.

Eric Skeldon

Founder at Kingdom Broker

Working with Dennis has been a delightful experience. After meeting him in 2015 I got to collaborate with him on countless occasions. His understanding for state-of-the-art marketing, his implementation, and his leadership put him into the top 0.01% of marketers and mentors.

Jan Koch

Ihr kompetenter Partner für innovative KI-Strategien.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Dennis for my podcast in 2021 and since then we have maintained a friendship that grows with each interaction. I have seen Dennis' devotion to his friends and clients firsthand, and our conversations often result in us talking about how we can provide more value to the people around us. He is someone whom I can ask questions on a technical level, and look to on a personal level. If you have any hesitancy about hiring him, get over yourself and do it!

Isaac Mashman

Help scaling personal brands.

Geez, where do I start recommending Dennis? First, he is an absolutely brilliant marketer who understands where marketing is today and where it's going tomorrow. He also has an incredible passion for the International Worker community. The lessons he has taught me from his almost 20 years of experience hiring International Workers have been immense. Most importantly though. Dennis Yu is someone who wants the absolute best for you and is willing to tell you the truth. Dennis sat with me at a point in my business where I was floundering but did not want to admit it. He asked some very straight forward questions to get me to admit my issues, highlighted the issues, and then helped me create a roadmap to success.

Atiba de Souza

International Keynote Speaker | Video Content Superman | Superconnector |

Dennis, which I had the pleasure of working with is one of the most giving, honest and tell you as it is person I ever know. The knowledge this man has is remarkable and he just gives it out freely. He is not pretentious and always entertain anyone big or small in the industry always willing to help. If you ever get a golden opportunity to work with him or mentored by him say YES!. You will notr regret Dennis, which I had the pleasure of working with is one of the most giving, honest and tell you as it is person I ever know. The knowledge this man has is remarkable and he just gives it out freely. He is not pretentious and always entertain anyone big or small in the industry always willing to help. If you ever get a golden opportunity to work with him or mentored by him say YES!. You will not regret

Nixon Lee

The PR Whisperer

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