This is a long story so you might want to back out now...
They say that cooler heads prevail so when I have an issue with something I like to take some time to think about it. When I look at this issue now, weeks later, it seems even worse than it did before.
I joined this forum and others to learn how to do SEO. I had made a website for my local contracting company and did whatever on-page SEO I could while not being spammy. It worked pretty well, in a year or so I was getting decent visitors, but I wanted a bit more.
After discussions with an SEO Pro that I found online and seemed to have the respect of his peers, he asked me my budget and said he could work with it (it's low for typical SEO, but I took his word that he would be able to produce results).
As an aside, I gauge how my website is doing by the local visitors that I see in Google Analytics. Since it's a local business, I only care about the people in my area who are going to my site. I don't care if I get 30 visitors from Virginia because they are just telemarketers and SEO spammers. The real number that matters are the visitors in my state.
Prior to hiring this SEO Pro, I was getting a solid 45-50 visitors from my local area per month. That lead to a few calls per week. My goal in paying an SEO Pro was to get more local visitors and more calls. There was no specific amount discussed, but "more" was the key part of this deal, not less.
The first month the SEO Pro made a couple changes to my website, mostly he added these odd words to the title of every page, words that don't actually go along with the type of work that I do. I didn't argue, he's the Pro. I had given him the keywords and services that I knew of and expected him to know what would "sell" the best.
He then continued on for 6 months. Every month he would send a report of stuff that he did. When I looked that stuff up, such as the YouTube video, it was already gone. When I asked him, he made an excuse about getting links up quick is all that's needed, or something like that. When I looked at the articles or other things he had links to, half of them were broken, the other half were horribly spun articles on these backwoods spammy websites. But I really didn't know the truth, I took his word for it. He would post a report from Webmaster Tools saying how there were gains, and I trusted that. I made excuses and attributed the lack of calls I was getting to the fact that it was a cold Winter.
FWIW, during the 6 month period I added many pages for different areas and services. All of them were 100% hand written and unique and I always showed the SEO Pro when I made changes to be sure they were ok and not something that would get penalized.
Fast forward 6 months, my website is dead. I look back in Analytics and see that my website went from 45-50 visitors every month to 20 visitors at the end of the first month he started. Then progressively down to 7 visitors at the end. I think the title change with the bad keywords helped do that, but the articles may have helped too.
Before looking into what I mentioned above, I went to someone to do AdWords for me since SEO wasn't helping. This person looked into my website and what was linking to it. He said that whoever did SEO destroyed my site. He said that the SEO Pro used horrible websites to post bad articles and the anchor text was something that gets 0 searches and doesn't even apply to my website or service.
So I brought this information back to the SEO Pro with an open mind, I wanted to see what he had to say about it because the other guy might have been FoS. The response was basically saying that different SEO Pros use different methods, he also said he wasn't sure about the keywords being so off. Using the correct keywords was one of the reasons why I wanted an SEO Pro to do this for me in the first place, now I find out that it was all wrong.
As I looked more, I found more and more horribly spun articles. When I mentioned that to him, he mentioned yet again that due to my limited budget he had to outsource the articles to writers. I found that disingenuous for 2 reasons. First of all, he agreed to the budget and said he can get results. If he had told me that the budget was too small in the first place, I would have never contracted with him for the work. Second, there is no way in hell that a human being wrote those articles, I believe he lied to me about that.
Here are some of the websites that WebMaster Tools shows the articles backlinking from:
sopwer.com (this site is down now but the preview in WMT's shows a big closeup of a vagina)
So I asked the SEO Pro twice if he would put his name on the work that he did for me. I asked him if he would use my website going from 45-50 local visitors down to 4 visitors as a before and after example of his service. He refused to answer me and will not reply back.
I would put my name on every single bit of work that I have done, or I would go back and correct it.
I feel like I have been taken advantage of. I didn't just find some random guy, I found someone that everyone knows and would assume does great work. But looking at it now, it seems as if he took my money and then wrote my job off to $10-20 worth of Fiverr.com gigs per month.
I went from getting a couple calls per week from the website all Summer and Fall up until December, to where I am at now: not a single call since March.
I feel robbed, stolen from...