I try to keep this blog real estate related, but once in a while, I provide a review or recommendation for a product or service I think can help people. This time, I am providing a review to help people save time, money, and frustration by picking the wrong company to help with SEO (search engine optimization). Kris Reid contacted me in 2017 to be on my podcast to help promote his company Ardor SEO. He said he was an expert at helping real estate agents get traffic to their websites. Before I let him on my podcast, I wanted to try out his services myself. Things started out decently but quickly deteriorated. I was hesitant about writing a review like this, but I wanted to help others avoid the frustration and costly mistakes this company created. If it had been a few mistakes on Ardor SEOs part, it would not have been a big deal. But they not only were horrible at SEO and content creation, they also overcharged me and refused to refund me after admitting they overcharged me. Numerous fake reviews have popped up all over my site, Facebook, and YouTube since our dispute, and they deleted much of the work they did after our dispute without my permission. I also did a video review of them that shows the emails, poor work, and content deletion, which I will include in this review. After I created that review, numerous people reached out to me with similar experiences…even people who had worked there. Stay away from Ardor SEO and Ardor Content, as they will do more harm than good and overcharge you for it.
Why did I hire Kris Reid and Ardor SEO?
As I mentioned earlier, Kris reached out to me to be on my podcast. I later realized that is how he does most of the marketing for his company: he tries to be on as many podcasts as he can. I do not let just anyone on my podcast, and I wanted to check him out first. I have tried various companies to help with my SEO over the years with some success. I asked him if he works on sites like mine, and he said he does all the time and would be happy to give me a proposal. He did a site audit on InvestFourMore.com and went over it with me with his team. I was impressed with the audit, and he talked a big game about how much they could help my site.
They gave me a proposal for six months to complete all the work they needed to do. But they also gave me the option of speeding up the process and paying more every month to get the work done in 3 months. One of my downfalls is I can be impatient. I decided to pay more money and go with the 3-month plan. I paid Ardor SEO over $4,000 per month for three months to do the work in their proposal.
Looking back on my actions, I know I made a few mistakes that made the situation worse.
- I should have started slowly with them to see how the well the work was done.
- I should have asked for references (really stupid).
You can watch the video below to see the actual proposal that they gave me.
Why I would never recommend Ardor SEO or Kris Reid to anyone
I have used many companies for my blog, my real estate business, and my investments who produced subpar performances or results. I have never named names or mentioned any of them in public. I know people make mistakes and take on more than they can handle, and most people do not set out to rip people off. With Kris Reid and Ardor SEO, the work was so poor and there was such a lack of professionalism and responsibility that I feel they may be out to rip people off. The warning signs were there, but I took too long to see them:
- They failed to give me monthly reports as promised.
- They took three days to answer emails.
- They kept making mistake after mistake.
- When they made mistakes, I found them…not them.
- They overcharged me and refused to issue a refund.
At the same time that I was using Ardor SEO, I was also buying a 68,000-square-foot commercial building and starting my own real estate brokerage. I was distracted and not paying as much attention to the work Ardor SEO was doing as I should have been. I paid Ardor SEO the three months that our contract called for. They charged my credit card two more times, which added up to more than $9,000. I asked them to stop charging my card and issue a refund for the extra months they charged me. This was Kris Reid’s response in an email:
How was the quality of work from Ardor SEO and Kris Reid?
The other problem with Kris Reid and Ardor SEO was their quality of work. Here are a few things they did:
- I noticed five incidents where my site was messed up. Multiple times, my blog page was in another language, and they never noticed. I was the one who saw it and emailed Ardor about the problem. It usually took them three days to fix it, so we fixed it ourselves.
- Many times, an article they were updating went out to my RSS feed on accident. That means an email was sent to my subscribers showing I had published a new article. The problem was these were old articles, and emails were sent out multiple times per day, causing people to unsubscribe.
- They changed META descriptions for my articles (descriptions that show up on Google searches). Five articles had the exact same description that was for my podcast with lender Mike Bowen. One article had a description from another blog that had nothing to do with real estate.
- They also wanted more reviews on my site. Instead of using the real reviews I gave them, they simply made up reviews like:
“I have been able to flip 50 homes in the last 5 months”
“Today, I’m earning an average commission of $700,000 per year.”
- Part of their proposal was changing my titles to be more SEO friendly. However, they changed many of my titles to something nonsensical like:
- Real Estate Worth Coaching
- Podcast 102: Rentals Income to Retire Early
- Financing Multiple Investment Propertie
This was the quality of work I saw over and over. Typos, titles that don’t make sense, and much more.
What was the biggest value that Kris Reid and Ardor SEO promised?
One of the biggest things they promised were authority backlinks. After four months, I asked for a list of backlinks they had obtained. It took them three weeks to get me a report that contained the backlinks they obtained. An authority backlink is a link from a website that has a lot of authority with Google. Amazon has a ton of authority as does my site because of the traffic and links into it.
The so-called authority links were horrendous. I did not recognize one site, and most sites posted the exact same article. The sites had no traffic and barely any links into them. There was not one site that had close to as many links into it or traffic. They claimed to have over $10,000 worth of backlinks into my site, and the one the highlighted was:
You could see the quality of work, but they removed this article. The site they said was one of the best authoratative sites, ranks 16 million in the world, and has 7 sites linking into it. My site ranks 266k in the world and has 435 sites linking into it.
They listed 12 video embeds they had gotten for me. Every single link was on a tiny blog and posted the exact same day: April 12th. It was obvious these were not authority links but articles they had written and placed on tiny sites they probably owned. I asked multiple times about the video links, and they ignored me each time.
The really interesting thing is that when I made my video review and went to show people the quality of the websites these authority links were on, the articles were gone! Ardor SEO and Kris Reid had removed the articles and backlinks after our dispute. I show in the video how almost all of the articles, YouTube videos, and other links were removed.
How professional is Kris Reid and Ardor SEO?
Not only was the Ardor SEO work really poorly done, but Kris also seems to be a very vindictive person. Not only did he remove the authority links and articles that he claimed were worth tens of thousands of dollars, but horrible reviews also popped up all over the web against me. I say horrible not because they were negative but because of how poorly written they were. I have never had a fake review posted against me in the five years I have been blogging. I have had over 20 in the last two months on YouTube, the blog, Facebook, and who knows where else. I have no proof that Kris is posting these, but the timing sure is fishy.
The quality of the review is right in line with the quality of work Ardor did. On my Facebook page, I have gotten 7 1-star reviews in the last two months after never having any. Each review was from a brand-new Facebook account, and most of them made no sense. One claimed InvestFourMore was a horrible company to rent apartments from. InvestFourMore does not rent apartments, nor do I. I have property managers that rent my properties, and I have no apartments…just houses. You can see the reviews here, although 2 of them were removed by Facebook because they were from fake accounts: https://www.facebook.com/pg/InvestFourMore/reviews. If you want to leave me a real review, it would be appreciated!
I also received a number of fake Youtube reviews, including many that went to spam. I had multiple reviews all posted on the exact same day at the same time. I saved many of them in my spam folder.
All of these Youtube accounts have no content and are brand new as well. I love how the grammar is poorly done as well, just like the work Ardor did on my blog was done poorly.
How have things gone with Ardor SEO the last few months?
I email Kris once in a while to ask why he removed all the backlinks, ask if he is leaving the reviews, and try to convince him that success does not come from scamming people. After he knew he would not get any more money out of me, he basically told me to stop communicating with him. I was still inquiring about the quality of backlinks his company was providing when he said:
“Matt has answered your other questions previously. All work has been completed. Thank you and all the best in the future”.
I did a chargeback on my credit card for the first time ever because of the overcharge Ardor made. We are still disputing that, and I think it is awesome he removed all those links in the middle of the dispute because it makes it much easier to get the chargeback completed. This is the last email he sent me after I asked if he was making all the fake reviews (he has never denied it):
“Dude get over yourself and move on. I could careless about you.”
I love how he has such horrible grammar, and he advertises writing content for sites. It is also very interesting that almost all the fake reviews come in during the middle of the night when Kris is working. He lives in Cambodia, most likely so he cannot get sued. I might mention it was a serious pain trying to contact him because he always wanted to talk on the phone late at night because of the time difference. He never wanted to email me and always wanted to talk on the phone, most likely because he didn’t want anything he said in writing.
I will be just fine as my main source of income is from real estate, not my blog. I wanted to warn others about the dangers of using Ardor SEO and Kris Reid. Other people who depend on their site for their livelihood could be devastated by his actions. I heard from many people who used him and had similar experiences, even being overcharged. I even heard from someone who used to work for him, and they said he treated his employees horribly and refused to pay them back wages when they quit or were fired. I gave Kris months and multiple chances to make things right, and he refused to do so. He just claimed over and over that his company was awesome, other clients loved him, and because of that, I should not have any problem being overcharged. He even told me to check out his LinkedIn profile to see how many clients recommended him. I checked it out, and every recommendation was from a podcast he was on; none of the people had actually used his service!
I don’t like taking negative actions like this as I am a very positive person, but hopefully, it will save some other people money and frustration. Others can also learn from my mistakes about completing due diligence when you hire a company to help you. Maybe someday Kris will realize that if he did business the right way, he would be much more successful and happier.