If you are a business owner who has a website then I guarantee that at least once, you have received an email from someone who is offering you ‘SEO’ services out of the blue. To not put too fine a point on it, 99.8% of these emails are SEO scams ( I am allowing a .2% margin here where you are actually contacted by a real SEO professional who has audited your site and is offering genuine services). Do not be fooled by these SEO emails; they are bot-driven emails where the only goal is to remove money from your pockets and send it to some Paypal account in South East Asia or eastern Europe. Or worse, to supply terrible ‘SEO’ services that will damage your website and possibly result in your website being blacklisted by Google.
What Do These SEO Scams Look Like?
I am not going to cover what real SEO actually is and how it is incredibly valuable to your business when done properly – I am only going to discuss why you should steer clear of these ‘offers’. Suffice to say, that many years ago a senior Google Inc employee received an email that started like this:
I was on your website www.google.com and wanted to shoot you a quick note. I think I can make a few changes (aesthetically and/or SEO – wise) to make your site convert more visitors into leads and to get it placed higher in the organic search results, for a few of the select terms.
Enough said? You would think, but unfortunately there are website owners out there who are falling for these scams.
So, have you received an email like this one?
I have been checking your website quite often. It has seen that the main keywords are still not in top 10 rank. You know things of working; I mean the procedure of working has changed a lot.
So I would like to have opportunity to work for you and this time we will bring the keywords to the top 10 spot with guaranteed period.
There is no wondering that it is possible now cause, I have found out that there are few things need to be done for better performances (Some we Discuss ,in this email). Let me tell you some of them…
How Do I Know That This Is An SEO Scam?
Here are the things to look out for that shows you are the subject of an SEO Scam:
- The email comes from a gmail address. Why is this an issue? Well if this SEO expert is running such an efficient show and can fix your ‘rankings’ then surely they have their own business email address; why use a disposable gmail address? Enough said.
- The email to you is completely unsolicited.
- The absolutely shocking English – ‘You know things of working’ !! If they have no understanding of English grammar, how can they possibly help you with an English website where keywords and latent semantic indexing is so crucial? This is often accompanied by the sender signing off with some exaggerated anglo-saxon name not in keeping with the shocking grammar.
- The total lack of personalisation to your actual website – for example no reference to your business name, nor any reference to any keywords appropriate to your business that they are so sure you are not ‘ranking’ for. Don’t be fooled that your website address is actually in the email – these are gathered by automated ‘scrapers’ that go over the internet looking for website and email addresses.
- The lack of any website address for the company offering these SEO services – if their service is so effective, surely they would have their own website address there so you can check them out and do a bit of research.
What Do I Do If I Receive One Of These SEO Scams?
The points above on how to spot an SEO Scam leave us with two questions:
1. Why would someone actually respond to such an email, and;
2. What should you do with these types of emails in future if you agree they are a huge annoyance?
If you respond or are thinking of responding to such an email, then obviously you have questions about the effectiveness of your website and/or your online marketing. This is totally understandable and I sympathise. The place to start looking is not to bad-mouth your website designer who clearly had no idea how to structure your site and keywords for the search engines – the place to start is to re-visit your online marketing strategy, and if you don’t have one, get yourself one asap! An online marketing strategy is basically a site map/blueprint that outlines how each product or service you offer is promoted by your site and syndicated online to attract the right kind of converting visitors.
How do you respond to such SEO scam emails? Quite simply you don’t. Do not respond in any way to them. Mark them as spam if they are not already, and under no circumstances click on any links in the email – these will simply alert the sender that you are a real person and they may re-focus their efforts to hassle you some more and tell you more about the ‘things of working..’