Those Who Can’t, Spam


I am always amused by Search Engine optimization scam artists who spam people with bold claims about how they can get you to the “top of the rankings”. Unfortunately, these scams are probably somewhat successful, since the claims often seem plausible if you don’t quite understand how they work. And certainly, the demand for these services is there.

But the fact is, if these people could provide a real service that could help you, there is no way they would be spamming you to get your business. There are certainly people out there who provide a genuinely valuable service. However, internet marketers and SEO specialists who know what they are doing are swamped with business. They get all the referrals they need from delighted clients.

Here is a sample of a recent spam I got from one of my client sites:

I visited your website and had a question
I was looking at websites under the keyword "keywords"
and came across your site yourwebsite.com.
I see that you're ranked 35 on page 4.
I didn't send this email out to thousands
of people but I am currently
reaching out to a list of your "keyword competitors"
as well. But you're my favorite and you are the one
I really favor and the one I see can monetize the
targeted website traffic this can deliver.
...

Additional smoke blowing continues, but you get the idea. I am particularly pleased to be the “favorite” among the anonymous people spammed.

The amusing thing is that, this is a top ranked site that does very well. It is #1 for many of the most desirable search terms in that market. But they did manage to find some particular keyword combo that apparently I rank on page 4. (Actually didn’t even check, since it hardly seemed important. ) And obviously, you can’t be top ranked for every imaginable keyword combination. At some point there are diminishing returns to chasing too many specific keywords in terms of overall breadth of scope and quality and quantity of traffic.

There are a number of ways these scams plays out.

  1. If they claim they can get you the “top ranking” for anything instantly, it is either:
    1. the top ranking is an ad (which you will probably pay an arm and a leg for, but it is not magic)
    2. the top ranking is in a website frame that no one will actually see
  2. If they promise “first page rankings for hundreds of keywords”, you need to know exactly what those keywords are, and how many searches are actually made for those keywords. For example, if the list of keywords search phrases includes things like “Criminal Defense Lawyer Jane Attorney of Beaumont Texas”, you can assume that a) this is not a competitive or difficult term to rank for, and b) almost no one is likely to be searching for it, so the value is negligible.

The bottom line is, ignore unsolicited spam emails with claims that seem too good to be true. Particularly those with significant upfront costs.

Posted by dave on Tuesday, April 15th, 2008 at 8:54 am and is filed under scams. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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