Nothing is more annoying than opening your inbox in the morning to an ambush of spam emails. Over 97 billion spam emails are sent worldwide each day. Among the most common form of spam flooding our inboxes are SEO spam emails. These unsolicited emails promise to land a website on the first page of Google for an affordable price. Some of these are 100% automated, others are sent by real people, let’s discuss.
As an online marketing professional, it’s pretty easy to spot the spam, but to others it may be a little more difficult to decipher the legitimacy.
Most of these SEO emails originate from far away from your business location, pointing out “errors” on your website and promising to resolve the issues for a higher ranking. Most of the time, this is just an attempt to scare you into taking action.
However, there are some SEO emails you’ll receive that are from legit SEO firms, who are simply trying to generate more business. Most people hate these emails, but I don’t want to be too negative about them because in some cases it’s just someone trying to drum up business, so you can’t really blame them. I mean hey, they could have mouths to feed.
Why do spammers send SEO emails?
So in many cases these SEO spam emails are just companies trying to get business. But in other cases, it can be a little more malicious. The emails may contain phishing attempts or malware. In some cases, once they have access to your website, personal information, and financial information cyber fraud can be committed. Either way, generally if they are real or not, they are usually not great companies.
What does SEO email spam look like?
SEO spam can take many forms. Among the most common are short emails or comments left on your website stating something along the lines of “You’re missing out on hundreds of visitors each day.”
Here is an example email that was sent to us. Keep in mind, we are an SEO company. So getting these email shows they didn’t even look at our site.
I am Name Removed, SEO Manager.
I hope you are doing well and have time to read my proposal.
Advertising in the online world is one of the most inexpensive and highly effective methods of promoting a business.
We are a Leading Indian Based SEO & Web Development Company and one of the very few companies which offer organic SEO Services with a full range of supporting services such as one way
themed text links, blog submissions, directory submissions, article writing and postings, etc.
We are a team of 140+ professionals which includes 28 full time SEO experts. We are proud to inform you that our team handled 180+ SEO projects and obtained 100000+ manually built links in the past 1 year.
Let me know if you are interested and I’ll present you with a proposal that would not only improve sales of your company but also brand your products.
Feel free to contact me in case of any enquiry.
Lengthy emails are also sent stating supposed errors on your site and how their cheap and effective services will allow you to rank number one on Google. Or, they just want to “shoot you a quick note” on your website’s performance. Most often, these emails and comments follow a similar template or be 100% automated spam and almost always lack any type of originality or customization.
Although the emails may appear to be personalized because they include your website’s link, the exact same email has been blasted to hundreds of thousands of webmasters every day.
Other key red flags to SEO spam include:
- Information is usually completely unsolicited via website form or email.
- Usually the sender has an unprofessional email or free email service, like hotmail.
- They don’t have their own website or their website has a terrible ranking.
- If they do have a site, it looks cheap and poorly designed.
- They encourage you to buy backlinks.
- Poor subject lines.
- No real phone number.
- No company name.
What’s the risk?
The best case scenario maybe you by-chance find a company that is legit and they do decent work. The worst case scenario is you give them access to our website or tell them they can get to work and they cause damage that there’s no recovering from. This can be penalties in Google, hacked sites and more.
Are they always fake?
These emails aren’t always fake but they are 99.99% of the time. Sometimes, they come from real SEO companies that are trying to get business. But that is very rare. You can learn more about how to find the right SEO company in our business guide.
You can also find out a lot about a company and their credibility by conducting a Google search. Look for reviews, complaints, and whether or not a company even has an online presence.
Key things to look for with a reputable SEO firm include:
- Found on Google with reviews.
- They can provide you with references.
- The email address used has the same domain as their website.
- They offer training, seminars, or valuable information.
- They are highly recommended and have a strong portfolio.
Should I respond to SEO spam?
The best response when receiving these emails is no response at all. If you respond, the sender will keep fishing as long as you keep responding. The best response is to block spam comments on your website and to use spam blockers and filters in your email. However, no matter how well established your website is you will still get spam emails trickling in from time to time.
Spotting SEO Spammers
If I can be candid for moment, the automated SEO emails are more than just annoying. They discredit and devalue the reputation of real, hardworking SEOs who do offer great services.
Companies large and small, and even Matt Cutts, are hit by these spam emails. To protect yourself, remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And, do your homework before hiring any SEO firm.
- “Q1 2013 Report: 973 Million Malware Sent Out Each Day” Softpedia
- “15 Statistics that Prove Email Marketing is (Still) Not Dead in 2014” Capterra