You probably get junk emails of all types every day. But has an “SEO company” ever spammed you?
At OneIMS, we receive SEO spam emails on a regular basis (despite being a search engine optimization and web development company ourselves) that promise guaranteed SEO results.
Above, we’ve featured one of the many emails we get on what seems to be a daily basis. We’re not alone, though. Even Matt Cutts says he gets these spam emails. So, how can you determine what’s real out there?
Using Gmail Addresses
Does the email sender have a personalized company name, or are they using a generic Gmail address? If the company is using Gmail addresses, they are more likely to be spammers—let’s take a second to examine why.
First, if they’re an established company, they’re more likely to have an official company email. Secondly, Google blacklists many SEO spammers’ Gmail accounts after they send too many of these types of emails. Once Google blacklists them, though, they can create another spam Gmail account. If an email looks like it may be phony, you can start being a little skeptical.
No Real Contact Information
Take a look at Smith’s email signature in the email we received—just a simple “Business Development Consultant” with his email address, not to mention the one-word name (who is he, Madonna?).
He doesn’t list his actual company name, let alone a web address, phone number or physical address location. If you’ve received a similar email, now’s the time you can start getting more skeptical.
Information That’s Generic, Incorrect, or Both
Anyone can throw around phrases like “pay-for-performance model,” “No. 1 placement” and “low organic ratings” to sound authoritative, but how accurate are these statements?
To make sure a company can actually live up its claims, ask for specific examples of what work the company’s search engine optimization team has done. If a company offers guaranteed SEO services but has nothing to back up that claim, it may be spam.
Poor Grammar and Spelling
Oftentimes, these emails will have at least a couple of spelling or grammatical mistakes. This is a sign that the work being offered will be done in countries where English is not their first language.
If you notice in the example, there is a grammatically incorrect sentence, “You pay us only when we bring you on top pages of Google.” That should raise a red flag and signal that English isn’t Smith ‘s native language. It is also possible that this company is using an automated language translator.
Fixed, Too-Cheap Pricing
Ever heard of the phrase “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is”? Well, the same concept applies to SEO companies that claim they can get you top rankings for just a few hundred dollars. Quality SEO results take hours of extensive work over a prolonged period of time.
If a company promises you rankings in the top pages of Google for only $200 or $300, it is probably spamming your website with low quality backlinks. Also, every company’s SEO needs are different, so why rely on a fixed pricing model?
Before you dive into a new SEO campaign, examine what the company is offering you. It is also possible that this company does get you to the first page of Google for such a low cost—by using paid ads.
For unsuspecting clients, Smith could simply buy cheap Google ads for a few targeted keywords, take a screenshot of the results—with your paid ad on the first page—and report that they fulfilled their claim.
This could be part of their “one time setup fee at the beginning”. They could use that fee to buy ads upfront, then bill their client monthly. How often does your company receive these spammy emails from so-called SEO companies? How do you determine what’s real and what’s fake? Let us know.