Unfortunately, SEO scams come in all shapes and sizes. This means that you have to be very careful with any SEO business that approaches you (unless you have requested a call etc.). Before deciding to go with any SEO agency you should always conduct research to ensure they are the best fit for your business.
One of the most common ways a fake SEO business can scam you is through your email. If you have an email address on your website, especially for a few years you have probably received 100s and 100s of spam emails. These days, spammers are getting more creative and it can be difficult to determine whether or not the email is a fake. (But don’t worry, in this blog I will give you an example of what a spam email looks like so you can better protect yourself and your business!)
It’s not just you that is getting mountains of spam emails! There are billions and billions of spam emails sent out every day. You can and probably will get spam emails on a large variety of different topic; this can include anything from life insurance spam emails to spam SEO emails. But seeing though we are an SEO business, we are going to talk about the SEO spam emails that people are getting!
These unsolicited spam emails usually promise and/ or guarantee things like getting your website to the first position on Google, or they even claim to know Google algorithm and they can give you the full SEO service for a very low price. The lies and claims that fake SEO companies make seem too good to be true, and they usually are. Have a look at the most common lies fake SEO companies make.
It is very easy for me to spot a spam SEO email because I am an online marketing professional and I see this stuff all day every day. But for the average Joe, it can be a lot more difficult to distinguish. Usually as a rule of thumb, it is safer to not do business with anyone who has cold called or cold emailed you, if you wanted to get the SEO process started do you own research and take the time to choose the best company.
One of the things to look for with these spam SEO emails is that they will point out an error or errors on your website.
This can evoke fear in the individual which can cause them to make a rash action. The email will promise to solve your issues and will assist in giving you a better ranking, most of the time the email will try to scare you into taking action.
Sometimes you could receive a legitimate cold email. If you truly think the email is legitimate and you do want to use SEO services, it is recommended that you do some research on the company beforehand. A legitimate SEO email will always include the business name therefore meaning you can Google them!
Why do people send spam SEO emails?
Everybody is trying to make money right?! So for the most part, those SEO spammers are just people trying to get more business. However, there are a few cases that can hold some deceptive meaning. These emails can contain malware or phishing attempts. This means that if you click on a link on the email your computer will get a virus.
Once the virus is on your computer the hacker can find personal information including passwords, credit card details, etc. This is why if you are not 100% sure about the legitimacy of an email, it is best to move it to your junk!
SEO email spam example
I have received a significant about of SEO spam emails in my time and some of them look similar to others and some of them are completely abnormal. However, most of the spam emails are relatively short and try and tell you that you are doing something wrong.
Take a look below where I have written what a common spam SEO email will most likely look like and my comments that dissect and question the authority of this SEO business:
“Hello, (hello who? Do you even know my name – this shows that they are probably sending this email out to a lot of different people)
I hope you are having a great day and you have the time to read my proposal.
We are a Leading Indian (if you are an Australian based business you should probably go for an Australian SEO company – they will understand your needs better) Based SEO Business! Unlike our competitors we are happy to offer organic SEO Services with a full range of other supporting services (and what exactly are these services).
I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is (typo – a VERY big giveaway!) missing a few factors, we are happy to discuss this with you! Some of the main things you are lacking include; not using bold and/ or italics correction in the SEO optimization (SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, so the email says Search Engine Optimisation…optimisation?) (Also the ‘z’ in ‘optimization’ is not the correct spelling in Australia – not a major point but this is something to note).
You need to be more on top with your on page SEO because of the new Google update, the Panda (Panda was introduced by Google in 2011, but okay…).This means if you are lacking in your on page SEO you are not going to see a good ranking. Now is the time that you NEED on page seo (SEO here is not capitalised, but don’t worry because the ‘need’ is…).
Our team includes over 200 professionals that can help your SEO dreams come true. We are happy to inform you that we have handled 300 SEO projects (we all know how easy it is to make up a number, there is no evidence provided to support this claim) and helped our clients reach the first page of Google.
Let me know if we can be of any assistance to you!
Was that painful for you to read? Because that was difficult for me! There are a lot of dead giveaways in majority of the SEO scam emails that you should able to pick up on. Things such as offering really cheap prices are another giveaway! Proper, high quality SEO takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Do you think a business will be actually giving you the proper SEO service for next to nothing?
Spam emails are usually easy to detect because they are never customised. This means they follow a similar pattern and there is no originality (like you can see in the above example where ‘hello’ was the only introduction!). Don’t be fooled if the email seems personalised because of a link to your website, it still has been sent out to thousands and thousands of people, just with that one variable changed.
Another ‘spmmy’ email received from an Indian company pretending to be an Australian SEO agency:
Their email address, name and even company name – everything is fake! If you reply to this type of emails, you can notice that the sender email address will be changed to @gmail.com address.
Other key components to look for in a spam SEO email:
- Sending from a Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo account etc. – a true SEO business should have their own domain email address (like *****@seoshark.com.au)
- No proper phone number, no business name, no website, or even no name at all
- If they do have a website, it is horribly designed
The risk of using of these SEO businesses
The risk of using one of the businesses that send you a spam SEO email is fairly substantial. Most of these types of businesses are using black hat SEO tactics that are sure to damage your business and most of the time results in a penalty from Google.
If you don’t know what black hat SEO is, don’t worry (it is one of the types of strategies used in SEO – the other is white hat) have a read of our blog about it here.
Again it is important to note that you should never give an SEO business access to your website unless you have done your research.
You must be 100% sure they are using white hat methods that are organic and safe for your website. As well as this, there are a few questions you should ask before sending any SEO business your money – find out these questions here.
Are the SEO spam emails always fake?
The truth is they aren’t always fake, but 99% of the time they are. On a very rare occasion it can come from a real local SEO expert that is just trying to generate some new business. But beware, more of the time it isn’t!
If you want to do more research to find out whether a business is legitimate or not then it is simple. All you have to do is conduct a Google search of their business name. And if they haven’t even provided a business name then you already know the answer to your question!
Other things you should look for:
- The types of reviews (if any) – Google reviews are a good thing to have
- Are the many people complaining
- Do they have any references
If you are still unsure about the business then there are a few other common signs of a bad SEO company. You can read more about this in another one of our blogs here.
Responding to SEO spam emails
I know it can be infuriating to be bombarded with spam SEO emails, so much so that you may feel compelled to write a reply to the email. However, this is probably not the best course of action as you have continued the conversation and giving these fake SEO companies acknowledgement.
The best response to a spam SEO email is simply no response at all!
It may be hard to ignore the email, but this should always be your course of action. You should also block the email address and move all emails from the address to your spam folder. This means that you will never receive an email from this address again.
Blocking all the spam accounts can be a tedious process, but in the end it will be worth it. You will never be bombarded with emails from that account again. This doesn’t stop others from sending spam emails but at least you have a game plan when you do receive a spam email.
SEO scams certainly come in a variety of different ways. These days there are a lot of fake or poor SEO businesses out their trying to get your money. These are the types of SEO businesses that will be sending you spam SEO emails.
SEO spam emails have been around for a pretty long time and every year, more and more people are receiving these types of spam emails. In the likely event that you do receive a spam email from someone claiming to be from an SEO company you must take it with a grain of salt. Most of the time the spam emails will contain offers too good to be true, i.e. SEO services for ridiculously cheap.
For the average person, it can sometimes be difficult to determine whether an email is a scam or not. However, as a general rule (to be on the safe side) do not go with any SEO company who has sent you an unwarranted email.
If you do think the SEO business that sent you the email is legitimate and you want to start using their services it is very important that you research the business before handing over credit card details or access to your website. After your research into this business (and potentially other competitors to gain a healthy comparison) then you can better decide what you should do.
Sarah is the head of guest posts outreach and an SEO expert. Her interests are search engine optimisation, social media and brand management.