Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

Open Letter to a Link Spammer

One of my clients forwarded the following email to me:

Good morning, my name is ***** and I am a [sic] Internet marketing professional. I had done [sic] a Google search under the keyword New Jersey Lawyer And had run across [sic] your website www.*****.com. I see that you are not listed on the first page of Google for your particular search.

I am not sure if you’re aware of why your [sic] ranked this low but more importantly how easily correctable this is.

There’s no reason that you can’t have top three rankings for the keyword New Jersey Lawyer based on your Website structure and content. You have a very nice site.

What you need is high quality one-way anchor text links. I can help you with this…..

Not only can I get you ranked for the keyword New Jersey Lawyer but I am talking about all of your keywords on top of Google. Adding new high quality PR anchor-text links from the highest quality websites will produce the results and business you want for http://www.*******.com.

The right kind of links are crucial in getting top ranking… and I can hand deliver these quality links to you.

My partners and I own 1000’s of websites and offer private linking to hundreds of website owners just like yourself.

I didn’t send this email out to very many people but I do favor your website because I can see your website monetizing the targeted website traffic for the keyword New Jersey Lawyer can deliver.

I have your contact information and phone number. Would it be okay if I were to give you a call?

I have a very simple way to prove to you that what I do works risk free for you to try. Nothing beats seeing the results with your own eyes.

Would it be okay if I were to give you a call? I would love to pursue this further over the phone with you or should I go somewhere else?.

**** *****

P.S.- if the tables were turned and somebody I didn’t know came to me with  a proposition, even one that was appealing, I would be hesitant because I would be wondering – what’s the catch? What does this guy know that I don’t.

But then again I would think he does know something that I don’t know. He owns 1000’s of websites, he does have hundreds of thousands of pages indexed with top rankings on Google, Yahoo and Bing. Websites that can deliver only the highest quality anchor-text links that can move your rankings fast. I would also think that I need to get my website in the top rankings. And he is offering turn key page 1 rankings on all of my keywords including New Jersey Lawyer. Keywords that produce the kind of traffic potentially worth tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of dollars.

I emailed you this because it’s a win-win for both of us. Think of it this way, who wouldn’t be interested in buying money at a discount? Because that’s what I’ll be able to offer you….discount money.

Would it be okay to give you a call? Or you can call me anytime at the number above and would [sic] be happy to explain how I can benefit you risk free.

I was incensed enough to flame that guy back. As you can tell, he really pushed my buttons. Here’s what I wrote, with identities protected:

Xxxxx, [my client]  forwarded your email to me because I’m his SEO consultant. Let me object to your email on a several counts.

  • Spamming is an abhorrent practice. Your email is the very definition of spam: unsolicited commercial email. It’s unethical and gives the rest of us who do SEO a bad reputation; I take personal offense. You should be ashamed of yourself.
  • My client is a [practice area] lawyer. The keyword phrase you suggest is just plain stupid on three counts.
    • First, the percentage of people who search for a New Jersey lawyer who are actually looking for a [practice area] lawyer is very small. Many will be looking for a criminal defense lawyer, or a divorce lawyer, or a business litigation lawyer, or a real estate lawyer. It’s a poorly targeted keyword and suggests that maybe you don’t know what you’re doing.
    • Second, you misunderstand search behavior. Anyone looking for a lawyer who does what my client does and who searched for New Jersey lawyer would immediately recognize that the search results contained few if any lawyers of the type they’re seeking. They would immediately re-cast their search in more specific terms. Those more specific terms are the ones my client needs to be found under.
    • Third, I’m appalled that you’re one of those “over-promise and under-deliver” guys that also makes the rest of us look bad. To promise top three organic rankings for the phrase New Jersey lawyer in a short period of time for a small law firm is unrealistic, and as pointed out above, even that achievement would be of minimal value to my client. Promising top three organic listings for such a competitive phrase is, in my opinion, dishonest.
  • Finally, you’re promoting a linking scheme where you offer one-way links from among thousands of web sites that you own. Google has written on their web site that such practices are considered search engine spam and will be penalized. Google treats these schemes as unethical SEO behavior.

I’ll be advising my client and others to treat your email as spam.

  1. Bill,
    You are so right. Each point you make is the truth. Will it stop someone like that? Probably not. In SEO it is Buyer Beware as in everything else. Unfortunately this kind of trash being thrown into everyone’s emails makes it hard to distinguish who to use for quality service and who is a scammer. Disreputable individuals ruin it for the rest of us honest hard working professionals by over promising something at ridiculously low prices then providing nothing of value in return.

    It hurts the entire industry.
    Thanks Bill!

  2. Thanks, Paul. I’m glad you don’t think I was too “over the top”.

  3. Bill, great reply and very useful information for website owners who get bombarded/intimidated by such emails.

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