The spammer who cried SEO: 9 telltale signs you’ve been emailed by a wolf


A snapshot of global spam traffic in early October 2014 via Trend Micro

Australia suffered a little extra blast of email in early October, so I want to take this opportunity to remind us all to be vigilant of the tricks being used by the scum of the internet to damage our businesses.

You might be all over this topic but it is important to stay on guard against the perennial threat and annoyance of these charlatans.

Let’s choose one of the hundreds of spam emails (sadly a couple from Adelaide firms but I will ignore them because this is a small city) received in the past fortnight so I can demonstrate where the title of this article came from.

Trust me, I am a genuine and ethical SEO practitioner

One of the biggest red flags to you at the moment, should be any email beginning, ‘I’ve been on your website and have found some major SEO problems that are stopping you from being listed high in Google.’

I was telling the Boy Who Cried Wolf story to my 6 year old on the weekend when the penny dropped that this abuse of language by SEO sharks risks dulling us to valid feedback from trusted advisors.

So, here is a sample email that even tries to take the moral high ground. I will then show you all the red flags and faults in the email.


Hope you are well. I am Sharon, (Business Development Manager)2 I was surfing through your website3 and realized that despite having a good design, it was not ranking on any of the search engines for most of the keywords pertaining to your domain4. I was wondering if you would be interested in getting the SEO done for your website5. There is a simple equation that is applicable to the online world.

Ethical SEO -> Better Traffic -> Higher Sales6

We provide the Natural & Ethical SEO solution with top ranking on major search Engine as Google, Yahoo and Bing as per the current status of website and requirement.5

We are an SEO registered7 Online Marketing firm and have over 8+ years of working experience5. All the techniques used are ethical and proprietary.8 In case you require any additional information, it shall be our pleasure to furnish the same.5

Do let me know if you are interested, then I can send you our Past work details, testimonials, and affordable quotation with best offer.5

You can get more information. I look forward to your mail.5

Yours sincerely,
Business Development Manager
Note: If you are not interested then you can reply with a simple \”NO\”,We will never contact you again.9

Here is your SEO trust checklist

I will use the reference points from the letter above, to give you your guide.

  1. Yes, an anonymous, general introduction. This person (who probably doesn’t exist anyway) is producing mass spam and has not even taken 20 seconds to get your name from your website.
  2. No company name, not company details. You will typically find your emails come from disposable addresses. This sample came from Others I’ve had recently have come from,, and NO SERIOUS BUSINESS uses disposable email addresses like that!
  3. I was surfing through your website. No you were NOT. Your robot just harvested my contact details. This is a common, boldfaced lie.
  4. Not ranking for keywords pertaining to our domain? No evidence, no examples, no substance. These are scare tactics.
  5. Bad grammar and punctuation. All through this email you will find shocking use of English. If an SEO expert can’t use words correctly in their own spam, how can they understand the nuance of English in plotting and planning your keyword strategies?
  6. A lovely bit of formula to convey science and trust. Sadly, the arguments are not valid. Ethical SEO does not guarantee better traffic, and all the traffic in the world cannot guarantee higher sales unless the core offering is sound and attractive.
  7. SEO registered. There is another faux credential to fool you into trusting them.
  8. Hard to believe their techniques are ethical when they are using disingenuous spam to scare and trick customers into signing up.
  9. Replying to any of these emails is futile and likely to prove you are real. This will only result in more spam and your details most likely getting on-sold to other spammers.

Your business and your employees/customers need you to trust nothing

We are in an age where tricksters get easy access to you and can spin words to scare you into their webs.

I am thankful that most of my clients at Baker Marketing know that if they are ever even slightly tempted by an unsolicited offer, they run it past me first.

There is no charge for this review; it’s a crucial service to our community of business owners

So, from spammy emails to fake, illegal phone calls supposedly from Apple or Microsoft telling you faults have been found on your computer, we must all be vigilant and not yield to any temptation to seek a free report or low cost plan promising easy SEO gain.

You probably need to heed this advice more than I do, because I have a 12 billion dollar inheritance coming from the late Nigerian Finance Minister, as soon as I send the $1500 to help the paperwork clear customs. 😉



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