Have you received an email indicating that your ranking on Google sucks?! I receive a lot of similar emails from my clients year-round asking me what’s going on and I have to spend so much time explaining to them that this is not true (most of the time with proof of their ranking and screenshots). I don’t blame them for their concerns when they share such emails but I indeed believe that everyone should do at least a few minutes of research before blaming their SEO guy for the ranking of their website.
Most of these emails are submitted on the websites using Robo-form submitter programs or email blast campaigns to business emails. Below is a sample email that was sent to my customer some time ago and I thought it would be better to make a blog for this and share this blog with anyone who sends me such emails in the future.
|———- Forwarded message ———|
From: Albert A… alberta………@gmail.com
Date: Tue, Oct 19, 2021 at 9:01 AM
Subject: proposal page1
I was checking your website ‘ http://www.youwebsite.com ‘ and see you have a good design and it looks great, but it’s not ranking on Google or other major search engine.
We can place your website ‘ http://www.youwebsite.com ‘ on Google’s 1st page, Yahoo, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube etc…
I will happy to send you a quote/package/proposal.
How to distinguish between a FAKE email and a right one indicating bad website ranking?
- How did you get this email?
If your email is not publicly available (i.e. visible on your website) and you received this inquiry from the sender (not through a website form submission), there is a high chance that this email is fake. If there is an SEO company that is looking to convert your client they find the weak points and fill out a website form.
- Who is the sender?
If you received a direct email from a person/company regarding your bad website ranking on Google search. Look at the sender’s email address. If it is a form submitted on your website look at the email provided. Most legit companies send/provide emails that show theirs like email@example.com. If the sender’s email is a Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Outlook, or from not common TLDs (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org), with a high probability you are dealing with a mass email scammer.
- To Vs. Bcc
If you received a direct email and your email is on Bcc not To then for sure you are a victim of a scam and you should not pay attention to anything written on this email (This email is probably is sent to many dozens of victims like you). Below is an example of this case.
- Indicating bad ranking without details
You may receive an email that is sent to you only (on recipient field) and there is nothing suspicious about the sender. However, while the email sender indicates the website ranking is bad and your website may not be found on the search engine on the first page it does not provide ranking check stats showing that what words they have checked your website ranking and what was the result. For example, saying that your website ranking is bad because for “Lawyer Las Vegas” your ranking is 96 (page 10 of Google).
- No Phone Contact
Most of the scam emails do not have any phone number to contact and they ask you to reply to their email
How to deal with SEO scammers?
For agencies and SEO guys who truly work and get frustrated with such emails, they receive from their clients I can recommend the following steps to minimize the effect on their client’s side and save time on their end.
- Training: Before you start working with a client for any SEO (or even paid ads) you need to prepare them for their expectations as well as legit or fraudulent emails or calls they may receive in regards to your services. If you explain to them that they may receive scam emails and encourage them to check the validity of the email and if it is true to share with you, there will be less chance that the scammer become successful.
- Scheduled account review: One way to minimize the harmful effects of scammers or legit SEO competitors’ contacts is to have a freqent (better to be monthly or quarterly) performance review. This will helps your client not to make a wrong decision and share with you once the damage is done (calls you for cancellation).
- Tools: Having a ranking check tool ready to send out monthly/weekly report of stats. This will reduce the need to have in person account review which costs a lot for most SEO agencies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Getting access to the business name and website URL is simply (you can purchase millions of business email addresses with all information for the business including business name, address, website, full address, business category, and owner names very cheap (if purchased legally it may cost $$$$$ but if bought illegally you may acquire such list at $$$-$$$$. The scammer uses email software that can inject business names, or website URL, or names in their email template based on the list they purchased to send more customized emails.
No. There is no tool or solution that can guarantee to block scammers sending you (or your clients in the case of website companies and SEO agencies) such emails.
There are a variety of options available to reduce some to almost all of these scam/spam submissions.
– Adding captcha/Recaptcha reduces some of these submissions.
– Make sure you do not show the email address (your destination email) on your website. (unfortunately, most website owners like to show their email addresses on their websites.)
– Making sure you have field validity check on your website forms and make sure some of the fields are mandatory including the email address and phone number.
No. While it is the easiest solution that probably reduces these spam submissions but 5%-30%, but depending on who has targeted you and the software or method they are using to submit these emails you may see a wide range of success when you use the captcha/Recaptcha plugins to your website forms.
The main reason that this method is not going to end this problem is that there is no captcha solution (even Recaptcha or invisible captcha provided by Google) to detect all spammers because:
1- Scammer/software they use frequently switch their IP address, and/or the web browser they use, clean cookies, etc
2- Scammers use dynamic content, changing the verbiage and using synonyms disabling most of the detection methods
3- Most hackers, scammers, or black hat SEO companies have tons of software that can automatically or with help of humans solve the captcha.
Also, captcha or Recaptcha has some disadvantages see below.
Captcha/Recaptcha solving for many of your website visitors is a challenge, sometimes captcha pictures are not clear or cropped on some small screen devices, or may not show due to incorrect coding or bugs, etc. Regardless of the reason, if the user is not able to solve the captcha you may lose a business or you may dissatisfy a client.
For companies and agencies that are targets of more sophisticated spam/scams that significantly affected their daily functions, we have developed a very successful method that blocks the majority of these submissions (in most cases above 95%).
This solution may be costly for small users/businesses but it is worth a lot for marketing agencies, website companies who work with a lot of clients, or medium-sized businesses.
Contact us to learn more about our solution.
I hope I addressed many of the questions you may have. Please do not hesitate to ask any questions using the form below and we will add them to the FAQs if we see that it is a common question for many.