My inbox recently has been bombarded with spam email offering SEO services. I decided to take a closer look and see what I could find out. What I found surprised me! Here’s the original email:
Right off the bat, I noticed the time the email was sent. It seemed unusual that someone in the same time zone as me would get up at 5:30 in the morning to send out spam email. I searched for Bryan S Washington +IntellezMedia. There were only two results in a Google search, both from zoominfo.com. No LinkedIn, no Facebook, nothing but the zoominfo.com listing. The listing on zoominfo.com had been created on September 4th, 2015 and I received the email on September 11th, 2015, one week later. Next, I searched for IntellezMedia in Google only to find that they don’t have a website. What I found in that search was a number of web pages where that name was mentioned – such as these but these are not company websites, with the exception of the first one on the list – I’ll explain that one later:The Anatomy of SEO Spam
- https://sites.google.com/site/intellezmedia/ (more on this below)
- intellezmedia.com.cutestat.com (which means there’s a page about intellezmedia on cutestat.com)
- intellezmedia.com.w3snoop.com (which means there’s a page about intellezmedia on w3snoop.com)
- www.whoismind.com/whois/intellezmedia.com.html (which means there’s a page about intellezmedia on whoismind.com)
One other curious thing is the email address “Bryan S. Washington” is using. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Since there’s no domain name, such as intellezmedia.com, then I guess there’s no way for them to have a legitimate email such as email@example.com or something like that. I then searched for “office 7003 x2 tower cluster x new york” which is supposedly the address of the company. This is the message I got from Google maps – “We could not find office 7003 x2 tower cluster x new york” Next, I searched for IntellezMedia NZ, then IntellezMedia China, IntellezMedia AUS, IntellezMedia Singapore, and IntellezMedia UAE. Nothing. No website. Imagine that! A company with six offices throughout the world offering SEO services and they don’t have a website! Does that raise a red flag for you? It does for me! Well, that’s not exactly true. There is a website – here’s the header of the site – they couldn’t be bothered to insert the company name into the template they found somewhere. If you owned a company with six offices worldwide is this how the top of your website’s home page would look?
In addition, the first sentence of the website says, “An Australian search marketing company with worldwide recognition for marketing excellence and innovation.” Australia? I thought the offices were in New York, NZ, UAE, Singapore, and China as well as Australia. Curiously, there was no mention of the other locations. In addition, in the sentence I copied above, there were two links to this website – http://dejanseo.com.au/. I won’t make that link live, as it may help to drive traffic to that site. Here’s what I found there. On that site there were four testimonials. I checked on those and found the following: Testimonial 1 Dr. Peter Gu, My Accupuncture. Home page optimized for “acupuncture for fertility in Melborne” Results – no first page result except the Adwords ad where you pay for positioning. Testimonial 2 Edward Grant, Metro Resumes – Home page optimized for “professional resume writers” I added Australia in the search to narrow it down and give them a better chance. Result – no first page result at all. Testimonial 3 Anish Roy, Coastalwatch – Home page optimized for surf cams. Result – #1 in a Google search after adding the word Australia (which is not part of the optimization). Without the word Australia, the site is no where to be found in the results. Testimonial 4 Martin Sejas, Ensafe Group – Home page optimized for downloadable compliance documentation for construction. That keyword is so specific that it’s easy to be at the top, but there is no traffic for that keyword. What’s the point of being #1 in obscurity?
I received spam email from a person that doesn’t exist, representing a company that doesn’t exist at an address that doesn’t exist. Their return email address is a spammy Gmail address. In researching this, I came across links to a real company called Dejan SEO in Australia that does poor work, if the testimonials are any indication of some of their best work. Are there people out there that respond to these emails? There must be. Whoever sent this email and the dozens of others doing the same actually damage the reputation of the whole industry. They probably spend the rest of their time setting up fake profiles on dating sites to scam money from unsuspecting victims.