This is one in a series of posts reviewing and looking at how some of the SEO companies which use bulk emails/spam with ‘we can help your terrible site’ type emails really can (and actually mostly can’t!) help your site.
This time things are a bit different as we never actually got to the point of the spammers telling me how bad my site is; it’s more of the exchange which happened between myself (who kept asking questions) and the SEO spammer (who didn’t seem to like answering them…)
This email came from a Jennifer who was using a Gmail email address (which had a different person’s name in it!), although a subsequent reply came from a Sudhanshu using an @dgtalpr.com email.
Dear James Cooper,
Want More Traffic and Customers?
We help to get your jpc-design.com website on Google 1st page. We are offering low cost and special offers in COVID 19 to support each other.
If interested, revert with your contact and requirement to get the detailed proposal.
More impressively than most SEO spammers, they actually used my name in the initial spam! However, they’re also using the COVID 19 pandemic as a reason to spam (BLLEEEEHHHH….)
So I replied to ‘Jennifer’ asking her to take a look at my site and why it needed their help and I got the below reply from Sudhanshu:
Thank you for your email reply to my colleague Jennifer.
This is Sudhanshu, Business Head at DGTAL PR. We have a team of tech professional, Providing internet services for last 5 successful years. You can check agency portfolio www.dgtalpr.com
Further your email response to my colleague, I will help you with strategic SEO (as you yourself are in the same profession) for a long term result for your website. Please check SEO packages based on the number of keywords as mentioned below:
10 Keywords – USD 299
20 Keywords – USD 499
Do you have a time in near future? Here is the link to my calendar to make scheduling easier : [link removed for privacy].
I work day time from EST 8.00 AM to 4.00 PM. Alternatively you can also reach me on my direct line i.e +91-[number removed for privacy] (Whats app).
Please share your requirement and suggest how we can move forward. A revert will be highly appreciated.
So here Sudhanshu seems to have sent me a standard response with some rather expensive looking prices – but he didn’t answer my question, so I asked again…
Thanks for your email. However, you failed to answer my question: Why do you think my site needs your help?
As you say we’re in the same profession, so why do you think my site needs your help?!
And here’s the reply:
Thanks for your quick response and apologise if I have failed but I have proposed you for SEO service which will be beneficial for you to achieve more customers and organic traffic.
If you think you required any SEO support, I will definitely help you.
Yet another non answer, so I asked yet again…
Yes you proposed your SEO service, starting at $300USD a month – but WHY I DO NEED IT? I think that’s a fair question to ask…
and another reply:
If you think you need our services, I will give you full support and if you think you won’t need than also your most welcome.
This is the marketing email to capture some potential customers for business.
Hmmm, still no answer to my question, just an excuse that I don’t have to use their company if I don’t want to. So I replied to Sudhanshu explaining some basics of the law…
Your initial email was not a ‘marketing email to capture some potential customers for business’. It was SPAM from a fake email!
Your company spammed me from an obviously fake account. The spammer’s name was ‘Jennifer’ but the gmail account it came from was ‘rosemarie’!
AND your email also broke the law!!! I live in the UK (which you can see from my site) and there’s a law called PECR which strictly prohibits the kind of email/spam you sent me: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-pecr/electronic-and-telephone-marketing/electronic-mail-marketing/ (I am a sole trader, so you ARE NOT allowed to legally contact me without prior consent.)
I’ve been a web designer and developer for 20 years. I like to reply to SEO spammers to see what ‘services’ they offer and the things they say and use to get clients.
Now when challenged you simply say that I don’t have to use your services.
WELL YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE SPAMMED ME IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!
So no, I won’t be using your service and please also DO NOT spam me again…
I got a very short reply from this email:
You will not receive any email from my end.
To which I replied (and asked another question):
Thanks! But really I shouldn’t have needed to ask you…
Do you agree that you spam people to try and get business?
And… I’ve had no reply to that email or question. So I guess Sudhanshu doesn’t actually like answering any questions you ask him!
Looking at Their Site
With SEO spammers, I also like to look at their sites, to see if they practice what they preach (I mean would you trust a plumber who had leaking and rusty pipes all over their own house?!). So I thought it would be interesting to see how DGTAL PR’s site came out using some simple web and accessibility tests…
There site is: https://www.dgtalpr.com/
For HTML Validation, their site has 10 errors & 27 warnings. That’s actually pretty good as SEO spammers go but it could be better. My site has no errors or warnings!
On Google Pagespeed their site gets:
Desktop: 79/100 (That’s ok)
Mobile: 49/100 (That’s not very good)
My site gets 99/97 on both Desktop and Mobile – so both a lot better…
Using the ‘WAVE’ Accessibility Testing Tool, my site has no errors. Their site has 27 coding errors and 7 low contrast errors. This really isn’t good…
The ‘alt’ text for their main logo is ‘Img’ – THAT IS TERRIBLE.
In his first email to me, Sudhanshu said that they’ve been ‘Providing internet services for last 5 successful years’. But their their domain was registered in 2018 and the copyright notice on the site says 2016-2020. Their Facebook page says it was created in July 2015; their Twitter account was created in 2010; and their LinkedIn page says the business started in 2016. So the business must have been around a while but it’s all rather confusing…
They have three testimonials on their home page with pictures next to them. However all three pictures are stock images! The first testimonial is from ‘Jessica’ who’s a stock image called ‘Woman with glasses against wood panel’; the next is a from ‘Steve’ who’s a stock image called ‘cool man thinking’; and the last quote is from a ‘Anhad’ (an Indian female name) but the image is of a white women in a stock photo called ‘happy young woman victory sign’.
Looking at the code I can see their site uses a theme called ‘LopTus’ and amazingly enough the image for ‘Jessica’ is used in a testimonial on the theme’s demo site…
So are any of the testimonials actually true or are they all fake, like the photos next to them?
[Edit, I went to to visit the DGTAL PR site to check something as I was typing this and it’s currently unavailable due to a database error. These things can happen, but from the error message, it would appear that they have about the most insecure database password I have EVER SEEN!!!]
I find it rather disappointing when a company won’t answer simple questions no matter how many times they’re asked.
I also find it rather disappointing when a company seems to have no problem using fake identities for testimonials.
It’s bad enough when companies claim that spam, from clearly fake accounts, is just a ‘marketing email’; but I find it just plain yuck when companies are using a global health issue within their spam.
So if DGTAL PR wants to help with your site, you could try asking them some basic questions and see if they’ll answer! You could also just hit the delete button.
But as ever, the choice is yours!