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 one was a bit different. The original email wasn’t actually addressed to me or my site. It was addressed to a ‘Tom’ about a site which sells bathrooms. But I replied and also changed the contents on the original spam to my name and my Christmas site to see if the spammers would bite – and they did…
The email came in from a ‘Varsha’ who was using a Gmail account with a very fake looking mane in it – that was nothing to do with wither ‘Varsha’ or the company’s name. The spam email subject was “RE: First Page Ranking” although I’ve never been in contact with Varsha before, so it looks like he added the ‘Re:’ at the start to make it look like we’ve already been in contact – not a great start! The email went:
Hello James, [originally ‘Tom’]
I hope you are doing well.
We have served more than 200+ clients based in UK, USA, CA, AU and Middle East.
We have a proper team of SEO professionals.
I would like to discuss a business opportunity with www.whychristmas.com [originally another site which sells bathrooms] you.
Let me know if you are interested, I will send you our SEO Packages and price list.
Thanks & Regards,
During each December my Christmas site gets millions and millions of visits and is #1 on the whole of Google for a huge number of Christmas searches – so any SEO advice about the site is always ‘interesting’…
So I replied to Varsha and got the following reply:
Thanks for getting back on this J
Excited to see your website currently ranks 8 on the Google for the keyword – “Christmas”. Performing on such an open intent keyword shows your website has a great authority over the subject.
Here is how we can help you. We will provide you following –
Technical SEO – Optimizing the website for a better crawlability & indexability as per latest Google core algorithm updates. Although most of this already looks good on your current website we will fill up the gaps.
On-Page SEO – Ensure the best practices being followed in the terms of meta info, heading structure & internal linking
Information architecture & Local intent coverage – To ensure we are able to capture the all the types of demand based on Christmas. As the current combined estimated demand size is 83M on the keyword “Christmas”.
Competitor Analysis – We will pick up the top competitors (like – http://www.merry-christmas.com/ , https://www.playpennies.com/, https://www.playpennies.com/ or any other competitor you suggest) who are currently dominating on these high intent keywords & share the recommendations with your team.
Content Strategy – We will provide you a content strategy based on competitor & demand insights to cater the existing demand (which we are not covering yet). This will include – Blogs, QnA, Editorials, etc.
Below is a snapshot of current performance of www.whychristmas.com looks as follows –
The average organic traffic is nearly 705K, which is comparatively higher than most of the niche websites.
Major traffic contributing locations is US & UK. We have the opportunity to expand for more locations where Christmas is popularly celebrated
Most of the performing keywords are closely related to “Christmas” this shows we have a good revenue generation / conversion opportunities if we launch some offering related to Christmas in future.
The data source is the third party marketing intel tool so are approximate. We can analyse the true performance & opportunities once we have the Google search console & Google Analytics access from your end.
[There was then a screenshot from a free SEO tools showing some stats about my site. However, they’d be ‘guessed’ stats as no SEO tool can know everything about a site…]
We can discuss this in detail over a call (Googlemeet / Zoom / Microsoft teams chat) where we can explore more on the opportunities & challenges in depth. Request you to kindly share your availability or any other concerned person from your end.
Looking forward to hear back soon J
So it seems that they’re not aware of who they actually spam as they simple accepted that my reply was one of their spam emails… That’s not worrying at all!
They also say that my site is doing rather well already – but of course they can do more! (Yeah right…)
They also say I have 705k visits in organic traffic. Considering that my site had over 20 million page loads in December 2020, that’s rather underestimating it a bit!
The two sites which they list as ‘competitors’ really aren’t… One site has a Christmas domain and there are odd Christmas bits on there, but it really seems to be a site selling tea! The other site is site offering coupons for online shopping – so NOTHING to do with Christmas!
Anyway, I replied asking some more questions about why they replied to me…
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.
You didn’t actually seem to notice that my reply wasn’t one of your original emails. Your spam was actually addressed to a Tom and was about a site which sold bathrooms. I changed the details in my reply to see if you’d notice and if you actually knew who you’d spammed and who you hadn’t. It doesn’t seem like you do…
As you say, my Christmas site www.whychristmas.com is already doing pretty well.
You say it gets about 705k organic results. Considering that my site had over 20 million page loads in December 2020, that’s rather underestimating it a bit!
Please can you explain why on earth I’d let my site be ‘helped’ by spammers who don’t know who they’re spamming and, from looking at your own site, don’t actually know how to set a site up correctly?
All I got back from this was:
Thanks for your feedback.
I replied asking why they’d not answer my questions and also asking if they thought it was ok to break multiple international anti spam laws to get business…
But I got no reply to that. I guess spammers don’t like being questioned about their tactics…
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?!); and also to compare their site with a site they say they can help…
There site is https://esignlogix.com/
For HTML Validation, my site has no errors. Their site has 0 errors 13 warnings. That’s actually amazingly good for SEO spammers. But it’s also about as good as it gets…
Using the ‘WAVE’ Accessibility Testing Tool, their site has 17 errors and 9 contrast errors. My site has no errors of either kind!
Using the GTmetix Tool their site gets:
Overall Grade: E
My site gets:
Overall Grade: A
So my site is perfect!
When you start looking into their site more, things get ‘interesting’.
They have two ‘Heading 1s’ on their home page – you should only have 1. The ‘alt’ text on their logo is ‘logo’. That’s pretty terrible. It should be ‘Esign Logix’ (you’d have thought that an SEO would know that…).
They have email links on their site, only they’re not linked properly, so are kind of useless.
There are social media links in the site’s header and footer, only they link to the main sites for Facebook and Twitter, etc. not to actual accounts on the platforms – oh dear.
Their site is full of dummy latin text left in from the site template. It seems that they’ve tried to write some text in places, but with limited success.
On their about page it says “We are lorem duoa headquartered in North-Eastern France” erm, oops.
Later on the same page there’s ‘company timeline’ which is ALL filler latin!
And even better, there’s some ‘staff’ names and photos on the page. There are photos of four very ‘white and shiny’ stock photos of business people. Two men and two women. However, the women’s first names are ‘Ramon’ and ‘Scott’. Yeah… they’re totally not fake at all then. (More on them later…)
And that line about them being in France, of course that’s total rubbish. In the site’s footer there’s an address in Gurgaon (in the Punjab in India) and on the Contact page, there’s the Gurgaon address as well as one in Delhi and one in Mumbai – so they are VERY much an Indian company! (And I’m nor actually convinced that the Delhi and Mumbai addresses are actually real as their addresses are not in business parks, they’re normal houses.)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I have no issues with Indian based web companies; but I do have issues with any company that flat out lies!
The blog section on the site is completely made of dummy/filler posts in their favourite latin!
In fact, their site uses a WordPress theme called ‘SEO Lounge’ and it looks like they’ve done next to nothing to it on their site. They’re even using the dummy logo which comes with the theme!
And remember Ramon and Scott? Well guess what, they’re also the dummy staff members in the theme. I guess the theme makers gave them gender ‘wrong’ names as they’d expect people to swap them out – well they didn’t account for esignlogix!
And remember that Varsha’s spam had the subject “First Page Ranking” well this is what Google says about about things like that…
Beware of SEO companies that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google.from Google’s “Do you need an SEO?”
Esign Logix are an SEO spammer happy to hide behind random gmail accounts.
They also don’t actually seems to know who they’ve spammed or know where to send to the ‘correct’ spam to…
They don’t seem to know the basics of setting up their own site correctly – so who know what they’d actually do on your site!
So if Esign Logix say they can help with your site, he delete button is probably your best friend.
But the choice, as ever, is yours.