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 the email came in from a Prankush who was using a Gmail address with a western women’s name in it (not odd or suspicious at all…). The spam email subject was “Promoting your site with SEO!!” and went:
Are you looking for SEO/SMO service to rank your Website organically in Top 3 positions on Google page 1?
We can promote your website that will give you first ranking on Google when a person enter a keyword.
Please give us some answers.
1) What is the URL Of your website?
2) What are the keywords you look to get optimized? (If you don’t have keywords then we will help you on this)
3) What are the geographical areas you are targeting?
Please share with me your detailed requirements and I will give you quote according to your requirements.
Respectfully awaiting your reply.
So I replied to Prankush’s email asking them to look at my Christmas site, with the keywords “Christmas/Christmas Around The World/Christmas Traditions” and saying it’s a global site. I got the this reply from Ashu who was using an @webgainsys.com email:
Thanks for your email.
I am Ashu [name removed for privacy], Director of WebGain Technologies LLP, and would be happy to provide you with more information about our SEO services.
We can surely bring your website on Google’s first page within 3 to 4 months duration to given keywords related to your website. When your website keywords on Google’s first page then you will get automatically huge organic traffic on your website.
SEO bronze package monthly cost $125.
Please check the past client’s SEO works –
We will be doing the given SEO work activities on a monthly basis:-
[A table of what they do. All standard stuff promised by SEO spammers…]
Waiting for your valuable reply soon.
Ashu [name removed for privacy]
There was nothing about my site. Nothing about the keywords I’d given them and nothing about that fact that I wanted to target a global audience (which is somewhat unusual).
So I replied to Ashu saying that I’m not a fan of spammers and asking some questions about his spam:
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.
My Christmas site www.whychristmas.com has also been on the web for nearly 20 years. It had well over 20 MILLION pageloads last year – so it’s doing pretty well!
Did you bother to check the keywords I send you? If you had you would have seen that my site is already on the first page of Google for all three results.
Yet you claimed that I’d need you to get them on the first page!
Please can you explain why you use random Gmail accounts to send spam from? Is it because you don’t want to get your main domain into trouble by sending spam from it?
Do you also think it’s acceptable to break multiple international anti-spam laws to get customers?
Neither of those are very professional…
Well, I’ve not had a reply from Ashu. I guess spammers don’t like answering questions about being spammers…
As WebGain Technologies didn’t tell me anything about my site, I guess we’ll just have to go straight to looking at their site!
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://www.webgainsys.com
For HTML Validation, my site has no errors. Their site has 19 errors and 19 warnings. Not a great start.
Using the ‘WAVE’ Accessibility Testing Tool, their site has 6 errors and 16 contrast errors (not that bad for an SEO spammer!). My site has no errors of either kind!
Using the GTMetrix speed test tool their site gets:
Overall Grade: F
(Those are some of the worst scores I’ve seen in a while.)
My site gets:
Overall Grade: A
So my site is perfect!!
The alt text for the logo on the site is ‘Nuovo’ – that means ‘new’ in Italian and it’s rather odd considering it should be ‘Web Gain System’ – you know, the name of the company!
But we’ll find out why that’s there shortly…
There’s meant to be slider at the top of the site. However it’s very broken so all you see is a big grey blank area.
Looking in the code, it seems that the scripts to run the slider are hosting on a domain which has expired – so the scripts are broken too.
In fact the theme they’re using is called Nuovo (tada!) and the broken domain had a theme demo on it. The site was so badly setup that’s still using the demo site’s scripts to run major parts of the site – NOT a good idea.
And it also seems that they don’t even know how to swap the alt text on the logo of the site – that’s really not very impressive considering they say that they’re the ‘Best SEO Company in India’!
Their home page has no heading 1 or heading 2 tag. Those are quite big SEO factors – oops…
The top menu is broken onto two lines as they’ve added too many items and it’s wrapped round. Oh dear.
There are social media icons/links in the header and footer of the site. These include one to Google+ – only that closed nearly two years ago. Hmmmmm.
Much of the text on the home page is exactly the same as on the demo site for the Nuovo theme.
On the contact page, they list an address in Noida. However, there’s also a map (which tries to load but doesn’t properly…) for an address in Philadelphia. Can you guess where the map in the demo site loads – yup – Philadelphia!
So it seems like WebGain Technologies can’t even get the very basics of setting up a site and theme that comes with demo content. Yet they want to help other peoples sites!?
You might also remember that in their emails they claim that “We can promote your website that will give you first ranking on Google when a person enter a keyword.” and “We can surely bring your website on Google’s first page within 3 to 4 months duration to given keywords related to your website.”
Well, Google has something to say about companies that make claims 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?”
WebGain Technologies are yet another SEO spammer who are happy to hide behind random Gmail accounts when they send out their spam.
It seems that they don’t know some of the basics of setting up a site yet make big claims about getting your site onto page one of Google!
So if WebGain Technologies want to help with your site, Google’s advice of being ‘beware’ seems like a good option.
But the choice, as ever, is yours.