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 an ‘Acker’ (although it seems that this is actually the last name of the fake person they’ve made up to spam people and they got the names in the wrong order…) who was using a Gmail address which had her name in (spelt incorrectly) and also some random numbers… The subject of the spam was “whychristmas.com: Needs to improve for better looks.” (which isn’t great English) and went:
Dear Business owner of whychristmas.com.
Hope you are doing well!
I have analyzed your website.you seem to have a nice website. But the concern is, It needs to be an improved design for better looks and attractiveness with mobile responsiveness. So that visitors will see your services briefly as well as navigate one page to another page easily. While I was going through your website, I came across some factors which need to improve.
· Your website needs to be mobile responsive.
· At smaller screen, the texts are needed to be arranged in proper way
· The design needs to improve for better looks and attractiveness.
· Need to add well-organized Logo for your website
· Need to add looking images to describe your business.
· Images are too small to attract your visitors
· Footer part also needs to improve your website.
· Need to modify the favicon image according to your logo
Color combination always grabs visitor attention,that’s the reason it should be eye-catching.We can redesign your website responsive by writing the back end code with HTML5 and CSS3 technology with which your site will auto fit the device where it is being accessed.
Let me know if I should share a customized plan as per your website requirement.
Look forward to your kind response.
Business Dev. Consultant
It seems that SEO spammers now use the “you’ve got a nice site but lots is wrong with it” tactic now rather than just “your site is terrible” as they used to!
Anyway I replied with the following:
Wow, that sounds like you think that my site needs some help! Is there anything else on the site that’s wrong?
Please can you tell me more about the company you work for? Where are you located?
And a few days later, I got this reply:
Hope you are well.
Thanks for your prompt response.
Please find our company details below:
We are located in India.
Proposal for Redesigning of https://www.whychristmas.com/
The scope of work involves redesigning of existing websites https://www.whychristmas.com/ with a better, modern look and feel, user interactive features and latest technology to increase conversion rate. Here are our suggested deliverable / pages for new redesigned website:
1. Design of layout with a clean , modern look and feel
2. Mobile Responsive structure
3. Cross browser compatibility
4. Search Bar on Header
5. Menus navigation on header
6. Home page – (Same Design for as per previous website)
a. Image slider / rotating banners
b. About company
c. Display of Customers Testimonials in rotating format
d. Details About all the services
7. We will redesign all inner pages in more structured way with contact us link with Get in touch form, Social media share
8. Contact US page- Contact form with Captcha integrated
9. External websites link on footer and contact us link with address and contact details and social media share link.
10. Testimonials Page
11. Newsletter sign up
12. SEO friendly design structure
13. Backend CMS
Estimated project cost & timeline:
Based on my estimated efforts, it will cost $500 USD and it will take around 15-20 business days to complete.
Advance Payment- $200 USD
After completion of 50% of the website – $200 USD
After testing and website live-$100 USD
Please let me know if you have any further query.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Senior Business Development Manager
The way that this reply was constructed, I’m pretty sure that everything that’s ‘wrong’ with my site (start with the sentence ‘Proposal for Redesigning of…’) is a standard copy and paste ‘this is wrong’ email template that’s sent to anyone who replies as the fonts/sizes/layout changed at that point.
I replied asking why they thought it was ok to spam people to get business but I’ve not heard back on that one…
Their Report & Recommendations
Let’s look at all the points (from both emails) which are apparently issues with my site and see what the situation really is.
From the first spam:
Your website needs to be mobile responsive.
This is WRONG. The site is VERY mobile friendly and responsive.
At smaller screen, the texts are needed to be arranged in proper way.
This is WRONG. See above!
The design needs to improve for better looks and attractiveness.
This is WRONG. Design is subjective but I think the site is very attractive!
Need to add well-organized Logo for your website.
This is WRONG. There’s a logo. He’s a friendly Christmas Tree called Bruce the Spruce!
Need to add looking images to describe your business.
This is WRONG. There are lots of images on the site. (I’m also not sure what ‘looking images’ are – perhaps the word ‘good’ is missing from their spam template!)
Images are too small to attract your visitors
This is WRONG. Images are the size they need to be.
Footer part also needs to improve your website.
This is WRONG. It’s also so generic as to be meaningless.
Need to modify the favicon image according to your logo
This is WRONG. The site’s favicon is very optimised for all kind of devices. (Favicons are the icons you get in browser tabs and if you save a site to your home screen, etc. Their site doesn’t even have one…!)
So ALL of the eight ‘issues’ on the initial spam are wrong – what a shocker (not)!
Let’s go onto the points on the reply…
Design of layout with a clean , modern look and feel
This is WRONG. The site’s already clean and modern.
Mobile Responsive structure
This is WRONG. As we’ve seen above the site’s nice and responsive, thank you very much.
Cross browser compatibility
This is WRONG. It’s also works great across different browsers!
Search Bar on Header
This is WRONG. There’s already a search option in the header.
Menus navigation on header
This is WRONG. There are nice menus too!
Home page – (Same Design for as per previous website)
Erm, I’m not sure what the ‘Same Design’ bit is about…!?
Image slider / rotating banners
This is WRONG. NO. NO. NO. These are generally TERRIBLE for usability (and accessibility). See https://shouldiuseacarousel.com/
This is WRONG. It’s not a ‘company’ it’s an information site. So this is not relevant for this site. Having about info on a home page is often a good thing, but not in this case. There are also links to an about page in the footer throughout the site…
Display of Customers Testimonials in rotating format
This is WRONG. There are no ‘customers’, so there are no testimonials! Again, this could be right on many sites, but not this one!
Details About all the services
This is WRONG. Again, there are no ‘services’! BUT there’s clear information about the different sections of information on the site – which are the service equivalents, so it’s double wrong!
We will redesign all inner pages in more structured way with contact us link with Get in touch form, Social media share
Again WRONG. ALL the pages on the site are well structured (in design and code). ALL of the pages also have a clear contact link on them and they ALL have social media sharing tools!
Contact US page- Contact form with Captcha integrated
WRONG… The form already has multiple anti-spam features. Most are user friendly (unlike most captchas [the things where you have to type in random numbers or click on bikes]) but there is a captcha that will appear things are very suspicious…
External websites link on footer and contact us link with address and contact details and social media share link.
Ermmm, what like there is already?! WRONG!
WRONG – The site doesn’t need one! (Again, many sites do, not this one!)
Newsletter sign up
WRONG – see above!
SEO friendly design structure
WRONG! The site already has a VERY VERY SEO friendly structure…
WRONG – it doesn’t need one. Many sites need a CMS (like this site) but many sites also don’t need one – it’s what would work best for a site. There is no ‘one site type fits all’ solution!
So, pretty amazingly, EVERY ONE of the ‘issues’ is WRONG!!! I seriously wonder if they’ve actually ever visited my site. I really suspect that Cubic Softwares just send out the same spam templates to everyone no matter the 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.cubicsoftwares.com/
For HTML Validation, my site has no errors. Their site has 13 errors and 22 warnings (not a great start).
Using the ‘WAVE’ Accessibility Testing Tool, their site has 13 errors and 42 contrast errors (again not good). My site has no errors of either kind!
Using the GTMetrix speed test tool their site gets:
Overall Grade: F
Oh dear – not so good!
My site gets:
Overall Grade: A
So my site is perfect!!
There’s no meta description tag – this is terrible for SEO (it’s one of the basics) and yet is a recurring theme on the sites of SEO spammers lately…
There’s no alt text on their logo.
H1 is ‘Optimizing Your Business!’ which isn’t the best.
There are social media links to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in the site’s header and footer, but only the Facebook link goes anywhere.
On their home page they claim to have ‘More Than 7 Years Of Experience’, yet the site is less than 18 months old. They also claim ‘We Know What Google Wants!’ yet their own site is lacking is many of the very basic things that Google does actually want. Hmmmmm.
There are some numbers of clients and things on their home page. They say they’ve had 300 success projects and 1,700 satisfied customers. I make that over 5.5 customers per project which seems rather odd! There are also two numbers 11,900 and 157 both for ‘Page #1 Rankings’ – these are right next to each other – so which is it?! (Or is it that all of these numbers are just made up?!)
In their email, they claimed to be based in India and sure enough they say there’s an office in Bubaneswar – but there’s no actual address just ‘Bubaneswar’, hmmmm.
However, there are two full addresses for ‘offices’ in the UK (in Southampton) and USA (in Boston). The problem is that the Boston address doesn’t exist and that the Southampton address is for an office used by a big company of solicitors.
So Cubic Softwares clearly DO NOT have offices either of these locations… (They also have UK and US phone numbers in Southampton and Boston which are clearly forwarders, I suspect they used fake addresses in these cities because of where they could get phone numbers.)
Cubic Softwares are yet another SEO spammer using fake names & fake emails to spam people.
They’re also yet another SEO spammer using fake ‘issues’ spam templates to make sites look like they really need help.
They’re also yet another SEO spammer using fake addresses on their site to make themselves look big and international, when they aren’t.
So if Cubic Softwares say there’s something wrong with your site – they might just be telling you some fake things and hitting the real delete button might be your best option.
But, as ever, the choice is yours…