By now, even the most infrequent of Internet users are aware of spam, what it is and how to spot it. However, spammers are trying to get more clever. Whether it’s by referring to you by name, purchasing a reputable looking domain and really sending the e-mail from it or inserting facts about you or your website.
Spam is still spam, it’s just getting more advanced.
Of course, there’s still the good old usual spam. At DPS Computing we get at least 25 spam e-mails for Viagra a day…. For example:
USPS - Fast Delivery Shipping 1-4 day USA PRODUCT QUALITY - 100% Guaranteed * U.S. Licensed Pharmacies * U.S. Licensed Physicians * Discreet Packaging * Confidential Ordering * Next Day Delivery Available 3500000+ satisfied customers"
Some how I doubt they have 3.5 million satisfied customers. I doubt they even have one. If they did, they wouldn’t be having to spam e-mail addresses and use a free Yahoo e-mail address. I mean, if they really did have 3.5 million satisfied customers and they’d all only spent £1 (which is massively cheaper than they are actually selling the products for) then they’d have made £3.5 million pounds – ample money to pay a few quid each month for a website and domain.
Now, from the obvious, to the not so obvious. Take this for example:
I came across your website (dpscomputing.com ) and wanted to see if you were interested in working with us. I’m an independent online marketing consultant working with a client (a price comparison site) who wants to purchase a sponsored article or guest blog on your websites. If you are interested I can send you further details. If you have any more websites, please list them in your reply.
We will be able to pay by PayPal and the article will need to be up for at least 12 months.
Please let me know if you are interested in this proposal or indeed if you have any suggestions of how we can collaborate on something else. I look forward to hearing from you!
Please note, I have disguised the persons name a replaced it with Peebleplop.
Now, this may be semi convincing, combined with a little bit tempting because they want to pay you rather than you pay them. Now, legitimate companies do directly market to other companies sometimes, but this sounds a bit fishy for many reasons:
1. Dear Webmaster – not really how an e-mail usually starts, unless you’re mass sending it to loads of people.
2. Working with an unnamed price comparison site – well if you really were, I think they’d give you an e-mail address to use if you were discussing and offering proposals on their behalf. At the very least you’d be using your own business domain e-mail address. @some-free-email-provider.com doesn’t provide confidence.
3. A sponsored article – there’s far easier ways to do this if the “price comparison site” wanted to do it. Plus, what is being proposed here kind of breaks Googles rules regarding irrelevant paid advertising for websites for the purposes of purely raising their Google ranking. Google know about this and could sanction not only the website in question, but also the webmaster “accepting payment” for the link.
4. Why just payment by PayPal? I’m sure we’ve all heard of scams being operated out of Paypal. If it was a genuine business, they wouldn’t mind paying by bank transfer or debit card for example – but I doubt they’d want to do it, because its not possible to issue fraudulent chargebacks this way.
Please note that I put “accepting payment” in quotation marks as the chances of you being paid are approximately 0.00000000000000000000001% by our estimations.
So, if you accepted this offer it’d likely end up that you have a spammy article on your website, no payment and get all your URLs delisted from Google.
Doesn’t sound like a great deal really does it!
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Would a price comparison site such as Go Compare or Money Supermarket really need you to link to them to boost their popularity? No, not really.
Even if it was a genuine offer and nothing went wrong (which, by the way, isn’t going to happen) you’d still run the risk of being delisted from the search engines – and that would take a lot of time and effort to fix, even if it was possible at all. So it wouldn’t be worth it.
Remember, junk all the spam, don’t respond. It’ll just invite more!
PS. Peebleplop is on the prowl – look out for his e-mails. Evidently other people are getting them.