Scam Alert: Negative SEO Extortion Emails

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Spammy SEO firm emails are certainly nothing new and we’ve covered this topic before in the blog. Still, these emails are still prevalent as poorly run and spammy firms try to suck unknowing potential clients in by using negative, fear based tactics. Here’s a look at what these emails look like and why these tactics don’t work:

The typical spam email goes something along the lines of:

Hello, I came across your site and noticed some major issues that are harming your search rankings. You have bad links, technical errors, duplicate content, etc., etc., etc. But you’re in luck because we can fix these problems and get you ranking #1 in Google!

I hate these emails. So does Google. In fact, Google outright says to “be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that send you email out of the blue.”

Some Emails are Harmless But Be Wary …

These emails are certainly annoying, and I’ve been noticing lately is that SEO spammers have stepped up their game. I recently received an extortion email from a supposed SEO firm. Essentially, they said that unless I sent 10 bitcoins (value=over $11,000!) by a specific date, they would direct 1,000 spammy links to my site and then report my site to Google.

WHAT?!

Needless to say, I was not happy. Now, I’m an internet marketing professional. I’ve seen plenty of scummy things happen on the internet throughout my career but this one might take the cake. Are these scumbags really threatening innocent website owners with this?

Don’t Fall For These Tactics!

It’s crazy that in 2017 we’re still talking about negative SEO plots like this one. But scammers must still be doing it because it must still be working. The purpose of writing this post is to warn our readers about this scam and tell you not to fall for it!

Here’s the thing. Google is smart. If all of a sudden thousands of spammy links are pointing to your site, they’ll know that something is up and that it wasn’t intentionally done by you. They’ll understand that it’s not something to penalize you for. Our guess is that it will never happen anyway. The spammers know that Google is smart and they’re not going to waste their time pointing these bad links at your site. They’re just out to get the few people who might actually fall for the scam and fork over the cash (sorry, bitcoins).

Have you ever received one of these emails? Let us know in social.

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