Amateur spammer trying to sell me SEO services

Friday, May 2nd, 2008 at 2:57 pm | 639 views | trackback url
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This one almost looked legitimate, and I actually replied to his email. What made me sure this was spam was that my reply back to him was met with an exact duplicate of his original email, sent back to me.

The original email started out like this:

I was looking at websites under the keyword Groton hosting and came across your site http://resume.gnu-designs.com . I see that you’re ranked 71 on page 8 in google.

I’m not sure if you’re aware of why you’re ranked this low but more importantly how easy it is to start getting higher listings in search engine results.

All you need to do is some simple “link publicity” for your website and you could quickly hit the front page and work your way up to #1-#3.

… over the last 5 years we took the website [REMOVED] from only 50-100 clicks per day from Search Engines up to 49,000! clicks per day! (generating $23M in sales last year!)

How?

Well, by having quality articles written about this website which were then published by many blogs, web 2.0 websites, and many other well respected websites on the internet… amongst slowly adding hundreds and now tens of thousands of highly optimized content pages to his site.

The email then went on to show some (likely falsified) numbers about the growth of the site he referenced above. I looked up the Alexa ranking and could not verify his claims.

His email continued with…

We were paid over six figures for optimizing those two sites alone and the clients are making a huge
ROI from their investment!

Your keyword: Groton hosting

Is NOT competitive and I now have a large team to allow me to serve smaller businesses such as
yours for pennies on the dollar – for a fraction of what those clients paid – you too can enjoy the
fruit’s of Top 10 rankings in google for your target keywords.

I replied back in a very nice way, showing that my RESUME page is not linked to from anywhere external that I know of (well, I just linked to it above in this post) and that the text version of my resume is ranking at PR2. The main HTML index page is a PR3, without any marketing or promotion whatsoever.

I also included some of my higher-ranking websites, which are currently PR5, PR6 and PR7 with over 18k unique visitors per-day on the highest ranked site I host. These are all in the top 5 (not just the top 10) SERPS (Search Result Pages) in Google for VERY broad search terms.

Here are a few examples using some VERY broad keywords:

We’re currently ranking at #2 for html reader on one website.

Slightly narrowed, but still very broad search, and we come in at #1 for palm html reader for the same site.

Here are some more across a bunch of random sites I host:

…and so on. I haven’t done a lick of marketing to promote any of the sites above, and they’re already pulling in a lot of traffic and are getting in the top 10 in Google’s SERPS.

I asked “SEO Charles” to get back to me, if he thought he could get my PR7 sites up to PR8, or double my incoming traffic without falsifying backlinks or using any other malicious means. Instead, he emailed me another copy of the same exact email he sent the first time, spamming me.

So I just dealt with it as follows..

From his mail headers, I abstracted:

Return-Path: <bounces+255129.16977265.204142@icpbounce.com>
Received: from smtp7.icpbounce.com (smtp7.icpbounce.com [216.27.93.119])

Then a little more digging revealed this detail about that IP range from Project Honeypot:

I then sent him an email, letting him know that his entire netblock was being blocked for being an ignorant, amateur “SEO Expert”, as well as a known public spammer.

iptables to the rescue! (broken hostnames here to avoid giving him any PR):

$ host 216.27.93.119
119.93.27.216.in-addr.arpa domain name pointer smtp7.ic pbou nce.com.

$ sudo iptables -A INPUT -s 216.27.93.0/24 -p tcp -m tcp -j DROP

$ host ge tran ked1.com
getr anked1.com has address 74.53.25.226
getrank ed1.com mail is handled by 0 ge tranked1.com.

$ sudo iptables -A INPUT -s 74.53.25.0/24 -p tcp -m tcp -j DROP

Problem solved.

Oh, and if you want “Groton hosting” (or hosting in Groton, CT. or anywhere else in the world for that matter), visit my ACTUAL hosting page, not my resume page.

Last Modified: Friday, May 2nd, 2008 @ 14:57

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