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 (first) spam came in from a ‘David’ who was using an @smartstreamingott.com email address.
The subject was ‘About : whychristmas.com’ and it went:
Hi whychristmas.com Owner
I’m reaching out to you because I have a digital marketing plan that I
think your audience would appreciate. whychristmas.com
Would you be willing to receive a detailed proposal? I can provide the
deliverable for you to review?
I am waiting for your reply.
Business Development Manager
PS: I am not spamming. I have studied your website, prepared an audit
report and believe I can help with your business promotion.
My rule of thumb is that if an email tells you it’s not spamming, it probably is, and this will turn out to be true, as we’ll see below! Because four days later, Sara, using an @smartstreamingott.com email spammed me.
This time the subject was “Re: All about to whychristmas.com.” (ah, the old ‘adding a re in the front to make it look we’ve been in contact before’ trick…) and went:
Hi whychristmas.com, Team,
Your website whychristmas.com is not ranking top in Google organic searches for many competitive keyword phrases.
Your company is not doing well in most of the Social Media Websites.
Your website is having less number of index pages and Google back-link.
Your website requires a lot of additional Up-gradations.
It’s apparent that you have used Ad Words marketing to promote your business in the past, however, your website does see some organic search traffic here and there. Now, I believe I can help enhance that portion of organic traffic significantly at whychristmas.com
I guarantee you will see a drastic change in your search ranking and traffic once these issues are fixed. Also, this is one time, so no paying AdWords every month.
Please find the below benefits of the campaign:
1) Top page on search engine. (Google, Yahoo, Bing)
2) Increase your website traffic and sales.
3) Create a brand name for your website.
4) Increase your website’s online visibility.
If my proposal sounds interesting for your business goal, please feel free to email me, it is ensured hereby that we promise that our technical team will contact you in very shortly and pursue as per your business requirement.
If yes, please allow me to send you a no obligation Detailed Website Performance Report and quote.
Hoping to hear from you and take this business partnership ahead.
Sara Business Analyst.
PS: I am not spamming. I have studied your website, prepared an no obligation Detailed Website Performance report and believe I can help with your business promotion. If you still want us to not contact you, you can ignore this email or ask to be removed and I will not contact you again
Another email saying they’re not spamming! This email template is a bit of ‘greatest hits’ of SEO spam. We’ve got the “you’re not doing well on Social Media” and “you need more backlinks”. I’m not actually sure what “Up-gradations” are. It kind of sounds painful!
They bring out the “you’ve used adwords” wording. (I haven’t…)
There’s also the classic promise of being on the “Top page on search engine” which is a big SEO spam ‘red flag’ because Google has something to say about 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?”
Anyway, I replied to Sara:
That sounds interesting. Please send over your report. What’s wrong with my site?
Whilst I was waiting for a reply from Sara, I had some identical spam from ‘Laura’ who was also using an @smartstreamingott.com email. So I replied to both Sara and Laura…
I replied to an email from Sara a few days ago after she said she would send me a report, but I haven’t heard back from her yet.
Can you see what’s going on and get the report to me?
It’s now been over well over a week and I’ve not heard back from Sara or Laura. If I ever do get a reply, I’ll post an update here.
Looking at Their Site(s)
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…
We’ve got two sites to look at, the one the domain they send spam from and their main business domain. We’ll start with the spammy one…
It’s at smartstreamingott.com which was registered in October 2021.
This site has 15 HTML errors. Not great, but I’ve seen much worse – as we’ll see below!
Using the WAVE Accessibility checking tool, this site has 8 errors and 30 contrast errors. That’s, erm, less good…
Using the Google Lighthouse speed test tool the site gets:
Best Practices: 83
My Christmas site has 0 HTML or Accessibility errors and gets 100/100 for all four items on Lighthouse.
On the ‘Smart Streaming OTT’ site, the alt text on their logo is ‘logo’. That’s less than ideal… The logo is also the Rixosys one!
They have 13 Heading 1s – don’t do that. You should only really have one.
The about page has one paragraph of text on it, but it’s all meaningless marketing speak.
The ‘Products’ and ‘Services’ pages are all about the other products they make – not actually about the site/company. The ‘Blogs’ section just has posts basically replicating the information on the Products and Services pages!
There are lots of links in the footer. These all go to other sites, for their streaming tool and the main Rixosys site. The contact page also just has contact info for Rixosys.
It would appear that this site is mainly set-up for the purpose of having links to their other main business site(s). That’s rather spammy in itself!
Now let’s look at the main Rixosys site. It’s at rixosys.com which was registered in September 2018.
This site has 113 HTML errors! I said we’d see some more…
Using the WAVE Accessibility checking tool, this site has 66 errors and 63 contrast errors. Yikes!
Using the Google Lighthouse speed test tool the site gets:
Best Practices: 92
So, it seems to be ‘worse’ than the one of the domain that use for spamming – not exactly impressive.
The alt text on the logo is empty. That’s very not good. In fact Rixosys doesn’t seem to know what an alt tag is…
They’ve got five heading 1s on the home page. It’s better than 13, but still not great! And their heading tag level structure is all over the place and pretty terrible for accessibility.
There are many ‘call to action’ buttons on the home page, but most of them don’t go anywhere – making them useless.
There’s an ‘Our Technology’ slider which is very broken. There’s also a slider of some of their client logos. This is also very broken with the logos crashing into and over each other. Not good.
There’s a slider of six testimonials with photos. Only the same person is on every testimonial. Oops. And that image appears to actually belong to a designer and photographer from Canada, who’s image seems to be used in many a fake profile. Hmmmm…
And when I Google some of the phrases in the testimonials they all seems to have originally come from other sites and companies – with just the company name changed. Double hmmmmmm.
In their footer there are links to a Privacy page and a Terms page, only they don’t go anywhere and the pages don’t exist! They’re also collecting your IP via Google Analytics and cookies, but they don’t tell you. That’s in breach of multiple laws around the world!
Also in the footer are icons for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. Only the one to Twitter doesn’t go anywhere, so why have the icon? (It would appear that Rixosys doesn’t have a corporate account, but their CEO has an account, although he’s not tweeted in nearly a year…)
Rixosys / Rixo System IT Solutions seem to specialise in streaming technology solutions and they might be really good at that. Perhaps they should stick at that, rather than trying to make websites, which they seem less good at!
Rixosys / Rixo System IT Solutions / Smart Streaming OTT are SEO spammers.
They send out spam using a different domain to their main site – always a red flag.
They have two sites full of HTML and Accessibility issues and with some rather questionable content.
I asked them twice to send me a report, as they said my site was so bad, but they didn’t…
So if you get an email from an @smartstreamingott.com email address, clicking the delete button might be a good option.
But, as ever, the choice is yours…