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 ‘Alisha’ who was using an @ibankdna.com account with her name in it. The email came into my big Christmas site.
The subject was “Get optimization service for your website whychristmas.com” and it went:
I am a Digital Marketing Consultant and while working on an online project I came across your website . First of all congrats for having such a beautiful layout of your website but while analyzing it a bit I found certain errors in it. They are the following mentioned below:
- A couple of onsite issues on your website.
- Your website is not completely mobile responsive.
- The SEO of your website is not to the optimum level and that is directly affecting the traffic, rank and sales that you deserve to get from your website.
My team can fix all those issues, make your website mobile optimized and bring it to the TOP PAGE of Google so that you will get enough traffic to your website and in return your quantity of new sales or new business rate will increase.
I had prepared No obligation audit report of your website where you find all the issues and understand it in detail. So, if you are interested I can show you the report & I’d be happy to send you our package price and past work details.
Thank you in advance.
Alisha || SEO Consultant
This spam template is a bit of a mis-mash of various templates we’ve seen in the past. The email also had ‘This form was created inside Weboptimizes’ at the bottom of their ‘unsubscribe’ Google Form, which is shall we say ‘interesting’ as Weboptimizes/Qtonix are some of the very worst SEO spammers we’ve dealt with MANY TIMES in the past…
Anyway, I replied, as I do…
This sounds interesting. Please send over your report.
The next day I got a reply from a ‘Lucy’ using an @techtss.net email.
Thank you for showing interest in the detailed Audit Report and Quotation for your website “whychristmas.com”. This is Lucy from TechTSS and moving forward, I will be your main point of contact. Kindly allow us 24 to 48 hours to prepare a detailed website report for your website. I will share the same in my next email.
Remember, the Search Engine itself says before doing any kind of marketing activity, a website should be technically bug-free.
Impact of our work on your business:
Increased Organic Traffic: Substantial rise in website visitors through effective SEO strategies. Improved Keyword Rankings: Achieved higher search engine rankings for targeted keywords. Enhanced Brand Visibility: Your brand's online presence has grown, establishing industry authority. Boosted Conversion Rates: Quality traffic led to more leads and increased sales. Greater Local Presence: Strengthened visibility among local customers (if any). Positive User Experience: Improved website speed, navigation, and content engagement. Measurable ROI: Tangible return on investment, with tracked growth and revenue.
Please confirm you received this email and share your contact number for future correspondence.
(Note: It would be great if you would share your requirements or challenges in the Digital Field so that I can come up with a more comprehensive strategy to make your business stand out from others)
Have A Wonderful Day.
Two days later I got TWO copies the below email. And so two copies of their report!
Hope you are doing well.
I have attached the detailed website report for “whychristmas.com” to this email. Please have a look.
We pride ourselves on providing excellent service to our clients, but you don’t just have to take our word for it. Hear what our clients have to say about partnering with TecTSS @ www.techtss.com/testimonials/
If you would like a similar business strategy & service to those telling their stories here, we are here to help!
“You know, today’s consumers rely on search engines to help them find everything from pen to aeroplane.”
SEO is still one of the best customer acquisition strategies for online focused businesses. What better way to bring customers in the door through your website than to outrank your competitors!
Some of the list of activities we will follow for your website:
We will start with the SEO set up program or set-up phase. Here we take care of rectifying the error associated with your website as given in the audit report. We also configure the tracking codes to verify the website with different search engines so as to confirm that all your pages and contents are properly crawled by search engines. We then start with the keyword analysis. This phase helps us in deciding the right keywords that will be used for promotion of your website and bring it to the 1st page of Google and other search engines. We will also promote your business on certain social media platforms to reach out to maximum people there pushing them back to your website. The fourth phase is all about conversion evaluation. We will track how many inquiries are coming and how many are getting converted. The conversion aspects will be optimized to make sure that you have the right kind of ratio of traffic and conversion.
Simultaneously we will also focus on link building and backlink submission for the website rankings. We create a certain amount of content and post it across other websites to create backlinks. We also do citation building like creating backing with business listing websites to increase domain authority and ranking of the website.
I hope the above given information will suit you well.
After running a couple of audits, I would like to suggest some standard packages for your review and consideration.
Below are the Monthly Plans where we will provide the services which include SEO (Search Engine Optimization ), SMO (Social Media Optimization), Keyword Ranking, Link Building, Etc including Issue Fixing.
BASE PLAN US $ 199/Month” Work Deliverables:
Targeted Keywords - 1 to 7 Man Hours - 35 Targeted Pages - 7 Free Campaign Set Up Guaranteed Traffic Improvement Onsite Fixing Social Media Management Monthly Work Performance Reporting
For More Detail go through the link: https://techtss.com/base-plan/
Core Plan US $ 299/Month” Work Deliverables:
Targeted Keywords - 1 to 15 Man Hours - 75 Targeted Pages - 15 Competitor Analysis Guaranteed Traffic Improvement Trend Analysis Free Landing Page Setup Monthly Work Performance Reporting Social Media Setup
For More Detail go through the link: https://techtss.com/core-plan/
Universal Plan US $ 499/Month” Work Deliverables:
Targeted Keywords - 1 to 30 Man Hours - 130 Targeted Pages - 30 Competitor Analysis Guaranteed Traffic Improvement Trend Analysis Free Landing Page Setup 15 Days Work Performance Reporting Social Media Setup
For More Detail go through the link: https://techtss.com/universal-plan/
Every client is different, with different requirements and with different budgets. So, let me know which plan you would like to proceed with.
If we missed out on anything please don’t hesitate to let us know so that we can do the needful.
We are excited at the prospect of working with you.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
With Best Regards,
Attached to both of Lucy’s identical emails was the same PDF. They’ve put some work into it, but most of it clearly comes from an online SEO checker which they’ve just copied and pasted, without much explanation.
I went through the report and found some, erm, issues with with it. So I replied to Lucy and I had some responses about the report and some questions about the TechTSS Team and their business.
I reply to SEO spammers to see what they say to get clients.
On your report my site pretty much gets ‘Great Work!’ across the board. However, there are some errors as well. Let’s have look at them.
HTML Errors. Well, oops, yes there was one on the home page! It was a stray . I’ve sorted it out now… However, your site has 11 errors which you’ve not bothered to fix before telling other people about their errors. Hmmmm.
CSS Errors. Again, oops. There was a ; which needed to be :! Again, it’s fixed. And again you have multiple CSS errors (4) on your site which you’ve not bothered to fix. In the report, you also claim that CSS errors will negatively affect SEO. This is NOT TRUE. Google have said so on many occasions. Google cares about HTML errors but not CSS ones…
Reverse and clean/unique IPs. Ah, this old myth. THIS IS TOTAL RUBBISH. Google said this they don’t care about the other sites on an IP over 10 years ago; yet spammy SEO companies seem to love to keep on scaring people with it. Hmmmm.
You say there’s no HTML site map. THIS IS WRONG! I guess you missed the link in the footer ON EVERY PAGE ON THE SITE. Hmmmm.
You say my site doesn’t have ‘Spider Friendly Navigation’. Again TOTAL RUBBISH. My site is very web spider friendly (i.e. search engines can find their way around it).
You say that they can’t find my domain’s ‘Alexa’ ranking. Well considering that this service shut on the 1st May 2022, that’s not entirely surprising! I mean, REALLY?!
You say my site doesn’t have a blog. This is true. I don’t want one! Blogs can help. But they’re not an SEO magic bullet…
You say my site doesn’t have an Instagram account. This is true. I don’t want one!
You say my site’s YouTube account hasn’t been updated recently. This is true. But it’s also not going to affect my site’s SEO.
Your list of ‘Important Actions’ is rather confusing to me. You say “The Meta data elements of your website’s pages are not optimized as per Google’s guidelines and they need to be done soon.” and “Optimization of Meta elements (title, description) with proper keyword(s) and revamping
your web-page with search engine friendly content.”
Yet on your own report, a few pages about the ‘Important Actions’ list it says that the meta titles and descriptions are “Great Work!”. Your report appears to contract itself… So what one is it?
Please can you also answer some questions for me?
Please can you tell me why your company thinks it’s ok to spam people, from random email domains, with no site, to get business?
Is your company happy breaching multiple international laws?
Is your company connected to Qtonix (one of the worst SEO spammers there is)? I ask as you’re using one of the same spam templates they’ve been using for years. They also have the same ‘unsubscribe’ Google form (which does not get you out of breaking multiple international laws).
I look forward to receiving your answers.
The next day I got a reply from Lucy.
Hope you are doing well.
Thank you for your evaluated response over our audit report and I extend my sincerest apologies if my previous audit report has led to any misconstrued impressions.
We completely value our clients and their needs and you can check the testimonials as well -https://techtss.com/testimonials/
Regarding your query the answers are mentioned below;
1.Please can you tell me why your company thinks it’s ok to spam people, from random email domains, with no site, to get business?
Using Gmail accounts is a conscious decision made as part of our outreach marketing plan. It allows us to initiate conversations promptly and efficiently. It’s crucial to keep in mind though that once we hear back favorably from prospective customers like yourself, we switch over to email addresses under our official business domain. This change guarantees a safer and more professional channel for any future conversations. We recognize the need to keep an honest and respectable demeanor in all of our discussions.
2.Is your company happy breaching multiple international laws?
Can you please let me know what kind of international laws are we breaching?
3.Is your company connected to Qtonix (one of the worst SEO spammers there is)? I ask as you’re using one of the same spam templates they’ve been using for years. They also have the same ‘unsubscribe’ Google form (which does not get you out of breaking multiple international laws).
No, we are not connected to any company and we are not spamming anyone. we are wholeheartedly devoted to facilitating our aspirations and engaging in a mutually constructive partnership and not breaching any laws.
We extend our gratitude for your valuable time and I hope you got your answer.
With warm regards,
Well, it’s a reply, but she didn’t seem to understand quite how spam works, so I explained some more…
Thanks for your reply, but you simply do not seem to understand what spam is!
You did not spam from a Gmail account. The email ‘lead’ came from an @ibankdna.com account! So it’s interesting to know that you also send out ‘leads’ from random Gmail accounts…
Please can you explain why you’re using the same ‘lead’ is the same as from other SEO companies?!
And why does your un-subscription form have the text ‘This form was created inside Weboptimizes’ on it?
Also you haven’t answered why your own report contradicted itself! Can you explain that to me?
You ask what international laws you’re breaching. Here are just a few which your ‘lead’ email was in breach of:
For the UK (where I live) you are not allowed to sent marketing emails to an individual without their permission – you did this: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-pecr/electronic-and-telephone-marketing/electronic-mail-marketing/
For the USA (where your site says you have an office), you are breaking several aspects of CAN-SPAM compliance: https://www.ftc.gov/business-guidance/resources/can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business
For CASL in Canada, you need consent to send electronic marketing – which you did not have: https://fightspam-combattrelepourriel.ised-isde.canada.ca/site/canada-anti-spam-legislation/en/getting-consent-send-email (You also need other business identifiers in the emails, which your emails do not have.)
The Anti Spam Act in Australia has similar conditions for consent and identity, which your emails also do not meet: https://www.acma.gov.au/avoid-sending-spam
In South Africa there is the Protection of Personal Information Act, which says you have to have consent to send people marketing emails, which you did not have: https://ispa.org.za/spam/
In France the Trust in the Digital Economy Act says that you have to have consent to send marketing emails, which you did not have: https://www.culture.gouv.fr/en/Thematiques/Industries-culturelles-et-creatives/Dossiers-thematiques/Le-spam/Le-cadre-juridique-La-legislation-francaise-en-matiere-de-spam
For The Netherlands, the Dutch Telecommunications Act says that you need consent to send people marketing emails, which you did not have. It also says that the true identity of the party should be disclosed up front, which you did not do. https://sherloc.unodc.org/cld/document/nld/1988/telecommunications_act_of_the_netherlands.html
That’s just a few. THERE ARE MANY MORE!
So from this you can clearly see that your emails are in breach of multiple international laws…
So again, I ask, is your company happy breaching multiple international laws?
Less than an hour after after I emailed Lucy, an IDENTICAL piece of spam arrived! This time from a ‘Katy’ using an @mrdronz.com email – and this domain was registered in January 2022 by… QTONIX!!!
So I asked Lucy some more questions, and forwarding the spam onto her (and replied to Katy with the same email)…
Can you explain why your company has just sent me another IDENTICAL ‘lead’ email from a different random domain WHILE YOU ARE CONTACTING ME?!
I know it’s from you as the un-subscribe link is the same…
Also, you said that your company has no connection to Qtonix. However, the domain mrdronz.com was registered by Qtonix! [https://www.whois.com/whois/mrdronz.com] Also the domain registration address has the same postal code as your Bhubaneswar location. That also seems a remarkable coincidence!
Please can you explain this?! It seems very confusing to me…
I look forward to receiving your answers to the questions in this and my previous email,
But guess what – that wasn’t the end of the spam from TechTSS Team (although I didn’t know it at the time).
The next day I got more spam from a ‘Julie’ with an @jmitadvice.tech email. With the subject “About whychristmas.com”. It went:
I noticed something interesting while going through your website whychristmas.com
It’s apparent that you have used AdWords 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 increase that portion of organic traffic significantly at whychristmas.com
I believe you would like to come top on searches for keywords related to whychristmas.com … I found a number of SEO issues such as broken links, page speed issue, HTML validation errors, images with no ALT text on your website, that’s stopping you from getting that traffic.
How about I fix those, and also promote you through engaging content on relevant places on the web (read, social media).
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.
Is this something you are interested in?
If yes, please allow me to send you a no obligation audit report and quote.
Hoping to hear from you and take this partnership ahead.
PS 1: Please answer our email with “Interested” or “Not Interested” so that we will know the status of your inquiry and act accordingly. If you are interested then I will send more details on our “corporate identity”, “company profile”, “why you should choose us?”, “Price list”.
So I replied and within an hour I got a rather interesting reply from Julie, this time using an @topseosolution.com email address…
Good Afternoon! Thank you for showing interest in the Detail Audit Report and Quotation for your website “www.whychristmas.com”.
Kindly allow us 24 to 48 hours to prepare a detailed website report for www.whychristmas.com. I will share the same in my next email.
Remember, Search Engine itself says before doing any kind of marketing activity, a website should be technically bugs free.
Once your site will be fixed and technically ready, it will be easy to access by search engine crawler. So definitely it is going to add a strong point in your favour.
Impact of our work on your business:
Technically sound website. (Google Recommend) Right Keyword Selection Website ranking on prime pages of Google & other search engines for targeted keywords Permanent high PR back-links. (High Potential Traffic) Potential Organic Traffic improvement on targeted landing page. (Good ROI) Conversion/ sales volume improvement. Updated social media profile. (Increase Popularity)
Meanwhile, please know more about our company here:
Company profile: https://techtss.com/company-profile.php Client Testimonials: https://techtss.com/testimonials/ Google Reviews: https://tinyurl.com/5n7skaxa
We are excited at the prospect of working with you.
(Note: It would be great if you will share your requirements or challenges in the Digital Field so that I can come off with a more comprehensive strategy to make your business standout from others)
Have A Wonderful Day.
Oh look, more spam from TechTSS!!! So I replied to Julie and Lucy…
Hi Julie and Lucy,
Oh look, yet more spam from TechTTS. This time using a different (but very common) template and sending from the domain jmitadvice.tech.
Julie, you don’t need to do a report as Katy sent me one from some other spam the other day. Katy’s also denied that TechTSS send out spam. Yet this is the THIRD spam I’ve had from TechTSS in as many days. Two of them have come AFTER Katy’s already been talking to me.
Not only are TechTSS spammers. You don’t even know that the person you’re spamming ARE ALREADY TALKING TO PEOPLE IN YOUR OWN COMPANY!!!
So Katy, care to explain how this isn’t spam?!
Thanks and Happy Christmas!
Well, it’s been well over a week and I’ve not heard back from Lucy or Katy or Julie! (This week included Christmas, so I gave it an extra few days as December 25th is also a public holiday in India.) I guess that TechTSS Team are yet more SEO spammers that don’t actually like to answer questions about why they spam people and break international laws…
I also find it rather interesting that Lucy said they used Gmail to spam people – BUT I got spam from them from three random non Gmail domains:
- ibankdna.com – registered in February 2016.
- mrdronz.com – registered in January 2022 BY QTONIX! The person who registered it also has the same last name as the ‘VP Corporate Sales’ at TechTSS Team. Hmmm.
- topseosolution.com – registered in July 2017 in Bhubaneswar, the home of TechTSS Team, Qtonix and many other SEO spammers. The person who registered it also has the same last name as the ‘Business & Operations Director’ of TechTSS Team. Hmmm.
Last names can be common. However, that’s a couple of rather striking co-incidences…
I also put Qtonix TechTSS into Google and on a couple of posts on Qtonix’s LinkedIn, the ‘Business & Operations Director’ at TechTSS left comments; including wishing the boss of Qtonix (who also registered mrdronz.com domain) a Happy Birthday!
TechTSS Team also use the domain techtss.net (registered July 2017) for their emails. But their main site is techtss.com (registered November 2013, by another person with the last name as the mrdronz.com domain).
Although Lucy said TechTSS have no connection with Qtonix, they use the same (or very similar) spam templates, they send out spam from a domain registered by Qtonix and have Qtonix linked branding in their ‘unsubscribe’ forms. They’re also located in the same postal code as Qtonix.
So even if they aren’t ‘formally’ linked businesses, they certainly seem to know each other, and have rather a few coincidental connections… (insert hmmmmm, etc.)
And of course they also use spam templates which say scary (and WRONG) things about sites to try and get your business.
And in their first spam to me, they made the claim they’d get me into the top page on Google. Something that Google itself says not to trust!
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?”
Their Report & Recommendations
I’ve covered most of the report in my emails to Lucy. Most of the ‘errors’ on the report were flat out WRONG. There were other things, which were classed as ‘errors’, such as not having a blog, which are nice things to have on a site, but are certainly not ‘vital’ for SEO or will harm your rankings.
Also, on the report, under the ‘good/bad’ things was a list of ‘Important Actions’ which need to be done. These are a mixture of actual good advise (although not much), marketing buzzwords, meaningless jargon, items that contradict their own report and things that are either not relevant to my site or are simple wrong! I’m 100% sure that EVERY REPORT has this identical list of ‘Important Actions’…
When I asked Lucy about these inconsistencies and contradictions, on multiple occasions, I got no answers.
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…
Their main domain is at techtss.com which was registered in November 2013.
Their site has 11 HTML errors. Some of these are REALLY bad SEO wise, as we’ll see below…
Using the WAVE Accessibility checking tool, this site has 41 errors and 42 contrast errors. More not very goodness…
Using the Google Lighthouse speed test tool the site gets:
Best Practices: 64
My Christmas site has 0 HTML (well there was one, but I fixed it!) or Accessibility errors and gets 100/100 for all four items on Lighthouse.
The alt text on the logo is ‘logo’. Don’t do that. (It should be the name of the company/site.)
They have three heading 1s. Don’t do that. (There should only be one.)
They have NOTHING in the meta title or description on their home page. Not having a title is an HTML error; both are very (and I mean VERY) basic SEO items. The link to their default social media sharing image is broken. The fact that an SEO company, who spam you and tell you there are issues with your site, don’t have the most basic of SEO features set up on their own site correctly is rather astonishing.
The opening main copy sentence on the home page is “We are a professional web application agency in USA that promises to offer superior customer satisfaction via our professional services.” Only they’re NOT in the USA, they’re in Bhubaneswar, the home of many an SEO spammer.
They do have a US address on their contact page, in Oceanside California, but it’s a two bedroom apartment in a very normal housing complex. I have no idea if someone vaguely connected to TechTSS lives at that address; but I’m 99.999% sure that no work is ever done there!
They also have a US phone number on their site. Only it’s for Albuquerque, New Mexico. It’s also VERY simple to get a virtual phone number for that area code. Hmmmmm.
On the home page, it says they’ve been in business for over 10 years – but further down the page there’s a ‘numbers’ panel which says 11! On the about page, it says 9 years. Also on the about page it says they were founded in 2008 – that’s 15 years!
The home and about page numbers both say they have 87 professionals work for them. But they don’t seem to know how many clients they’ve had. On the home page it says 850 but on the about page it’s 1500+!
So rather like their SEO report, their own site contradicts itself in multiple places…
There’s a logo carousel on some of the pages. One of these logos is for Nestle. It could be true, but yeah, hmmmm.
They do seems to have some very happy clients on their testimonials page. However, as I’ve said before, that doesn’t stop you being a spammer!
TO BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH CANSPAM WE AGREE TO THE FOLLOWING:
NOT use false, or misleading subjects or email addresses
ONLY THEY DID. ON MULTIPLE OCCASIONS!
Identify the message as an advertisement in some reasonable way
OK, they did this.
Include the physical address of our business or site headquarters
Nope. Their address WAS NOT on ANY of their emails (either the ‘lead’ or ones from the techtss domain).
Monitor third party email marketing services for compliance, if one is used.
Hmmmm. Well if allowing others to spam using your random domains counts as ‘third party’, then that’s a big fail.
Honor opt-out/unsubscribe requests quickly
Allow users to unsubscribe by using the link at the bottom of each email
We’ll see if they continue to spam me or not…!
There’s also a section on the page about Indian Privacy laws. One interesting paragraph says:
Consent for Collection: A business cannot collect SPD unless it obtains the prior consent of the provider of the information. The consent has to be provided by letter, fax or email. The business must also, prior to collecting the information, give the option to the provider of the information to not provide such information. In such case, the business can cease providing goods and services for which the information is sought.
Well they certainly didn’t have my consent to contact me. Hmmmm.
So yeah… It also says on the privacy page ‘We do not use an SSL certificate’ BUT THEY DO – and using an SSL is a GOOD THING. So why you’d have wording saying you don’t is just bizarre!
They also have a rather good Terms & Conditions page – so kudos for that.
However, there’s also a ‘Legal Disclaimer’ page which contains this absolutely beauty of a paragraph:
TSSS Techno Solutions Pvt, Ltd. assumes no liability for precision, correctness, timeliness, or content of the Materials provided on this website. You should not guess that the Materials on this website are continuously updated or otherwise contain current information. TSSS Techno Solutions Pvt, Ltd. is not responsible for supplying content or materials from the website that has expired or has been removed.
So basically, are they saying that, they can put anything on their site but none of it is their responsibility?!?!?!
TechTSS Team are SEO spammers.
They send out spam from multiple random domains using a range of common SEO spam templates.
Their report is full of errors and contradictions. When asked about these, they do not answer the questions.
They claim not to spam, but are breaking multiple anti-spam laws. They even have anti-spam policies on own site – which they are clearly breaking!
Just like their report, their own site is full of contradictions as well as basic HTML & SEO errors and accessibility issues.
So if you get an email from TechTSS Team, the delete button might well be the best option.
But, as ever, the choice is yours…