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.
I had three identical bits of spam come in from a ‘David Elizabeth’ (it’s always fun when spammers/scammers have two first names!) two days apart each time. David was using a gmail.com account with his two first names and a bunch of numbers in it. (I normally removed the last name of spammers for privacy, but as I’m 100% sure this is a fake name, I’m leaving it in.)
The subject was Excel Website Performance: [domain name]
They all came into the account for my church, but for fun(!) I first replied from my big Christmas site (to see if they’d actually notice – they didn’t) and then from the church account. This also gave me the chance to take two approaches to the replies…
Dear [domain name] Team,
My experts were analyzing your website and found that your website is not handling recent updates from search engines.
Also your traffic flow is poor from the last couple of months due to some of the reasons. You might know about recent Google UPDATES like Phantom 3.0, Panda 4.2, and Penguin 4.0.
Google has completely dropped all authorship functionality from the search results and webmaster tools. So be careful on it and take the help of a SEO company to fix it.
Google wants its visitors to have the best possible experience and these factors play an important role in determining your rank in SERP:
- For most of the competitive keywords or phrases you rank beyond 100.
- Your website is not ready for an upcoming responsive design update.
- So many technical errors present on your website making it difficult to index.
- Lack of theme based quality backlinks.
We follow a technically advanced and tested approach to adhere to the latest algorithmic updates. We will prepare an advanced digital marketing campaign to generate maximum traffic and enhance your ranking.
This is about the WORST SEO spam template I’ve ever seen. It’s basically one massive lie full of scare tactics.
One HUGE red flag in this spam is the mention of ‘recent updates’ from Google (Phantom, Panda and Penguin). Basically if you ever see an SEO email with things like this in hit the delete button… Why? Well because they’re complete scare tactics and nothing more. These updates did happen. BUT not ‘recently’…
Phantom 3.0 was in November 2015 – OVER EIGHT YEARS AGO.
Panda 4.2 was in July 2015 – OVER EIGHT YEARS AGO.
Penguin 4.0 was in September 2016 – OVER SEVEN YEARS AGO.
Using terms like these are simply to sound impressive and scary but they’re meaningless – certainly over seven years later! They also mention the ‘upcoming responsive design update’. Well, Google did start indexing sites as a mobile would see them first – IN 2016!!!
So either they have no idea what they’re talking about; OR they’ve been using the same spam template for over sever years. Both of those options are not what you’d call ‘good’…
Another scary looking line says “Google has completely dropped all authorship functionality from the search results and webmaster tools. So be careful on it and take the help of a SEO company to fix it.” This is another OLD fact. Google stopped using ‘authorship’ things (i.e. displaying a little photo of a person next to a result) in mid 2014 – OVER NINE YEARS AGO – and they stopped using it, because basically nobody did use it! So there is absolutely NO NEED for ‘the help of a SEO company to fix it’ as there is nothing to fix! Other authorship tags have come along since. If you’re using any modern form of web site builder, they have all of these set-up for you…
They also say we’ve not had many visitors recently (which they have NO way of knowing) because of ‘some of the reasons’ – which is as clear as mud and literally makes no sense.
So we can see that this whole email just total and utter rubbish, although if you don’t know about web things it can look really scary.
Let’s first look at the reply to the email ‘from’ my Christmas site. It took about a week to arrive. This time ‘David’ was using an @techsysweb.com email.
Thanks for your email
Please find the attached website analysis report as requested.
We can help you to give your good online presence and traffic so that it will help to increase your business.
Let me know if you have any questions
Waiting for your reply
David| Business Consultant
David asked if I have questions. Oh I do… but I decided to play along and ask some questions about the rather large inconsistencies between the ‘scary’ email and what their ‘report’ actually shows about my site!
Thanks for sending over your report. However, I’m confused.
The report gives my site an ‘A+’ yet your original email said my site has lots of problems?
On your email, point 1. said ‘most of the competitive keywords or phrases you rank beyond 100.’ but your report gives the keywords on my site an A+
Point 2. said ‘Your website is not ready for an upcoming responsive design update.’ but your report again gives it A+ in the response and usability sections.
Point 3. said ‘So many technical errors present on your website making it difficult to index.’ but your report has it as A+ in the ‘On-Page SEO Results’ section. That’s what Google uses things to index right?
Point 4. said ‘Lack of theme based quality backlinks.’ but in the ‘Links’ section of your report it says the site has over 83k backlinks. That sounds like a lot to me. Isn’t that a lot?
Can you see why I’m confused? Please can you explain things to me some more?
Thanks and best wishes,
Well, it’s been over a week and David’s not replied! I guess he can’t answer my basic questions about why their report and scary email don’t agree with each other!
No let’s look and the email that can back into the church account (also now using the @techsysweb.com email). Rather than sending a report, they sent the below email, which explains their work…
Thanks for your email
Here is the detail information and proposal to get good online visibility to get more traffic and sales:
It’s About Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization or we can say it’s an Operation to Enhance Business Sales. It’s a process that brings your business website to the first search result page of Google.
How does this magic happen?
If your business website is live online, that’s great, but does it appear between Google’s 100th results in finding your industry keyword on G-search? Disaster! We fix it with SEO.
Why is SEO important for your business?
When users find something related to your business on Google search, your business webpage URLs should appear on the SERP (search-engine-result-page). It helps users to visit your website pages through such URLs, and your website traffic improves.
How do we work?
In the SEO process, we optimize your business website well from on-page to content in all parameters, and it will help bring the website page URLs to Google’s first page in a very short time.
What you will get (ROI)
The more traffic the website holds, the more conversion you can expect, and the business sales will improve unexpectedly, and you earn well from the website. The budget you plan and spend on SEO is truly worth your investment, and you get a satisfactory ROI(Return On Investment).
You will get a monthly keyword ranking report, online traffic report to see and measure your growth.
Our Plan and Prices
Search Engine Optimization(SEO) is a continuous process, the more you promote the more you get visitors towards your website. We have different plans and prices you can see here https://techsysweb.com/plan.php and compare and choose the best one according to your budget.
Let me know which plan you want to go with. It’s a prepaid service. Once you subscribe, the plan will activate and we will start the work immediately.
Waiting for your reply
David| Business Consultant
More waffle that doesn’t actually really say anything useful. So I tried taking a different approach with this one, asking why they spam and why their spam is so old…
Please can you tell me why you send out spam with scary looking things which are total lies? You do know that Phantom 3.0, Panda 4.2, and Penguin 4.0 happened OVER SEVEN YEARS AGO?!
Why are you breaking multiple international laws and using scare tactics to get business?
That’s not exactly good business practise is it?
Can you please answer my questions.
Thank you and God bless.
Again, it’s been over a week and I’ve not heard back from David about this either. Hmmmmmm…
Their Report & Recommendations
Attached to David’s email to my Christmas site (the first one from ‘Techsys Web’) was a PDF – their ‘report’. It was made by/on SEOptimer, a free (although you can pay for extra goodies) online SEO report maker. I know it’s from there, as I know what SEOptimer reports look like as many a spammy SEO company uses this tool.
My site also gets A+ on it! (While their site only gets a ‘C’ – as we’ll see later…)
There are a few small things that stops my site getting a completely perfect score on SEOptimer. These include:
Having ‘thin content’ on my home page. ‘Thin content’ is when you don’t have a large amount of text on a page. My home page has about 350 words. Some people have below 300 as ‘thin’, some 400, others 500. My home page is basically a glorified landing page, so it really isn’t an issue.
SEOptimer’s auto scanner can’t see the analytics tool I’ve got (as it’s privacy focused) so it says I don’t have analytics. (A human looking at the code can see it.) So this is WRONG…
SEOptimer says I don’t have my Business phone/address/location type things. This is true. However, this is also because my Christmas site isn’t a ‘normal’ business site. So these issues are irrelevant in my case (which a real person with half a brain should be able to tell).
So as I said, these are ‘small’ issues… and as you can see from my email to David above, there are NONE of the ‘scary’ things they say in their email!!!
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 domain is at techsysweb.com which was registered in September 2019.
Their site has 29 HTML errors. Not a great start.
Using the WAVE Accessibility checking tool, this site has 19 errors and 12 contrast errors. Not great, but I’ve seen much worse!
Using the Google Lighthouse speed test tool the site gets:
Best Practices: 89
My Christmas site has 0 HTML or Accessibility errors and gets 100/100 for all four items on Lighthouse.
The alt test on their logo is ‘logo’ rather than ‘Techsys Web’. That’s amazingly basic to get wrong (yet so many spammy SEO companies do so…)
They have four Heading 1 tags. Don’t do that – you should only have one. (Again, this is very basic stuff.)
The Copyright on the footer still says 2023. We’re in the middle of January 2024 as I write this…
Their site is kind of a pain to use. When you scroll up, the menu is ‘sticky’. That can be ok. But not how it works on their site!
For some bizarre reason, in sticky mode, their ‘landscape’ logo is rotated 90 degrees, so it becomes very ‘portrait’ and this means it crashes out of the menu and just looks very very strange…
Many of the images throughout the site are squished out of ratio (something that drives me nuts as a designer!).
There’s a ‘numbers panel’ on the home page. It says:
- ’75+ Completed Projects’ Their domain was registered in September 2021 – so that’s about 2.6 a month. OK, I can buy that.
- ‘3 Available Country’ Erm, what?! That makes no sense. Does it mean they claim to have offices in three countries (more on this later!) or that they’ll only work for you if you’re in one of the three magic countries?!
- ‘125 Clients Interaction’ Again, what? If a client interaction is an email, I can do that in a week!
- ‘5 Milestones’ Huh? What? I mean is having a cup of coffee a milestone? Launching a site? Sending out spam (I’m guessing they’ve done that more than 5 times though!)?
So basically meaningly numbers…
On their About page is a list of people who supposedly work for Techsys Web. I say ‘supposedly’ because some of the people on there very much DO NOT work for them. I know this because they include a photo of the actress Angela Montenegro and a stock photo called ‘Young Female Manager’! I think some of the photos are genuine, but really?!
They have social media links in their header and footer. The ones to Facebook and Twitter work. However, the one to Instagram doesn’t go anywhere – oops.
Remember the ‘3 Available Country’, well on their contact page there are addresses in two countries (but not three). The USA and India.
When we look at the Indian address, it’s for aa large building complex in Bhubaneswar, the home of many an SEO spammer!
When we look at the USA address, it’s for an empty store front in Richmond Virginia (the Google Street View was taken in June 2023). Their US phone is also for this area. HOWEVER, it’s also VERY simple to get a virtual number for that area code. I’m guessing the fake address was used because of the phone number area code they got.
Why do I say the USA one is fake? Well, on Techsys Web’s LinkedIn and Facebook profiles, they say they’re in Bhubaneswar! And on their LinkedIn are lots of job ads, ALL for jobs in Bhubaneswar…
I also found the owner of Techsys Web on LinkedIn. Can you guess where he lives? Yep, it’s in Bhubaneswar.
So, yeah, Techsys Web are in Bhubaneswar, they’re not in Virginia.
Techsys Web are SEO spammers.
They send out scary looking, but VERY wrong spam from random email accounts.
When asked some very basic questions about the contradictions between their spam and their reports, they don’t answer.
They also don’t answer questions about why they send out spam!
They have fake employees listed on their website, including stealing the photo of a famous actress and using stock photos!
They use a fake address in the USA to try and make themselves look bigger than they are.
So if you get a scary looking email from Techsys Web, the delete button might well be the best option.
But, as ever, the choice is yours…