SEO Spam From India

indian seo spam

Lately, spam from Indian website and SEO companies has been pretty bad for me. I’m not sure what has happened, but over the last 3-4 months it’s increased ten fold – the BBC article on India becoming the World’s leading spammers really doesn’t surprise one bit. I do get spam occasionally from other countries, but India is by far the worst offender for me. I don;t have anything all against other companies trying to grow, but Indian SEO companies are doing this the wrong way. So, just for their record to all the (now human) spammers sitting in India – “I don’t want your link building or seo services and certainly won’t be taking anyone seriously who initiates contact from a gmail account”.

I’ve tried a lot with Indian spammers. Submitting their MX records to various sites in the hope of getting their mail server blacklisted, replying tell them to “feck off”, reporting them to their hosts and even ignoring the said messages. Yes, ignoring the message doesn’t work nowadays as I’ll still get a follow up email asking me “I will revert all my web development to India”. Any emails I do reply to they never acknowledge or (I guess) respect. Nothing works!

I’ll also see disclaimers in the footer of some emails, along the lines of:

Disclaimer: The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) establishes requirements for those who send commercial email, spells out penalties for spammers and companies whose products are advertised in spam if they violate the law, and gives consumers the right to ask mailers to stop spamming them. The above mail is in accordance to the Can Spam act of 2003: There are no deceptive subject lines and is a manual process through our efforts on World Wide Web. You can opt out by sending mail to [EMAIL] and we ensure you will not receive any such mails.

I assume they think this justifies their spamming and they’re totally safe? My advice would be never ever send an email to”unsubscribe” – you’ll just get a response further pushing their services. Yes, seorankingindia.com and mosaic-service.com I’m talking to you aswell – If I email to be removed from whatever list for your “best seo ranking services” you’ve (without my knowledge) added me to, me sending the said email should say I definitely don’t want a follow up email asking if I want some other services.

Lately, they’ve gone a little lower in my opinion. Indian companies now don’t use their actual company email address for the initial contact, instead, they’ll use an anonymous gmail account –  or any none domain based email. Since about the start of the year, I’ve even noticed lots of LinkedIn “connect” requests from anonymous people in India who are spouting their awful services on LinkedIn too.

Last week, I even got 4 calls, again from offshore Indian SEO companies asking to use them for SEO (which I never ever would – I’ve seen the “SEO” they do). After asking how they got my details, there response was that they’re are simply doing online marketing and browsing the search results. I’ve not been called by the said spammers before last week. I did decide to quickly ask the person on the telephone of they actually knew what we did. They correctly cited web design and said for the equivalent of £60.00 pm, within 2 months, they could get my site to within the top 5 for the term “web design” – what fools. I asked him if he thought that was good term to target, noting that longer tail terms tend to convert better. His answer, you ask? “Web Design gets more searches than long tail terms”. Awful.

Additionally, some of the emails are bordering on harassment – I’m now receiving continual “update emails” as they call it asking me to respond. They are bloody hard to get rid of.

In my opinion, this form of “advertising” as they constantly cite it, is totally flawed for the above reasons and at the most basic level, because I can barely understand their broken English.

My “Solution” to Indian Spammers

After pretty much accepting that Indian spammers are not going to go away, I’ve decided to fight back. Granted, on forums, the general approach is DNFTT (or Do Not Feed the Troll), but this may actually work in my favour here.  I’ll now basically call their bluff. I’ve typed out a single line email, that I’ve saved as template so I can copy and paste, that I’ll reply. It reads, “Oh hello from the UK, Please tell more, your services sound lovely, Thank You, Boris” (for the record, “Boris” isn;t my real name, lol). Apart from the fact I’m wasting a few seconds by replying to these guys, this method has a few distinct of benefits:

  1. The spammers will see this as a generic reply, see I’m having a laugh at their expense and never email me again
  2. The spammer will be stupid enough to actually spend their own time in order to appraise my site – I’ll get a free review of my site that I won’t follow up. I’ll just tell them to bugger off after getting their opinions

To my total surprise I replied to a spam email from “nitesh@seorankingindia.com” with my generic template. They replied with a full and fairly detailed report on my site, what terms I should target and the steps they’d take to “optimize” my site – all organised into a PDF and Excel document. Granted, the majority of it was, as expected, spammy crap, but there were a few things I may decide to do. As that company in particular has been harassing me for a while I told him to bugger off after receiving my report.

A note to all Indian spammers from now on – If you decide to spam me, expect a reply, expect to do some sort of reviews for me. But for one minute, after you’ve sent me the review, don’t expect me to reply.

19 thoughts on “SEO Spam From India

  1. MMMedia

    It’s absolutely ridiculous how much ‘spam crap’ we get from India.

    I quite like the idea of your template reply, however I can see them harassing you even more if you fail to reply.

    That said, the more time they waste, the better.

    Reply
    1. Rob Allport Post author

      In all honestly I did half expect the same, but I have come up with another solution. After I have a website review, brief for work, or some detailed information on what they do (all of which is useful in my opinion) I send them back the following reply if they start to chase me – “We are currently noting all our options and will get back to you within the next 8 months”. That’s literally it. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve got some pretty good stuff – including an insanely detailed critique and step by step guide of action to take of the SEO on my employers site.

      In my opinion, it’s time (well, a few seconds) well spent.

      I’ve even come up with a new reply that seems to get a good response:

      “Wow, your services have amazed everyone here. Please reply, in extensive detail what action you will take for [my own url] and line out specificly what you will do. The more detail the better”.

      Yep, I’ve had some good stuff back from that.

      Only one issue I ran into was when I stupidly replied to a email and included my standard work signature that has my direct line telephone number and skype username. They did try calling up 3 times but seem to have given up now :)

      Reply
  2. Sameer Pattnayak

    Nice and very true.

    I’m also an Indian citizen and everybody I know is sick of these spam. I get around 10-20 emails and job calls everyday for every bullshit reason you can imagine. And I’m tired of them. Even ignoring them also doesn’t work. They will stop at nothing. This is extremely ridiculous guys. I just hope if Google can do something to stop them or else people may reduce using Gmail. I have a Yahoo! account from more than 8years and didn’t get these kind of mails there.

    Reply
    1. Rob Allport Post author

      From some of the stuff I’ve seen, I’d say avoid personally. You really do get what you pay for. So if you;re paying £5 an hour to a web developer in India, expect a poor quality result back. If an India company ever contacts you about SEO, run, very fast.

      Reply
    1. Rob Allport Post author

      Yup, same here. I don’t even use my copy and paste reply for a none existant project anymore, I just delete. I have made a filter that looks for gmail addresses with the phrase “SEO” in the sibject line – that catches a lot of the spammers. But completely agree, the spammers from India are out of control. Gmail should at least lower the sending limits.

      Reply
  3. Dale Harries

    I found a simple solution, all my customers are British and visit my sites from UK or Europe. I now block all Chinese and Indian traffic to my site and block gmail and hotmail.

    Reply
    1. Rob Allport Post author

      A silly as it sounds that’s a pretty good solution. I have all emails with the word “SEO” from gmail account go into a spam folder I check once a week max.

      Reply
  4. SEO Spammers Exposed

    We received so much SEO Spam to the point where we decided to start listing them on a website, complete with their fake GMail accounts and the standard spiel they send in their unsolicited e-mail. We feel that at least this way a business thinking of using an India SEO firm may do a quick Google search and find them listed at ours and other sites listing Spammers. It’s our way of fighting back, at least to some small degree.

    Reply
    1. Rob Allport Post author

      That’s a great site/idea, enjoyed reading some of the reports for some reason :) I have one company @techticsolution who literally will not leave me alone, I’ve vene spoken to them twice!. I did a quick Google and can across a few links, so called them out on Twitter, https://twitter.com/roballport/status/410499339266424832

      I’ll be a making a small site of my own (with Techtic Solutions on there, amongst others) as known and verified SEO Spammers. This won’t take long – a bit a of Laravel 4 and Bootstrap 3 :) I’ll also be adding the email headers too to each report. I swear even my method of wasting their time has no effect.

      Reply
  5. Sam

    We’ve started a website http://www.seospammersexposed.com that is at least trying to expose as many as possible Indian SEO spammers and draw attention to this practice in an attempt to warn people against using unscrupulous Indian so-called providers of SEO services. Generally one person can have 50 or more GMail accounts; all they are doing is working to try and get leads for Indian SEO ‘companies’ that are typically dodgy at best. Easiest thing is simply delete the e-mails or try a SPAM filter.

    Reply
  6. Rob

    My solution? I set up a few gmail filters. “Indian Web Design” in the body is a good thing to filter out.

    Reply
  7. Simon Henderson

    Hi, I enjoyed the article and the comments :) and actually found the Indian SEO spammers site before this blog post ;)

    I’ve got a couple of websites that gather spam… They rank on the front page for several key terms each (all long tail terms) so it used to piss me off when they wrote with vague and generic threats of not ranking etc… But I can only assume they are scraping email addresses from SERPS, which just shows how full of BS they are!

    I like the idea of blocking traffic from India and China :)
    Deleting all Indians from LinkedIn seems a bit extreme but I may do that too…

    I was thinking of putting a pre-opt-out statement on the contact us pages of my sites to see if that helps… I’d imagine it won’t…

    I was initially looking for some sort of spam-protection service or something… Like the ‘telephone preference service’ for sales calls within the UK…

    Any idea about that?

    may we all over come the deluge!

    Cheers

    Simon

    Reply
    1. Rob Allport Post author

      Ah, the good old “telephone preference service”. I still get spam calls even when signed up. I think my number is doing the rounds within the IT support spam niche. I’ve had 4 calls this month from India – who want to fix my vulnerable and virus infected computer. Told the 3rd caller I was on my Ubuntu laptop – suffice to say he hung up straight away. I have a site I created in Laravel 3 a whole ago that acted as a kind of directory for the SEO spammers – a a name and shame type site. Completely forgot about it till now (will og course need to rewrite in Laravel 4 at least) :)

      Reply

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