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Spamming the SEO Spammers

Right, there’s another one. If you run a website, I’m sure you’ve gotten your share of these:

Hi there!

We found your weblisting on one of the back pages of Google. Wouldn’t you rather be up front? Our experts in Search Engine Optimization can help you become more visible and more productive. A quick email will get you details.

Thanks in advance!
Silvia Abernathy

Until someone figures out how to rid the earth of “SEO Experts”, we should at least try to have some fun with them. Recently, I’ve started compiling a list of SEO Experts who contact me:

Andy Gujral [email protected]
Austin Green [email protected]
Sylvia Abernathy [email protected]
Beverly Ralston [email protected]
Ivan Ballard [email protected]
Brooke Babcock [email protected]
Donna Gabriel [email protected]
Stella Fair [email protected]

Now, whenever I get one of these emails, I reply with interest (and a big budget) and then hook them up with each other to work out the details:

Hi Silvia!

Wow, that sounds great! I’d love to be on the front page of Google and could use the extra traffic to my site! In fact, I’d be willing throw some money at that!

I can’t have my name associated with this, as you can no doubt understand, so could you please get in touch with our head of marketing, Andy Gujral [email protected], and work out the details? He’s expecting your email.

Also, I’m going to be on the road and out of touch for 10 days, so if you do run into any confusion with Andy, just tell him to get in touch with my executive assistant, Donna Gabriel [email protected] and mention “Project P”. She’ll know what to do.

Thanks again, Silvia! I’m really looking forward to getting started, and watching my traffic GROW!

Regards,
Matt

Now, just sit back and wait. After a while, you’ll start getting back discussions happening between Silvia, Andy and Donna trying to figure out what’s going on and asking for clarification (politely, of course — because, well, you’ve still got that bucket of money):

Hi Matt,

I apologize for the confusion, but can you please clarify what you plan to coordinate between myself and Andy? My client is interested in a partnership for your page – http://dafacto.com/2005/08/25/macos-x-backup-strategy/ . I’m not sure what Andy has in mind, but we are just interested in working with you to place a resource related to online backup on this specific page of yours.

Perhaps I failed to follow up with Sylvia at [email protected] about the details. I have no record of contacting her, so maybe that is where the miscommunication started. Should I forward details to her? My impression is Andy wishes to collaborate with you for some opportunities unrelated to my inquiry. When you get a chance please let me know how you wish to move forward.

Best, Austin

At this point, just send them all off to a different “executive assistant” and start the ball rolling again. 🙂

Published inRants

101 Comments

  1. Jamon Holmgren Jamon Holmgren

    That’s hilarious! We get these all the time, of course.

  2. Awesome! Post the thread, I’d love to see that

  3. Matt Henderson Matt Henderson

    Thanks, guys. 🙂

  4. Hi Matt. Jolly good idea – and fun too! I’ve just got one from Ivan and had one from Andy last week. Others I’ve deleted straight away but I think I’ll have a go at your round robin suggestion – there’ve been a swathe of the things in the past month or so, all “apparently” through the comment form 7 plugin. My Ivan is at [email protected] and there are quite a few address permutations when I just looked for the name. Rees

  5. Brilliant, I wonder if they are going to help you rank this page with their names on it.

  6. Ricky Ricky

    This is Hilarious. Height of trolling spammers ;). I usually ask them to create a detailed link building plan for my website and then reject it. This way I end up wasting their time. But you have taken it to one step further.

  7. Haha, Great Spambaiting! Love doing this for fun as well, often do it with scammers and spammers. Trolling level +1

  8. I get those as well as lots of link exchange requests which are just a stupid test if I am an newby webmaster willing to trade shit for gold. I guess it would work there as well. I have to set this up for German language. Brilliant.

  9. oh no! oh no!

    Brilliant. Just got one of Ivan Ballard today. He seems to have changed his E-Mail adress to [email protected]

    For future fun sessions 🙂

  10. Very nice im laughing very loud 😉

  11. Hehe, nice idea! Some other guys started to fool the guys behind ‘Nigeria connection’ mails, which caused them a lot of work (e.g. to create a fake passport) as they expected to get a big pile of cash. 😉 Really funny game as well! 😉

  12. You evil genius. I love it. for the past few years, I’ve been getting all preachy with them, explaining that it is THEM that gives us a bad name.

    My approach is about to change. Cheers Matt.

  13. A classic trick. Excellent twist, I’d love to see how far the emails got before they realised.

  14. Gen Gen

    Email from [email protected] below (domain removed) Are you #1 on Google? Hi, This is Anna from an SEO company. I was going through your website:and I see website is very niche. However it is not ranking anywhere, for your industry keywords. I see your competitors are ranking very well due to right SEO strategy and you are losing business because of low visibility on Internet. If you are interested in getting your website rank higher please reply me on this email with the list of keywords and domain which you want to target. Looking for your valued response.

    Regards, Anna

  15. Josh Josh

    Stella Fair got a new email address: [email protected]

    Is captcha the best way to block this SPAM? It is probably autogenerated right? They sent it to my contact form of my website.

  16. Dan Dan

    Great work Matt. This is very funny. Ivan Ballard has evolved his email yet again to ballardIvanb[email protected]. I will try out the same tactic and see how it goes.

  17. Tom (@Tom_Bradfield) Tom (@Tom_Bradfield)

    This is absolutely priceless. I received an email from Ivan Ballard around an hour ago with the email address [email protected] (note the double d before the @) and was about to delete it, however your idea Matt seems a lot more fun. I plan to follow Ricky’s ingenious idea of getting them to build a detailed link building plan for my site and then rejecting it. Hahaha 🙂

  18. Brilliant. First time I’ve ever got one of these and have loved reading these posts. I again was going to delete but may just have to send something back to brighten up a snowy day! Please note the email address is now [email protected] I think they must be getting bored with this happening 😉

  19. Stone Stone

    Laughed my butt off! Anyone with a contact form receives large numbers of these ridiculous offers to “improve” ranking. Anyone that knew what they were about, would have a site, would provide evidence of their abilities… these people with their gmail accounts are obviously incapable of providing the service offered… Unfortunately, they must find enough suckers to make the spamming worth while. You must have a devoted email account for dealing with these spammers, using a real address would only provide a deluge of spam, as it would get sold as an active account… These people love proven active addresses.

  20. Wusthoff Wusthoff

    Great stuff! Ivan’s now switched to [email protected]. He’s one busy bee, good for him.

  21. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.

    Regardless, just wanted to say wonderful blog!

  22. This is brilliant! Just been emailed by Stella Fair and I’ve put her in touch with Donna 🙂

  23. Paul Paul

    If I was an SEO Spammer and had people run me around, I’d perform some pretty heavy negative SEO on their website (Yes, negative SEO can work), with a view to removing them completely from the rankings for their search terms.

    Just a heads up to anyone that tries this that relies on their website to generate them business !

  24. Vicki Vicki

    I was so excited to google a spammer’s name today and then find this….

  25. David David

    Ivan has been doing this for years now. There’s some suckers out there who actually fall for the scam.

    Another way you can spam Ivan is to do a google search for online marketing or seach engine optimization. Choose a shady company that promises the sky, and go to the contact us form asking for more info. And use Ivan’s name and email on the contact us form.

  26. Paul Paul

    Yet another change of email. Received the usual spam email today 11th April 2013 from [email protected]

  27. this guy is slamming my comments on my website with “We can increase rankings of your website in search engines. Please reply back for more details. BS” thanks for this post! I have followed you on twitter and want to report these trouble makers… Thanks for the great post! Lets take a stand against spammers!

  28. Jim Hill Jim Hill

    Just got an inquiry request from: [email protected]. Thanks for the heads up. I get about a dozen of these requests a week. They really should look at the coding on our web site and see things like rel=nofollow tags to see that we know a bit about SEO. Thanks, Jim

  29. Ash Ash

    Here is one I got today (normally I collect the IP location and time of the sender) as shown below:

    Date and Time: Monday – May.06.2013 – 02.16 AM Name: Stella Fair and IP:122.161.130.129 Email: [email protected] Phone: 0120120120 Message: It’s a fact: more people find out about your business on Facebook or Twitter than on search engines. Making these sites work maybe tricky for you, but it’s business as usual for us. Let us improve your visibility and enhance your image. It’s part of our complete Internet Marketing package. We’ll be more than your friends — we’ll be your partners.

    Tracing back the IP

    Country: India State/Region: Delhi City: New Delhi Latitude: 28.6 (28° 35′ 60.00″ N) Longitude: 77.2 (77° 11′ 60.00″ E)

  30. Ha ha ha…thanks so much for this…. has saved me so much time, I just googled Ivan Ballard and up popped your blog and well, I can’t thank you enough! I might just copy your email to him! Thanks, Trix

  31. Champyon Champyon

    I did a similar thing about 10 years ago with the Nigerian letter scammers. I told the first guy I was very interested in his “Business Proposal” (to give me $US105 Million!!!) but he needed to contact me at my private email address.

    I then gave him the second Nigerian letter scammer’s email address and vice versa.

    I got bored with that because I had no idea of what eventuated though I imagined the two guys sitting across the road from each other emailing the other.

    So, after that, each time I was contacted by a new Nigerian letter scammer, I asked him to send me a picture of his sister. If he asked why, which rarely happened, I explained that I found Nigerian women very attractive.

    I stopped that scam baiting after receiving 50 pictures!!

  32. I answered to Stella before I read your post LOL But what Great idea to hook them all up. Thanks

  33. Amteegee Amteegee

    I’d like to add [email protected] to the list of email addresses. Can’t be bothered to reroute and mess about so will just block the twat.

  34. BusyMumofTwo BusyMumofTwo

    The IP address 182.68.152.162 is INDIAN! Ivan Ballard? My arse!

  35. Got one from Ivan today. His e-mail is now [email protected] (40!!!!). I like the idea of spamming him back but a bit afraid that if he is pissed off he might be capable of hacking my account!

  36. Mark Mark

    Just had one from Stella Fair with yet another email address – [email protected] I might put her in touch with Ivan 🙂

  37. Keith Keith

    Here is is his latest effort,

    We can increase rankings of your website in search engines. Please reply back for more details. [email protected]

  38. Just started getting a few of these on a contact for I wrote myself. The form has a honeypot so if it is a bot, they have got wise to that trick. Easy for me to kill on the date field (no one is going to put today’s date on a band enquiry form) but annoying that he honeypot which has worked so well for years is now breached.

    Values submitted from web site form on Thursday 25th of July 2013 12:47:08 PM:

    Name: Donna Gabriel Telephone: 0120120120 Email: [email protected] Date of event: Thursday, 25 July, 2013 gigdate: 2013-07-25 venue: Internet Marketing Address: Seventh Street

    Postcode or town: 74127 Type of event: Performance Other information: Online Marketing of your business How found: We can increase rankings of your website in search engines. Please reply back for more details.

  39. Thanks for setting up this page, Matt. We own a lot of domain names and have have been bombarded with emails from Ivan Ballard too. Recently Donna Gabriel hast started to do the same. Very annoying. You would have thought that they would at least avoid sending multiple emails to the same address.

    Interesting that they use GMail.com addresses I have not yet found a place where I can report spamming email accounts to Google.

    Keep up the good work, Matt A

  40. This is hilarious…I’m going to try this as I just got an email from Donna Gabriel….I’m a Web Designer but I also do SEO and I would never advertise myself as an expert…no on is an expert at something that keeps changing….hec…even Google has trouble keeping track of its own changes with SEO.

    Thanks for the idea…this is great!!

  41. WebMaster WebMaster

    Donna Gabriel – [email protected]

    And surprisingly using Contact Form 7. Anyone know of a good way to block these with said contact form? Thanks!!!

  42. Dunno but perhaps we can get rid of those dreadful captchas no we know they don’t work?

  43. creamy creamy

    Ivan hit me from here: [email protected]

    IP: 182.68.212.142

    Origin: New Delhi, India

    Hostname: abts-north-dynamic-142.212.68.182.airtelbroadband.in ISP: Airtel Broadband Organization: Airtel Broadband

    Enjoy.

  44. Eddie Eddie

    Damn I wish I ‘d seen this before I replied to Ivan Ballard. I rather lamely pointed out that our website was already ranked no1 on Google, Bing and Yahoo ! and couldn’t see how he could improve on it.

  45. Charlotte Charlotte

    I got some details through our website’s contact form: Contact Form Response Email: [email protected] Contact Number: 0120120102 Message: We can increase rankings of your website in search engines. Please reply back for more details.

    And I’m very glad I googled the email address and found this! Very funny by the way…!

    Thing is I actually do need to get our website to appear on the 1st page of a search but will go legitimate not these guys!

    • There are two basic aspects to good SEO, the page itself and good inward links. You can make a very good start on the page by doing it yourself. Google do an excellent guide guide Do a search for “Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide PDF” Inward links is just hard graft. It’s all about getting people to link to your website, ideally by providing content that people will want to link to.

      • Charlotte Charlotte

        Thanks for your help Geoff, that document is certainly something to dig my teeth into! I have been doing a lot of work on our website recently and I’ve kept in mind the keywords etc, but hopefully this will help me too.

  46. Name: Donna Gabriel Message: We can increase rankings of your website in search engines. Please reply back for more details.

  47. John Lewis John Lewis

    Haha nice idea. Its a shame his SEO expertise brings this page up as #1. Funny that we haven’t found them already organically really, as he is so good at this. On a similar vain I’ve never used adwords and my organic position is just fine.

    Anyway his latest email permutation seems to be [email protected] – looks like he’s running out of people to screw! This is the only reason I see to change email addresses every 2 minutes.

    This idea reminds me of 419eater but you eat SPAM and SCAM in one fell swoop!

    Nicely 🙂

  48. Ivan Ballard is really pissing me off, he left his number this time so somebody please give this to a spammy ad agency give him a taste of his own medicine.

    [email protected] / 0120120120

  49. Adam Turvey Adam Turvey

    Tricked one of them into getting in touch same way you have – offer them a couple a grand budget and watch the guys from TOPRUNGSEO get in touch to discuss your seo needs.

  50. F Off Ivan F Off Ivan

    I’ve just asked him/it to f*ck off over the ode email. Used the address [email protected], let’s see what happens to the mailbox I’ve setup.

  51. TSE TSE

    This is a great post. Hysterical! We keep getting contacted by Donna Gabriel from [email protected] and phone number 0120120120. I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re contacted by ivan ballard is next.

  52. Roy Roy

    Hi Matt and All Ivan has a new email address [email protected] – just came in 8 AM on 10/23/2013

  53. Anna Anna

    This is amazing, I don’t think I’ve had the pleasure of hearing from Ivan but I hear from Stella Fair on an almost daily basis and have done for about a year, always with a different email address. I hear from her more than I hear from some good friends!

    Today’s is [email protected] but the message is still the same. She always says she’s from Arlington or Tulsa, which is odd enough as we’re based in the north of England!

  54. Matt Darlow Matt Darlow

    Hilarious, just had a request on the contact page on our site from IP 122.161.132.240 and [email protected] with phone number 0120120120 which was highly original.

    Shows as an IP in India and is really funny as it comes only a day after we have told a well known SEO company to stop contacting us as we do not require their services.

    I can smell the fish from here!

    It’s impossible to be an expert in something that evolves like SEO does, we do our own, we understand what we need to do and we learn at the same time so wouldn’t use someone else in a million years.

    I may well start the wild goose chase as we speak.

    Cheers!

  55. Paul Paul

    I’ve started asking for more details until they reveal their real email address and website.. then I take their email address and website, go to a few of those “submit your website to a bajillion directory/classifieds/search engines etc” sites and use their details to submit their website..

    Dual purpose.. each directory / classified / search engine they are submitted to send them a confirmation email… x 50,000+ clogs up their email address.. second purpose.. Google hates those links, so it ruins what little SEO they had on their site..

  56. Mike Mike

    I just copied your letter back and switched up the names. Love this.

  57. This is brilliant. Will start to do the same 🙂

  58. After some extra through about this I’m thinking I should write an extension to the brilliant “Contact Form 7” plugin for WordPress which would;

    1 – maintain that spammer list (I see them all the time with my clients & me) 2 – possibly automate the reply :o) (a bit too spammy???)

    Any thoughts?

  59. Bob Bob

    Ivan never gives up – Today’s email address is….. [email protected]

    Been gettingthese for years – and reply sometimes with the F**k Off Message, Sometimes I simply ask for more info.

  60. Matt Matt

    I came across this post because I “Googled” the email address of one of the spammers you have listed. I think I’ll borrow this idea and send her a message.

  61. Oliver Jobson Oliver Jobson

    By the way, Ivan Ballard and Donna Gabriel are the same organisation as they always use the same telephone number over a period of time. So don’t point either one at each other or your cunning plot will be exposed!

    I hard code this number in to the php script on the other end so that it ignores their attempts to use our form. Only need to change it every 3 months when they do. They account for 75% of the form spam that still gets through my filters so I’m happy with this.

  62. Paul Beal Paul Beal

    Donna Gabriel [[email protected]]

    This is the address that I received the usual spam from today. Just so you can update all the records and add this.

  63. Sam Sam

    Ha, ha – love this approach! We got so sick of these endless, unsolicited emails that we started listing their email, fake GMail account and in some cases SKype accounts and other contact details. We feel that by exposing them, at least some people might go a quick Google search when receiving these ‘amazing’ offers of Top 10 ranking and at least see that they are scams. When you receive these e-mails, if you have a moment feel free to list them at http://www.seospammersexposed.com

  64. I got the same email from “Donna Gabriel”, whose email address is [email protected]. I was not sure if the person was a real one, so I google the name and find this blog. It is so funny what Matt wrote. I love this approach. We should list their names and emails in this blog.

  65. Phoebe Phoebe

    I signed donna up to mailbait.info and she’ll now get so much spam her email will be unuseable. Any other spammers who contact me via my website with SEO shit will get the same treatment.

  66. so I just got an email from this Donna Gabriels, I’m so grateful for your post, thanks so much. But question, who are these people ?

    • Fabrizio Fabrizio

      Same e-mail received from Donna Gabriels that she wants a detailed plan for growing business together!! It’s SPAM clearly.

  67. Immanuel Immanuel

    LOL…. well “Donna Gabriels” definitely helped your SEO, since you are now ranking high on her name!

  68. i was about to go ahead with top rung seo is it 100% a scam? please help!

  69. shannon shannon

    Awesome! I just got an email from [email protected] asking if I wanted to grow my business! Great to know, thanks!

  70. We have been getting a message from Donna Gabriel (always a different gmail address) at least every 4 or 5 days for years now. Googling her name brings up complaints going back to 2010…

    I can’t believe people fall for this stuff but if this scam is still going on for so long, evidently enough of them do to make it worthwhile.

  71. K K

    Just got an email from Donna. Here are the fields she entered below. Wouldnt a real SEO company have a better company name than “Internet marketing”? Why would they have a gmail address instead [email protected]? My company was victim to fraud a while back, someone approached us via our website named Don Butler and he placed an order for pipe, but insisted we use his freight carrier for the delivery. Both fake companies had fake websites and working phone numbers. The “freight company” insisted on a wire as we were a new customer… took the money and run. Both fake companies are totally gone, no phone calls are answered, poof into thin air. BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR INTERNET INQUIRIES!

    Contact Information Company Internet Marketing First Name Donna Last Name Gabriel Location Address Seventh Street Address 2 Tulsa City Oklahoma State / Province Oklahoma Zip / Postal Code Phone Fax Email [email protected] Message Comments, questions or details about your request We can increase rankings of your website in search engines. Please reply back for more details.

    • Scott Scott

      Good post, and although it was some time ago, it’s interesting to note that you’ve allowed a spammer to post! (seo24). Incidentally, I have dealt with Ivan and Donna in a number of ways – one of the more satisfying being a ‘f**k off and die’ email. In addition I might point out to him/her/them that ‘no-one in their right mind would do business with someone with no website, uses a gmail account and has an obviously fake phone number! But no doubt some sucker somewhere gives them money…

  72. Got this from good ol donna today:

    Name: Donna Gabriel Donna Gabriel

    Email Address: [email protected]

    Subject: Want more customers?

    Message: Want more clients and customers? We will help them find you by putting you on the 1st page of Google. Email us back to get a full proposal.

  73. Good Work Matt Henderson, If you are serious about your writing, Write a Book: Get Published, Write Now! is as important a tool as your laptop or your pen. Do yourself a favor, and just buy it.

  74. WhoToListenTo WhoToListenTo

    Donna Gabriel is still going strong, got this one:

    “From: Donna Gabriel ([email protected]) Tel: 0130130130 Sent: 27 Mar 2014 Subject: Marketing suggestion for your website Message:

    Want more clients and customers? We will help them find you by putting you on the 1st page of Google. Email us back to get a full proposal.”

    I’m not condoning revenge spamming, but do what you like with their details above! 😉

  75. A manifesto for the future that is grounded in practical solutions addressing the world’s most pressing concerns: Email, Ivan Ballard, Link building plan & Email address.

  76. Guest Guest

    httht

  77. Excellent, I have found that every time I register a new domain name (which is quite often in my business) I get at least 50 unsolicited SEO Offer email. I will now use this strategy. Somehow, even though I make my domain info private, they find my email address and 24 hours later….! Bam, I’m inundated.

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