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SEO Spam From Cork

Posted in: General,Search Engine Optimisation,Statistics by Richard Hearne on October 17, 2006
Internet Marketing Ireland

[UPDATE] I am removing references to the company in question who have informed me that the email was sent in good faith, that the recipient email address was found manually, and that the same email was not sent to other companies.

To everybody who commented, I have also removed references within your comments. Sorry – I very much appreciate your comments and would rather never censor this blog, but I’m quite sure the lesson has been learnt and there is little to be gained by ostracising the company in question any further.


After a very fruitful week in Holland I arrived back today to this gem of an e-mail from the kind [REMOVED] spammers:

Dear Business,

Hope all is well. We are a Cork based web design company who offer a variety of services. Your company may be interested in our Search Engine Optisation service where we submit your website every four weeks for a year to all the major search engines.

We can also optimise certain keywords you want to come up on searches.

If you would like to find out more about this service please log onto http://www.[REMOVED].net/search_engines.html

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind Regards

The above was sent to the public e-mail address of my sister’s catering company. I created the website a few years back and have been adding links ever since (it’s showing it’s age and certainly doesn’t represent my best efforts at on-page optimisation – a new super-duper website is in the pipeline as I write).

But I digress. Back to the original e-mail. While they *may* have manually collected the mail address (I seriously doubt it, and if they did surely they would take a quick look at the rankings?), addressing your sales-related e-mail to “Dear Business” doesn’t tick any of my boxes.

I particularly like the misspelling of the word “Optisation”:

our Search Engine Optisation [sic] service where we submit your website every four weeks for a year to all the major search engines

and to be fair I should add:

We can also optimise certain keywords you want to come up on searches.

Personally I find the above [REMOVED] e-mail just about as annoying as another beauty that’s doing the spamming rounds:
The webs finest SEO spammers
(If you want to see a magic trick entitled “How to Disappear £149 in 2 Easy Steps” these guys can show you.)

But back again to the [REMOVED] SEO spammers

As a professional courtesy I did check out some of the claims on the page the e-mail lands on. Some stand up, some are slightly fickle (e.g. ‘pages from Ireland’ only) while others have very dubious keyword selections [REMOVED].

And what about Amitan?

How about 40-50 search referrals per day. Here’s some ranking & visitor statistic reports generated earlier (click to enlarge):
Amitan Rankings 17 October 2006 Visits Filtered for 'Ireland' 16 Aug - 16 Oct 2006 Visits Filtered for 'caterer' 16 Aug - 16 Oct 2006 Visits Filtered for 'catering' 16 Aug - 16 Oct 2006 Visits Filtered for 'Dublin' 16 Aug - 16 Oct 2006

Lessons to be learnt?

Lesson #1
Don’t spam people with SEO offers – it’s bad for recipients, it’s bad for your reputation, and most of all, it’s bad for the SEO industry.

Lesson #2
If you want to judge the results of any particular SEO company ask them about the traffic levels generated as well as the rankings achieved.


PS – did anyone else get this email from [REMOVED]?

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  1. Nope, nothing from them yet. But we try to keep our email addresses encoded on our pages or not visible at all.

    This still really grinds my gears. It’s scum and its illegal. If they were serious about SEO they would KNOW that spamming is not the way.

    I wonder what sort of ROI they got on their spam software. God I hope it’s nothing.

    Comment by Dave — October 18, 2006 @ 10:01 am

  2. And of course I hope this post doesn’t *cough* happen to show up on any of [REMOVED] SERPs :mrgreen:

    Comment by Richard Hearne — October 18, 2006 @ 11:01 am

  3. :) I hope this post doesn’t show up for [REMOVED] or anything related to cork web design at all. ;)

    Uggg, they even use source comment spam. How…. 2002. Just gives me more of a kick do do better the whitehat way.

    Comment by Dave — October 18, 2006 @ 11:10 am

  4. I wrote a huge comment about this post but FireFox crashed…DOH! Actually, maybe it was for the better as I did go a bit to indepth on [REMOVED]‘s SEO skills (who am I to talk?).

    Just a quick note, I hate spam, I hate Irish spam even more but what worse? Irish SEO Spam!

    Comment by Gavin — October 18, 2006 @ 11:35 pm

  5. And the power of the blog (& Google) to hurt your brand:


    I wonder how long it takes them to notice?

    Comment by Richard — October 20, 2006 @ 9:26 am

  6. The seo company you are talking about who is based in Cork are an excellent search engine optimisation company. Their track record is excellent. Also I would like to clarify that they are NOT spammers. Spam is the repeated and unsolicited email of viagra, porn and filth. This company were probably genuinly trying to help that company who were emailed. Please remember who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. In my opinion [REMOVED] are an excellent company who help Irish Businesses as much as possible to succeed over the internet and on the search engines. I wish them the best of luck, come on Cork! The Rebel County!

    Comment by Steve — October 20, 2006 @ 9:50 pm

  7. Hi Steve.
    According to wikipedia, Spamming is the abuse of electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited, undesired bulk messages.

    That is EXACTLY what Richard described.

    If they are so great and you are so sure that they do such great, would you care to share your URL? Something about the language in your comments suggests you are from corkweb. I may be wrong.

    Comment by Dave — October 20, 2006 @ 10:03 pm

  8. Steve

    If someone from [REMOVED] were to wander over here and say ‘yep we sent the email, we probably shouldn’t have sent it, but we were genuinely trying to help that company out’ I think it would be far better in terms of any future client of theirs who, in the process of doing some normal background checks on the company, might just use this [REMOVED] search query and find this post.

    Now that’s just my opinion and seen as how you seem to be quite intimate with [REMOVED] I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether or not to mention it to them.

    Thanks for your post



    Comment by Richard Hearne — October 20, 2006 @ 10:32 pm

  9. Richard & Dave,

    Having being informed by an associate of your published page, we would be very interested in your full name and contact details so we can take appropriate steps.

    Your published blog is illegal and is a deformation against [REMOVED].

    We would ask that you remove the page immediatley before further action is taken. You have no relationship with corkweb and any further deformation will be delt with according to the law.

    Comment by Web Master — October 21, 2006 @ 9:18 am

  10. Hi Web Master (sorry I don’t know your real name)

    My name and contact details are very easy to find I hope – you can go to about me to get my name, and the contact information can be found in the CONTACT tab next to SERVICES in the upper fold.

    I have the following relationship with [REMOVED]:

    I am a director of Amitan Limited.
    An unsolicited e-mail was sent to sales [ AT ] amitan.ie from an email address on the [REMOVED] domain offering SEO services.

    If you are from [REMOVED] and believe that this email was forged or that your email address was spoofed please let me know and I will remove the post.

    If you believe that any part of this page is either illegal or defamatory please get in touch with me and we can discuss your claim with a view to removing the page.

    Best rgds

    Richard Hearne
    info [ AT ] redcardinal [ DOT ] ie
    086 8188480

    Comment by Richard Hearne — October 21, 2006 @ 10:07 am

  11. Oh sorry I forgot to mention:

    Dave did not publish this page, I did.



    Comment by Richard Hearne — October 21, 2006 @ 10:08 am

  12. Spamming is a lazy replacement for proper marketing.

    Comment by Michele — October 22, 2006 @ 10:51 pm

  13. Hahahaha, they spam you and then threaten you when you complain. You shouldn’t have censored the name.

    Comment by Georgie — October 23, 2006 @ 12:18 am

  14. Georgie

    There are quite a few breadcrumbs so it shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out who they are (jut like your site is georgiecasey.com ;-)).

    I spoke to the offender a few times and I think it’s fair to say that they are very, very unlikely to send out similar e-mails any time soon :mrgreen:

    Comment by Richard Hearne — October 23, 2006 @ 9:15 am

  15. Hey, I get 2 of them a day! If you man those blue emails, taht quote your domain name, and offer ‘wondres’.

    At the biginning I had problems getting them controlled by the spam filter, so I actaully called the phone number. I remember it was the UK and the Irish number at teh bottom. No one ever answered. I only wanted to ask them to remove all my emails from tehir lists.

    I am still getting them today. The ‘Blue SEO Wonder emails’. Fortunatelly they do nto change the text so it is quite easy to get tehm in the Junk Folder directly.

    Comment by NOjobs — October 28, 2006 @ 6:20 pm

  16. Hi jobs

    I’m really happy when people comment on my blog. It gives me a warm feeling inside. I even give FOLLOW links from the blog posts :)

    But I think you went the wrong side of cynical when you gave your name. Just a wee bit too obvious for me. Sorry.

    So to make things better and give me that lovely warm feeling inside again I added in the NO but left the FOLLOW :mrgreen:

    Thanks for posting

    Comment by Richard Hearne — November 2, 2006 @ 8:26 pm

  17. Cheers!

    A hyphen between ‘NO’ and ‘Jobs’ might be helpful, but this is another discussion…

    Much obliged,
    Irish Recruiter

    Comment by NOjobs — December 15, 2006 @ 2:19 pm

  18. No problem

    In fact I’ve obliged you again.

    But to make up I’ll offer you one piece of completely free advice: you currently have 4 verions of your homepage available to the public. That’s 3 versions caught under dupe filters and 4 versions sharing pagerank. Maybe you need some SEO help?

    Comment by Richard Hearne — December 15, 2006 @ 2:31 pm

  19. I believe CORK is currently haunting on Yahoo Answers and is still plying his trade. The person makes outlandish claims and is laughable. Thankyou for bringing this to our attention and you are spot on with your comments. By the way, I cannot believe how many times I keep coming back here. Man you provide some good stuff. Keep it up.

    Comment by Terry — March 13, 2007 @ 12:07 pm

  20. [...] I get my share of spam at Red Cardinal. Generally I just delete the crap left by ‘kind’ spammers (like Cork Web Design Spammers), but occasionally I do a little digging to see what some of the particularly nasty spammers are at. More about spammers a little later – but first, let me tell you what I think of ‘Long Copy’. [...]

    Pingback by A Dose Full of Comment Spam, Long Copy Referrer Pages & SEO Tools - What Do YOU Think? | Search Engine Optimisation Ireland .:. Red Cardinal — April 7, 2007 @ 2:08 pm

  21. [...] (I wonder if I’ll meet the nice Cork web design guy?) Bookmark this post: [...]

    Pingback by I Blame It On The Lego | Search Engine Optimisation Ireland .:. Red Cardinal — April 7, 2007 @ 2:08 pm

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