Dubious Link Selling Requests

In the last two weeks I’ve gotten a spate of similarly worded emails asking me about selling links on some of my blogs. I don’t know what is happening to the market, but this is the second strange email chain I’ve been getting. This new one goes something like this, invariably they contact me through the contact us section of the blog and they try get you to add a paragraph at the end of existing posts which contain 5-7 links. All the of these emails tend to come from different @googlemail.com or @hotmail.com email addresses. Because they are not telling who they are, i.e. what is the company behind this, I started to think it was a scam. If it was any respectable company, they would have used an email address from their domain that you could at least visit.


The Request to Sell Links

So the typical email looks like: Hi,

This is XXXX and I am interested in purchasing space for text link advertisement on your website internal pages .Let me know if you are interested and I can offer you a superb proposal which will definitely be worth your time. I shall look forward to your reply.

Regards,

XXXX

The email address that this request came from was an @googlemail.com. I guessed that this is coming from an non-English company, as they referred to me as Mr. Becky. This is a typical mistake of people who don’t speak English as a native language. I did check into the IP address of the submitted contact forms, and I saw that they were all coming from a .net.pk domain. This would mean that they are somewhere in Pakistan.
I followed up on one of the many emails I received to see if I could find out what these people were talking about. One of the emails said that they represented a company called 1-HIT SEO Services www.1-hit.com which is registered to a young man in Bristol, Britain called Shahzad Shahnawaz. I also wanted to know how much they were offering :). I learned that they were willing to pay me between $15-$20 for a paragraph of text that would go at the end of my existing posts. This is what they said about the paragraph that they would insert (note the misspellings are theirs, not mine):

  • Paragraphs would be around 125 words and there will be 5 to 7 links on each paragraph and one paragrah for one page only.
  • Site owner can have the text link ads changed or edited through me .
  • Owner will place paragraph in the middle/end of site contents but above the footer.
  • Money transfer is according to the site’s owner ease.

They even went as far as to show me what the text would look like on a real advertisers page. Here is one example :

text link spams

So here a lot of keywords are linked to various different sites. The style of the page doesn’t even fit in with the pages, see here for yourself. The topic of the ads isn’t inline with the ‘real content’, and the copy for these are worded in poor English. They use “To start with look for a cheap company that sell domains”, shouldn’t that be sells instead of sell ? Maybe you think these guys are looking to manipulate their rankings for this keyword ? Of course they are ! They are targeting the keyword “sell domains“, as well as many other in this post.

Since starting to write this, I’ve received yet another request. And they told me about other examples, namely : www.LindseyWebdesign.com & www.Fingersdontfing.com.

another spam links example

To me it is clear that these are SPAM links, but I wonder how many normal visitors are tricked by these tactics ? I’m guessing/hoping that the search engines find these sites and penalize them !

SEO & Selling Links

When I mentioned that such a paragraph would be very blatant for Google and other search engines to detect, the response was that he was only putting his sites in jeopardy , and not mine ! Clearly this SEO doesn’t know much about the business he is talking about. These links would be very easily detected as some attempt at paid links by Google, and for the ratio of money to links that that this guy was offering I had to decline. Someone would have to pay me alot more than $2.50-$3 per link to risk what I have accomplished on my blogs.

Private Link Sales

I don’t have anything against people selling private links, i.e. some links on their blog roll, hell I’ve done it myself. But what I do think is slightly more blackhat SEO (i.e. Evil SEO) is this type of link selling. These kind of underhanded tactics may bring you some money in the short term, but in the long run you are risking alot. Think twice before you accept some little fee for these types of links. There are alot better and safer ways to make money online, i.e. like referring people to certain products and selling something through an affiliate deal. You can even stay on the whiter side of things by doing reviews of things related to your blog and make money that way. Reconsider before you accept money for links on your site, especially from people like these. You may regret it when you start to loose position in the SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Positions). Be careful out there !

10 thoughts on “Dubious Link Selling Requests

  1. Hi Catherine, I’m sure it’s alot more than what they were offering to pay me 😀 SEOs can get crazy money ! If I was using this company I would be very mad at their tactics.

    In the cases I followed up their requests, they always upped their offer by 25% when I declined their prices.

  2. Oh my god, Becky. I received this exact request, the one that contains the links to Lindsay Web Design.

    The offer to me was to place a paragraph on some of my blog posts, with links to their aff sites. The rate offered to me was $10 per paragraph.

    I was going to do it, the only reason i have yet not done it, was because the info was sent to me in an Excel spreadsheet i cannot open.

    Do you think this is a scam? I too am skeptical because the person would not reveal who they are connected with. I tried getting a company name, and rec’d no response.

    I guess it is not worth the SERP risk, im not doing it. Im so glad you posted this.

    Missy.

  3. I’m glad I found this entry of yours. I received the same requests, and was pretty confused as to what they were. Thanks for the insight into how these would kill SEO!

    Cheers,
    AR

  4. Hi,
    Whats wrong with that guy and their text links?
    I got money and thats cool while the stuff they provided me was very cool and well enhanced in my blog pages.Please dont plute them, to earn money is everybody’s right and what Google itself doing? Google wants its own monopolistic authority on whole web market places and thats not fair at all.

    Please open the world to all and equal opertunities for business and money.
    Best,
    Daniel.

  5. It seems suspcious to me, Daniel, that if your site was “well enhanced” by these ads that you wouldn’t list you site in your comment. It also seems highly suspicious that I responded the gentlemen trying to buy links on my site with this page, and mere hours later a comment defending this company (written in the same poor English) appears on this site.

    You’re right, it is everyone’s right to make money. But you didn’t respond to any of Becky’s concerns that this would ruin one’s search result rankings. And given the suspicious nature of your comment, I’m inclined to believe you’re on the payroll for these link brokers.

    I received the same examples that Becky did, and if you honestly think they increased the value of your page, you are sorely mistaken.

    AR

  6. Thanks for this! I was just pondering that decision a while ago, when I following a trackback from one of the “example” sites, and it led me here. I flatly rejected them after reading this.

  7. You know, I got these same emails back in Jan/Feb but I didn’t just take them at face value as being a scam to screw up your SERP, I turned it around on the scammer. Since I work as an email administrator, I’m used to scambaiting and phishbaiting so I just took this person for a ride. I was asking about pay-outs, percentages, the marketing, affiliates, partnerships, network distribution and market reach, niche penetration, all sorts of stuff. After two replies back (which were nearly identical copies of each other), they stopped replying probably because they realized I wasn’t falling for the scam. I wanted to keep scambaiting but they didn’t want to.

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