Webmaster's Spam


When I thought of writing this page and came up with a title I realized I have not seen the term "webmaster" for a while. On large sites, or where there is plenty of money, a team of specialists may work on a website. On this site, I do all my own front-end development, back-end development, web development, graphic design, SEO, analytics, writing, site design, coding, site design, project development and even run my own server so I am a webmaster. If it needs doing, or I want it done, then I do it myself.

It's my own Fault

I get quite a few emails about my site. Most of them are from people giving or asking for information. To make it easier for them I put an email address of mine on several pages - in clear, no JavaScript, forms or obscuration of any sort. The email address is also in the "author" metatag on the pages. I also did not pay for my email address to be hidden in whois listings which probably added to the amount of unsolicited email I was getting. Most registrars (2020) remove at least the email address from the whois listings.

The Spam

Everyone gets spam emails, it could be someone offering cheap erectile dysfunction medication, someone who for some reason just happened across millions of dollars just lying around they want to send you from some place you've never heard of, some long-lost relative who had a bucket of money they want you have, or whatever. Whether you call it spam or plain old unsolicited commerical email there are some types of email that webmasters and bloggers continually get...

SEO Spam

This is a very common type of email. Apparently something is very wrong with my website and it's not doing very well in Google and other search engine results. Somehow the people who write these emails will magically get my site at the top of the search engine results.

Here's part of two emails I received recently. Both are poorly written, obviously have no idea what the website is about and just as obviously scrapped my email address from somewhere, slapped it into a generic email and sent it.

SEO spam email

Above and below, parts of two SEO spam emails I received recently.

SEO spam email

My website isn't the best in the world, but my website is pretty eclectic as I write about some unusual subjects and my ranking in Google and other search engines is just fine.

This site's search result in Google for 'Bristol Castle'

This site's search result in Google for "Bristol Castle"

Guest Post Spam

I wouldn't really classify myself as a blogger. I write about things that interest as and when I can or want to. I still get emails from what are obviously mass emails from people who have no idea what any of the website is about telling me that they can write an interesting article for me. I am sure that there are some very good guest bloggers around and real bloggers appreciate their work, but it seems they are plagued by guest post spam as well.

One I received in November 2020, offered to write on a range of subjects, but none of those matched anything on the site. This is one I received in December 2020, offering an article on outdoor barbecues. What would I do with that?

SEO spam email

Back Link Spam

In 1999, when I first started this site, search engines had been around for a couple of years but were still in their infancy.

What I did, like many others at the time, was create a page of links to websites I found useful or interesting. That page has not been updated for years but I get quite a few people emailing me saying such and such a link is broken - after nearly 20 years I'm not surprised - and saying they have the perfect replacement. I don't have much intention of updating the page at all, but I do look at all of them. As with the other types of spammy emails I get, most are cookie-cutter and most lead to link farms or some page on a site that was taken form elsewhere, dumped on that site and once I link to it will probably disappear. One I received in November 2020, included nine links they wanted on my page but their own site was just a holding page.

Domain Name Registration Spam

There are two types of this. One is known as "Domain Slamming." This is an email that appears to come from your domain name registrar saying your domain names are about to expire and asking for payment to renew them. In reality, the email is not from your actual registrar but from another and they will either still steal your login information or the email is a domain transfer form in diguise, in which case you will probably lose your domain names.

A second type is where an email claims someone has tried to bulk register domain names similar to yours but with different top level domains (TLDs) such as .CN. What these people do is try to get you to trgister these domain names to protect them or offer to stop the other person from registering them, for a fee of course.

Here's one I received recently...

China TLD email

Search Engine Inclusion Spam

This is similar to SEO spam but in this you receive an email that looks like an invoice for payment from some company that has added your site to a bunch of search engines, some of which do not even exist. As an added bonus some of them will even say your site may disappear off of the main search engines if the fake invoice is not paid.

This page created November 15, 2020; last modified December 2, 2020