Category Archives: SEO

P-P-Pick up a Penguin Penalty in Google

Are you looking for a way to destroy your website’s rankings in Google? Have you heard about this ‘Google Penguin’ thing and thought to yourself ‘I need that to hit my website too’?

You have? You’re in luck; Paolo Lorenzo Milardi has just what you’re looking for. He emailed me today and offered some paid links using keyword anchor text. His offer is great – completely screw up your website in Google for a small fee.

He says he already does this for other SEO agencies… so some lucky clients out there are Continue reading P-P-Pick up a Penguin Penalty in Google

Another list of spammy web directories

A quick rant, as I’m tired and bored.

A big part of doing what I do these days is removing links to clients’ websites and, while it’s not too difficult, it is bloody annoying – especially when you uncover a client who has had SEO before from someone else and their link profile is a web (if you pardon the pun) of spam and rubbish.

All of the following domains are on the same IP address,, and they’re all the same dodgy-arse crap directories. Whoever owns these damn sites (Ashwani Kumar, I checked) could you please wipe these stains off the Internet so I Continue reading Another list of spammy web directories

Craig Schwartz threatens me with legal action if I don’t remove links to his website

I have just received an email from the legal department of some sex aid related website threatening me with legal action if I don’t remove links from one of my sites. I can’t believe the bare faced cheek of some people.

Naturally I’m not doing it, and I’m publishing the legal threat too. Enjoy.

From: []
Sent: 11 April 2014 13:07
To: ***@*******.net
Subject: Removal of disclaimer links from the


My name is Craig Schwartz and I am duly authorized to Continue reading Craig Schwartz threatens me with legal action if I don’t remove links to his website

SEO companies who use spam link building techniques damage the industry

Lately I have found myself spending more time removing links for clients than doing anything else, and it’s given me more of an insight into the lengths some dodgy SEO companies have gone to over the years in building links for their clients in the first place. Some seriously unethical people, claiming to be SEO experts, seem to have dedicated their time to building networks of spam websites, filled with shoddy content, solely for the purpose of linking to their clients in a bid to boost their rankings. The sad part is that this will have worked once upon a time. Now however, with Google getting much better at identifying links which exist purely for the practice of boosting someone’s rankings, these dodgy links actually Continue reading SEO companies who use spam link building techniques damage the industry

Awful Guest Post Request Emails

Over the years I have received a vast number of guest post, or article exchange request, emails from people. The vast majority of these I just delete but, given the emphasis Google is now placing on identifying poor quality links, I felt I should share one I received today in the hope it stops at least one person from taking up one of these ‘offers’.

The below email comes in two parts, as many of these spam requests do, appearing to be an original email I have received and a follow up email. This is a clever trick to make the recipient think they’ve entered into conversation with the sender already. I haven’t, it’s just spam.

You will notice the name of the sender is Indian, and the email address used is a free one at Gmail. The better educated among you will also notice the grammar in the email is poor. This always surprises me actually. If you’re going to the trouble of sending out thousands of spam emails looking for links on websites, you could at least ensure your own email is written properly. A little effort up from would save a lot of wasted effort in sending the emails. But anyway, I’m glad they don’t as it makes it even more obvious to spot.

You can also see the sender has requested a link on, but the email didn’t come through the contact form. No, it came through the info@ email address. This again is a red flag because it shows someone has sent that email on spec to info@, hoping it exists and someone will receive it. They haven’t ‘gone through the site’ at all, and I’m sure they don’t ‘appreciate your hard work’.

Please, I implore you, if you receive emails such as this don’t reply and don’t take them up on it; just delete them. It won’t help your website’s rankings, it’ll have the opposite effect.


I hope you are doing well. I believe you receive my previous mail. For the time being am sending few sites of mine.

Sites are:
“ ”

Please send me your feedback as soon as possible so that I can start writing article which will  be suitable for your site ” “.

Waiting for your kind response.

Thanks & regards,
Basij Lorena

And the ‘original’ email…

On Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 10:10 AM, Basij Lorena <> wrote:

I am Lorena member of financial domains on debt, loan, mortgage and other various finance topics. Today, while searching for a suitable blog, I just come across yours. I have gone through it and found it very resourceful. I must appreciate your hard work.

It will be my pleasure if I can contribute some quality content  for your site ” ” each of my content will be analytical and relevant . If you wish, you can suggest few topics on which you would like me to write. Not only that, I will give you the total right to edit the article and modify it as per your needs.

In return, I would gladly place your articles in my websites. This mutual content exchange will help our websites to get more targeted visitors.

Let me know your thoughts.
Waiting for your positive reply.

Thanks & regards,
Basij Lorena

Demystifying SEO

We’ve just added a new infographic to our Engage Web website on demystifying SEO. It aims to explain many of the aspects of SEO and what is involved in the process, using the concept of a car on the open the road. Without demystifying the windscreen you won’t see where you’re going, and this demystifies the SEO process.

Let me know what you think.

Engage Web's Demystifying SEO Infographic
Courtesy of Engage Web

100 spam websites operated by black hat SEO firm

As an SEO, there’s nothing annoys me more than supposed SEO companies ripping off their clients by building spam links. It’s against Google’s TOS, it’s unethical, it’s black hat and, perhaps worse, it causes problems for the client further down the line – sometimes years down the line after they’ve ended their relationship with the spam company. If a website gets penalised at this stage there’s little they can do about it because the spam SEO company is unlikely to assist by removing the offending links. With Google’s Penguin update, this is an all too common occurrence as well.

Seeing as it annoys me so much (and gives SEO a bad name) I thought I’d help out any webmasters by highlighting one or two (OK, one hundred) websites owned by the same SEO company which are used for nothing more than building spam links. If you have a link from one, many or all of these websites show up in your link profile you may want to get them removed ASAP as your site could very well find itself penalised very soon.

So, in alphabetical order, here are 100 spam websites used by a black hat spam link building company. You’ll start to recognise a theme as you scan the URLs, as they all look pretty much the same, feature much the same content, are all hosted on the same hosting provider and all link to each other.

UK SEO company uses my website for forum spam

I received an email last week, through one of my other websites, from a company that specialises in e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes are electronic cigarettes that are used to help quit smoking, as they’re better for you than smoking real cigarettes and you can even smoke them in pubs and bars as they don’t actually produce real smoke (many produce a vapour). Anyhow, I digress; a firm that sells these e-cigarettes contacted me because of the recent Google updates that crack down on dodgy links, spam links and irrelevant links. It seems one of my websites has been linking to their website in an act of SEO spam… me? Surely not!

Indeed not, as SEO spam isn’t something I engage in. However, many other people who claim to offer SEO services aren’t so ethical, and a Transformers forum I run had been used by this firm’s SEO company to build dodgy links. A profile had been created on the forum, linking to the e-cigarette website in the home page field of the profile.


This is a common spam practice and one that many dodgy link builders and spammers have used for many years. Spam link builders will create profiles on forums, adding links to the target of their SEO, and often never intended to even post a single thread. It’s one of the easiest ways to build worthless links, and one of the lowest pieces of link building spam.

Anyhow, the e-cigarette firm ( by the way) asked me to remove the link as they were aware of Google cracking down on this kind of spam. Their request stated:

Google has recently made some major changes to their algorithm and we are taking action to remove certain links in order to keep within their Webmaster Guidelines moving forwards. As a result of this action please can you remove the link from your page and let me know when it’s been removed.

This all seemed fair enough. They had probably received a notification from Google about unnatural links and, as Google requested, were trying to get them removed. In our mutual interests I have removed the link by deleting the profile, but I did ask them which SEO company they used and who was responsible for this spam. They stated it was – an SEO company based in Birmingham, run by a chap named Steve Hill.

Steve – this spam link to was only added in March, so whether you’re building these links yourself or (as is more likely) outsourcing to someone offshore to do them, you really need to change your link building tactics. Things have moved on quite a bit in the field of SEO, and spamming the crap out of one of my forums isn’t going to get you anywhere.