Funny Email: Anyone Who Outranks MY Clients is Unethical ;)

I just came across one of the funnier SEO emails I have ever read. When I shared it with my wife we both laughed out loud, so I thought I would share it with you. Personally identifiable information has been removed to protect the guilty.

___________ are looking for sites that would be interested in publishing content on behalf of a number of the UK's major brands, including the likes of ________ and _________ and ___.

For a site such as ___________ we'd be prepared to pay up to £30 per article a month, every month, depending on the nature of the agreement.

Naturally, you would have a say in what content is placed on your site, we would simply provide you with useful, accurate and well written content.

To see how the links might look on your home page please visit _____________ (the articles are near the bottom of the page under the title ‘___________’).

The reason we are looking to pursue this relationship with you is because there are a number of sub-standard websites that are ranking higher in the search engines than our clients for their own products by using unethical techniques. It is our intention to address this imbalance and is why we are willing to compensate you on a monthly basis for the publishing of our content and links to our client's sites on your site.

If you feel this is an opportunity that you are willing to discuss further or if you have any questions about this proposition then please feel free to contact me.

________ _______, Media Buyer

Generally by the time an SEO is experience enough to be working with Fortune 500s and big brands they are smarter than to buy into the bogus ethics debate. But what was funny is the ethical links they were buying in the example site were not even for brand related queries...some of the anchor text was for core category keywords like life insurance and loans. :)

It was pretty stupid for them to publish their clients (and a published site with link buying examples) in that email. If I would have fully published it without redacting information that probably would have made their rankings a bit worse ;)

That SEO firm claims to be award winning...I shall send them an email asking if they seek nomination for the worst link request email award.

Published: September 16, 2008 by Aaron Wall in marketing


September 16, 2008 - 1:45pm

This is hilarious Aaron.. you could easily kill a companies reputation by publicizing their "dooh" moments, and in the this case maybe even have the client company seek legal action against the SEM firm for implementing techniques that go against Google's Guidelines, if they weren't aware of the SEM Firm doing such.

September 16, 2008 - 1:47pm

I got the same email last week naming their clients. And, yes, they are a very big, very well known agency in the UK...

Patrick Altoft
September 16, 2008 - 1:51pm

Aaron I think you should have published the email in full.

September 16, 2008 - 2:24pm

I had the very same email to one of my tourist information portals last week. I sent an email back to them asking what he thought Google's view on his request would be and he wrote "Hi Lee,

Google itself dislikes paid linking and that is precisely the reason why I’ve contacted you. The bottom line is that links result in rankings and the best way to get them is to pay for them. However, recognising that the best way to get links is to buy them, our approach is to not pay for links but to pay for content opportunities that will allow us to seamlessly link to our clients (as well as other good sites) as naturally as possible whilst maintaining a site’s editorial integrity.

If you have any more questions please feel free to get back to me.

I was pretty shocked at that statement. O

September 16, 2008 - 2:53pm

@ patrick

A quick search for some of the emails text in quotes should come up with the full similar email.

SPAM = sites positioned above mine

September 16, 2008 - 3:16pm

Pretty funny...around the time of the BMW incident this same righteous firm used the marketing angle of "exposing unethical search tactics," offering a form on their site where companies can submit sites for review so these people can play moral police.

sorry to say, but those people were (and still are) pieces of trash.

September 16, 2008 - 6:17pm

Don't think they are too worried about being exposed since they are spamming public sites... 2nd comment

September 17, 2008 - 11:25am

I thought everyone knew that Greenlight were spamming? I saw them get a website penalised for hosting their dodgy crap.

September 17, 2008 - 11:55am

hmm... send them a link to Rands latest whiteboard

you live and learn lol

September 18, 2008 - 10:49am

I agree with Patrick. I see no reason not to publish the whole email in full. I realise it is out there on a couple of sites, but these Greenlight guys are giving the rest of us a bad name. Name and shame I say!

I wonder if they're right about Alliance & Leicester (a UK "bank") being one of their customers. I've seen what looked like suspicious behavior previously from A&L, so I wouldn't put it past them.

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