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Lately, I've been getting emails for my work email address from SEO scammers. Some examples look like this:

Hi,
Hope you are doing well there!
Would you like to increase the traffic of your website?
Would you like to be listed at the top of Google for multiple search phrases (keywords) relevant to your products or services?
Contact us for the best quote for your website & we will guarantee to rank your website on the (1st page of Google) we provide a complete solution for your Online Business.
Kind Regards,
FirstName,
Digital Marketing Expert

Since our security policy says to just report and ignore them, I can't exactly reply to them. From what I Googled, articles like these just explains how my email was found out or that the service they provide are sub-optimal. But how do these scams work exactly? How are their SEO service different than a legit SEO service?

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    we will guarantee to rank your website on the (1st page of Google) Ignoring the strangeness of putting it inside parenthesis, you can't actually guarantee this; generally, you can only - probably - raise the website's rank. A number of tactics these people use result in only temporary gains, and may actually hurt your rank long-term. In other words, they're selling a service they don't competently (or actually, in some cases), perform. So, regular fraudsters. – Clockwork-Muse Nov 29 '18 at 18:43
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It's entirely likely that these aren't scams but rather just spam for a semi-legitimate service. Either way, they could take your money and either do some amount real SEO work or do nothing (in which case it would be a scam) and it'd be hard to judge whether or not work was actually done since SEO simply attempts to increase traffic to your site, thus using SEO techniques may not always work and likewise traffic may increase after SEO for a completely different reason. It's also possible they could use click-farming to make it seem like the "SEO" was effective in the short-term (whether or not they actually did anything).

Another possibility here is that they will ask for credentials to access your site to "do the SEO" and start using it to host phishing pages and malware, but I doubt this is likely. I'd imagine it's merely spam along the same lines of online pharmacies or "green coffee"-like miracle products: there is an actual product being sold in most cases, but the business and advertising practices are wrong.

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Typically these services will try to improve your SEO by attempting to trick Google. For instance they will attempt to put a ton of keywords in your website's HTML that they think will make it rank higher. Google is generally aware of these tactics and they will actually bring down your ranking in many scenarios, so I'd advise against it.

protected by Community Jul 25 at 12:21

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