Dear Neal Stone, SEO Spammer

Dear Neal Stone, Executive Vice President of Natural Listings:

Today you sent me an email:

Dear Website Owner,

If I could get you five times the RELEVANT traffic at a substantially reduced cost would you be interested? National Positions can place your website on top of the Natural Listings on Google, Yahoo and MSN. Our Search Engine Optimization team delivers more top rankings than anyone else and we can prove it. We do not use “link farms” or “black hat” methods that Google and the other search engines frown upon and can use to de-list or ban your site. The techniques are proprietary, involving some valuable closely held trade secrets. Our prices are less than half of what other companies charge.

I would be happy to send you a proposal using the top search phrases for your area of expertise. Please contact me at your convenience so I can start saving you some money. Please do not hesitate to email or call me if you would like further information.

Sincerely,
Neal Stone
Executive Vice President

National Positions
26500 W. Agoura Road
Suite 102-547
Calabasas, California 91302

Phone – 866-669-8789 x106
Toll Free – 866.446.2885
neal@seolinkstore.com
Profitable Internet Marketing

Now, this might come across as a bit cruel, but I think what I have to say is for the best to the Web community in general, and I hope you are able to take my words as constructive criticism and change your evil ways. It seems you may have been at the SEO game for a while now, but the search engines which you know intimately, only seem to highlight reports of your spamming, Neal Stone (a spammer).

I believe Search Engine Optimization is a necessary job, and I agree that we need experts to help out. It’s people like you, however, that give SEO a bad name. Here’s a short list of some of the things you are doing wrong.

  1. It’s odd that an Executive Vice president would email me out of the blue. It almost makes me think you’re running your operation by yourself out of the spare bedroom.
  2. An SEO company should not have to spam the whois database to find clientèle. Kinda ironic, don’t you think? The Google webmaster guidelines specifically say not to pay attention to your brand of cold calls.
  3. You say you don’t use link farms, yet a vast amount of links to your own site are from link exchanges or your own clients. Again, the Google guidelines are clear that a site should never have to link to an SEO. Seriously, how can you say you don’t encourage link farms with your email address listed as neal@seolinkstore.com [<-Spambots, engage!]
  4. There’s no such thing as proprietary SEO strategies. The proven methods are published by the search engines themselves; everything else is a gimmick that may work for a short time, but in the long run will get your site penalized or delisted.
  5. Your own website is a travesty SEO-wise. The HTML does not validate. You don’t even have an <html> tag! You have antiquated, table-based layout. The page is over 4MB in size from 35 requests. Your CSS has pointless, semantically irrelevant names because you barfed it out with Dreamweaver. Are you the only site stuck in 1997? No, but I’m pointing out these problems because there’s no way I could ever view you as an SEO expert with a site like that.
  6. Comment Spam. Really?

So, either get legit, or at least be honest with your scummy practices and go blackhat. In the meantime, good luck promoting your work in the search engines. Your reputation is as clean as the bathroom floor after a frat party.

Sincerely,
John Herren, Website Owner

[UPDATE] It just gets better. Neal emails me again just two days later for the same domain, this time using web_neal@yahoo.com as his email address.  And yeah, I did send him a link to this post as soon as it was up.

About John Herren

John Herren is a developer and technical consultant with focus on web applications. He currently serves as Director of Development for Primetime US, the company behind the hit movie and book The Secet. John was formerly staff writer and developer community evangelist for Zend Technologies. Along with founding neat experiments like TagCloud.com, John is an active member in the mashup community, working with API providers and speaking at conferences. He is a published author of Linux certification study material. John enjoys using open source software like PHP and Ruby on Rails to bend the web into exciting new chimeras of hyperlinked goodness. View all posts by John Herren

49 responses to “Dear Neal Stone, SEO Spammer

  • pd

    KUDOS! I go the same email today and it could have have been said better
    PEACE

  • Sean

    I got the same email today, they are just waising their time with such a poor stratagy.

    Nice post by the way.

    Thanks

    Sean

  • Sean

    Hi John

    Sorry to add another post, maybe you can combine the two when you check them.

    Just thought I should also mention that in a Google search for the term seolinkstore, this blog ranks above seolinkstore.com – not too good for an SEO companies site.

    Thanks again

    Sean

  • Marty

    Thanks John,

    We are a small e-commerce company looking for SEO help. I may have been taken in by his e-mail.

    Thanks again,
    Marty

  • Brigitte Hoffmann

    Hi John,
    I received the same email. In the subject line the
    website “pagophuket.com” is mentioned.
    I am the webmaster of this site and with the keywords “Hochseefischen” (deep sea fishing) and “phuket hochseefischen” it ranks on google first page. It looks like Neal Stone is searching for websites, which have a good rangking already, so he does not have to do anything.

    Best regards
    Brigitte Hoffmann

  • sid

    i just got this email as well regarding my deviantart page. thanks for sticking it to this guy!

  • Andi Benson

    Hi John,
    I got the same mail. It slipped by my spam-bot straight to my inbox alongside the 2 dozen mails i get daily for penis enlargement.
    I am actually trying to launch a travelers community website and haven’t really got into the marketing side yet-so i was a bit intrigued by this neal dude’s mail. Glad one of our programmers had the sense to check it out first, and really glad that check lead to this article on your blog. Well said – KUDOs to you John

  • Aaron

    Hi.. Thanks for taking the time to post this.. It is hard to know who to trust these days.. Anyone know of any good old-fashioned, guaranteed-results SEO companies out there to look into?

  • Leo

    Thank you man, I’ve just received same mail signed by another CEO person =)

  • Leo

    correction – signed by another “Executive Vice President”

  • Fred

    Got the exact same email but with the name Barb Hilts. I called her and she seemed completely oblivious about how search engines work.

    Thank you seolinkstore.com and Barb Hilts for all your help.

    Oh. that website does not work but Barb told me that their parent company is http://www.seocompanyusa.com.

    Thank you Mrs. Hilts

  • Frank

    Thanks for the postings.

    Warning!

    I logged onto the SEO site link which Google offered and got 2 reactions from my AVG security system and it had grabed both intrusions. script viruses: js/downloading agent.

  • Jeffrey

    Thanks John!

    I got this one today. I reported it to SpamCop
    You can see the report at
    http://spamcop.net/sc?id=z1595953076z5cfe15f2c70b14a02ad4447df44091fcz

    Google the phone numbers 866-669-8789
    and 866.446.2885 yields tons of references to other spammy sites (not your, of course)

    Happy New Year.

  • Robert

    Thanks for posting this blog–i was one of the people who got spammmed. You mentioned, however, that we do need SEO experts to help us out for those who have websites and are looking to increase their page rank. I am willing to pay for legitimate and quality services. Do you or anyone else who’s reading this have a company that you recommend?

  • Ricky

    Same here…
    I got that e-mail. Almost got hooked because I tried doing SEO myself but with no luck… So I’m looking for help.

    Do you recommend one?

  • David

    I got a similar email, but it was signed as follows:

    >Sincerely,
    >Neal Stone
    >Executive Vice President
    >
    >1560 NEWBURY RD, STE 1 STAGECOACH PLAZA
    >NEWBURY PARK, CA 91320-3448 – USA
    >
    >818.264.4118 ext.106
    >
    >Profitable Internet Marketing

    I looked up the address and it’s a UPS store. It seems that “Neal Stone”, if he exists, is running his so-called business out of his basement (or perhaps his boiler room operation).

  • Jennifer

    Hey Fred, Iam not sure why are you trying to create a bad impression to our company seocompanyusa.com we no way related to any spammy sites.

    Our seo company is a very genuine and result oriented seo company. We just wanted to inform people that dont not listen to such people are trying to create a bad impression for other companies in order to promote themselves.

    Thanks
    Jennifer.

  • Dave

    I find it very interesting Jennifer, that your site, seocompanyusa, with text on the page reading:

    “SEO SERVICES AMERICA USA”

    Appears to be a non-US based company (by looking at your phone number: ” +00919985684008 “.

    Plus with the broken links, broken CSS, and other major design flaws, it makes it VERY difficult to take your site at all seriously.

  • Mike

    John, I wish I had come across your blog a few months ago. I try to avoid criticizing, but I had to forward the link of Neal’s site to my friend in IT when I first received his solicitation email….I couldn’t believe the misspelled words and improper grammar. I’m not the brightest, but it seems that if you’re promoting what a web guru you are that you may want to break out spell-check! (especially when you’re ridiculing someone else) Thanks for message…it’s tough researching what co’s are legitimate, and can benefit my company.

  • Name

    I just recieved an email from “Neal Stone” and his address was from New York! Your email was from CA! I immediately questioned the legitimacy of it and google’d his name and got this. THANK YOU! his address was nealstone123@gmail.com … pathetic!

  • Joey

    Thanks for the blog. I googled his name and email and your blog came up right away. He just emailed me today!

  • Devo

    I’ve received the same email:

    Search Engine Optimization We would like to get your website on first page of Google. All of our processes use the most ethical “white hat” Search Engine Optimization techniques that will not get your website banned or penalized. Please reply and I would be happy to send you a proposal.

    Neal Stone
    nealstone123@gmail.com

  • Brant

    Neal Stone just joined our mailing list today…out of the blue. I wonder why he didn’t email me. Maybe he’s changing his approach.

  • Jane

    I just received a message from this bottom-feeder through the feedback form on my website. My site is pretty far up in Google for my required search terms so, as Brigitte mentioned above, this guy appears to be going for easy options.

  • Powerpoint Templates

    I have been victim of this spammer, too.

    Is curious that he is the expert of SEO and his website do not appear on first place.

    Now seems he is using: nealstone322@gmail.com

    Google may do a mass delete of nealstone*

  • Medical Tourism Blog

    We received a spam email from the same person. soliciting seo services to our medical tourism blog.

    It is good that I checked his credentials online before replying!

  • Karen Hutchinson

    These folks DO NOT give up. You can call them and ask to be removed and they spam you more. We even spoke to someone in charge at National Positions and were assured that the call center in India had been fired for spamming. So what happens? The weeks that follow have resulted in even more spam on our business email account.

    Between these folks and a guy named Steve Lazuka who owned Traffic Logic which did basically Doorway pages I am not sure who I hate most. And stay away from Main Street Host, too.

  • Brian Reich

    I want to share a quick story with you and see if anyone else who has commented here experienced anything similar:

    One of my clients had their website hacked. I didn’t know anything was wrong until my client contacted me complaining that their website no longer showed up in the top ten when you searched for certain target kewords. I set out to work this morning doing some updates to hopefully fix the problem.

    The hacker didn’t do anything to disrupt their site’s service, but instead buried a WordPress blog deep within the directory structure of their site. The WordPress blog was stuff with garbage. What I suspect is that this hidden “site within a site” ruined their search engine credibility. Low and behold I logged into their email this morning to make sure that nothing was wrong with it, and low and behind Neal Stone had sent them an email. I have to wonder if one is connected to the other.

  • Daryl

    Hi,

    Neal stone doesn’t sound like a name you would find in India? This is just typical Spam tactics. I found out that my Math Guard on my form can easily be bypassed by spammers.

    I would like to thank Neal (or whatever his/her real name is) for pointing out that I have not changed the form on the particular site they sent the Spam through.

    Neal stone

    mathguard answer = 5
    mathguard code =

    Increase traffic to your website

    We would like to get your website on first page of Google.
    All of our processes use the most ethical “white hat” Search Engine Optimization techniques that will not get your website banned or penalized.
    Please reply and I would be happy to send you a proposal.
    In order for us to respond to your request for information, please include your company’s website address (mandatory) and or phone number.

    ——-
    USER INFO:
    IP address: 122.161.221.104
    Web Browser: Mozilla Firefox 2.0.0
    Operating System: Windows XP
    Screen resolution: 1024×768

  • Miami Website Company

    if you look at the picture in this link; http://www.lab860.net/cnn.jpg
    You’ll see 3 urls, the top and bottom have an update date, the center url doesn’t, but it is updated daily.
    How can you get the update down to minutes on search results?

    Thomas,
    Miami Web Designer

  • SEO Marko

    Hehehe, his site has been hacked….
    but, we must admitt – he is persistent🙂

  • Hadleigh Roberts

    I’m grateful for this post. I have just received an email from Neal Stone and thought about going for it. Lucky I was careful enough to google his name. Thanks!

  • tenthstreet saks

    Just set up my own website and got a contact message from a neal stone, thought it was suspicious, and googled the name.. glad I read this!

  • Scott

    I have worked with NP, and found them to be excellent. What is wrong with going out and doing direct selling? Yes, the methods are sort of spam like, but with enough volume, they can be successful. Don’t hate…

    • John Herren

      @Scott. Why refer to NP and not the full name? Worried about sending more Google Juice to this post? Have you done a Google search for “Neal Stone”? Guess what? That took zero SEO effort, and not a dime was spent. I’ll quote my friend Aaron Wormus once again, “When it comes to SEO experts I totally agree that they are the scum of the earth… but they are also just playing a game that Google set up for them to play. The monetary value of being #1 on Google is just too much to pass up.”

      So while it’s true that you can pay these companies to apply gimmicky tricks for you, there’s no better way to get good search rankings than following the advice of the search engines themselves. I don’t see what’s so hard about that.

      • Scott

        I promise you I wasn’t worried about sending link juice, I could really care less.

        I personally feel that SEO is a completely organic process, and you can’t fake it by hiring others to do it for you, it should happen automatically as content is added to your site. I have never hired an outside SEO company to work on any of my site because I would prefer to do it on my own. Nothing wrong with selling a service to people who are too lazy to do it (or even research it) for themselves.

  • Scott

    I just posted my own opinion of this company, after doing business with them, and nobody seems to care. For the record, they rank top 3 for the phrase SEO Company, so they must be doing something right.

  • joinphp

    Thanks for this article, I appreciate your work. But most SEO have to spam from time to time. We are Affordable Social Media Services provider for Small and Medium Businesses WorldWide. Engage with Customers Where they Are, with Content they Value. Please Visit us at

  • iiSwansongii

    Funny. This post is 2 years old and I got his email. So I did a search on neal stone and this came up. I think he is going by a different name as well. through the same site, I got an email for SEO from a guy named Randy Bradshaw

  • Scott

    I actually retract my statements above, I have dug a bit deeper into the work they did for someone, and I wasn’t impressed. I still don’t fault them for “email outreach” although they should prob. spend a bit more time on delivery.

  • Roger

    yes received an email myself.

  • Peter

    Thanks for your article, still relevant, I got his offer today.

  • Max

    Hey look who is back,

    He is still around but is webite is off the net http://www.seolinkstore.com
    He email me with the email: nealstone125@gmail.com

  • Mark Beck

    haha what a guy..this is a great post.. thanks.. did a good job🙂

  • NJ SEO Company

    Ladies and Gentleman, this right here was a classic PWND moment. Nice way to lay it to him. LMAO.

  • Judy Kingston-Smith

    I agree with Scott, SEO is a complete organic process, it should happen automatically as new updated content is added to your site. It is something I would rather do myself.
    Not sure if I will trust someone else with my sites…
    Judy from Weight Loss Program

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