Negative SEO extortion emails are nothing new, there have been endless cases of such emails in the past. But previously such spam emails hadbeen specific. This time around, the emails are going out to many webmasters, SEO experts and site owners simultaneously.
The widespread reports of SEO extortion emails being sent within the industry, claiming an evil SEO will ruin the website’s ranking in search engines if site owners, webmasters or concerned SEOs do not deliver $1,500 to the evil SEO, has baffled one and all.
When the extortion emails were brought to Google’s notice, the search engine giant has been prompt and confident in responding. Google says that ‘it has investigated the claims, but is unclear on how credible the claims are’, but Google added that ‘their current algorithms are aptly designed to prevent such activities from causing any problems to webmasters.’
Google’s position on negative SEO has been on a constant change over years. Google has made changes to its algorithms periodically and it claims that there is nothing competitors can really do to harm a websites ranking on its search engine. Moreover, there is nothing a competitor can do to remove your website from Google’s index.
Google works really aggressively at preventing evil webmasters from being in any control to harm any other webmaster’s ranking or his indexing.
However, if as a webmaster, you are concerned about any specific links. You can use the disavow tool to make it tougher for evil SEOs to harm you. Google also asks webmasters to report any extortion emails to its law enforcement at https://support.google.com/mail/contact/abuse (this however is insignificant if the email comes to you from countries where enforcement law has no control). But if the email is received on Gmail, you can report it at the above mentioned link.
The SEO extortion emails reads as follows:
Subject: I Want To Buy. Please Guide Me.
Read this email very carefully.
This is an extortion email.
We will do NEGATIVE SEO to your website by giving it 20,000 XRumer forum profile backlinks (permanent & mostly dofollow) pointing directly to your website and hence your website will get penalised& knocked off the Google’s Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) forever, if you do not pay us $1,500.00 (payable by Western Union).
This is no false claim or a hoax, download the following Notepad file containing 20,000 XRumer forum profile backlinks pointing to http://www.negativeseo.cn.pn/ (this is our website and go and see on this website, you will find our email address firstname.lastname@example.org from which this email right now is being sent to you):
Just reply to this email to let us know if you will pay just $1,500.00 or not for us to refrain or not from ruining your precious website & business permanently. Also if you ignore this email and do not reply to this email within the next 24-48 hours, then we will go ahead and build 20,000 XRumer forum profile backlinks pointing directly to your website.
We are awaiting your wise decision.
How should I deal with this negative SEO extortion email?
As Google doesn’t have much to say on this, except for asking receivers to reporting it to Google if it comes via Gmail, there are a few things that you can do to avert any kind of inconvenience:
- Don’t forget to do some R&D on all recent incoming sales inquiries in your inbox. Be specific while responding to them, because it might be a trap as the extortionist wants to make sure that he has contacted the person who is owner/decision-maker. He will immediately know that you are someone who had already responded to his previous email and can be easily influenced.
- In accordance with them, people who would read the mail and respond are more likely to pay the money.
So, if you are on the radar of these crooks, make sure to take these measures to be on the safer side.