Email From Google Scam - SubmitWebsiteHere
by Jo Shaer, on March 29, 2012
My new clients HandymanPlus.co.uk alerted me to the latest email from Google scam when they sent me a copy of a message they had received that morning and asked if I could explain.
The email sender address read "From: GOOGLE update [mailto:Googlefirstname.lastname@example.org]" and spoke about the latest Google Algorithm changes and how they could impact websites.
The message itself was unclear but they seemed to be implying that there was a Google service which could get your website to the top of Google and reverse the effects of the latest round of updates. I am always very suspicious when clients receive emails from Google asking them to sign up for paid search help.
Google has to remain whiter than white about this type of product if they are to maintain their position as unbiased producer of SERPs. That's why Adwords is marked up the way that it is and the resulting adverts are kept separate from the regular listings. Organic has become synonymous with unbiased and if any of the search engines were to start muddying that clarity, it would have a major effect upon how individuals view the impartiality of search.
We don't like to feel that we are being manipulated into which items we read by an unseen hand. This is why the paid listings do not get much of the click-through traffic on the front page, even though they are in the most obvious positions. As readers, we don't always want to see information from those with the biggest advertising budget.
Clicking through from the email, we came to a Page that was headed by the familiar Google letters in multi colour. Whoever was responsible for the page was clearly trying to perpetuate the feeling that it was a Google product. It had taken us to a page with the url google.submitwebsitehere.com/uk. And there was a table with the option to insert the name of your website so that you could sign up to pay for some listing and search engine submission help.
Clicking on the order links, again it became obvious that it was a Google scam because the landing page was a Paypal sign up with the words Automatic Submission with each letter in a different colour to try to simulate the familiar script.
Back on the home page, we found the clincher. At the top, prefacing the wording, there was an asterisk which seemed to suggest that there would be some form of later disclaimer but with nothing in the footer by way of explanation. Clearly something was not right and my feeling of Google scam went into overdrive.
When I removed the UK geo modifier from the end of the UK url, it took me to a $ version of the same site. But, on this one, the asterisk corresponded to a disclaimer in very small letters at the bottom of the page.
*submitwebsitehere.com is a search engine submission service and is not affiliated, endorsed, authorized, sponsored or associated in any way with any search engine. The mention or logo display is merely to represent the particular search engine that the submission service will apply if requested.
Be careful out there, people because, there you have it by their own admission - Google scam