Today I got mail from "Angela Brobst," with a subject line of "question about your site." She apparently works for "The Search Doctors," located in Aliso Viejo, CA.
"I can put your site at the top of a search engines listing. This is no joke and I can show proven results from all our past clients. If this is something you might be interested in, send me a reply with the web addresses you want to promote and the best way to contact you with some options."
Well, she's right. This truly is no joke, and I'm definitely not laughing. Why not? Because the mail is spam, and here's why. It was sent to a role account that has never signed up for anything. The website URL linked to has a different domain (seo-placement-services.com) than the from address domain (thesearchdoctors.com) in the mail. The mail came from a RoadRunner cable modem, and it has fake additional headers added in to try to fool spam tracking applications. (It claims the mail came from glenayre.com; it did not.)
I've done a lot of work in paid and organic search over the years. Search is important. You need to utilize it if you have a website and a business. It brings traffic. It brings leads. No question. It's just as important not to do it wrong. If you do things like set up link farms, add questionable tags, or hide behind rotating domains, eventually Google figures it out and blocks your site from showing up in their index. I've seen it happens to clients who tried to do it on their own. Watch your organic traffic dwindle down to nothing overnight! No joke!
Because it's so important to do correctly, would you really trust search to somebody who already obviously doesn't comply with email best practices? I wouldn't.