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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Do Not Ask Me to Lie to My Readers

Man, this stuff really raises my dander.  In almost no case would I post a private email sent to me, but this--which obviously Dave also got (a follow up email apologized for the cut-and-paste error)--deserves a little disinfecting light. What the emailer is requesting is illegal.  It's skeezy.  And for god's sake, it's lazy.  Five minutes of cruising around my blog and this guy would have realized that I'm not going to be writing about auto law.  Crikey.

Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 3:58 PM
Subject: Sponsored Content Placement on Dave Knows Portland

Good Afternoon Dave,
My name is [redacted] and I represent an agency that specializes in online search engine optimization. I came across your blog while searching for popular blogs by Oregon locals. One of our clients is an auto law firm based in Oregon and is interested in placing content on various trusted blogs and websites. We are looking to place 2-3 permanently linked keywords with “dofollow” tags within the text of a post. The content placement requirements are as follows:
  • Word count: 300-400 words
  • General article about topic/keyword
  • Unique content only (no copying from websites), paraphrasing/rewriting content is ok
  • Anchor text should be in content body.
We can create a guest post or forward our links to bloggers who prefer to create their own content, we will also provide monetary compensation via PayPal to all bloggers.
If you’re interested please respond with rates and terms of agreement.
If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact me.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Have a great day!
Name redacted |  SEO Specialist

Driven to Outperform
CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This email message, including all attachments, is for the sole use of the intended recipients and may contain confidential and privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient, you may not use, disclose, copy, or disseminate this information. Please contact the sender by e-mail immediately and destroy all copies of the original message including all attachments. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Incidentally, don't spam me, ask me to do something that violates federal law, and then append a confidentiality notice warning me not to disclose the "privileged information." 


  1. I got something like that a while ago. Different sender, maybe, but similar concept. This guy, this company, should be reported to the authorities.

  2. Rancortastic, and rightly so

  3. I get these a lot, and ignore them.

  4. Why redact his/her name? If they are going to behave like an ass, why not warn the rest of us?

  5. Dave, really? Amazing. I will probably ignore future ones--or call them out less explicitly--but I couldn't help scream from the mountaintops on this one. The practice is outrageous.


    Why redact his/her name?

    Because on the off chance this post has any effect, I want opprobrium directed at the company, not the emailer. I also don't want the emailer to become the scapegoat for the business model of the skeezy company. The real bad actor here is Webmetro, who will keep spamming bloggers whether or not they've canned a guy for sparking me to post his email online.