When SEOs get desperate

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Like most bloggers of any note, I get regular e-mails asking me to publish guest posts, or text links. I understand the SEO reasons for this, but always decline – politely to the well-thought through ones, and through deletion to the ones where my name, my blog name and a recent post title are rather obviously pasted into a standard form e-mail.

Yesterday an e-mail arrived that was so far outside the norm that I have to quote in full:


i need this type of placement could you do this?

  1. We will provide php file with plugin source code
  2. Webmaster will need to FTP to root folder of blog, then open folder wp-content/plugins
  3. Webmaster will need to create folder ‘footerlinks’, then enter that folder and upload php file that we provided
  4. Webmaster will need to log into blog admin area, click ‘Plugins’ in left menu, click ‘Installed’ in submenu, find plugin named ‘Footer Links’ and click ‘activate’ link
  5. After that links will appear at the bottom of the blog like here [LINK REMOVED] see our links in footer.Very simple work just 1,2 minut only,Our links show on your old ABOUT PAGE.

i can give you $200 for uploading our php file for 1 year time period only.

Let me know are you agree if you agree then send me paypal id please.

Waiting for your Answer


Well, now, Vincent, you want me to insert your arbitrary php code into my (non-existent – I use a different blog platform) WordPress install, for the grand sum of $200 dollars? Hand you a backdoor to the blog for such a small amount of money. I think I’ll be declining, and I think anyone else who recieved such an “offer” should do the same.

This e-mail tells me two things:

  1. There are some pretty stupid bloggers out there, if this works
  2. There are some even more desperate SEOs…

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.