Monday, 26 December 2011

Websiting and playing boulder dash

Checking my emails this morning I had two very similar emails promoting SEO services:


My name is Monica and I'm the webmaster of

I work on many projects for my partners websites and by doing so
I came across and I immediately wanted to contact you.

As you might aware, getting links from good quality sites would definitely
help you in terms of Page Rank, traffic and higher ranking in major search
engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing.

If you're interested in more details, please get back to me
and I will suggest you all my tips, tricks & knowledge I've gained
with years of experience in the SEO field.

Hope to hear from you soon and have a great day :)


Monica Banyard



I would like to introduce myself my name is Marian, webmaster of
among other sites that I personally maintain.

While working on a project for my partners website I've found
and I decided to contact you to tell you little bit more about what I do.

I'm a SEO expert with vast experience over the years in the SEO field
placing my partner's websites on Google's 1st results page for the
keywords they're after.

I would like to elaborate more and send you more information, to share
my thoughts, tips & tricks.

Please let me know if you're interested and we'll take it from there.

Thanks a lot,

Marian Dolan

I checked their websites, and while the design is very different, the concept is quite similar - a single page with a bit of text, lots of graphics, and only one link, to the contact page.

My guess is that they're either both the same person, or maybe two people who have bought into a 'become an SEO expert course' or something similar, which gives a general template of the email to send and website to create.

This morning I did some more work on my website. First I looked into if the addThis wordpress plugin could be modified to just link to a new page with a list of all the different social networks / bookmark sites supported by AddThis. This is what the plugin already does in Google Chrome for me, just it doesn't work in IE.

But the code didn't seem that simple to change, and this functionality is not actually that great anyway - the list of sites on the AddThis page is so long it takes a while to find the correct button. Also, it involves two clicks - one click on the AddThis button to bring up the list of supported sites, then a second click on the site you want to bookmark / share the link on.

So I decided to look at other social bookmarking plugins again. One I already had installed was WP Socializer. This plugin spews up a lot of PHP errors, all seemed to be to do with undefined variables. I thought it would be worth at least attempting to fix the plugin, so did this. Most of the errors were due to concatenating to a variable that had not been set, or accessing the value of an array key that did not exist.

After getting rid of the errors on the client facing side (the plugin still had lots of similar errors on the admin side I didn't bother fixing), I looked to integrating the plugin's js and css with my combined js and css files. Strangely, the plugin didn't seem to be including its js file. I checked the file and it had a addBookmark function, which just alerted a message to press Ctrl + D to bookmark the page.

In my combined js file I already had an add to favourites function from sociable (which I had been using previously), so I modified this instead of using the WP Socializer javascript. But when I tested it in Google Chrome, it wasn't working. After doing some googling it seemed like some browsers don't support adding a bookmark via javascript, and instead it is recommended to just tell the user how to bookmark the site. This is exactly what the WP Socializer js function does, so I just copied that across and deleted my modified sociable js addBookmark function.

After getting that sorted I installed the Mailpress plugin for my photo website. I wanted to use the same email template that I use for my photography tips website, however I spent quite a long time trying to find the template, and couldn't find it anyway. When I checked the Mailpress theme settings on my photo tips website it said there was a problem with the selected theme, and was using the default theme instead.

I think that I must have upgraded the Mailpress plugin and this resulted in my customized theme being deleted or overwritten. Doh! So now I'll have to spend quite a while again testing to try and get a reasonable looking template again.

Sarah and Mark came to stay for a couple of days in the afternoon. We all had Christmas dinner together in the evening (Pheasant and Guinea fowl), then played boulderdash afterwards.

I also looked at different camera upgrade options for me, maybe I will post my thoughts tomorrow as I am sleepy and going to bed now. Bye!


g1smd said...

I got the same mailing for each of several sites in the last few days.

The thing is, the sites are already ranking very high for many keywords and phrases for their topics and have great traffic.

One site completely cleans up in "Definition of quux-foobar" type searches too.

Interestingly the spam email has a hyperlink to a LinkedIn profile, but the supposed website of the company is shown as unlinked plain text.

djeyewater said...

It may be that rather than trying to sell SEO services they are trying to set up a link network, i.e. you post an article from them with links to their sites on your site, and they'll do the same for you on their site(s).

Knowing the awful quality of most articles that are written for the main purpose of SEO rather than providing good useful content, it's not something I'm interested in.