Search Engine Optimizers: One Step Up From the c1@li$ marketers

Recently we at Popehat have been receiving many emails from people offering to help drive more traffic to our modest site. They urge us not to be content with our existing search engine traffic, which may very charitably be described as eccentric. Rather, they want us to unleash the power of teh internets by "optimizing" our site for search terms that are key to our enterprise. (Possible examples: "snark" "conceited assholes" "off-brand small-l libertarian wankery" "geekish effluvia").

So, are professional search engine optimizers — or internet marketing specialists, or keyword rankers, as some call themselves — deliberately targeting the big-side-of-tiny/smaller-side-of-small blog market? Is there money in the narcissistic ramblings of frustrated writers in the blogosphere?

Well, no. Most of these marketing emails by SEOs are, as far as I can tell, spam generated by automated Google searches.

Take, for example, Jamie Spottz and PeakSearchEngineRanking.dork. Okay, it's actually .net. But I didn't want to link him directly.

Jamie — who I certainly hope is not the baseball player — sent me an unsolicited email to tell us that he can help us with our traffic:

Hello, my name is Jamie Spottz and I am an internet marketing specialist. I was looking at websites under the keyword Denver Real Estate Attorney and came across your website I see that you're ranked number 29 when doing a Google search for that term.

I'm not sure if you're aware of why you're ranked this low but more importantly how easily correctable this is. There's no reason you can't have a top three organic (natural) ranking for the keyword Denver Real Estate Attorney based on your site structure and content. You have a very nice site.

You need significantly more one way anchor text backlinks to help improve your ranking. If you're interested I can help you with this…I'm talking about getting you ranked for ALL your keywords. Adding new backlinks on a steady and consistent basis from high PR quality websites is what produces the rankings you are looking for with your website

There are a number of amusing things about this. Amusing thing number one is that Jamie Spottz is referring to a single blog post as a web site. Amusing thing number two is that Jamie Spottz thinks that we want to be one of the top three sites for people searching for Denver Real Estate Attorneys, despite the fact that the briefest look at our site would reveal that while some of us are lawyers, none of us are in Denver or practicing real estate law. The third amusing thing — and by far the most amusing thing — is that the very blog post that Jamie Spottz seized upon is a discussion of sleazy internet marketing techniques — in that case spam comments promoting the traffic-ticket-avoiding skills of attorney Steven L. Hill of Denver, who used to work in real estate.

Now, perhaps Jamie Spottz thinks he can drive traffic to us so that we can be the premiere site for criticizing sleazy former real estate lawyers. Is that it, Jamie?

I didn't send this communication out to very many people but I am currently reaching out to a list of your 'keyword competitors' as well. However, I favor your website because I can see your website monetizing the keyword Denver Real Estate Attorney in an effective manner.

Um . . . thanks, I think. I need a judge's ruling. Is "monetizing" a word? If so, does it mean "referring to in a disparaging manner once"?

Why would we choose Jamie Spottz, anyway?

The right kind of links are very critical in getting top rankings….and I can hand deliver these quality links to you. My partners and I have relationships established with thousands of websites and offer private linking to hundreds of website owners just like yourself.

He knows all the top men who post snarky entries about fallen Denver real estate attorneys.

Hey, how much is Jamie's service gonna run us?

I have a very simple method of proving that what I do works and you wont need to give me anything upfront but a chance to earn your business. I will let you use the ranking service for 30 days without an obligation – I won't even ask for a credit card. Nothing beats seeing the results with your own eyes. If you agree that our firm provided impressive, upward movement for your keywords in the 30 day trial period you can hire us to get your terms all the way to the top of the search engines. The fee to continue with the service is $250 a month, payable monthly, and it usually takes us 4-6 months to get a keyword to the top of the search engines and to then have it stay there. We will work on 4 keywords at a time for you. We will help you select the most relevant terms to use.

Jamie Spottz is being modest here. I've seen firms charging far more — often up front. But if he gets a few clients to bite, this can be a very profitable line of work.

So, if I delete this email, am I shut of Jamie Spottz?

I have your contact information and phone number. Is it ok if I give you a call?

I'm pretty sure Jamie Spottz is messing with us here. There's no number on this site. Two intrepid reporters have called me based on things posted on this site, but they are experienced researchers, and I'm thinking Jamie is not so intrepid. Call me cynical, but I think Jamie uses this line on everyone.

Here's the thing. There are tons of people out there who can help you improve your search engine rankings through a variety of methods — from methods so easy that an idiot like me can use them, to methods that require a level of web design far beyond me. If you are going to pay someone money to do it — assuming that makes sense — you're going to want to make sure the person you've chosen is competent. You want to make sure they are trustworthy, because you're going to be giving them at least temporary access to the back-end workings of your web site. You want to make sure they can actually deliver useful results. If you are a real estate lawyer, you don't want to pay to optimize search terms that will bring you people searching for snarky blogs about lawyers behaving badly, and vice-versa.

So — if you are smart enough to have a web site, and smart enough to be concerned about increasing traffic, and smart enough to earn enough money to pay for help getting more traffic, why would you even consider hiring someone like Jamie Spottz and PeakSearchEngineRanking.dork? If you are looking for help with smart and well-targeted marketing, why would you choose someone who spams web sites with ill-targeted emails clumsily and insultingly designed to appear customized?

Does anything about this spam email give you even a scintilla of confidence in Jamie's abilities, or the value of his services?

How smart can Jamie be, if he thinks his solicitation is appealing?

Who the hell falls for these things?

By the way, Jamie's site has this stern warning about the sort of people he won't help:

Adult Oriented sites, or any site that is offensive to anyone. If we would not be proud telling our families about you, we won't work with you.

I'm offended that Jamie thinks that Popehat is not offensive to anyone. We try our best, dammit.

UPDATE: In the comments, someone claiming to be the Jaime Spottz who sent the email — and claiming that he is the same guy as the baseball player — shows up in the comments. Exercise skepticism about whether (1) it's the same guy whose company sent the email, or (2) it's the baseball player. However, corroborating evidence is discussed in the comments.

Last 5 posts by Ken White


  1. Patrick says

    Funny. We did it without paying anyone a dime. If one searches for Ticketvoid (the subject of our previous post), at least on East Coast Google servers, we're still the second ranked site despite the mountains of spam that Ticketvoid has sent out.

    Crime and Federalism, which addressed the Ticketvoid problem in this post, is also on the first page.

  2. Patrick says

    Then there's the alternative approach. New York personal injury lawyer Eric Turkewitz hates his website, but it's a highly ranked site indeed, because Turkewitz writes quality posts on his field, the law in general, ethics, and whatever else strikes his fancy. Others who've noticed link to him.

    Turkewitz is a fool. Oh he has a deep search engine footprint, but he had to spend years writing good commentary to get it. Imagine how highly he'd be ranked if he paid PeakSearchEngine $250 a month.

  3. Al says

    Who the hell falls for those things? Probably my brothers in law. Well, two of them anyway. I work way too hard to had to talk one of them out of investing with Infinium Labs, a process which culminated in my sitting him down and practically reading the linked story to him.

  4. Jamie says

    Ken, Im glad you felt it necessary to drag my personal name into your idiotic rant. I don't appreciate that at all seeing is how you don not know me personally. Would you appreciate it if someone criticized based on lack of knowledge or understanding? I really don't even want to waste my time with you but I'm a man's man and you offended me personally not just my product. You can say what you want about our service, but we are running very successful service here and have many happy clients. We do not operate on SPAM of any sort. I see that you did actually go to our website and looked up our information. We do offer 30 days free so that people like you who are skeptical can try our service and see how it works. Thats is the reason for the trial. If you ask me, thats one hell of a deal! Our company does a keyword search under a certain term and selects a company with a low ranking. Sometimes the words ABSOLUTELY do not seem to match what the website intends to offer, but for some reason that combination of keywords comes up in their site. When the polite and professional people respond via email or phone, I usually explain that to them and then they seem to have extreme interest in our service. Too bad you felt the need to be a jerk and exploit not only our service but my name personally which might have legal ramifications if I decide to pursue them. I Think what you did was EXTREMELY unprofessional. Its one thing to criticize a product or service, but to attack me personally was uncalled for. My baseball career has nothing to do with this! I played injured and had to retire for that reason. Are you upset you never posessed a talent to even be close to considered PROFESSIONAL? I did something that MILLIONS of men and boys can only dream about and for you to belittle my accomplishment is appauling. Feel free to email me at the above address.

  5. Patrick says

    Jamie, I beg to differ. You are a spammer.

    You didn't read this site. Had you read the post concerning Denver real estate attorneys, you would have realized that it has nothing to do with the practice of real estate law in Denver, nor does this blog. This is not even a "law blog" or a "law site," as you would have known if you actually read the blog.

    Therefore, I must conclude that your email was sent to Ken on an automated basis. You sent an unsolicited and unwanted commercial email, potentially in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act. You are therefore a spammer, morally if not legally. If you arranged for a bot to harvest Ken's email address, you are a spammer legally. Cease and desist!

    While this is not a legal site, some of us are attorneys who know how to file civil suits, including for civil penalties under acts such as CAN-SPAM. Be careful who you spam.

  6. Dave (ND) says

    This could turn epic if it hasn't already. I suggest more use of capital letters.

    Monetizing is a valid word though.

  7. Jamie says

    Patrick and Charles…. Im sure i would like this website if i got the chance to review it myself. My point is this tho. We do send out an links that do not always refer to the EXACT content we are looking for. But our service we provide is a great one. I know there are many other ones out there also. But as a man, would you appreciate somone taking such a personal attack on your life experiences over a disagreement in business terms? I mean I got to play college baseball and 3 years of minor league ball. Unfortunately I got injured and kept trying to play that way and it didnt work out for the best. But what i did get to experience is something that MILLIONS of kids DREAM about and that is something to be proud of. I have got to hand out with the likes of Derek Jeter, Mike Piazza, Roger clemens, Ken Griffey jr and MANY MANY more pro ball players. So if you want to discredit our service FINE, but to use MY NAME like that is garbage man.

  8. Patrick says

    Jamie. Why did you send us email if you hadn't read the site? And why do you still deny that you're a spammer? You as much as admitted it in the comment above.

    When you spam, you violate others' privacy. Now you're upset that your own privacy has been violated? Perhaps you should have thought of that before you sent spam emails.

    Ken may remove your name from this post, but I won't.

  9. says

    We have Lobster Thermidor a Crevette with a mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried egg on top and spam.

  10. says

    I have to stand up Jamie. Is it his fault that he want from being a baseball player, the sort of guy that MILLIONS of kids DREAM about, to some loser hawking some piece of shit spamola SEO crap? I mean, was it his fault he got injured and couldn't play ball anymore or hang out with the likes of Derek Jeter, Mike Piazza, Roger clemens, Ken Griffey jr and MANY MANY more pro ball players, and when he couldn't get a real job, was forced to go to work for some piece of shit spamola SEO crap?

    Cut Jamie a break, guys. He never wanted to work for this piece of shit spamola SEO crap business. He wanted to play ball and do something that MILLIONS of kids DREAM about and that is something to be proud of, including handing (I would probably say hanging, but handing is the way baseball players refer to it, so to be cool, I will use handing just like Jamie) out with the likes of Derek Jeter, Mike Piazza, Roger clemens, Ken Griffey jr and MANY MANY more pro ball players.

    So discret that piece of shit spamola SEO crap, but leave Jamie's NAME out of it. That's like garbage man.

  11. Jamie says

    Patrick, I understand the annoyance of SPAM, and apologize for our marketing department sending out this email to this site. It was completely off-base. Like i said most people send emails back saying go to hell, or unsubscribe us, and that is fine. We DO PROVIDE a very good service tho. It just takes alot of marketing emails to bring about business. My point was simple, Be FURIOUS about the spam if you want but damn man, attack me and my career was TOTALLY unjustified. I like to talk smak to people and bust balls all the time, but he took this from a business standpoint to straight personal and i didnt care for that too much. SO my apologies for the "spam" email but dont think for one second that what I got to experience playing baseball wasnt an awesome accomplishment

  12. says

    Dear Jamie:

    Did your parents ever meet after the brief business transaction in that back alley? It wasn't your fault that you were born as the result of commercial sex; you didn't choose that.

    You did, however, choose to be a sleazy, low-life disreputable spammer. Ah — but I repeat myself.

    Please fuck off and die at your earliest possible convenience, as you take up a much needed space in the literature, you fucking airthief.

    Strong language to follow.

    Thy humble & devoted servant,

  13. Patrick says

    Perhaps, then, you need to have a word with the marketing department Jamie.

    Does marketing know that its conduct places your company in the crosshairs of a potential suit from the Federal Trade Commission, not to mention civil suits by private litigants? CAN-SPAM violations come with class action potential. People have been fired for less.

    If you want to have a discussion about how to bring your marketing department into compliance with applicable federal laws, I'd be happy to quote a retainer, assuming that Ken is willing to waive conflicts and forbear from suit, but please do consult an attorney about your marketing department's reckless schemes.

  14. Jamie says

    You guys are great. All the hatred i see makes me laugh. this is a good site for shit talking for sure. I will leave you guys now to criticize me and others alike. Im not even sure if you have jobs? Talk about LOSERS. Are you kidding me? A loser is someone who works and has a job? Wow, never knew that. I didnt realize being a loser consisted of working for a living and making money to supports oneself. I guess I could just ask OBama for a handout and sit on my ass all day and collect tax payers $$$$ OR i could be like all of you on here and sit inside in front of a computer all day and blog on websites. OWWWW fun. It beats actually going outside hanging with chicks playing sports watching movies etc….. you computer dorks who have no life and probably watch star trek re runs all day can keep hanging out and abshing me if thats what makes you hard, ill go ahead and work and make money and actually live outside my computer desk. take care LOSERS!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  15. says

    Hey Jamie, I wasn't hanging out and abshing you. Are you still here? Or are you hanging out with chicks? Jamie? Are you emailing someone again?

  16. says

    Go Jamie! Yay! You hit a home run with that one (sorry, I'm a Limey, Baseball is not our thing – it is "Home Run"? Can I throw in a Rugby metaphor instead if you'd prefer.)

  17. says


    Though I am skeptical, I will assume for the purposes of this comment that (1) that you are the Jaime who sent the solicitation, and (2) that Jaime is actually your name, and (3) that you are the same Jaime that is also a baseball player. Later investigation may show that is untrue; we shall see.

    Jaime, if you had not put your name (or authorized others to use your name) on unsolicited marketing email, I might be sympathetic to your argument that it is uncouth or cruel to use it here. But you did use your name, Jaime Spottz. You used it several times in your email, and invited me to speak with you. You even wanted to talk with you by phone. So how, exactly, is it unfair, or "dragging your personal name into it," to quote you and talk about you by name?

    To tell the truth, I assumed that "Jaime Spottz" was a vivid pseudonym, not a real name. I also assumed that even if it was a real name, it was not the same person as the baseball player — hence my comment. Though I am not a sports fan, I have a sentimental fondness for baseball players. My point was — and remains — that I would be sad to see one using his name to spam.

    Tell me, Jaime. Exactly which of my observations in my post about your unsolicited email were untrue? Which were misleading? Please feel free to correct me.

    Also, Jaime, I'm concerned that some of the representations in your email are, well, lies. I'm sure you know that using lies to market is illegal, Jaime, under a variety of federal and state statutes and regulations. Say it ain't so, Jaime. But while we are on the topic, let me ask:

    1. Is it true, as represented in your email, that you visited this website? (By "you", I mean you personally and actually, Jaime. But I'll also accept a living person acting on your behalf. If, on the other hand, only a bot directed by you visited, that would be something else, wouldn't it?)

    2. Is it true that you visited this site as a result of looking at sites under the keyword Denver Real Estate Attorney?

    3. Is it true you observed how low this site is ranked for that keyword?

    4. Is this representation true: "My partners and I have relationships established with thousands of websites and offer private linking to hundreds of website owners just like yourself"? If you decided to take frivolous and ill-advised legal action, Jaime, and I were deposing you, would you be able to produce a list of thousands of websites with which you have established a relationship, and would you be able to establish that they are anything like this site?

    5. Is it true, Jaime, that you "didn't send this communication out to very many people"?

    6. Did you actually determine that you "favor" this site because you "can see your website monetizing the keyword Denver Real Estate Attorney in an effective manner"?

    7. Is it true, as you represent, that you have my phone number?

    Are any of those representations true, Jaime?

    And Jaime, you seem to want to convince us that our receipt of this unsolicited marketing email was an unusual error by your marketing department. If I were to serve you with demands for production of documents and interrogatories, Jaime, would I learn that you actually have a marketing department? If I were to locate other people who received your unsolicited email, Jaime, would the representations listed above be any more true than they are here, for Popehat?

    Inquiring minds would like to know, Jaime.

  18. says

    Yeah, you LOSERS!!!!!!!!!! I'm going to hang out with chicks now and play sports and then hang out with chicks to play sports. Hey Jamie, I'm with you bro. Let's go find some chicks and sports and work for a living instead of hanging out with these LOSERS!!!!!!!!

    I can't be sure, but I think that Tannebaum guy doesn't even like chicks. Or maybe he doesn't like sports. And what's with that geeklawyer? What kind of a name is that anyway? What a LOSER!!!!!!!!!!

    So, got any chicks yet. I bet chicks really dig guys who work for a living and make LOTS of MONEY sending out spam to geek LOSERS like these guys. So where are the chicks already. I got my cialis and I'm rarin' to go!!!!!!!!!

  19. says

    By the way, Jaime, I know I'm not a super duper expert on keywords like you. But I bet pretty soon this post will be fairly high in the rankings of anyone who searches for you or your company. And those people — your potential customers — are going to see that this is what you think of them:

    OWWWW fun. It beats actually going outside hanging with chicks playing sports watching movies etc….. you computer dorks who have no life and probably watch star trek re runs all day can keep hanging out and abshing me if thats what makes you hard, ill go ahead and work and make money and actually live outside my computer desk. take care LOSERS!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Does it sound like good business strategy, Jaime, for someone who sells internet services to insult people who are heavy internet users?

  20. says

    FYI, thanks to this post, you are already the #1 Google search hit for "geekish effluvia" and "off-brand small-l libertarian wankery!" Maybe YOU should be in the SEO business!

  21. says

    I dont understand at this point, is Jamie Spottz a website hater who doesn't hang out and look for chicks, or a keyword spammer, not loser who likes Derek Jeter?

    I'm so confused

  22. says

    Hey, are you saying Derek Jeter is a chick. I don't think so you LOSER. And just because Jamie Spottz wants to hang out with chicks and ends up hanging out with Derek Jeter and likes it doesn't make him a chick hater. No sir, it does not. He likes chicks and Jeter, and Jeter is no chick. LOSER!!!!!!!!

  23. says

    You know who definitely, totally, clearly isn't a computer-obsessed, no-sunlight chick-free loser?

    The guy who works in SEO and leaves four defensive comments inside of an hour.

  24. Interested Counsel says


    No fair… when I read this thread earlier I hadn't appreciated it was going on in real time. I could have been the first English Barrister to comment.

    Now I'm only the second.

    Damn you Geek

    Damn you

    You loser

  25. says

    Let's exercise a bit more skepticism about (1) whether that was the guy whose company sent the email, and (2) its the same Jaime Spottz who was a baseball player.

    Jaime, you use a hotmail address with the name But I'm still a bit skeptical. If you would like to prove that you are the same guy whose company sent the email, you could answer this: the email originated with someone with an email address It's not "jaime". It's a five-letter name. What is it?

    [Edit: I misspoke before: it came from —–, not]

  26. Patrick says

    Jamie has finally left the site. Must be time for some ballin'.

    For the past hour I've been watching Jamie behind the scenes, using my internet dorkery powers, as he clicked F5 repeatedly.

  27. Interested Counsel says

    I'm English and so love cross-words, and ankle socks, so Ken, is the answer Spam1?

  28. says

    you computer dorks who have no life and probably watch star trek re runs all day

    Sadly, I was forced to curtail my Star Trek watching when I enlisted in the Marines and chose to be a grunt. Turns out that while the recruiters said you could hump a portable TV up the hilly willies and down the hilly willies they forgot to mention that there no electric plugs in the hills of Camp Pendelton.

    Man. Recruiters are worse than spammers.

    At any rate, I was out in the sun and the wind and the rain living the live millions of men and boys wish they could live, being paid to shoot machine guns and grenade launchers and working with real men doing actually important stuff for a living.

    Unlike, you know, a jock who merely thinks he's a man because he was paid to swat a ball around a manicured bit of grass for a few years.

  29. says

    Remaining skeptical. However, for what it is worth, (1) the IP used by the commenter here purports to be in Cincinnati, OH, (2) the sites in question list Cincinnati, OH as an address, and (3) the sites list a baseball training site as their first case study.

    A person using the same email address — — comments on a Cincinnati Reds site.

    FWIW, I have sent another email to the company urging them to look at the comments here and disclaim them if they do not, in fact, represent the position of the company.

    I also remain willing — and eager — to be told how anything in my post was wrong. But I'd like to hear the answers to my questions, above.

  30. Max Power says

    "A sharp grounder off the bat of Fitzgerald was mishandled by Joliet 3B Jaime Spottz and bounced under his legs into the outfield."* Jaime lets the facts pointed out to him bounce under his legs and into the outfield and instead lashes out with insults.


  31. matt says

    wow this is great maybe we can get jack thompson and lyndon larouche and have a full party!!!

  32. says

    Co-blogger Charles uncovers a link that the baseball player Jaime Spottz played recently in Cincinnati. Based on the evidence, it seems likely this is him, or an unusually clever troll.

  33. says

    Ken – welcome to Google ranking #4 on "Jamie Spottz." Who knows what the future may bring?

    (I'm following this thread with sick interest. My day job also involves telling companies how to optimize their websites, but when I say it I shake their hands afterward and am usually wearing nice slacks and a tie ;) )

  34. says

    #1 on google for "Jaime Spottz", even ahead the basketball youtube.
    #4 on google for "Jamie Spottz"
    #3 for PeakSearchEngineRanking !!!

    I wonder if there is some service available to help them with this ranking problem.

  35. says

    Dear All,

    I a web developer from Sri Lanka. My company also received this same email from this "so called" Jamie from the email address Jamie@peaksearchengineranking dot Nnet regarding our website. It was received by a non technical person hence this was forwarded to our IT division and I was told to have a look.

    "I didn’t send this communication out to very many people"


    The moment I looked at this I figured it was an automatically generated email. Personally IMHO its hillarious that someone offers to optimize a single sub page in a website but not the root (which just smells "automation" in their site identification process). Linkbacks which Jamie stresses so much in his emails are not the only thing which causes a site to have higher page rankings. Here's some other stuff you can do which I blogged about a little while back.

    This is what we as cutomers pay these guys to do. You will see a lot of these methods involve some changes to the layout and content of an existing site. So correct me if I'm wrong but I do not see how linkbacks alone will help an already low ranked website's subpage let alone the whole site.

    "you computer dorks who have no life and probably watch star trek re runs all day"

    Seriously lol am I gonna recommend my company to take advice from him now? He tells others to be professional. All I got for u Jamie are these words "Practice what you preach". …..And yeah I've watched all episodes of Star Trek while I'm sure you were too busy bangin chicks to catch even a single one. Oh wait I forgot, you being the super cool dude you are really dont care about star trek. Silly me :D

    I wholeheartedly agree with everything KEN has said here.


    Spammer or no spammer it is only wise to engage in SEO with someone you can see and shake hands with at the end of the day. One thing's for certain though Jamie. The only thing your spamming is helping to do is to increase the google rankings for this page and others like it on the internet. It certainly isnt helping your business. Not that I care about it really… lol

  36. says

    P.S. Further research showed me that this guy (or lord knows if this actually is a guy or not) indeed is a spammer. Just google the topic "I Visited Your Website and Had a Question…" and see how many posts he has made in various sites using the same email template. Seems he also uses different names/aliases such as Rachel Hoyng, Jason Miller, etc.

    So are we to belive this is really some Jamie Spottz? You might as well go and call yourself Captain Kirk! lol


  1. […] at Popehat (and if you are not reading Popehat you are missing out on some great stuff) Ken receives an unsolicited boilerplate message from a Search Engine Optimization company. As Ken demonstrates in a rather devistating takedown of the email's content and claimes, this […]