Today I received the following E-mail:
Date: 17 December 2001 21:44
To: (My email address)
Subject: Your web site
I'm hoping you can point me in the right direction; I'm looking for the person in charge of marketing for http://www.twjc.co.uk.
My name is Heather and I am the marketing director of esubmissionmasters.com. We are an online website submission company that can submit your site to the top search engines utilizing our proprietary custom software. Our holiday packages start as low as $10. As you know you cannot find this type of service anywhere for this price.
I found http://www.twjc.co.uk in Lycos on page 27 for the search term "down winter coats". I understand that you obviously have other search terms by which people find you, but I would like to show you how we can help you get higher rankings for all of your search phrases. As you know if you are not in the first 3 pages of the search engines, you will not see any real traffic.
With the holidays coming up, we wanted to offer you a discount to try out our services. Please visit our web site for all the details. You can find us at http://www.esubmissionmasters.com. I know we can increase your traffic and help you increase the sales for the holidays. Again, our packages start as low as $10. Our clients have saved a lot of time and money and have seen good results.
You can find the discount prices on the web site and sign up for the service at http://www.esubmissionmasters.com ...it only takes 2 minutes and you will start the process for submission to all the search engines. I think you will find it is definitely worth your time.
To which I felt the need to respond thus:
Date: 19 December 2001 20:55
Subject: Re: Your web site
My name is Jon & I am the person in charge of marketing the site http://www.twjc.co.uk that you requested.
Thankyou for your recent e-mail regarding my poor ranking with the search engine Lycos for the term "down winter coats". Being the webmaster of a site about juggling I was absolutely shocked at the news. I immediately went to check the validity of your statement, went to Lycos & typed in "down winter coats". I went to page 27 where you claimed to have found my site & couldn't see my listing. By then I was starting to panic & went back to the start & scanned through all of the listings. The situation is even worse than you said I'M NOT LISTED AT ALL!!
This was terrible news, I was convinced then & there that I was in desperate need to sign up for your site submission service. I went to Google & typed in "site submission" & by the time I reached page 45 of the results without coming across your site I decided it would be easier to type in your URL manually.
I reviewed your prices & they are indeed very reasonable. But I have to consider that the potential number of visitors I could gain from the down winter coat wearing section of the juggling demographic will be fairly minimal. With this in mind I have decided not to enlist your services & will endeavour to improve my rating for the term "down winter coats" on my own.
PS. Considering your own ranking against the term "site submission" with Google may I offer you my services to help you boost the number of visitors to your site. I offer the fact that my pages are at present the top listing for such terms as "TWJC" "Tunbridge Wells Juggling Club" & "Three ball tutorials" with Google as evidence of what I could possibly do for your company. If you are interested please get in touch & we can discuss an arrangement. I won't give you my E-mail address, given that you can find my site under "down winter coats" I believe you can find anything.
Incidently, should you be interested (which I'm sure you are because I certainly was) the no 1 site that Lycos returns for "down winter coats" [at time of writing] is a report on the foundation of the European Society for the History of Economic Thought, by the Chair of the Council of ESHET, Professor Bertram Shefold. Proof if ever any were needed that search engine placement is not an exact science.
Today I suddenly had the urge to search for "Down Winter Coats" & I was very pleased to see that both Google & Lycos list this page in their number one slot! A note of sincere thanks has of course been sent to the company who first alerted me to this site's poor ranking with regards to "Down Winter Coats".