Fake German Google Search Quality Team Warning from DONOTREPLY@gmail.com

May 10, 2007 • 7:54 am | comments (7) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Vanessa Fox of Google has confirmed this is not an email from Google and that these are fake emails. She said in a comment below, "The email you describe here did not come from Google."

I have seen a couple threads recently asking if the email address donotreply@gmail.com is a Google address. I did not know why people were asking this question until now.

A WebmasterWorld thread says that he as well as others have been receiving "Google Search Quality Team" emails warning of bans. Here are the characteristics of the email, as described in the thread:

(1) The email was in German.
(2) Many of the emails were sent out yesterday or today.
(3) Originating sender IP address resolves to an ISP in Spain.
(4) The email comes from DONOTREPLY@gmail.com and not from a google.com email address.
(5) Google rankings remain intact in both Google.com and Google.de.

Other people confirm recently receiving this email:

In Germany almost every webmaster has got one of those mails. They have been sent by using servers all over the world, the IP is not within Googles IP-range and the last sentence says that you'll find "a webmastertool" as attachement(!) which will easily allow you to file a reinclusion request after you fixed the mentioned problems with your site (a 301-Redirect!)...

It seems fake to me, I hope Matt Cutts sees this post and leaves us some official confirmation that this is not a Google email.

Why are these emails going out? Some suspect it was a virus email where the hackers forget to attach the virus. Or maybe some kids are trying to give people a hard time. We have seen cases of SEOs threatening banning if they don't continue to use their services, but this is different.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Previous story: How To Get Reinstated After Being Banned from Google AdWords



05/10/2007 01:42 pm

I got that mail, too. Published the mail on my <a href="http://www.internetmarketing-news.de/2007/05/10/falsche-mails-vom-google-search-quality-team/" rel="nofollow">blog</a>.

Vanessa Fox

05/10/2007 01:51 pm

We do send sometimes send email to webmasters to let them know of potential violations to the guidelines, as Matt talks about here: http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/webmaster-communication/ Those come from an @google.com address and never include an attachment. They direct the webmaster to our reinclusion request form with text very much like Matt describes in his post. The email you describe here did not come from Google.


05/10/2007 02:13 pm

Here is the text: Sehr geehrter Seiteninhaber oder Webmaster der Domain www.smart-it-consulting.com, bei der Indexierung Ihrer Webseiten mussten wir feststellen, dass auf Ihrer Seite Techniken angewendet werden, die gegen unsere Richtlinien verstossen. Sie finden diese Richtlinien unter folgender Webadresse: http://www.google.de/webmasters/guidelines.html Um die Qualitaet unserer Suchmaschine sicherzustellen, haben wir bestimmte Webseiten zeitlich befristet aus unseren Suchergebnissen entfernt. Zurzeit sind Seiten von www.smart-it-consulting.com fuer eine Entfernung ueber einen Zeitraum von wenigstens 30 Tagen vorgesehen. Wir haben auf Ihren Seiten insbesondere die Verwendung folgender Techniken festgestellt: *Seiten wie z. B. smart-it-consulting.com, die zu Seiten wie z. B. http://www.smart-it-consulting.com/index.htm mit Hilfe eines Redirects weiterleiten, der nicht mit unseren Richtlinien konform ist. Gerne wollen wir Ihre Seiten in unserem Index behalten. Wenn Sie wollen,, dass Ihre Seiten wieder von uns akzeptiert werden, korrigieren oder entfernen Sie bitte alle Seiten, die gegen unsere Richtlinien verstossen. Wenn dies erfolgt ist, besuchen Sie bitte die folgende Webadresse, um weitere Informationen zu erhalten und einen Antrag auf Wiederaufnahme in unseren Suchindex zu stellen: https://www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/reinclusion?hl=de Anbei erhalten Sie ein Google Webmastertool um Ihre Seite erneut zu indexieren. Google Search Quality Team Kopie an: webmaster@mydomain.com --------- Summary: Dear webmaster, your site makes use of techniques forbidden by our guidelines (301 redirects domain.com to www.domain.com), thus we'll ban you for 30 days. Please fix the issues, then open the attachment and use the program google_webmastertools.exe to get your site reincluded.


05/10/2007 11:00 pm

Hm... interesting, how come I didn't get one? Now I feel left out.


05/10/2007 11:46 pm

cool article, thanks...

Matt Cutts

05/11/2007 02:46 am

Vanessa, thanks for stopping by to confirm that it's fake.


03/29/2009 12:27 am

Hello! Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource! PS: Sorry for my bad english, I'v just started to learn this language ;) See you! Your, Raiul Baztepo

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