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.

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