Here’s an obnoxious email I get sometimes from spammers, and my clients do too. It comes from the “fake good samaritan” type sender who is claiming to have found something wrong with your website and is offering to fix it for free.
It goes something like this:
I was looking at your website and noticed it appears this link is broken: https://liederdigital.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/03-16-20_b…p-accessibility_for_web_designers.txt
I had similar problems on my site until someone mentioned it to me and I also now use software from DeadLinkDetect.com to keep my site error free.
This kind of email is extremely annoying, for three reasons:
First, this sender is pretending to be an average user who was casually browsing my website and found a broken link and just wants to help.
Second, they’re not trying to help. They’re trying to sell me something (they may argue that it’s a free service, although this isn’t always the case).
Third, most importantly, I don’t have a broken link on my website! The link this user included here is indeed broken, but it doesn’t exist anywhere on my website at all. This is a completely fake, disingenuous email sent in bad faith about a problem that doesn’t even exist.
They’re claiming that a page on my website contains this broken link:
But guess what? I don’t have that link anywhere. My website does, however, contain the following link:
That’s a link to a transcript of a video I made on website accessibility. And despite this spammer’s intent to scare me, this link is very much not broken.
This would be like if I told someone “Hey, I tried calling you and your phone isn’t connected,” but then telling me the number they called wasn’t really my phone number. C’mon. That’s lame.
So, if you get an email like this, feel free to ignore it. It’s a scam, it’s fake, it’s someone trying to sell you something, and it’s a waste of time.
On a side note, part of why I know this is the case is that every website that Lieder Digital builds and hosts has a built-in link scanner that constantly scans for broken links, then emails us an alert whenever one is found. In other words, for my company, and my clients, I know if any of the websites I host have broken links because I get an alert as soon as it’s found, and then we make sure to fix it.
By the way, I was curious to see if the website “deadlinkdetect.com” was even a real website run by a real company. It may be, but check out what I found when I visited it just now.
Do you see that gibberish toward the top of the site? It says:
Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /homepages/38/d570365060/htdocs/SpellSpider/wp-content/plugins/cloudflare/vendor/cloudflare/cloudflare-plugin-backend/src/Integration/DefaultConfig.php:25) in /homepages/38/d570365060/htdocs/SpellSpider/wp-content/plugins/cf7-easy-math-captcha/includes/class-cf7emc-public.php on line 27
Ironic, isn’t it? Should I send them an email telling them their website has broken links on it? Ha!
Ron Stauffer is a web guy and digital marketer with a passion for helping small businesses grow. He has spent over 16 years working in the digital marketing field, building websites, creating marketing strategies, and growing traffic and revenue for small businesses across the USA. His motto is “data wins arguments,” and he uses data visualization tools and charts and graphs to track everything and prove the value of his marketing efforts for clients. Connect with Ron on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter, or visit Lieder Digital online.