I was lying in bed late last week, listening to our portable air conditioner struggle gallantly against the relentless tide of hot air trying to make its way into our apartment. And the whole time I was thinking to myself: what if my website isn’t ranking well for certain keyword phrases?

As if through divine divination, my inbox was flooded not with cool air, but with these emails the following day:

A few days ago I came across your website and I noticed that you were not ranking well for certain keyword phrases. I would like to send you an absolutely free report showing you 3 or 4 things you can easily do on your own (without hiring me or anyone else) to help improve your Google rankings dramatically. Would that be okay? I would send it to you sometime next week. Again, this is a completely free service. Please let me know.

I’m tempted to reply and ask to what website they’re referring, what keyword phrases I should use, and what SEO plugins to my non-existent WordPress install I should use.

But then, to whom would I respond? My spam folder has had this email from Maria Bell, Hannah Anderson, Velita Lynn, Victoria Miller, Alice White, Anna Johnson, Ashley Powell, Suzi Williams, Rebecca Brown, Lisa Brown, Lila Brown, Carlia Smith, Christina Jover, Emily Newman, Emma Bell, Kaylee Williams, Jane Ava, Kathy Bella, Nina Martin, Monica Botha, and as the lone male bot in the group, James Parker.

The Browns look as though their whole family are on board, so maybe I should ask one of them. Though as I started writing this, Debbie Willis emailed back asking if I’d received her last email.