People unclear on the concept

By Phil Plait | September 25, 2008 8:57 am

I get email. Because my site has been around a while it rises pretty high in Google searches, and that means all kinds of spam gets sent to me. Invalid offers to buy the site, requests for links, and such.

I just got this email, with the subject line "Link Exchange Request with Free Psychic Readings site":


I saw your website’s page and felt that you have a wonderful resource which can be of interest to users on my website who are looking for free psychic readings. We will reciprocate you from one of our good theme based site.

My desired link is

[link redacted] Free Psychic Readings: 5Free Minutes @ [website name redacted] Get Live phone love relationship advice with Free Psychic Readings, Free Tarot Card Readings, Astrology Predictions, Numerology Readings and more on [website name redacted]!

I hope you will find my website another good resource to be added into your website.

Kindly revert back with your preferred linking code, hoping for a positive response from you.

Hmmm, a positive response? Well, I can positively say no.

Maybe these folks ought to actually, y’know, read my site first.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: About this blog, Antiscience, Humor

Comments (28)

  1. Your site’s aura was all she needed to read.

  2. I’ll start with the obvious: Shouldn’t they have known you’d turn them down?

  3. Jim

    Yet another one who doesn’t know the difference between Astronomy and astrology

  4. Celtic_Evolution

    dagnabbit… Andrew beat me to it. :)

  5. PG

    Oh, I’m sure it was a robot who found “psychics” somewhere on your site and sent off an email “site unseen” (as it were).

  6. Elmar_M

    LOL, my bet would be the robot, if not that, then I would say they did read your site, but are just to stupid to understand what you are saying ūüėČ
    The people that buy into their services most likely are…

  7. Greg in Austin

    Wait, so there are psychic robots now?

    Wow, the internet really has come a long way.


  8. bloo

    I :: saw :: that punchline coming.

  9. Sili

    Well, she’s right. I damn well hope your site’d be of interest to anyone looking for ‘psychics’.

  10. Gary in Norman

    In my previous life (she got the football tickets), I would stroll through the Campus Corner section of town on the way to the Large Sporting Event 5 or 6 times a year. There was a spiritist/headshop (odd combo, but that is what it was) in the Campus Corner area and right on cue, every year, there wwould be a sign reading “Psychic Fair – Saturday October XX” in their window. And on cue, I would stick my head in the door and ask, “If it is a Psychic Fair, why do you need to advertise? Wouldn’t everyone just know?”

    I always got blank looks…every week.

  11. Robert Hale

    An astrologer at a UK tabloid was fired some years ago after he/she was caught recycling old predictions.
    The letter from the editor to him/her began: “As you will no doubt have foreseen….”

  12. Chris Jenks

    I think you should link to it. It could be fun. Write up a quick primer on how to use their tricks against them; then kick back and watch the party.

  13. squawky

    Oh, come on – add a link for them :) — a page of “here’s a bunch of SCAM psychic sites that you should never give money to!” links, and in return perhaps one of their visitors gets an education by visiting here. (No where in the email does it suggest that you have to put a positive link…)

  14. The crystal ball must have been broken that day. :)

  15. Hoonser

    Well I don’t know. I remember before you had all those ads for quack water powered car conversions on your site before..

  16. That’s a good one!
    Maybe they saw “Physics” and thought it was “Psychics”!!! ūüėÜ

    I got a link request day before yesterday from a video production company in Ireland. Since I make DVDs and stuff I thought I’d take a look at their site and offerings before I deleted the email. They make some nice HDTV animations and sell them online. I was in the process of actually ordering one of the clips (stars rushing at the camera) and I saw the usual “Read the terms of use” links and followed it.

    Full of the usual legaleese, but I decided to skim it anyway. I found in there that the video clips could not legally be used for pornography, tobacco advertisements, and (get this!) birth control commercials! In other words, they equate pornography and birth control as equally evil!

    I backed out of the order page and sent them this email:
    I was just about to sign up for your service and buy your item #686, but then I read the fine print in your usage terms. It seems you folks equate birth control with pornography.


    You’re -SO- out of touch with reality.
    There’s no way I’ll support your company. I’ve visited Cork too, nice town. Smithwick’s Cream Ale (draft): mighty fine!

    Maybe some fine day you’ll think for yourselves instead of letting the pope do it for you. I hope so. Women are not property and need to exercise control over their lives.

    Richard B. Drumm
    3D – Drumm Digital Design

  17. Scott

    Maybe they thought it was…oh wait, there isn’t anything but bad astrology.

    Also, if they’re psychic, shouldn’t they have already known you’d say no?

  18. Scott

    Also, @Richard you’re also assuming there’s something inherently wrong with pornography.

  19. madge

    Yeah really they should have seen in the tea leaves/crystal ball/runes/tarot cards/chicken entrails etc etc that you would decline their kind offer. ok people please pay attention as I am sick to the teeth with dumb idiots asking me if I am still studying ASTROLOGY and sending me links to PSYCHIC websites. It’s ASTRONOMY and PHYSICS that I am into. PLEASE!

  20. Siri

    Wait, wait. So these people did not psychically know that you are going to say “no”. :-)

    Go ahead and link it. It will be fun. :-)


  21. PG

    Greg in Austin Says: Wait, so there are psychic robots now?

    LOL. Yes- haven’t you been reading your Asimov?

    @madge: I couldn’t tell you the number of my former students who meet me on the street and say, “Hi, I was in your Astrology class!” In my more bitter moods, I sometimes reply with, “No you weren’t.”

  22. Fritriac

    One word: EPIC FAIL!

    Oh, wait, that’s two …

  23. Hey, I got that email too…and I know my blog is nowhere near as highly ranked as yours. I’m also pretty sure I’ve never used the word “psychic” in a post. Geology and pseudoscience really don’t mix :)

    Looks like another spambot…too bad you can’t play “Rock Em Sock Em Robots” with it and pop its head off.

  24. Jigsaw Man

    Nonsense! There is such a thing as Good Astrology. Here, I’ll make an astrological prediction:

    Because Venus is ascending, and the moon is (nearly) new, the planetary alignments are auspicious for you to enroll in a Critical Thinking class at your local Community Collage. Additionally, the position of Mars suggests that you carry an umbrella if it looks like rain.

  25. Just yesterday I had a “friend request” on Myspace – not all that unusual, but when I checked out the user’s page I saw such an awesome infestation of woo I simply couldn’t accept. I mean, one look at my “top friends” list should be enough for anyone to figure out my opinions on astrology, palm reading and spirituality! (clue: PZ and BA are both prominent.)

    Instead of a Captcha, I’m thinking of inviting people to explain the meaning of ‘The Age of Aquarius’ in astronomical terms (with reference to the Precession of the Equinoxes) in order to be accepted. That usually sorts the astrologers from the astronomers!

  26. llewelly

    Wait, so there are psychic robots now?
    Wow, the internet really has come a long way.

    As you can see from the email Phil wrote about, they have a hit rate similar to the meat kind …

  27. I sense you rejected the offer.

    Cool! I’m psychic! I can has undeserved sums of money?

  28. You really should. The link code should include videos Randi’s and Sagan’s debunking of astrology. Maybe you should make a video hall of fame for these sorts of things and get these people to link to it, and you put their link code in a hall of sham(e). Just make sure to use rel=nofollow in the links.


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