Media Discovery Advertising; The Beautiful Scam (Bloggers Beware)

Received an email from Media Discovery asking for "Advertising space"? Watch out.

First of all, congratulations (I guess). If you got an advertising email from Media Discovery – that means your blog is popular enough to be valuable to them. So I guess that’s pretty cool.

Moving on, is Media Discovery Advertising a scam? Yes and no. It really depends on how to define “scam.”

This is what the scam email from Media Discovery looks like

This is what the scam email from Media Discovery looks like

The short version:

Everything they write in the email is “technically” true. However, by “advertising space” they mean “blog posts that we write, filled with our paid content.” Media Discovery Advertising will pay you to publish pre-written articles on your website with links to their customer’s sites. You receive a monthly/yearly payment until one of you decides to terminate the contract.

When Google realizes you are selling space on your blog (called Black Hat SEO – Google punished blogs that do exactly what Media Discovery wants you to do), they will “demote” you on their search engines, so you will lose about 90% – 95% of your traffic through search engines. Which, you know, is bad if you rely on search engines to generate traffic (like I do).

Your blog will have been blacklisted.

When this happens, Media Discovery typically (though not always) terminates the contract.

Answer: Yes, Media Discovery is a scam

They aren’t actually going to “advertise” on your site – they will pay you to link to their client’s site. They know this will hurt your blog when Google finds out, and when Google DOES find out, they will drop you for a number of other fresh, new, un-tainted blogs. It is a scam because they are not telling you the risks associated with Black Hat SEO.

What to expect:

The email looks something like this:

Hi Grace,

I was wondering whether you’d be interested in selling advertising space on Howibecametexan.com? The advertisement would be unobtrusive and we can pay you an annual upfront payment for the advertising space.

We can also provide guest blog posts from industry experts in many cases.

I am from Media Discovery, a new media agency headquartered in the UK. We plan out and acquire advertising space on major websites and portals, as well as smaller niche sites. I personally deal with our smaller publishers, increasing brand awareness and share of voice for the major brands that our group works with.

We’d love to work with your site. If you have any questions or would like further information, please do not hesitate to email me directly.

Kind Regards,
Irene Tran*
irene.tran@mediadiscovery.org

Media Discovery (a New Web Ltd company)
Email: irene.tran@mediadiscovery.org

*Other bloggers have also had the names Stacy Armstrong, Diane Conner, Juanita Cohen, Alison Graham, Jessica Jordan, Abby Burton, Stacy Armstrong, Thomas Burke, Alice Bell, Samuel Lowe, Patrick Smart, Evan Saunders, Greg Swanson, Tony Maldonado, Angela Simmons, Eric Walker, Randy Wilkerson, Wendy Stevenson, Abby Burton, Martha Harper, Renee Malone, Dean Stokes, Renee Malone, Alison Graham, Martha Harper, Denise Mason, Kathy Gonzales, Julie Gordon, Samuel Lowe, Joyce Hale, Juanita Cohen, and Marvin Gree used.

[Let’s take a moment to appreciate how many unique names they have come up with]

When I first got this email, I was really excited. I thought “wow, I finally have someone who wants to sponsor my blog! Great!” Then I did a Google search. My favorite blog pointing out the scammy aspects of Media Discovery was this one.

The long version:

Media Discovery Advertising pays your to promote their customers through SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Google ranks blogs based on how many sites link in, daily pageviews, average time on site, and the number of unique users. While some of those are difficult and expensive to change (paying for ads, etc), paying another site to link into your own is, well, pretty easy. Google assumes that if a lot of sites are linking into a specific website, then that website has useful and important information.

So the easiest way to boost your site’s spot on search engines is to get a lot of other websites to link into yours.In the case of the clients of Media Discovery, they do this artificially, by paying “influential” bloggers.

If you got an email from Media Discovery Advertising then your blog is considered “influential” to pay for fake links. This is known as “Black Hat SEO

Black Hat SEO is (in the simplest terms) using unethical means to artificially boost a website’s SEO ranking. Long-term black hat SEO methods are typically penalized by search engines, especially Google.

Basically, Media Discovery Advertising is paying for your to publish an “article” on your blog. That “article” will be stuffed with links to the Media Discovery Advertising’s client’s website. It seems harmless enough; some sites can get away with five to ten of these posts before search engines catch on.

But search engines will eventually catch on. Perhaps you can make a couple hundred dollars (tempting, I know), but when Google discovers your website has dabbled in promoting Black Hat SEO, it will be penalized. Expect to lose 80% – 90% of your search engine traffic in a matter of days.

Once your website has been blacklisted, it is difficult to recover.

Is Media Discovery a scam?

Yes, but not in the ways you would expect

Technically everything Media Discovery Advertising says is true. But they are also taking advantage of bloggers – accepting large sums of money (and paying a comparatively small portion to blogger) to artificially boost the SEO of their client’s website. Once your website is penalized, it will be dropped from the Media Discovery Advertising “contract.”

So yes, Media Discovery Advertising is a scam – if for no reason other than the fact that they do not warn bloggers about the repercussions of their “advertising.”

Don’t be fooled.

Also, you know, if Media Discovery has contacted you with other names, feel free to post them here. I just want to make sure bloggers who don’t know about Black hat SEO don’t get scammed.

 

 

————————–

Add me on Google Plus: +Grace Buchele

About Grace Buchele Mineta

I got into the writing business by accident. Now I live in the countryside near Tokyo with my husband, Ryosuke, where I draw comics, blog, and make videos about our daily life. Contact: Website | More Posts

151 Comments on Media Discovery Advertising; The Beautiful Scam (Bloggers Beware)

  1. It’s a scam to the extent Google does n’t like it.
    On the other hand Google can say “it’s our engine and we blacklist those who try to take advantage of it”.

  2. You can just use the no_follow tag.

  3. ANOTHER NAME:

    Sophia Thompson :

    Hi

    I have a client that is interested in publishing content on your website for a 12 months period.

    We are able to provide the content if necessary and can ensure that it is unique, up to date and relevant to the theme of your website.

    If you are interested please reply and we can discuss it further.

    Best regards

  4. Wow…I’m so glad you posted this. I’ve just started a blog myself, so reading this is a huge help. You’ve saved me from being punished by the mighty Google! Thanks a bunch! I’ll remember to mark them as spam.

  5. Beware indeed. I love that you posted the names. I quite often get emails from this Kathy Gonzales you mentioned. If any of her emails sneak their way into my inbox, I mark them immediately as spam! :)

  6. Yes I also got an email from Kathy and when I replied then I got an email from Amy hill for the blog post. Here is the email which I got:
    “Hi,

    I was wondering whether you’d be interested in selling advertising space on Worldfortravel.com? The advertisement would be unobtrusive and we can pay you an annual upfront payment for the advertising space.

    We can also provide guest blog posts from industry experts in many cases.

    I am from Media Discovery, a new media agency headquartered in the UK. We plan out and acquire advertising space on major websites and portals, as well as smaller niche sites. I personally deal with our smaller publishers, increasing brand awareness and share of voice for the major brands that our group works with.

    We’d love to work with your site. If you have any questions or would like further information, please do not hesitate to email me directly.

    Kind Regards,
    Kathy Gonzales
    kathy.gonzales@mediadiscovery.org

  7. I knew it was fishy when the person who emailed me doesn’t even have a last name, just “John”. Also, given that I have several blogs, he doesn’t even mention where he saw my blog from. Not even money offer. Glad I found this blog post about it. Here’s the email I just got:

    Hi,

    I work for a company called Discover Media, acting on behalf of a casino client who like to advertise on your website.

    I am interested in publishing a short article (around 300+ words) on your website, to stay live for a 12 month period.

    We tailor each article to suit individual websites, and are able to provide the content if necessary and can ensure that it is unique, up to date and relevant to the theme of your website, alternatively you can provide content if you wish.

    If you are interested please reply and we can discuss it further.

    Best regards,

    John

    • Yep. I just got the exact same email. And I’m in the same situation–multiple blogs, no mention of which one. What made me a little suspicious was the lack of a surname given on a “professional” email, particularly offering a business proposition. So, I Googled.

      I’m glad I found this place. Thanks for the heads up, Grace! And interesting blog!

    • Yeah. The whole operation is a bit fishy… Glad you didn’t get hooked! (no pun intended)

  8. Hi, just got this proposal for Non-Mainstream News

    Hi Slavisa,

    I was wondering whether you’d be interested in selling advertising space on Smartestfinance.com? The advertisement would be unobtrusive and we can pay you an annual upfront payment for the advertising space.

    We can also provide guest blog posts from industry experts in many cases.

    I am from Media Discovery, a new media agency headquartered in the UK. We plan out and acquire advertising space on major websites and portals, as well as smaller niche sites. I personally deal with our smaller publishers, increasing brand awareness and share of voice for the major brands that our group works with.

    We’d love to work with your site. If you have any questions or would like further information, please do not hesitate to email me directly.

    Kind Regards,
    Kathy Gonzales
    kathy.gonzales@mediadiscovery.org

  9. Daniel lee // 20 June, 2014 at 9:13 am //

    Economical media solutions ltd
    Is a similar scam !
    They contacted me and claimed I had placed an advert with them !
    They have no land line phone number !
    Just a mobile and what they sent me as an artwork proof was laughable .
    There invoice says they are bases in Manchester , however they use this as a mail forwarding adress and presumably work from a small scruffy looking house in bury
    168 alfred street bury please please be careful with these criminals

  10. Thanks – your post about this comes at the top of the Google search, by the way! My own post about MD is here: http://andrewcferguson.com/2014/06/15/selling-your-digital-soul-or-the-slight-return-of-doris-and-the-spambots/

    All the best, and keep blogging!

  11. Thank you so much for your post. You saved me a lot of money, time, and aggravation.

  12. Oh gosh thanks so much for this!! I got Evan Saunders and every time I kept asking for more information, other bloggers they’ve worked with, and what exactly they’d want to do I got all sorts of vague answers. I’m so thankful I googled them before I agreed to it! He was very persistent, I got about 15 emails from him periodically checking in but none of them ever linked back to an old email, which made me nervous.

    • Oh and it appears the links they have been using to give you an example of their client’s pages have been being removed. They had to send me 3 separate links for different “product” before one worked. And then I got an email a week later that the link they had previously provided me no longer worked and to try this new one instead. I don’t know why I didn’t catch on to that at first.

      • I’ve always been surprised they haven’t sent me an email asking/demanding I take this post down. Literally, one of the first things you see on Google when you put their name in is my blog post. Whoever is on their PR is doing a bad job.

    • I’ve realized that if the person emailing you sends short, vague, or not-very-thorough emails, it’s probably a scam. I got picked up by another company like this recently who just sends short “Ok, so you will do it? We will pay you X per month” emails.
      No context = probably a scam.

  13. Thank you for this! I just googled them and your post came up! Thanks for being so thorough too! Much appreciated!

  14. Add Renee Malone to you list please

  15. Here’s another one to add to the list:

    Hello

    I work for Discover Media and we currently represent an online casino interested in working with you, or the administrator of your website, for the purpose of advertising. Specifically, we are looking to advertise on websites willing to enter into a minimum obligation of one year.

    We would be excited to discuss one or more of these strategies with you:

    Option 1
    Paying you $100 for an article to stay live on your site for 12 months, containing a link to the client’s site.
    This would:
    · Be short (300-400 words).
    · Contain a link to the client’s online casino site.
    · Tailored to fit in with your site and audience. (For example recently we have worked with many fashion sites on pieces such as ‘what to wear on a night out at the casino’, or technology sites reviewing the ‘best mobile phone for gaming of 2014’

    Option 2
    Paying you $100 to place an infographic on your site titled ‘The history of gaming’ or ‘The rise in mobile gaming’

    If you are interested or desire more information please reply to joshw@discovermedia.co.uk with any questions.

    Regards,

    Josh Wilson

    P.S: He actually kept raising the price of trying to get a post on our site with every email. We mentioned something about the FTC when it came to sponsored posts and it was dead silence from him there after. But his “colleagues” kept sending emails.

    • Here’s yet another: Renee Malone
      renee.malone@mediadiscovery.org

      • Just realized two things as well: Never noticed before they have been contacting us from two differen “domains” — the .com, .org and .co.uk – It’s all so fishy.

        The second thing is: Before we dig in to do our research we initially accepted the offer. Here’s where the problem was: We made sure we noted that it was a sponsored post on the website and added in a disclosure that we were compensated for the post. Josh had a problem with that. They wanted us to remove the sponsored part and re-word the disclosure to make it look like it was a collaborative effort. He then offered to pay us more money but at that point more red flags were raised. After we made a mention of the FTC, we took down the post which was up no longer than 12 hours and never heard back.

        It seems even harder to report them to the BBB because if they’re emailing people from different email addresses and different “company” names with a play on words, it’s hard to pinpoint who exactly to report. Nonetheless, I’m happy I found this post and I’m sickened at what they are doing over there.

  16. Just got email from guy Tony Maldonado …

  17. dianabletter // 27 March, 2014 at 4:14 pm //

    It’s a good thing you posted this, Grace, thank you! I, too, was so flattered that my blog, http://www.thebestchapter.com, which is about living and writing one’s best chapter, had been “discovered.” Wow, I thought. Then I came upon your blog – it reminds me that there are no shortcuts and only hard work pays off. Here’s the email from Martha. Martha!
    Hi diana,

    I was wondering whether you’d be interested in selling advertising space on Thebestchapter.com? The advertisement would be unobtrusive and we can pay you an annual upfront payment for the advertising space.

    We can also provide guest blog posts from industry experts in many cases.

    I am from Media Discovery, a new media agency headquartered in the UK. We plan out and acquire advertising space on major websites and portals, as well as smaller niche sites. I personally deal with our smaller publishers, increasing brand awareness and share of voice for the major brands that our group works with.

    We’d love to work with your site. If you have any questions or would like further information, please do not hesitate to email me directly.

    Kind Regards,
    Martha Harper
    martha.harper@mediadiscovery.org

    • Scammy things like these are so frustrating. I wish there were shortcuts – but if it was easy, every blogger would be able to make it. In any case, I love your blog (it’s a nice idea) and I wish you the best in the future!
      I’m adding Martha Harper to my list, thanks!

  18. Have they changed their name? because I got contacted by discovermedia.co.uk by a Josh. Their email structure has changed as well. Nice to know something did seem off about them.
    Dee

    • I’m not sure. They might have.

      Would you be able to send along their new email template (even just copy-paste in a comment)? If they’ve changed, I want to update this post.

      Thanks!

      • Sure here it is,

        Hello

        I work for Discover Media and we currently represent an online casino interested in working with you, or the administrator of your website, for the purpose of advertising. Specifically, we are looking to advertise on websites willing to enter into a minimum obligation of one year.

        We would be excited to discuss one or more of these strategies with you:

        Option 1
        Paying you $100 for an article to stay live on your site for 12 months, containing a link to the client’s site.
        This would:
        · Be short (300-400 words).
        · Contain a link to the client’s online casino site.
        · Tailored to fit in with your site and audience. (For example recently we have worked with many fashion sites on pieces such as ‘what to wear on a night out at the casino’, or technology sites reviewing the ‘best mobile phone for gaming of 2013’)

        Option 2
        Paying you $100 for banner advertising,this would be:
        · Live for 12 months
        · On the Home page sidebar only
        · A Small 125X125 image

        Option 3
        Paying you $100 to place an infographic on your site titled ‘The history of gaming’ or ‘The rise in mobile gaming’

        If you are interested or desire more information please reply to josh@discovermedia.co.uk with any questions.

        Regards,

        Josh

  19. Hi, I got an email from Doris Fuller, you already have the name. I even emailed them back to see what they were up to, but when I got more info back, saying they wanted to write whole posts to go on my blog I didn’t actually fancy that idea anyway.

    Thanks for this post though, I hadn’t thought of the Google angle which they are exploiting and using innocent bloggers to take the hit, while they continue to profit…

  20. Thank you so much! You saved me from a lot of trouble and pain.

  21. GAGA For Gluten-Free (www.gagagf.com) just got one from : Erin Walker [mailto:erin.walker@mediadiscovery.org] – I was wondering why the email was from a ‘”.org” and the website was from a “.com”. I am too protective over my brand to have some company just post at random information to my customers. Why cant Google do something about this particular company? Thanks Grace for posting USEFUL and REAL information :)

    • Oh wow, I didn’t even pick up on that .org mistake.

      Sadly Google hasn’t really done anything (like remove their website from search engines). The only thing I see happening is affiliated bloggers being punished.

      Oh well. Good for you got being protective of your brand!!

  22. Thank you soooo much for this!! I almost went through with it. Seriously, thank you!

  23. Oh wow! Thank you thank you thank you! I have been receiving emails from Alice Bell. I’ve been a little skeptical & she keeps emailing me wanting to increase the annual fee. Glad I found your post :)

  24. Add “Denise Mason” to the list. I even got a follow up:

    I recently sent you an email about hosting an advertisement on your site. I hope you received it, if not it may have ended up in your junk folder.

    I believe we offer a very attractive system of advertising. You would be paid a yearly-renewable fee for placing a text-based advertisement that is appropriate to the topic of your site.

    Please get back to me if you are interested in placing an advertisement…?

  25. Just got an email from them too.. Thanks for the head’s up!!

  26. You can add Randy Wilkerson to that list…

    Hi Irene,

    I recently sent you an email about hosting an advertisement on your site. I hope you received it, if not it may have ended up in your junk folder.

    I believe we offer a very attractive system of advertising. You would be paid a yearly-renewable fee for placing a text-based advertisement that is appropriate to the topic of your site.

    Please get back to me if you are interested in placing an advertisement on Ireneb.com?

    Kind Regards,

    Randy Wilkerson
    randy.wilkerson@mediadiscovery.com

  27. Anonymous // 2 March, 2014 at 11:24 am //

    Erin Walker

  28. I’m so glad I found your post! I just got an email from them (the named used was Alison Graham) and thought it seemed sketchy! I’m really glad I didn’t waste my time writing back. Thank you for taking the time to share this info.

  29. I have a couple of questions.
    1) Why can’t you simply post the blog post and then take it down after you receive payment? Then the links are gone. If there is no contract signed with this company then there can be no penalty.
    2) Why are we paying so much homage to Google? There are other search engines out there that are being used. Yes, I know Google is the biggest, but do we need to keep feeding that illusion that they are the only “good” search engine out there? Also remember Google also does the most data mining and holding onto your info. Just my .02.

    • Good questions – I probably should have addressed those in the article.
      1. I think while you can technically post, then remove the article after payment, if you do that, Media Discovery will stop working with you. Sometimes they offer to pay per article, other times per month. From what I understand about Black Hat SEO, once you’re on a “blacklist” from doing paid articles, you’re stuck on that list even if you remove the affiliated articles. As for the payment – if they use Paypal, they can take back up to three months of payment if you violate a contract or they are not pleased with your performance (my brother does a lot of computer programming freelance stuff and is having problems with clients trying to get their money back months later on Paypal).
      2. While there are other search engines, I get nearly all my search engine traffic from Google. Out of the roughly 4000 views I get daily, 1,500 – 1,700 of them come from Google search (as opposed to only about 100 – 150 from Yahoo and Bing). So while getting blacklisted from Yahoo wouldn’t kill my blog, getting blacklisted from Google search would.

      I hope I answered your questions. Feel free to ask for clarifications!

  30. Thanks for the great info! I’ll be sharing in my circles.

  31. Thank you for exposing this! I just received an email with the name Alice Bell.

  32. Thank you. I googled to see if they were a real company and found your post. thx for saving me and others!

  33. You can also add Joyce Hale to the list. Glad I found this article, I was considering it…

  34. Thanks for that- I got one from Diane Connor. I so wanted it to be true!!!!!!

  35. Thank you for this info! I thought as much when the email I received landed in my ‘junk’ folder…but I did a search anyway (I’m pretty good with spotting spam/scam emails) the 1st alarm bell was that their site ends in [dot] com when their email ends in [dot] org??? My email was from “Samuel Lowe” (on your list already)…it’s getting blocked now

    • You would think they would put more effort into appearing legit, especially if they are appealing to bloggers. If I did social media for them, I would focus more on improving the public image of the company (at least so the first couple pages on Google aren’t from jilted bloggers pointing out the scam).
      It’s weird.

  36. I got one from Evan Saunders.
    Thanks for the advice

  37. Thanks for the “heads up” Grace. I was contacted last week by “Juanita Cohen” !

  38. Anonymous // 6 February, 2014 at 1:51 pm //

    I got one from Samuel Lowe, Samuel.Lowe@mediadiscovery.org for my site http://www.thelinuxcauldron.com , thanks for the heads up, I really* appreciate it.

  39. So glad I found your post – I too felt “flattered” then decided to research their company and your site popped up. So glad I found your info! You can add Angela Simmons to the list of names! * I am curious how much time they spend out of their day making up all these names! Ha! *

    • I see repeats every once and a while, but I do seriously wonder how many of these names they have. Wow. It’s ridiculous.

  40. Add Patrick Smart. I got the same email in December but they also send follow ups if you ignore them. I plan on ignoring them :) Thanks for posting this!

  41. From: Renee Malone
    Subject: Advertising proposal for Wrnradio.us

    Message Body:
    Hi ,

    Renee here of Media Discovery. We are a new media agency headquartered in the UK. I would have ideally liked to contact you directly through your email address, but couldn’t find it on your site.

    I was wondering whether you’d be interested in selling advertising space on Wrnradio.us? We can offer you 100USD for a single advertisement.

    I would love to have the opportunity to discuss this further with you. If you are interested, I can provide you with more information about our company, clients, and advertising campaign. Please let me know if you wish me to send these details over, by emailing me at renee.malone@mediadiscovery.org

    Kindly include your website for me to get back to you quickly.

    Thanks ! I look forward to hearing from you.

    Kind Regards,
    Renee Malone
    renee.malone@mediadiscovery.org

  42. I got an email from Erin Walker and found your site after a quick google search. Thanks for posting about this scam and please add her name to your running list.

    • Thanks :) Will do. Actually, another blogger just got the name Erin Walker too, so I guess that’s a popular name right now.

  43. Thanks for this in depth explanation. I was contacted by Martha Harper

  44. Been there got that. Declined. I got 2 e-mails from Alison Graham. Now that I think about it I received quite a few requests since last summer for advertising on my site. The funniest of all was from a company selling… pleasure enhancing products. Yeah right! I thought, sure I do all the hard work, have tons of followers of course such companies want to advertise on my site. I worked really hard to get my blog build and honest I pride myself on what I post. I can’t imagine signing a contract with such advertising company and have to post things that would irritate my followers. Not worth it.
    So, thank you for doing your homework, Grace!

    • Thanks so much :)
      I agree with you. I mean, I don’t have as many followers as you do, but it seems kind of… “cheap” to sell out and advertise a product I don’t fully support and/or believe in. I’m glad you stuck to your gut and rejected those offers!

  45. Thanks from a fellow target (and Texan)!

  46. This is horrible, I have had a few emails from Erin Walker lately and my gut said something about it wasn’t quite right so glad my husband found this for me. What tipped you off how do we avoid things like this?

    • I was tipped off because it seemed “too good to be true.” I also knew a bit about Black Hat SEO from a friend who paid someone on Fiver (that site where you pay someone 5 dollars to do something for you) to get links to her blog. After the links came up, traffic to her site went down by, like, a lot. She was so frustrated.
      With that in mind, I kind of assumed the only reason they would be so secretive about the kind of “links” is because it was probably illegal or against Google’s rules.

  47. Got one from Erin Walker. Thanks for the heads up!

  48. Add Wendy Stevenson to that list. Just had to find it in my deleted items folder!

  49. Thanks for the info, I got one from Alice Bell, Sorry if repeat and already mentioned in above.

    • A couple other people have gotten that name as well – it seems to be one of the most “recent” Media Discovery names. Thanks for sharing!

  50. Thanks Grace. This was very helpful I am glad I decided to research this before contacting them back. You can add Samuel Lowe to the list.

  51. Thanks so much for this – a quick google turned up your post and stopped me getting sucked in. My person is Diane Conner (a rather apt name, don’t you think!).

  52. I just received an email from them yesterday. Thanks for the info! I will delete it immediately!

  53. Hi – sadly I got one too. From a Diane Connor. Wasnt she from the terminator?

    • I think she was. And she’s been sending out a lot of those emails (you’re not the only one who has gotten an email from her). I will add her name to the list :)

  54. I got one of these emails from Juanita Cohen. The phrasing was the same as others have reported.

  55. Received that same email today from an “Alison Graham”. Please add it to the list. Thank you.

  56. Jessica Jordan…added. Thanks for the post and the info.

  57. I got one from “Thomas Burke.”

    ugh.

  58. Wow, thanks so much for posting this!!! You can add the name Alice Bell to the list. I’m bummed out because I wanted this to be legit but I’m glad I looked into it more. Thanks again!

  59. Thank you so much for your information on these people! I was just contacted by them today (though they claimed they had contacted me previously) and I thought it seemed a bit off… I was contacted by Doris Fuller.

    I’m still curious how they figure out who to target though. I average 20-40 hits a day–not particularly influential in my opinion. Today however we’ve gone up to nearly 200 so I wonder if it had something to do with that?

    Anyway, thanks again! :)

  60. Thanks! This was helpful, as Erin Walker has contacted me and I really wasn’t sure what to make of it!

  61. Would seem that Julie Gordon must have gotten married and is now going by her new name Julie Simmons, which is who emailed me. ;) I am also with Jen Waak, thought it was sidebar ad space. Thanks for the good post!

  62. I got a Julie request, too. Thank you for writing this. I was wondering if it was legit, too – especially after not responding to the first request and receiving a secondary follow-up. So thank you for sharing all this info and for everyone else who shared their experience. I won’t be responding. Thanks! Jill

    • Yeah, the follow-up also surprised me. At first I thought they were pissed because I wrote this piece on them (as if they had somehow read it), but apparently not. Oh well. They send out a LOT of emails…

  63. You can add Julie Gordon to your list of names!

    Hi Ellie,

    I was wondering whether you’d be interested in selling advertising space on Choosingpeaceblog.com? The advertisement would be unobtrusive and we can pay you an annual upfront payment for the advertising space.

    We can also provide guest blog posts from industry experts in many cases.

    I am from Media Discovery, a new media agency headquartered in the UK. We plan out and acquire advertising space on major websites and portals, as well as smaller niche sites. I personally deal with our smaller publishers, increasing brand awareness and share of voice for the major brands that our group works with.

    We’d love to work with your site. If you have any questions or would like further information, please do not hesitate to email me directly.

    Kind Regards,
    Julie Gordon
    julie.gordon@mediadiscovery.org

  64. This is so helpful! Thank you. You can also add Julie Gordon to the list. Here’s my email from her:
    Name: Julie Gordon
    Email: julie.gordon@mediadiscovery.com
    Comment: Hi,

    Julie Gordon here of Media Discovery. We are a new media agency headquartered in the UK.

    I would have ideally liked to contact you directly through your email address, but couldn’t find it on your site. Anyway, I was wondering whether you’d be interested in selling advertising space on briannarwasson.com? We can offer you around €75 for a single article.

    I would love to have the opportunity to discuss this further with you. If you are interested, I can provide you with more information about our company, clients, and advertising campaign. Please let me know if you wish me to send these details over, by emailing me at julie.gordon@mediadiscovery.com

    Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.

    Yours,
    Julie Gordon

  65. Och yes i was offered also! Jezus thanks for sharing all info!

  66. You can add Renee Malone to your list! Thanks very much for writing this informative post!

    Hi Solana,

    I was wondering whether you’d be interested in selling advertising space on Solanaleigh.com? The advertisement would be unobtrusive and we can pay you an annual upfront payment for the advertising space.

    We can also provide guest blog posts from industry experts in many cases.

    I am from Media Discovery, a new media agency headquartered in the UK. We plan out and acquire advertising space on major websites and portals, as well as smaller niche sites. I personally deal with our smaller publishers, increasing brand awareness and share of voice for the major brands that our group works with.

    We’d love to work with your site. If you have any questions or would like further information, please do not hesitate to email me directly.

    Kind Regards,
    Renee Malone
    renee.malone@mediadiscovery.org

  67. Lovely!!
    Dean Stokes is also looking for advertising space. Seems Media Discovery was very busy this past December sending out emails for advertising space. Thanks for this post, it saved me some trouble

  68. Mine was from Abby Burton. Thanks for the info!

  69. Hi Grace,

    Thanks for writing this! Just discovered your blog when I searched media discovery as they emailed us with the equivalent of what’s been previously posted here.

    Great blog and love you and your husband’s story. Congratulations on getting married! I’m American and my wife is Australian, and we met in Belgium. We’re coming up on 9 years married to each other! :)

    Cheers,
    Alex

  70. You can add “Martha Harper” to the list of baddies, too.

  71. Thanks for warning me!

  72. Hello,

    I also recived message from them (below). Thanks for your tips, are really helpful!

    Hi Carl,

    I was wondering whether you’d be interested in selling advertising space on Base-Jumping.eu? The advertisement would be unobtrusive and we can pay you an annual upfront payment for the advertising space.

    We can also provide guest blog posts from industry experts in many cases.

    I am from Media Discovery, a new media agency headquartered in the UK. We plan out and acquire advertising space on major websites and portals, as well as smaller niche sites. I personally deal with our smaller publishers, increasing brand awareness and share of voice for the major brands that our group works with.

    We’d love to work with your site. If you have any questions or would like further information, please do not hesitate to email me directly.

    Kind Regards,
    Tony Maldonado
    tony.maldonado@mediadiscovery.org

    • Alright, thanks. I’m going to add that name to the list too.
      I hope enough people flag them as spam so they are not able to reach blogger’s mail boxes…

  73. I just got an email from Patrick Smart. Thanks for helping other bloggers beware!

    Hi Meredith,

    I was wondering whether you’d be interested in selling advertising space on Lavenderandclove.com? The advertisement would be unobtrusive and we can pay you an annual upfront payment for the advertising space.

    We can also provide guest blog posts from industry experts in many cases.

    I am from Media Discovery, a new media agency headquartered in the UK. We plan out and acquire advertising space on major websites and portals, as well as smaller niche sites. I personally deal with our smaller publishers, increasing brand awareness and share of voice for the major brands that our group works with.

    We’d love to work with your site. If you have any questions or would like further information, please do not hesitate to email me directly.

    Kind Regards,
    Patrick Smart
    patrick.smart@mediadiscovery.org

    • I swear, they send hundreds of those emails each day…

      Since this post, I’ve received two additional emails from them :(

  74. I got an email from Greg Swanson at Media Discovery just 3 days ago. I had assumed it was sidebar ads, not black hat SEO, but had already been planning on saying no.

    • I know they USED to pay by article, but now they pay a monthly/yearly fee. I just think it’s not worth it. Since Google has been REALLY cracking down on that kind of stuff, if Media Discovery wants to pay for black hat advertising, they should at least, well, pay better than they do.

  75. Thanks for the in depth info! Been trying to find something more in the ‘why’ department as I have just received one of these emails myself, as well as a formal followup email from ‘Kathy Gonzales’, but I knew something seemed fishy beyond scam/spam’.

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