It's not spam. It's a misdirected email.
Either way, actual spammers should never be praised. If it was legitimately spam, then I wouldn't be impressed.
From the web site contact page of the original article, the author has email address "ericzliu on gmail". I can see how that could easily receive a mistyped email.
Again, I agree this would be good strategy for spammers, just don't see how this is one of those.
"Is this the game that you were talking about?"
Link to blog post reviewing some random game that has an amazon affiliate link spammed all over the post
Edit: Unless the spammer thought ahead and created and populated accounts around the internet pretending to be in HS so that we will now write off this spam as a misdirected email...
As for SEO benefits - I doubt that it would positively affect their ranking even if they were not widely known.
The only way that e-mails can be used for SEO (besides of buying links) is using the fact that Google is spying on the links you are sending. Every URL being sent through GMAIL is being crawled by Googlebot. This can be used to index backlinks.
In this case, there was no links inside.
This is demonstrably false.
Email a gmail address with a URL that only you know about. Then observe your server logs - you will not see GoogleBot at this URL
After emailing myself a link to that server on Gmail, referencing a document that doesn't exist, I waited for over six hours. No hits were recorded from any source and I am unable to duplicate your results.
First you plant the seed.
Then you wait for it to grow into a plant.
Then you …
I doubt someone is actually sending bulk emails from a comcast account.
That actually happens sometimes. Someone used my email when registering for an online store, and now I get mail receipts for everything he buys. The thing is there's no way I can contact him. I tried contacting the store, but they didn't do anything about it either, so I just created a mail filter and got on with life.
I guess the real lesson in my case is: always validate your user's email address by sending it a confirmation link (by t he way, I think people using giant regexps to validate mail are missing the point). I see the point in letting the user log in right away (as soon as an email address and password are provided), but I think there still should be a confirmation email and the system should not send any email to unconfirmed addresses.
Phase 3 is at the top of the page you are looking at (i.e. this one)
From: Tai Bei <email@example.com>
Seeking for your cooperation.