Posts Tagged ‘spam’
Monday, June 10th, 2013
SEO Michael Martinez got on his soap box about link schemes recently. It’s understandable. There is a lot of confusion about what a link scheme is, especially among SEOs. So I’d think there is at least an equal amount of confusion among non-SEO small business owners.
Michael defines a link scheme as any type of link building you do with a strategic purpose. That pretty much includes all of us.
However, he goes on to say that Google isn’t so much concerned with most types of link schemes. Rather, they are concerned with “manipulative” link schemes. I’m sure that he is aware that “manipulative” is as subjective a statement as anything else he rants about. But what does he mean?
A manipulative link scheme is anything Google considers black hat or gray hat SEO that you do for the purpose of boosting your site in its search rankings. More succinctly, I’d say Google would probably define “manipulative” as anything you do not for visitor or user benefit. Here’s the problem: No one knows what Google considers manipulative except for Google. For the rest of us, it’s a guessing game.
For that reason, it’s safest just to go about your business of building great content that is right for your visitors. Should you ask for links? Sure. I see no reason not to. But where most SEOs go wrong in building links is in thinking that they can do anything they want and get away with it.
Here’s an analogy. Speeding is illegal. You can’t drive above the speed limit. That doesn’t mean we all don’t do it. But if you think you can go 55 in a school zone, then you’re asking for trouble.
What’s the lesson? Don’t do anything stupid. Don’t do anything that any reasonable person would consider risky. Learn as much as you can about best practices and try to stay within reasonable limits.
Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
Every year, or two or three times in some years, someone will pen an article telling us all how SEO is dead or dying and how Google is the culprit. Well, here’s another one, only this one seems to be in the “SEO is not dying” camp, but it sure comes close.
Google is interested in two things:
- Creating the best search engine results pages for searchers
- Increasing profits
And not necessarily in that order, though if truth be known, these two goals are inextricably linked. Without search traffic Google won’t make money on its advertising, and good search results ensures long-lasting traffic.
All of that aside, however, there is reason to believe that SEO as we know it is dead. After all, Google is on a spam-killing spree and it seems that no tactic is sacred. It interests the largest search engine in the world to protect its search results. And that means, unfortunately, murdering some sacred cows.
In layman’s terms, a lot of things that I have taught over the years are no longer valid. For instance, I’m not convinced that it matters any more where you place your keywords. Keyword-based titles can still be flagged as spam and sent to the bottom of the search results heap. What’s infinitely more important going forward is the reputation of your content’s author. No longer is Google simply looking at the reputation of your website, though I don’t think they will discard it, but Google is now looking at the reputation of each individual author on your website. That’s very important for multi-author sites and sites that accept guest authors.
Bottom line, SEO is not dead, nor is it dying. But you should be prepared to approach your website’s optimization potential with brand new eyes.
Sunday, July 31st, 2011
I recently deleted a comment that had it been submitted to the right blog would have been a great comment. Unfortunately, to me it was spam. So what made it a spam comment?
Here, I’ll let you judge it for yourself:
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If you don’t see the problem, let me spell it out for you. The comment is a great comment for a hairstyling blog, maybe an African-American culture blog, or something related to one of those two niches. Mine is a small business marketing blog, a completely different topic.
When you leave comments on blogs, try to find blogs that are within your niche and comment on them. If you do go outside your niche to leave a comment on a blog, at least comment on the content of the blog post you are addressing. I haven’t written any blog posts on this blog about African-American hairstyles. So the above comment was pure spam.
To top it off, the commenter sought to get an anchor text link by leaving a keyword phrase in the name field of their comment. That’s another sign of spam. Don’t do it.
If you leave these types of comments willy-nilly on blogs just to get a link back, then shame on you. Wise bloggers see through the ploy and will delete your comment. So you’re wasting your time. You’re much better off just not commenting at all.
Thursday, July 14th, 2011
There are a variety of forms of spam. One particular type of spam that I find particularly egregious is blog comment spam because I see so much of it. Here are five specific ways I can tell a blog comment is spam and why I won’t approve it.
- Your comment is written by your company name or a keyword phrase. What this tells me when I see it is that you are looking for free link juice and aren’t really interested in engaging with me and my blog readers. If that is the case, then I’ll send your blog comment to the spam folder.
- Your e-mail address is from an obvious fake domain name or from a Web marketing company’s web address. If your Web marketing company can’t leave me your e-mail address or an e-mail address from your domain instead of theirs, then I know you paid someone to get you back links. You’re trying to game me. Your comment won’t be approved.
- Your comment is too generic. If the comment you leave on my blog is a comment that could have been left anywhere, then it won’t be approved. Address something that I wrote about in my blog post. Otherwise, your comment will be treated like spam.
- Your comment is full of links. Seriously, if you add your website address to the URL field of the comment form, you’ll get your link. You don’t have to fill your comment with multiple links back to different pages of your website. That’s obvious spam.
- It’s written in a foreign language. If I can’t read it, then most of my readers can’t either. The only person it benefits is you, and that’s questionable. Write your comments in English or they will be sent to the spam folder.
These are pretty standard blog comment approval policies. I don’t hold any ill will toward anyone wanting inbound links to their website, but I only approve comments for this blog if they are of some value to my readers. And I’m not unique in that regard.
Don’t be a spammer. Please add value to your comments or they won’t be approved.
Monday, March 28th, 2011
A lot has been said of Google’s most recent algorithm change, which was designed to kill the content farms. They call it the farmer update. But what started this?
Google has always tried to control the spam. That’s its mission. The sole purpose of the search engine is to help searchers find the best information for their search queries. Spam gets in the way of that.
Consider this: You decide you want to buy a new plasma screen TV. So you go online to search for one. In the No. 1 position is a bullet point list of how to go about buying a plasma screen TV. It’s obviously very low level content. And it doesn’t help you. That’s the kind of content the farmer update was supposed to address.
Whose fault is it that the search engines are full of those types of useless web pages? Some people say it’s Google’s policies that have created the spam market. But I’d argue that the spam market would be a huge market no matter what the search engine policies were.
The reason we all have to fight spam in our daily lives is because there are people who don’t care about business ethics. They are greedy and seeking to make a quick buck and if they can get you to click on a link on their low-level web page so they can earn a .50 commission on that click, well, that’s just business. If they can convince 1,000 people to do it, that’s $500 in their pocket. And if they can make $500 per page on 10,000 pages in six months, that’s not a bad salary.
Once you get a view of the economics of spam, it’s easy to see who is causing the problem. It’s not the search engines. It’s people who can’t, or won’t, create valuable content, but who want to earn a living as if they do. How do you fight it? Don’t click their links.
Monday, March 29th, 2010
Many small businesses go online to attempt to market their businesses and increase their sales volumes. It’s a good plan. But what does it mean to “market your business online?”
Well, I’ll tell you what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean that you spam your fans or the search engines will a bunch of marketing and sales messages. But just in case you’re not sure if you know what that means, let’s review the definition of spam.
Most Internet marketers view spam as unwanted and unsolicited commercial messages. That means that people trying to sell stuff are being too pushy.
Online, it’s important to understand that people do not want to receive a bunch of marketing messages that interrupt their online viewing habits. If they want what you have to offer they will look for it. So how then can you go about selling your products and services to people online who are doing other things?
It’s called Pull Marketing, or Relationship Marketing. The idea is to focus, first, on building relationships and in the course of doing so you’ll attract a fan base from which your customer base will be pulled. Bottom line: Don’t push. Just pull.
Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010
If your website allows people to add content, leave comments or fill out forms of any kind then I highly recommend that you use some kind of spam catcher to prevent spammers from introducing dangerous content to your site visitors.
It’s a sad fact that most spam is generated by bots, not humans. Therefore, if you allow a doorway for their malicious content then you are likely to be an easy target and you’ll receive more spam comments than you can ever filter through and kill on your own. That’s why you need CAPTCHA.
CAPTCHA stands for “completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart.” There are a variety of these tests online, but they all have one thing in common: They are easier for humans to fill in correctly than bots.
Because CAPTCHAs are difficult for bots to fill in, they filter out the bot generated spam comments so that you don’t have to. That doesn’t mean you won’t get any spam. You’ll still get human generated spam, but there is a lot less of that than the bot generated spam. Get the CAPTCHA. You’ll thank me later.