Support Bloggers' Rights!
Support Bloggers' Rights!

How to Videos & Articles:

Monday, January 31, 2005

Link Spammer Tells All

Link spammer tells all
according to, link spammers are only active in selling viagra, porn and online gambling. If only that were true! I've been asked repeatedly to do link spamming by several clients and even though I routinely refuse and insist on adding content to their sites rather than links pages, they ask and ask again. I refuse every time I'm asked - no matter what form that link spamming takes.

The Register article linked above says, "So the link spammers - who prefer to call themselves "search engine optimisers", but get upset when search engines do optimise themselves - turned to other free outlets which Google already regarded highly, because their content changes so often: blogs."

To which I say, Yes, many SEO's will do whatever it takes to rank their client sites well. Many SEO's will do what is known as "Black Hat SEO" in which techniques clearly opposed by the search engines themselves are employed to increase the rank of client sites. I turn away every client who asks me to employ cloaking or IP delivery or link spamming or tricks like those practiced by banned SEO firms like Traffic Power. I refuse to do all of those techniques as well as the clients seeking the latest form of idiocy, "comment spamming" at blogs - and I lose clients.

The client hears that inbound links gain them search engine ranking and they come to me asking me to build them links pages and launch a linking campaign for them. I tell them NO and they go to someone else who will do it for them. I've lost several clients who refuse to do the real work of optimization and want the easy fix - link spamming. NO, NO, a thousand times NO! You will regret it, I tell them. It will stop working one day soon, I tell them.

But it doesn't stop working and more clients hear that gaining links is the only way to rank for their competitive search phrases. Then those clients come to me asking me to launch a linking campaign for them. I tell everyone that the only linking campaign I will do for them is to write and distribute articles through article distribution lists. These articles link back to their site as a condition of use.

I tell them that I will distribute press releases online for them, but they must have something newsworthy to announce. I will approach their clients, vendors and customers to use those press releases on their sites and ask them for testimonials and reciprocal promotions. But that is all.

No link begging. No adding of endless meaningless reciprocal links pages filled with links to unrelated sites. No creation of secondary networks of domains that link back to the mother site incestuously. When I have taken on those types of networked sites linking, I've insisted on unique, substantial and worthwhile content instead of simply mirroring content from the main site.

I've lost friends in the SEO industry because they get caught up in all the linking insanity and create and sell software to automate the process of reciprocal links and get angry when I refuse to promote that software to my own clients.

Some of my existing clients get angry when I tell them that they should remove their reciprocal links pages and stop seeking reciprocal links. What else works, they ask? Content, content, more content, article distribution for attribution, press releases, client and customer testimonials and worthwhile downloads of ebooks, software, screensavers, toolbars or other give-aways with built in promotional links or ads.


LookSmart Loses Again

LookSmart Looks Dumb Again
as they blame their lack of earnings on failure to tell their left hand what their right hand was doing. The linked story above shows a loss of $1.5 million on revenues of $16.5 million for the quarter. LookSmart has looked foolish a number of times in the past as they angered small business advertisers by changing their fee structure for PPC ads served while they were still partnered with MSN. But then MSN saw the writing on the wall and dumped LookSmart in favor of Overture PPC ads.

There was a short period where I was excited about LookSmart when they introduced the Grub distributed web crawling client that allowed everyone to participate in crawling the web from their own PC. I downloaded the software and within a week I had crawled over 50,000 web sites from my own PC and contributed results to the size of their index. I wrote an enthusiastic article in support the grub client, but after awhile, it seemed pointless as LookSmart didn't appear to be adding those results to their index. I still love the concept, but would rather see the results going to increase the size of say, the Nutch Open Source search database.

Looksmart has been on a downward spiral for a very long time and should consider calling it quits or openly seek buyout suitors before they go down in flames. Just one man's opinion. ;-)