Google puts spam comments out of your misery

Spammers and SEO people used to post lots of comments on news sites and blogs, linking to their clients' websites. Now that Google punishes the linked sites, these guys are scrambling, begging and threatening to get publishers--their victims!--to remove the links that they posted. I get quoted by The Awl's Brendan O'Connor in his story about the phenomenon. He also talked to some of the spammers and found them bafflingly unreformed:

My favorite are the emails from OneFlare.com.au.

"We have discovered that a company we hired to help promote our website have used a variety of questionable techniques to secure links," Selena Le wrote on October 20th. "These links were placed purely for SEO purposes, with the intention of manipulating search rankings."

"We have discovered that a company we hired to help promote our website have used a variety of questionable techniques to secure links," Nick Chernih wrote on December 5th. "These links were placed purely for SEO purposes, with the intention of manipulating search rankings."

You don't say.

Spam to ask you to take down their spam!

Notable Replies

  1. edgore says:

    Oh right, this is just The Man trying to prevent me from learning how someone's sister is making $5, 234 a week just using Google!

  2. Is there a collection of trolling responses to these requests to delete the spammy comments? Something in the vein of how @KenatPopehat ponies up requests to guest post. Would seem to make for a good tumblr.

    LEARN HOW TO REMOVE YOUR PREVIOUSLY DEPOSITED SPAM WITH THIS ONE WEIRD TRICK.

  3. I love it, Rob. Although I'm slightly worried that some company with "leverage" will find a clueless friend in Government that will sponsor a bill making "undesired links to a website that causes irreparable brand damage" a crime- one that's going to be the responsibility of the hosting site.

    also your website is consistently good quality i think this article good have a look at all the jobs i have found in the last 2 months!
    http://www.shadylink.com/dontclickthis

  4. Oh, come now. That's like putting a big red button on a control board with a label that says "don't push". Of course you didn't want it to be clicked on. (wink wink nudge nudge)

  5. Out of desperation, I used to work for one of these SEO companies. I was tasked with requesting removal of the their attempts at comment and widget spam from blog owners they'd flooded in the past.

    After this became largely futile because the blogs had largely become abandoned or the owners refused, the next "strategy" was paying deadbeat or foreign writers $3 for 100-word "snippets" tenuously related to their clients' business. Eventually I snapped and said that if we were doing something we'd be afraid to reveal to the search engines, then we probably shouldn't be doing it. Addtionally, it'd be easy to see that the snippet sites had identical outlink profiles to our inlink profile.

    I was fired the next day.

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