2010-05-14

"Dirty tricks"-style SEO

I have a few Google Alerts registered to keep track of search terms that I am interested in.  Every day I get an email or two about new pages that contain hits from these search terms.

Over the last year, quite a few of the hits are from a very obvious spamming effort.  Every so often there are new pages being discovered by Google that, in rather pathetic terms, is singing the praise of a guy who has no doubt paid someone to repair his online reputation.  The modus operandi seems to be quite simple:
  • Create a bunch of blogs
  • Fill them with random, vaguely topical postings that are very obvious cut-n-paste jobs (dear spammer: when you cut and paste section headings you should at least take the trouble of typesetting them differently than the paragraph text to make the cut and paste less obvious)
  • Add one posting that sings the praise of the individual on whose behalf you are spamming.
The one posting per blog that contains the information this effort is designed to inject into Google is not without hilarity.  The advertising copy is somewhere between the enthusiasm for self that is so common in american resumes and the heroic exploits of certain North Korean leaders.  I am expecting a Nobel Prize to be awarded to the fellow any day now.

I wouldn't dream of reporting these blogs as spam though.  If someone performing a background check on the fellow were to find these pages I would not want to rob them of a good giggle.  This is the Internet-reputation-repair equivalent of a bad comb-over and thus constitutes its own punishment.

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