For those of your who enjoyed taking a gander at the hilarious post we wrote in November titled “Can I Get 5000 Links Please“, I bring you an even better one. The freelancer sites are littered with the craziest link building offers one can find. No legit company in the world would be out trying to snag deals like this, but instead these are affiliate marketers going after spam links. This one in particular caught my attention on Twitter and made me almost choke on my coffee here.
The request is for 20,000 links in about 10 days time….riiiiiight. They also state they all have to be dofollow and white hat techniques only. Oh an the best part, they only want to pay a max of $250 USD. While the offer is getting bids from the usual outsourcing companies, there’s no way this guy is going to have his project met in a white hat method. I cannot stress this enough to some of the big brands out there that come to us wanting something like this.
I feel sorry for Matt Cutts and his team having to combat the tens of thousands of websites out there trying to link spam like this, so I’ll be sure to buy him a beer the next time I see him. Keep in mind when it comes to getting a lot of links, do it over time, do it right and don’t spam. We are firm believers of quality over quantity, so build strong relationships on line and the good links will follow over time…not 10 days. The freelancer link builders are only going to get your company caught up in an anchor text filter, or even worse, complete de-listing from Google.
I thought this would be a good read for anyone of any skill level, link builder or not. Google has a lot of patents and I’ve been wading through them in what is left of my spare time. They usually give a good insight into what Google is currently implementing, and what they might consider in the future. This document, to the best of my knowledge, was created by the fine folks at SEOmoz, perhaps Rand?
You and I both know that there are a lot of excessive link spammers out there, especially when it comes to blogs. If you like at programs like Xrumor, they target weak guestbook scripts, insecure forums and out of date blog comment systems. I’m not sure why I haven’t heard of Bad Behavior until now, but it is definitely worth tinkering around with. There is a wordpress plugin for the likes of me and the other millions of users, but there is also some code to easily integrate into your PHP framework.
I’m planning on getting a forum of sorts going on here soon and the last one was overrun with link spam. Bad Behavior analyzes incoming HTTP headers, the IP address, and other data to determine if it is coming up rotten. Since it is mostly acting at the TCP level you don’t have to worry about the site loading slowly. They’ve tested it successfully on a site with over 100,000 unique visitors a day. There is actually quite a lot to the inner workings of Bad Behavior and they graciously have provided a wealth of information on how it works.
Bad Behavior complements other link spam solutions by acting as a gatekeeper, preventing spammers from ever delivering their junk, and in many cases, from ever reading your site in the first place. This keeps your site’s load down, makes your site logs cleaner, and can help prevent denial of service conditions caused by spammers.
This plugin is of course free and done out of hate for spam, so if you too hate spam as much, make sure to donate to their efforts. I’m going to be testing the plugin out over the next month so I’ll update this thread with any notes on how it performs. If you have any questions ask away in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.
I recently had a client want me to go ahead and purchase a package through ForumLinkBuilding.com and I will admit I’ve heard of them before, but never paid too much attention. I will warn you I’m not one to bash people but I’d to give you my opinion on why you should not use this service as it’s pretty much spam. I still think Link building with forum signatures can be a viable option if you’re heavily involved within the community, and the forum is related to your niche.
So they offer 3 different packages which include link building on a wide range of forums, niche related or not, it doesn’ matter. The packages also come with some directory submissions and what not…pretty standard. The prices for the packages range from $400-$7000….yes $7000 for apparently 6,000 guaranteed one way links. I first thought there is no way a human is active in the forums contributing in any positive way possible so I set off to see for myself and my client.
They have a client testimonial section which links to actual clients and their domains. This made it real easy for me to analyze the backlink profile of those sites listed, as well the companies main domain. For all the clients there were only a few forum signature links showing up in their profiles, and the posts checked out to what I guessed all along. Sure enough the forum posts that were still active came from bot generated accounts with 1-3 posts, and those posts were always along the lines of “this post has a lot of great information in it” etc etc etc. Not only that but those clients were not ranking anywhere for the keywords they were targeting. No surprise there either.
This was just one of dozens of examples of the forum posting you’re getting and a lot of the accounts I came across were of course banned. The company itself uses its own services to promote their link building packages, a lot of it came from forums but at least they were webmaster forums. That’s fine and legit, they all have services sections. But diving deeper more of the same spam was easily noticable with a quick glance using Link Diagnosis.
Google search results for forum member names used lead me on more discoveries of the same type of spam all over the place. So one of the few things we can get out of this is that if you want to get links out of forum signatures you’re going to have to put some human effort into it, and not be spammy. Needless to say I had to inform my client that going this route would be in poor judgement and be only hurtful in the long run. I do not condone techniques like this but I’ll let the rest of you folks be the judge of that.
I’ve been seeing more and more on the Busby SEO Test, and no I’m not trying to rank or win for it with this post. SEO contests in general are good for the industry, but I’m seeing how badly this one has gotten out of control with spam of all sorts. You can see the results of who’s on top at this moment in time, and just from analyzing the backlinks of the top people you can clearly see the comment spam tactics at play. This blog itself has got a lot of (pardon my french) shitty comments from contestants with the anchor text in place, and over at my buddy Joel Drapper’s blog I just notice one as well which got me digging more into the contest.So lets take a quick look into the top “performers” for the challenge, but keep in mind some of my data is from Google Canada, so depending on what data center you’re looking from it might be a little different.
I used two different tools to analyze the backlinks of the first two listed there, Yahoo Site Explorer and Backlink Watch. It took me no longer than a few minutes to sell all the blog comments these contestants have used, as well a bunch of other link spamming on sites such as DeviantArt. Now the way these contestants have used questionable tactics is not something you’d want to do for a client, or even for your own site. In the long run Google will catch onto this but for now there’s no doubt that anchor text is still the number one way to rank.
So go ahead and check out some of the contestants links from DeviantArt, blog comments and link exchanges. The comments left behind on blogs are the usualy one liners “thanks for the great information” which defeats the whole purpose of commenting on blogs, and is now a form of spam. This kind of link building gives us all a bad name.
So without getting too nasty or diving in any more into this silly contest what are your thoughts? Am I being rude and unfair? Have you been spammed by a contestant and want to vent? There is a positive and that is the example and real world results you can see from link building, good or bad.
I’ve noticed a HUGE increase today in spam coming from these four IP’s(188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206
220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168) which are originating from Amsterdam. To me it looks like someone is testing out a new comment spam tool and it’s now being reported across the Internet. I’ve already seen some active topics about this spammer from other bloggers and I’d like to here if any of you are experiencing the same thing. All the posts are generated from a random name and email but all are producing a weird “hash” mixed with numbers and letters.
My guess is that this person is gather a giant list of all the spammable WordPress blogs and we will soon be hit with an even larger comment spam attack. I know that the digital world is just coming over the hump of Xrumer spam, but I hope you all block these IP’s within wordpress to avoid getting dropped into some spammers comment list. You can use your .htaccess to block IP addresses, and if you don’t know how to do that click on this link for a tutorial. I’ve got over 20 postings just today from the same three ip addresses so it seems like things are heating up.Here are a few blog posts on the topic as well another good look at some of the SPAM;
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Check out the anatomy of a "negative SEO" attack on our own site in our latest post. There's too much worry about these attacks happening, but I wouldn't worry too much about it. Come read what I think and just what to do if anything like this happens to your brand.