I don’t really care how SEO works, but this can’t possibly be good marketing
Almost four years ago, I posted about a workplace killing in Michigan. (Workplace Violence: Be Careful Out There). While there’s only one comment on that post, I did get a couple of e-mails from employees at the company I’d written about, thanking me for what I’ve written.
Since then, the post has been sitting there, idling. Which is what most old blog posts do.
They are, however, a frequent target of comment-spammers – of the “Hey, great post, keep up the good work” or “Thanks for writing about this topic, I found it very helpful” variety. These generic comments always come with a link to something wildly unrelated.
Somehow, in a way that I neither know nor care to know about, these comments are supposed to to improve a site’s ranking.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO), from what I gather, has gotten a bit more sophisticated than this, and there’s an art and science to picking keywords, having associated content on your site, knowing which links are valuable and which aren’t, etc. I get involved on the periphery of SEO, occasionally writing that keyword-associated content, or, as happened recently, editing/rewriting some associated content that was pumped out by an offshore content mill.
The mill’s writers had such a weak grasp on the technology they were trying to “write” about that they got a lot of things dead-wrong, and came up with some things that were suppressed-giggle silly. What the content millworkers appear to do is google on the keyword of interest, grab a bunch of content online, and change it up a bit so it’s not out and out plagiarism. It then gets run through some check-out engine to make sure it’s not out and out plagiarism, after which it gets posted to a site.
You get what you pay for with this approach, and I don’t think that “real” writers have to fear for their jobs quite yet. Still, with all this content out there for the grabbing at everyone’s mouse-tip, there’s yet another reason to rue the decline of the written word. Sigh…)
Roundabout way of getting to a spam comment – now deleted – that appeared the other day on the Workplace Violence post. Here’s the comment:
three months ago i have big problem which is usual of many of us ! what should do and how to go on living, I did not understood ((I have stopped [b]smiling at ALL!!!![/b] :( yes!!,i have bad teeth because of [b]heredity[/b] ... why it so? Teeth is the first thing you see when meet anybody,or doing smth like this, I found a solution in putting [url=http://getNAME OF DENTAL VENEER PRODUCT REDACTED.blogspot.com]NAME OF DENTAL VENEER PRODUCT REDACTED[/url] ! and i must say it has guaranteed 100% result,now i know its a good decision
I have redacted the name of the dental veneer product because I don’t want to help these guys optimize their search – if, indeed, this clumsy and inept approach actually does so. And I don’t want anyone to take “it’s working!” credit for this bit of idiocy.
Nice that someone out there’s getting to practice their English, but can it really help your company and its reputation to have something like this (make that ‘smth like this’) floating around out there? I suppose they (correctly) assume that nobody’s going to see “it” on a nearly four year old blog post about a workplace murder in Michigan. Still, wouldn’t you want your company and its products associated with a blog post that’s at least marginally related, not to mention with a comment that’s at least marginally well-written? Why not supply the comment you want to use? It would take about a nano-second for someone to edit this comment into shape.
I have a friend who’s an SEO expert, so I’ll have to check with him and see if this is how it works, and that if you strew enough of these malformed comments out into the blogosphere, enough of them will get left in to help with the rankings.
By the way, when you google ‘dental veneers’, the DENTAL VENEER PRODUCT REDACTED comes up in the Top Five. So it’s (alas) either working or they didn’t need to resort to this kind of marketing-by-spam.
As for SEO, if this is how you get it to work for you, I can only grab a few words from the spam-commenter and ask ‘why it so?’
If this is what the marketing world is coming down to, I’m sure happy to be in the twilight of my career.
Meanwhile, while I won’t mention the veneer product itself, I will mention the company it belongs to: Den-Mat. If the VP of Marketing for Den-Mat wants to enlighten me on why this is effective marketing, well, come on down.
Last summer, over the course of a couple of days, I had a spate of comments, several hundred in all, made to old blog posts. The commnets came from a single source, I think in India. What was peculiar about them was that, while they were obviously spam (links to Viagra sites, etc.), the person making them had obviously read enough of my post to be able to make a relevant comment. Maybe they were just trying to get a bit more out of what must be a numbingly boring job (i.e., getting by the CAPTCHA in order to put an irrelevant comment on a blog), but I really felt like I was being stalked. After deleting all the comments – and it took a while – I reported the spammer to blogspot/google, and they haven’t been back since.