[Edit - I have closed comments on this thread as I am sick of cleaning it up as it seems to be a bit of a target to the Comment Spammers. ]
This is continued from Comment Spammers = Parasites
Probably the last installment of this storm in a teacup for a while as I am kinda getting bored but also I am too busy to really give this the attention it needs. I would dearly love to show those I feel are misguided the error of their ways, but then I have a life that I selfishly want to live in this happy holiday season.
So May sent me a very long reply email. She has been taking care to check my blog and also look at other sites where I may have posted. *insert creeped out shudder here*
Click below the fold for the follow-up.
Here is the reply. The text formatting is hers:
You also posted it on your blog.
I find some of the comments amusing and some of them are actually right on key.
Of course, again, you are the one who is misguided about the effect of links from blogs (the fact that it’s a blog has nothing to do with it, actually, just the PR of your page).
“Perhaps this in the misguided notion that they are helping search engine rankings bring more people to their site and thus making money from page impressions and adwords or other such nonsense.”
I’ll repeat myself:
you have no idea what you’re talking about.
“You are right - I really don’t know that much about SEO businesses as I find them distasteful and a scourge on the internet.”
Then I suppose Amazon, Paypal, eBay, BizRate, Shopping.com, oh, and even WhiteHouse.gov have SEOs on staff and are regularly doing their thing. CNN, Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS, AP, Reuters, all of these companies have SEOs on their payroll. Again, your ignorance is showing.
“The thing that is amazing to me is that YOU came to MY blog - uninvited- and then you feel you have the right to use it for your own purposes.”
In making your blog public and letting it be indexed in Google and Yahoo, you DID invite people. It’s an open invitation: “Hi, I’m here, come look at my site! Comment!”
“I have a real job, an honest job that earns me money. I don’t leech off of other people” (I corrected your spelling for you May) (why thank you!! - KG) “and come to their internet site - uninvited - trying to use their space for my own gain.”
You don’t leech off of other people? Please post your profession along with everything else on this page. I guarantee you that you “leech” off of someone else to make your living, just like everyone else in the world that isn’t self-sufficient and living off the land. Everyone relies on someone else or some other group to make their money; that’s just the way the world works. By your logic, paramedics, doctors, ambulance drivers, and etcetera are all leeching off of sick people and are therefore a “scourge”. We are also in a service industry (we do SEO for our own company) that helps people when they need it and we are striving to make our sites more visible for the same reason hospitals and doctors have fund-raisers. So, we can help people and make a living at the same time. We save people from such diseases as, uh… death? Headaches, respiratory illnesses, coughing, wheezing, and a myriad of other things that can land you in the hospital if you don’t know what you’re dealing with. You mooch off of people just like everyone else does and HAS TO TO SURVIVE. It’s called “society”. If society were filled with selfish, self-righteous people like you, no one would be able to survive because no one would help anyone else get ahead.
I suppose you also think that customer service representatives are “scum”, too, right? Bill collectors? Let’s just do away with all of them, too. It’d make life so much easier, wouldn’t it? Nobody calling you to collect the money that you legitimately owe them?? But, they’re just as bad, let’s get rid of them, too.
You write, we do. So, while you’re talking about doing good for people, we’re actually saving that child or that elderly person by making sure they have a good, reliable service to call when they’re in need of help.
Next, you talk about spiders.
“Allowing spiders to crawl helps people not be fooled by this scam. Spiders are there to provide the world with a free source of information - not to add money to your company.”
Oh, really? So, I guess Amazon.com and all the other places to shop on the internet are the “scourge” that you speak of, as well?? Just how many places do you and the people who comment on your blog purchase from online? Have you ever looked up a local service online, such as a dentist or a hair stylist? What about a doctor? They didn’t get into the position they’re in by accident, they got there with SEO. Even if you find it in the Yahoo! or Google directories or in the Yellow Pages online, SOMEONE IS MAKING MONEY. You think that being seen online is as easy as adding yourself to one of these directories? For FREE? It can cost upwards of several thousand dollars per month to have yourself #1 in a directory listing, depending on where your business is located. And the directory practices SEO to get you that #1 position.
By some of the comments here, it seems that people have found your blog via social bookmarking sites, which is ADVERTISING, which means that your blog is - and let me stress this - INVITING PEOPLE TO POST ON YOUR SITE. Shame, shame on you, you spawn of the devil. So, do you have someone hired to spam Digg for you? Or do you do it yourself? I think you do it yourself, since the Digg account this article was on is pretty old and a “person from Japan” posted it. 2 items submitted, 2 items Dugg on an account that’s existed since… 2006? So, you’re going to Digg and doing the exact same thing that you’re talking smack about us doing FOR YOUR OWN BENEFIT. So, really, are you being honest when you say you don’t care how much traffic you get? Not only that, but this “article” on your site was posted in the “security” category, which is an irrelevant category for the current discussion. It doesn’t talk about people hacking your site or how you can make your site more “secure"from being hacked, it doesn’t talk about viruses, or anything of the kind. It’s talking about what blog comments are acceptable and which are not. This hardly constitutes a “security” issue. So, now you’re the spammer.
Your response to Gil:
“Gil - the “social marketing” of which you speak is ADVERTISING”
So, you just made your site commercial by advertising on Digg (in the wrong category at that).
Something else worthy of note is that one of your commenters, Simon, points out the fact that you didn’t put the madskills.com link on your site, which is completely irrelevant. The point was not that you posted it, but that you ALLOW trackbacks. I do believe I did use the word “allow” when I referred to that trackback link, didn’t I? I did. So, Simon didn’t read the entire thing. I guess he’s comment spamming, too, since he didn’t read and understand the entire post, right? I’m sure it was an honest mistake, how about you?
Let me educate you. You have a “.com”. Which is short for “COMMERCIAL”. If your site is an info site, then you should have registered a “.info”. If it’s educational, it should be a “.edu”, if it’s about the internet itself, it should be a “.net”. Government site? “.gov”. So, by your URL and misunderstanding of what the URL suffixes are actually for, you are considered to be a commercial site by default. What did you think “.com” stood for? “Computer”? LOL.
“I just found it funny that you felt you had the right to do what you liked with a site that you don’t own and you got snippy with me for defending my right to do what I like with my property. I wonder how you sleep at night with such an unethical and immoral attitude.”
I didn’t get snippy with you for defending your right to do what you like with your property. You have every right to remove comments you don’t approve of and we respect that. That is why I’m e-mailing you instead of posting another comment on your blog. I got “snippy” with you for calling us “pond scum” when you a) don’t even know us or what kind of character any of us are made of and b) pretending that you know something about SEO when you obviously DO NOT. Who are you to say that links posted on do-follow blogs having an effect on search engine rankings is “ABSOLUTE RUBBISH”? You’ve already admitted that you’re not an SEO. Just where did you get your information on that? I got mine from experience. Is it really absolute rubbish? How do you know that, you Non-SEO you? You’re funny.
We also own blogs and we deal with the same issues that you deal with, but we allow relevant comments. What we DON’T allow are people who post no comment at all, simply a bunch of links in the body of the comment, or a “nice site, thanks for posting!” with one link or followed by a bunch of links below it.
Did you get where you are in life by being selfish like this? A comment on your site linking to a commercial site isn’t hurting you as long as the comment is relevant to the conversation. We’re normal, everyday people trying to get ahead in life, we’re not “scum”.
And no, you’re not an SEO and you obviously don’t work with SEOs. You don’t have any clue as to what it takes to get the #1 position for any given keyword nor how competitive some keywords can be.
Meta-tags don’t work anymore but on meta-search engines, such as Metacrawler. What meta-tags do is force a description on a page for the site to rank for instead of having it rank for words that are on the page itself. This is why real SEOs don’t use meta-tags anymore. But, the word you’re targeting doesn’t even have to be on the page for that page to rank for it. So your idea of “good SEO” meaning “meta-tags” is bunk.
To “Dabitch”, the fact that you started out by calling me and my friends “pond scum” might have had something to do with being “offensive” in the last e-mail. I don’t take kindly to being called “pond scum” and neither would anyone else that leaves a comment on your blog. Not only that, but I really am a “she”, boobs and all the rest. Had she not started name calling immediately in the first e-mail, it might not have turned into this, but she chose to call names. I also don’t understand how she thinks that calling people “pond scum” and “spawn of hell” constitutes a “strongly worded letter”. She was offensive first and had she not been, I might not still be responding and it would have been a simple “I apologize” and that would have been the end of it.
Gil is a bit misguided about how much effect links can have on the rankings of your targeted site. It doesn’t matter that it’s a blog. Pages with high PR according to Google (there are PRs 1 through 10) have an effect, and the higher PR page the link comes from, the more effect it has on your ranking.
Something else that I feel the need to comment on is the fact that we do NOT utilize a “target list”. We don’t make a list of blogs to target and then return to them whenever we need links. That’s just not how we operate. We find the blog, comment, leave one link, and leave.
Ryan from the UK is spot on about letting relevant comments, no matter what they link to (save porn and other undesirable sites) isn’t hurting anyone. A comment of a decent length should be acceptable, but I’d like to know where my comment was posted on that page where he commented? My comments have been deleted, so Ryan is assuming that it added nothing to the conversation instead of knowing the facts. I can tell you that “the Keitai Goddess” has left a number of “one-liner” comments on other people’s blogs with a link back to here.
The internet is the last frontier where real people who aren’t blessed with a college education (which is no reflection on their level of intelligence, by the way) to make a decent living. But, according to you, anyone who makes money off of anyone else is “pond scum” and a “scourge of the internet”. Why don’t we just get rid of all commercial websites online? Then you won’t have anywhere to go shopping, find services (both local and abroad), and etcetera.
Your hypocrisy is quite amusing. You advertise your site on Digg, allow trackbacks, have Google Analytics, your site is fully indexed… but you whine and complain when “unauthorized visitors” comment on your blog just because the link to their site is commercial in nature instead of a “hobby” or a “personal blog”?
There are links to your site on stumbleupon, technorati, and a lot of other blogs, but it seems that when you post on blogs, you leave only one comment with a link back to your site… and they’re generally pretty short comments, at that. So, you’re commenting on different blogs, but you don’t seem to be a regular at any of them. So, do you just run around and find blogs to post on to make your site more visible, too? No length to your comments, no quality, yet you expect a link back? Shame on you again.
By the way… you’re not Wonder Woman.
Something else you should do is leave the little “pond scum” comments out of your e-mails to SEOs. One of these days, you’ll contact a company that’s not as nice as we are and they’ll build a blog, title it “keitai goddess”, and they’ll take your own search term from you. Now, my advice would be to copyright the term “keitai goddess” as belonging to you, then if anyone did that, you could sue them, but since you don’t want to be considered commercial, you might NOT want to do that since it only feeds my argument.
To make your own comments on other blogs useful to your own blog in the future, anchor them to “keitai goddess” where possible, instead of the url or other irrelevant words. I know you’re trying, bless your heart, but leave the other irrelevant words out, then if anyone else wants to try and take “keitai goddess” from you (it’s very catchy, you know), they’ll have a harder time taking that #1 position from you.
You also really shouldn’t be building other blogs with a link back to your main blog here at keitaigoddess.com since it’s a linking scheme as far as Google is concerned and a violation of their ToS.
You’re really nothing but a hypocrite who’s using basically the same tactics to gain traffic to your site as we are to gain traffic to ours. Except we actually help people. Face it; your blog is for personal gain… personal ego gain. It might not get you any money (and anchoring it “keitai goddess” definitely wouldn’t, since you’re not selling keitai goddesses), but your blog definitely seems to be an ego boost for you.
Lessons We Learned Today:
1) Posting a link to your site on Digg, Technorati, StumbleUpon, etc. is considered marketing and advertising.
2) Everyone has to leech off of everyone else to make a living, no matter what you do.
3) Keitai Goddess doesn’t know anything about SEO.
4) Keitai Goddess is not Wonder Woman.
5) This isn’t about her having the right to remove comments from her site that she disapproves of; it’s about her referring to us as “pond scum” in the FIRST contact that she had with us. All she had to do was ask politely not to comment on her blog anymore and it would have been completely over with. But, she chose to be rude. It was her lack of respect that created this exchange, but she called names, threatened “action” if we didn’t stop (without even giving us an opportunity to respond and apologize first). We were threatened and called names and that and ONLY that is the reason for the continued responses; and it’s being respectfully done via e-mail instead of commenting on her blog again. She can remove comments she doesn’t like all she wants to, because it’s her blog. But, we don’t like being called names and we don’t like being threatened, so she is the aggressor, not us.
Would you rather the internet be structured so that people have to pay their way to the top of Google and Yahoo instead of it being based off of link popularity? Then little people like us won’t be able to make any money because of the likes of Amazon.com, eBay, and others. If you wouldn’t like it that way, then where do you expect small online businesses to obtain their links from? So, you either want a communist system where people have to pay to get their site at the top of the search engines for certain keywords (effectively stomping out any chance of competition from smaller companies) with the help of no one and WHO help no one but themselves or you want a system where everyday people like us can compete and make it with the HELP of other people? So, why not help people that are trying to be good and make a living at the same time instead of being self-righteous and acting like a relevant comment attached to 1 single commercial link… is hurting you? Not only that, but we also donate a portion of our profits to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital whenever we are contacted for a job via our websites. So, we’re giving something back instead of just notifying people of some “scam e-mail”. You’re doing feel good work, we’re actually making a difference.
Especially when you have a .com commercial extension on your URL instead of a .info.
So there is lots of name calling (well I did start it, so fair call), lots of sarcastic (and yet somewhat pathetic) attempts to tell me my business, a kinda creepy veiled threat about hijacking my domain name and quite a bit of
net stalking oh, sorry, “research”, it seems, into where and what I post on friends blogs. So after I had showered off that grubby feeling I sent this reply:
Yes I did post this on my blog and this one will be going on too, including your essay from the last email. You obviously have more time than I to compose such a long email so I will try to make this short.
I do think that both of us feel strongly about our opinions. So strongly that neither of us are going to be swayed so let me summarise if I may. I know that I do share my opinions with many, many long time bloggers and site owners. Comment spam is a HUGE problem to the blogging community - any support/tech forum has numerous threads on this problem with lots of people trying to figure out a way to keep their blogs free of undesirable spam. Are we all wrong?
I am sure that your opinion is held by other people who use comment boxes to try to improve their rankings in such a sneaky and back-door method, without first asking permission of the site owner or offering them advertising revenues.
Your position: Any blog, website or anything that is published on the net is fair game for you to put links on to promote your commercial sites despite the feelings or wishes of the site owner. This, in your opinion, is all under the broad heading of “ethical SEO” practices.
My position: My non-commercial blog is my property and I am not wanting it to be littered with unsolicited and pointless comments and links to commercial sites as I don’t believe this is ethical and the links attract attract the “wrong sort” of visitors and it takes me time to clean them up. SEO is not a bad thing if it means including appropriate keyword tagging, properly indexed content and good site coding. IMO, SEO does not mean pretending to be a disinterested internet user.
Now everything else in this discussion is really just bandwidth sucking window dressing. So as we are never going to agree this conversation is just leading to an internet pissing match where there are no winners or losers just a whole waste of time. So I am now just finishing this up and my points in conclusion are:
1. Internet pissing matches are a waste of time
2. Collecting evidence to try to win an un-winnable debate leads to internet stalking/searching your “opponent” (eg me) and that is just kinda creeping me out.
3. I believe in the free flow of information unsullied by others trying to point me to one site over an another. When I shop on-line or look for commercial services I am happy to do my own research.
4. I retain the right to call things by the names that I see fit.
This argument is very similar to the “post no bills” city by-laws - these laws are practically impossible to enforce and almost encourage graffiti or promotional posters for events. The music promoters feel it is essential for the underground music industry to survive and argue that these laws are outdated and serve no purpose. Graffiti taggers are just vandals and serve no purpose whatsoever. Organised street art can be fabulous in my opinion. Posters can disseminate information to people who may find value in the information.
There ARE city lawmakers who see the value in street art and commission pieces for various places around the place. And there are places where artists can practice their work, safely and legally. Promoters can use official bulletin boards, ask permission from the building owners and otherwise conduct their promotions in an ethical and legal way.
So at the end of the day, the vandal-style graffiti and posters still have to be cleaned up by somebody at a cost. But once the concert is over do the promoters come back and clean up their mess? Never. They just end up peeling and cracking in the sun and leave litter all over the place to be covered over when the next event is planned. This to me is the same as comment spam.
I am now bored of this conversation and I am going to get on with my life.
But isn’t link popularity and rankings due to links supposed to be about peer reviews and random people feeling that what somebody else has written has value and NOT about trying to artificially buck the system by posting your bills, pasting your links all over town? I guess this is the theory behind it, but the comment that really struck me was that I was being “selfish” for not allowing other people to post their bills on my patch of turf.
I guess in the race to be No 1 in the keyword game, watch out anybody who stands in the way.
Edit - found an interesting piece on this subject on the Blog Herald. “Stop Human Comment Spammers”
A quick google search on the keywords “comment spam blogs” brings up a heap of protest articles from bloggers on just this subject. It seems I am not alone and definitely not the first to get pissed off about this. What I did learn that was kinda scary, was the “paid spam” or “Comment spam from home for $29.99 for 100 comments” which is very disappointing. But I do think that I like the note on the comments box to say that an invoice will be sent to the site owner for all and any links to commercial sites. I will close them first and put nofollow tags on them of course.
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