16 Feb 2009
VerifiedSpam

I’ve noticed an increase in spam from VerifiedSpam.com [1]. I smirk when I read the disingenuous

No, this isn’t spam email. It’s penetrating online established communities relative to your website, product or services. Not only does this increase SEO & Web Traffic, but by targeting forums relative to your online activity, you are able to increase potential sales.

While technically true that it’s not email spam, it is blatant blog spam, with the expected bogus name, bogus email address, and dozens of links in the body. Fortunately, Akismet is not deceived by this self-referential denial, and plonks it directly into the spam bucket.

As for “targeting” — I think they need to re-calibrate their sights. I’ve yet to see any of these spams relate to the base post; and by the way, my blog is hardly an “established community”. Although VerifiedSpam generates a tremendous amount [2] of spam, they fail to provide the targeted posts they promise but instead just spew their waste randomly into the ‘Net.

“SEO” spam always brings to my mind the image of a stereotypical used-car salesman dressed in a loud suit and wearing a cheap toupee, glad-handing me and trying to con me with a deal I can’t refuse. While there are legitimate ways to optimize one’s search ranking, I’m disgusted with the obsessive-compulsive frenzy of marketeers striving for that page-one ranking by using every deceptive trick they can get into their grubby hands. Just give it a rest, ok? You’ve ruined email and you’ve continually degrading the quality of search results. Despite the adage that “any publicity is good publicity”, each exposure to tacky, irrelevant “SEO” techniques just decreases my respect for whatever product is being “promoted”, usually to the point that I will explicitly remove that particular product from consideration when I’m looking for similar products.

On the rare days when I’m feeling generous I may assume that companies that use VerifiedSpam and their ilk are just naive and that the market will soon disabuse them of the notion that spam is a legitimate method of advertizing. Most days, however, I assume that these companies have no respect for the community, are greedy bastards that will do anything to make a buck, have a product whose quality matches the quality of their so-called advertizing, and in general are of such low moral character that even I wouldn’t want to associate with them.

  1. similar to, but not the actual name; no link-love from me []
  2. they advertize packages for 100K and 500K unique posts []
Category: Life-Society
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