Spamming Google Just Plain Works

Google Blogoscoped has a great post about their reverse engineering a company placing well for ‘ink cartridges’ :

So next I figured I’d check out MyWebStats to see what they were all about. Sure enough, on their FAQ page they state (my emphasis):

If this service is so good, how can it be free?
We are lucky to have sponsors who cover the complete cost of running this service. To show our appreciation we accompany your counter with a small link to one of these sponsors.

“To show our appreciation” – I love that.

It makes it really hard to be white hat SEO practitioners when we see things like this happening. Sadly, this is the second time I’ve run across this exact same scenario (an invisible sponsored link embedded within a different free stat counter) in the past few months while trying to figure out why a really crappy site was ranking so well for a competitive term. So count me among the growing legions of grey hats now, I guess… Given the competitive environment and the fact that “everyone is doing it” now – and it’s working – it no longer serves my clients’ best interests to advise against buying links.

This stuff goes on for years. Spam is really becoming a problem. I think he’s right. If it’s so hard to place well and Google can’t solve the spam problem then it’s enough to turn a white hat grey.

Which makes SEO spam an exponential growth problem. The more black hats you get the more white hats turn grey.

Update:

This is the type of stuff we have to deal with all the time for Spinn3r. Luckily paid links aren’t as prevalent in the Blogosphere as they are at in the larger web.



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