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February 27, 2005

Self-defeating Spamming

I might have more faith in so-called search engine optimizers (SEOs) if there weren't so many of them spamming the heck out of the Internet. Their service is supposed to help your Web site show up earlier in the pages when a Google, Yahoo, or other user searches for keywords associated with your site's content.

I spotted a spam message from an SEO outfit that calls into question how effective this company might be. The message begins:

We were just searching for "car, car insurance, car rental, used car, new car, auto trader, and auto" we came across your website and we thought that your company would be interested in further improving your search engine visibility, web traffic and on-line sales.

Now, this message was directed to my other domain, dannyg.com, which is dedicated to supporting my programming-oriented books. I don't sell cars or car insurance; there isn't even a blog-type piece in which I describe buying or renting a new or used car, much less any participation in auto trading.

My site includes a Google-based search service. Applying the prescribed search query to my site yields zero results.

I searched my site for "car" and found two hits. One is in an ancient opinion piece in which I compare a car and a hog (porcine type). The other is in one my JavaScript examples called "Decision Maker," where I comment that one could use it to help decide about which car to buy. The default example, however, is choosing a FAX machine. For "auto," there were a few more hits, but only one (again, from an ancient opinion piece) has anything to do with transporation.

What's disturbing about this oh-so-typical spam bait is that the message tries to sound personal. "We searched" blah blah "we came across your web site" blah blah. Makes it sound like there might have been some type of human intervention here. There can't have been. There's no way on Earth that the said search string found my site; nor would any rational being think I'd want to associate my site with those keywords.

It's all Scrape (the address) and Spam.

Besides, I don't want my site to be any higher in the search results for cars and autos, thank you very much.

Posted on February 27, 2005 at 11:17 AM