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The Value of Outing SEO Spammers

by seobitch on June 21, 2012 · 19 comments

What would SEO be without someone outing someone else for spamming on a regular basis.  After all, even though some of us would never dream of outing anyone in the SEO industry, there are plenty of those who get their kicks from finding some big name SEO company or consultant and exposing their dirty little secret  – even though anyone who has been in the industry long enough could probably think of a few dozen guilty of the same crimes, guilty parties aren’t just limited to those who get outted by any stretch of the imagination.

Power

Yea!  You get to be judge, jury and executioner on every site you think might be spamming!  What’s not to love?  Well, here’s a little secret, what people are really thinking is that you are making up for small epeen syndrome – namely your lack of skills in SEO.

Celebrity

Sure, everyone will know who you are – but they won’t necessarily like what they see, especially for those who out spammers.  Think of it as a celebrity sex tape – sure, all of a sudden everyone is talking about you, but is a sex tape really what you want to be best known for? Not everyone can turn a sex tape into a career, and not everyone can turn their no name self into an industry expert just by taking down a spammer – particularly if that spammer has friends in the industry.  I cannot think of anyone who gained more credibility by doing this.

Competitiveness

Sure, maybe that SEO company is representing a competitor of yours.  But while the tactics will end up catching up with their clients, all you are doing by outing the SEO company is ensuring your competitors research and find a better SEO company, and very likely get out of the situation with their current SEO company unscathed.  It didn’t seem that any of Iacquire’s clients got penalized when Iacquire did, but I am willing to bet many of their clients who pay attention to the SEO industry news jumped ship.  After all, who wants to be associated with a company publicly shamed by Google?  So would you rather your competitors have a spammy SEO company working for them knowing they will get banned sooner or later?  Or would you rather they go out, do their research, and hire a BETTER SEO than you?  It’s a no brainer in my opinion.

Get action faster

If your space is dominated by link buyers or spammers, doing a blog post outing of a site will definitely get it noticed after and possible get manual action taken against it a lot faster than if you just do the Google report spam tool.  However, a blog post only 3 people read just won’t cut it.  That is why the outings that get the most attention fall under big news for whatever reason (big brand, big company responsible for spam, etc) are the ones that get a lot of attention, lots of discussion and lots of people writing their own blog posts about it.  So outing Bob’s Online Tackle Store probably won’t get any attention at all, but some well known and supposedly ethical SEO company who was responsible for Bob’s site and a 100 others will get attention.

What’s your excuse

Some people will think better of you if you give a clear cut reason about why you are outting, like Josh Davis did when he broke the news of the Iacquire link buying scandal (if you have been under a rock, it was because Josh had been repeatedly spammed by Iacquire’s very aggressive link buying team to the point where he got pissed off enough to find the company behind the guys harassing him).  Whining that they rank and shouldn’t won’t win you any brownie points from anyone, but at least if you have a clear cut reason for doing so that isn’t a bitchy “but he is beating me in the serps because he is a dirty rotten spammer” explanation, at least regale us with the reason.

But it’s all Google’s fault

First off, if Google was truly horrible about catching spam, we wouldn’t have so many people pissed off because a penguin or panda took their moneymakers out of the index.  But that aside, for some people, “I want to show how bad Google is at catching spam” might seem like a reasonable excuse for outting, but it’s not – and if that is your reason, at least cast it wide for an industy (like payday loans, something that has been outted very recently) rather than a specific site.  One spammy site isn’t news.  An entire spammy vertical is.

Special snowflake

Maybe you want to show off that you are as white as the driven snow in your own SEO tactics, and what better way to show it off to potential clients (and Google) than to publicly name and shame those who are on the dark side.  Just be careful, because if you have any skeletons in your closet and someone takes issue with who you outted, those skeletons WILL make their appearance, and those who normally don’t agree with outing just might make an exception in the name of revenge.  You never know who that site owner has stashed in his or her back pocket.

Still determined to out that site that is making your own moneymaker’s site miserable?  Do it with style with my “How to out your competitors and frienemies for spamming Google“, which covers about every possible way to out your competitor.

 

full disclosure

About the author...

– who has written 56 posts on ShoeMoney.com.

Seobitch is a pen name for a well known female expert in the SEO industry that most of you likely already follow. She has more than a dozen years experience and is a very respected expert in the field. Seobitch can be controversial but writes about issues that most people are afraid to talk about due to their employers, clients or friends. She also loves to tackle industry issues from a different point of view than what you normally see the "complainers" of the industry complaining about. She is also open to suggestions for future topics you would like to see the SEObitch tackle.


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{ 13 comments }

1 Mim

even if you dont have a large blog following you can still write a post and retweet it @ matt cutts or someone else at Google. I know a lot of Google employees also have alerts set up to bring blog posts to there attention when there names are mentioned so include that in the title :)

however id leave it to the search engines to uncover spam myself

2 Ivin

Hey Mim, Shoe. I had a guy from an SEO company charge me $80 for a sales page (I actually wanted the copy written – which I know should cost much more) and the guy delivered me a page with a lot of Loren Ipsum and two images I supplied him with. I wish you guys could see it.

I paid the guy in full because my reputation is important to me. I have a similar series like Shoe’s Shitlist, where I talk about my horrible experiences with companies – this time I decided to let it slide. I don’t know why, but he’s kinda close in my circles, you know…

Now, at risk for being called a spammer, I want to show you the page I have done myself.

http://commentingblueprint.com/get-it

Remember, a couple Lorem Ipsum columns and two images I supplied, that’s it. It wasn’t even an A4 long. ‘I better get a copywriter to finish the page’ He said. I feel like I should ask my money back – should I? I just left it.

B.t.w Shoe, the T-shirt is on the way. And thanks for mine (winning a comment comp).

3 Ivin

Sometimes it’s NOT better to outsource. That’s what I feel I learned from a very expensive lesson.

4 Dubai Movers

Yeah i completely agree that its completely google’s fault.They are useless on catching on the spammers.I think they should come with a new idea.Panda is useless.

5 tribalNerd

Outside of email, it isn’t illegal to spam… if you report someone for spam and damage that persons business, you are liable for damages and future losses. Even more so, when it’s a competitor…

Violating Google’s terms is not illegal. Nor is it a violation of the law to manipulate Google’s bot. It’s that simple.

6 Jagr

Every SEO in world has spammed Google at some point, if they haven’t then they are not real SEOs. Even Rand Fishkin has done his share… we all have!!

7 Nick

Great article SEObitch.

Really enjoy your posts.

8 Alexander Cash

It’s hard to say what the solution would be to all this, but there should definitely be more done to fight the spammers!

9 faisal

The thing is, its best to concentrate on your own blog then to try oust others.

10 Andrew Hughes

Spammers and ousters have way too much time on their hands! If your doing SEO properly (Jagr) there’s no need to spam…hmm though some rules are hard not to break…

11 Hilary

I don’t get why some people keep begging google to do more to fight spam….when ever google tries to do something, a TON of innocent sites get slaughtered, and they only end up creating bigger problems for all of us (eg negative seo…and YES, whether you believe it or not, it does work).

It would be nice if google chilled out with their stinking changes, and actually gave a damn about providing revelent results these days. One can only dream:)

12 Geoff Dyck

I am pretty darn sure that google cares about search results. If Google search results stink then people will switch to a less stinky engine.

Not sure how much a ton of innocent site equals. You make it sound like nobody gets to enjoy the vacum left behind when Google removes poor content. What about the sites that get a boost from Panda and Penguin?

Why should Google chill out….IMO they are were they are because they move fast.

Are you saying that negative SEO is now easier because Google is fighting spam?

Google does not owe you a living. Its not a “right” to be in the index. A few innocents will always get hurt, but this true for almost everything in life.

13 Keli

Google this:

Are Big Brands Still Hiring Spammers?

what do you make of THIS?? Do they hire *SEO’s* and just not know????

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