Imagine you own a business. You need a website, so you hire a programmer to build one for you. You need content, so you hire someone to write articles for you. Now you have this great website, but you don’t have any visitors. The next step would be to hire an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) professional to get your site ranking higher in Google, Yahoo and co.
One way to boost a site’s rankings is by linking to it from other websites. So let’s imagine your website is about organic tea. Your SEO professional might email other tea-related websites and ask if they would link to you, but chances are they won’t. He might go onto a chat forum and mention your site, but how many people out there are talking about organic tea? Does this guy even know enough about organic tea to hold a conversation on the topic? Unlikely.
A good SEO professional will try to get legitimate links from relevant sources. On the other hand, less ethical “professionals” choose the easier option of spamming blogs and social bookmarking sites such as JapanSoc.
JapanSoc, like other social bookmarking sites, is an easy target. Once you’ve registered, you can submit any website you like. I’ve already seen Hawaiian weddings, CSS style sheets, and of course, organic tea among the upcoming stories. On some occasions, these submissions have actually been quite good! The title is descriptive and the summary of the site has been well-written. If you were paying for these links, you’d probably be quite proud of their quality.
The problem is, the SEO “professional” has wasted his time because his submissions aren’t related to Japan… which means they are spam, spam, spam, spam, with a hint of spam. You’ve put your heart into your organic tea business, you’ve had a fantastic website designed for you, and you’re not even aware that you are responsible for all this spam.
As long as people are paying for SEO, spam will continue. While I can do my best to ban and block every spammer that signs up at JapanSoc, I urge you to help me out by hitting the “bury” link on any spam submission. Thank you! 🙂If you like, you can find me on Twitter at @nick_ramsay. I'd love to hear from you!