Spam and SEO: Black (Dunce) Hat Optimization

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Services for Real Estate Pros

get rich quickI love ActiveRain. And, most assuredly, I owe much of my success in the mortgage business to the ActiveRain blogging platform. Google loves ActiveRain and as an AR blogger, I am loved by Google.

Regardless of the above facts, I still think The Rain could be improved.

We need to eliminate the spammers, lest they tarnish all of our reputations.

I was reading some blogs today, and I ran into one that looked very similar to the following. (I replaced the word "mayo" for "mortgage," because I'm not so dumb that I would repeat the word mortgage over and over in a post tied to my account.)

Hi. If you want the BEST FLORIDA MAYO you could ever hope and desire for- you need to call us. We have the BEST FLORIDA MAYO in every city, in every county. We are your BEST FLORIDA MAYO brokers in the whole state of FLORIDA because we have the BEST FLORIDA MAYO rates in the state of FLORIDA.

Ugh. I can't even bare to continue; it hurts my brain. But I see it all of the time.

Unfortunately, I see it often on ActiveRain. Repeating keyword phrases over and over and over again is not SEO. It's just SPAM, according to Google's own definition in Webmater Tools here. I once had a competitor in Tucson completely banned from Google for doing this exact same thing. There is still no sign of her site. She has been completely de-indexed.

And spamdexing from our beloved ActiveRain? For shame! Why don't we all just start posting about Viagra, with all kinds of affiliate links to Canadian pharmacies? 

From SEOleaders.com: "Spamdexing is the stuffing of keywords for ranking high in the search engine result. It is the art which satisfy neither the search engine nor the audience. Spamdexing only satisfies the spamdexers...Most of the time the content or the description is not understood [like my example above] because the keywords are placed anywhere in the content. This makes reader confused while reading."

Some people would call this "black hat" SEO. Well, believe me, I've seen black hat and this isn't black hat. This is more like "dunce cap" SEO. At least the black hatters write good content and then put all of their keywords on the bottom of the page, in white text. That way, the search engine finds the spammy content, but the human being can only sees the good content. That, my friend, is "black hat."

This is just black dunce-cap SEO. No thought put into it whatsoever.

When spammers are allowed to tarnish ActiveRain, it hurts us all. The content is useless to other ActiveRainers and useless to consumers, as mentioned in the quote above. These posts are written for one purpose and one purpose only: to try and manipulate Google. 

ActiveRain gained power because we were all a bunch of bloggers who wrote truthfully about matters related to real estate. I've seen membership more than triple since I've been on board, but it hasn't necessarily been a positive thing. Spammers have noticed the power of The Rain too-- and they want in.

ActiveRain has a button to "report a concern" when it comes to comment spam.

Can we also add a link to report the post itself? It doesn't help anybody when this is allowed to continue.

~ Copyright April 25th, 2011, by Michael George, your Arizona Jumbo Loan Pro.

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Rainmaker
315,642
Dave Halpern
Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

I've noticed it, too. I suppose it makes sense to those who don't understand SEO basics.

Apr 25, 2011 06:18 AM #1
Rainmaker
1,679,339
Debbie Gartner
Floor Coverings International - Westchester NY & Stamford CT - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring

It's not just spam, it's just plain stupid.  Doesn't accomplish anything.

I do report a lot of spam comments and I've come across a few posts I'd like to report, too. there should be another button.  You're right.

Apr 25, 2011 06:31 AM #2
Rainer
57,004
Cindy Logan
Logan Economic Achievement Programs - Irvine, CA

Michael, I didn't do that, and I didn't have a clue about SEO before coming to ActiveRain.  perhaps they could just get nudged in the right direction, like taking Steven Graham's 1 week training.  Of course, you may not want to offer that to a competitior, however.....

Apr 25, 2011 06:46 AM #3
Ambassador
1,292,064
Loreena Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Frisco TX Real Estate Co. - Frisco, TX
RealtorĀ® | Frisco TX Community Ambassador

I used to hit the Report button and I guess I should continue to do so. When it showed up on my blog, it's the only comment I delete.

Apr 25, 2011 06:49 AM #4
Rainer
236,325
Daniel H. Fisher
www.FisherHermanRealty.com (704) 617-3544 - Charlotte, NC
MCRP - Charlotte Real Estate, NC or SC

SEO is foreign to some people.  For those who are trying to make a quick buck, the shortcuts (keyword stuffing) may be appealing, but these types are also usually quick to get out of the business when they determine that there is a lot of work involved. Reporting by honest individuals helps self police the industry shine our tarnished image.

Apr 27, 2011 11:32 AM #5
Rainmaker
640,198
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

Michael, Good points!  I learned a long time ago with SEO content is king and Google knows it.

Apr 27, 2011 11:48 PM #6
Rainmaker
395,817
Elva Branson-Lee
Solid Source Realty GA - Atlanta, GA
CDPE - Atlanta Real Estate & Short Sale Agent

I suspect that the reason so many of us do that here in the Rain, is because that's what we learn from each other. I'm glad I discovered your blog, so I can learn to do SEO the right way.

Jul 13, 2012 07:43 PM #7
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Rainmaker
213,770

AZ SEO Expert: Phoenix SEO Consultant

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