SEO Copywriter in Black Hat Soapbox Scandal!*


  • *headline may be a little OTT

    SEO copywriter, known to work with a big white hat on her head, has had enough of techniques that give the industry she loves a bad name

    So, about 3 months ago, I had comments enabled on my blog – this was in response to requests following my last post about designers and copywriters working together to achieve better results. You would have thought that this move would be an innocent and helpful development, allowing me to interact with readers who have a genuine point to make or question to ask. Wouldn’t you? I certainly did. But oh how wrong we were!! What fools!

    After a couple of comments which seemed relevant enough, I noticed some junk coming in. I wasn’t massively surprised, I’ve worked as a copywriter for more years than I care to remember, and I’ve specialised as an SEO copywriter for several of them, so I’m more than aware of the rubbish that regularly infiltrates the Internet.

    As the days went on, more and more comments flew in; at first I found them amusing – I mean, really, here are some examples:

    “Basically no the innovative site was not a common condition from your gift. A very Highly time consuming overhaul throughout our old web-site. I seemed to be hunting to help you the two modernize dull material together with develop a even more active on line presence. All of us resolved who overview, in lots of ways, appeared to be the answer for any. I am thrilled you need the web site.”

    “I was recommended this website by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my difficulty. You’re amazing! Thanks!”

    “I beloved up to you’ll receive carried out right here. The caricature is attractive, your authored material stylish. however, you command get got an impatience over that you want be turning in the following. in poor health no doubt come more beforehand again since exactly the similar nearly very often within case you defend this increase.”

    Honestly, I could go on. There was even one that ran to 4,850 words! A wonderful example of spinning and spamming, meeting in one heady mix of hilarity; I chuckled, I chortled and I coughed out my coffee.

    The joke wears thin

    Fast forward a few weeks and I was starting to get a little, shall we say, frustrated by the influx of totally disjointed, poorly formed and incomprehensible ‘comments’ that were coming through to my SEO blog. I’ve not disabled the comment function yet, because I wanted to see how many came through. Well folks, the results have been counted and verified and I can confirm that in 13 weeks, there have been a total of 434 blog comments – all with the unmistakable taste of spam! FOUR HUNDRED AND THIRTY FOUR!!

    So this got me to thinking; while half of these comments are immediately identifiable as spam and blatant attempts at black hat link building, some of them, if you were to just glance over them quickly and not take/have the time to check the urls they’re linking back to, could be mistaken by the untrained eye as genuine comments. Not everyone is a copywriter, or great at English, so slightly sloppily constructed sentences won’t necessarily set off alarm bells for everyone.

    This kind of nefarious link building spam, quite frankly, makes my fists itch! As a bona fide SEO copywriter who toils endlessly to create engaging, effective and high quality content in order to satisfy both my clients and the search engines, these black hat techniques so widely adopted bring shame upon my industry. It makes my job even harder, because the genuine SEO specialists out there have to convince people that SEO isn’t just bad content thrown together by idiots, but rather a real skill that can add value to their business. I love my job, but I hate the bad reputation that these cowboys give us.

    Are you encouraging black hat SEO?

    So the question for you guys is: are you, inadvertently, supporting black hat SEO? If you have a blog, please don’t automatically enable comments – vet them, read them, check their backlinks and the email addresses associated with them; if they seem slightly fishy, then they probably are, so hit the delete button and don’t give these forces of the dark arts the time of day. They make the Internet a worse place to be, and however many pandas or penguins may be out there, they can’t fight every murky magician, so we need to do our bit too.

    Oh, and another thing. If you think it’s just small businesses that buy into these ‘get a gazillion SEO links for £99′ schemes, you, my friend, need to think again. I won’t name and shame, but I’ve been left, mouth agape, at some of the companies associated with these tyrannical tactics. Seriously, it’s shocking stuff.

    So, please do yourself, SEO copywriters and the whole of the World Wide Web a big favour, and delete spam links from your blogs now!

    *climbs down from soapbox*

3 Responses to SEO Copywriter in Black Hat Soapbox Scandal!*

  1. Sam Blake says:

    Hi Louise,

    Great blog! Some very points there and if there was a ‘like’ or ‘agree’ button I would have clicked that now.

    From a web developer’s view, the reason why you are getting so much spam is because your website doesn’t know if the ‘user’ is human or a SPAM robot.

    Make your users prove they’re human. Many web sites use CAPTCHA to stop the SPAM robots and allow humans in by asking a question only a human would be able to answer.

    • louise says:

      Hi Sam,

      Thanks for your comment – and I totally agree. Waiting for my developer to add a CAPTCHA in so I can stop this from happening. The thing that annoys me the most is that so many of these comments are generated by SEO companies! It’s an outrage!

  2. Tim Stringer says:

    STOP THE PRESSES IT’S A REAL LIFE COMMENT

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with your last paragraph there Lou.

    Website owners need to realise that whilst having comments on their site encourages user interaction there definitely needs to be someone (preferably a trained someone) who monitors these comments.

    I’ve noticed recently to bypass this some people I’ve worked for have looked to use things like Facebook comments to try and cut down on the amount of spam they recieve and also increase their social interaction. Maybe something for your readers to think about.

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