Posts Tagged spam

When Did Spam Get Rude?

Ok, I know I’ve already complained about spam ads recently, but here’s something else that’s caused me great personal consternation:  At some point in the past week or so, everyone seems to have decided that it’s OK for clickable ads to talk to you.

Not talk to you like “hey, here’s our ad and we’d like you to read it so that you’ll decide to give us a chance”.  Instead, it’s becoming “hey, we’re loud and in your face and we’re making noise so that you can’t hear anything else that you’re actually doing – either give us what we want or we’re going to continue to hold your auditory senses hostage”.

When I’m online, I’ve usually got several browser windows or tabs opened at once, and I’m usually listening to music.  The thing that’s hacking me off is that these ads with sound are usually coming up on the pages where I’m listening to something or soon will be.  So, it’s knowingly stomping on what I’m doing – not accidentally, the way you’d expect with multiple pages up.  When that happens, it doesn’t matter whether the ad is about something that I’ve looked at before or that I just might be interested in, it’s forcing me to drop whatever I’m doing so that I can figure out what’s happened and why everything’s being walked on by some chatty commercial that belongs on my television between show segments.

It was bad enough that these ads have been taking up more and more space on the sites I visit (do any of us really want to put up with ads being placed in the middle of our News Feeds?), why do they have to harass us when we’re focusing on some other page at the moment now?  Would we suddenly put up with it if we had this same problem from our spam folders in our email accounts – you’re reading a message from your sister who’s halfway across the country and suddenly the words are drowned out by MAKE SURE TO VISIT THE BUYMORE THIS SUNDAY FOR SUPER SALES ON THE PENTON 13 VIDEO PROJECTOR!  HERE’S A COUPON THAT’LL GET YOU FIFTEEN PERCENT OFF ON ALL FLASH DRIVES ON OUR TOP SELLERS SHELF – WOW!!!

I understand the importance of making sure that people know about what your company offers – heck, that doesn’t mean I want do deal with ads that are going to demand my attention with the only alternative to be that I’ve lost my concentration while I was trying to shut them up.  That’s just bad business, because it gives me a stronger negative impression of whatever’s being represented than I might have ever had beforehand.  There’s a place for video in helping to promote your company, but PPC just isn’t it.  These people need to remember that gaining new customers involves treating them with respect.   Techndu’s an SEO company, that knows exactly what it offers! It knows exactly how, where and what message is to be passed. Like the way it takes care of its own marketing strategies, it takes equal care of its clients’ marketing needs. It never spams!!


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Spam From Spying

A while back, we told you about how Google was using its mapping street-vans to “accidentally” collect things like your passwords in their efforts to provide all the public information they can to people.  Recently, Steve Kovach has pointed out that they’re recording your browser history in order to spam you with adds while you’re online.  I’ve got to admit that I’ve noticed a serious uptick in the number of adds I come across from the sites I’ve visited more than once.

To me, though, the problem is more that once again you’re being tracked.  The fact that it’s merely to advertise sites you’re already looking at is merely insulting.  But they’re violating your privacy – once again – by tracking you in the first place.  Steve focuses on the companies themselves, and that’s worthwhile in itself, because blocking them from getting the information does reduce the problem.  But the heart of the issue is that, once again, you’re being spied on by people claiming to help you.  That makes it look like nothing’s ever going to change, and these people really do want to take over your brain.

Honestly, it makes me feel like everyone’s got their own personal stalker who’s creeping around the Internet.  Maybe that’s what Eric Schmidt was talking about with his creepy line, in which case, it’s definitely been crossed.  And all so they can remind you about something that you’ve already looked at.  There’s a little cynical thought inside me that’s wondering what this is really about.  It can’t just be about rerunning ads, because no one’s so forgetful that they need reminded that they’re interested in something.


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Everyone Should Hate Spam

Anyone who maintains a blog has seen comments come in that look like they might not actually have anything to do with what you’re talking about.  “Hey, you should try this thing I found on” ring a bell for anyone?  I realize I haven’t talked about this in a while, but it’s on my mind today and I thought I’d share a few things on the matter.

For starters, anyone who actually wants their clients to do well should avoid spamming whenever possible – if a search engine tumbles to the fact that spam is being used, they’ll penalize the site that’s benefiting from it in any number of ways including removing them from a search listing entirely (the searching equivalent of capital punishment, for those who don’t think spam’s a serious matter).

It gets even trickier with the rise of social media in the online community.  People are actually using Facebook and the online games connected with it than Google and all of its subsidiary sites.  That must seem like a ripe field for black hat operators ready to do just about anything to promote their clients.  Even for the rest of us it presents a very treacherous path to walk that can easily see you sliding off into the abyss.  Learning what to look for in your own efforts is the first and possibly most important step in cleaning out the spam from your own content.

Sadly, there isn’t a whole lot you can do beyond that and just clearing your spam filter every so often so that it isn’t stacked up.  I wonder, does a link that’s stored in a spam folder still count towards the ranking of the site to which it sends you?  That would be one for the various search engines to answer, I suppose, but I still don’t want to have them just sitting there in my account.

The interesting thing, though, is that you can now get spam on your smart phone, so that there’s no waking moment when you aren’t at risk of a polluted Internet.  As soon as you open it to your homepage, you’re going to find yourself faced with a lot of links that have nothing to do with what you’re after and some that may even offend your values.  All in the name of helping some company do better online.

As search engine optimizers, it’s perfectly natural that we should want to help our clients be more visible online.  It’s even right, because that’s what they’re paying us for.  But it should never be done at the expense of the people we’re trying to get to go to our client’s with their business.  If you’ll forgive me a Star Wars analogy, black hat techniques are “quicker, easier, more seductive” but in the end will leave your clients looking all rotten and gross, cackling “good, good” whenever someone launches another spam campaign on their behalf.

That doesn’t ultimately do anyone any good.

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