Lunacy Unleashed

Notes from the field in the War on Spam

Want a link farm? How about some spam?

The following bit of spam arrived on my contact form last night. Nothing has been changed, because the guilty don’t need protecting here.

Jill wrote:
I have an offer for your business if you’re interested in increasing revenues each month. I’ll cut right to the chase. We’re looking for 1 of 2 things. Or both:

1. Allow us to place targeted advertising on your existing website. We would share any advertising revenues with you at an agreed upon percentage. We’re masters of online advertising, so we can probably unlock new cash flow for you that might have otherwise never been tapped.

2. Allow us to set up around 10 subdomains or subfolders off of your website–for example: http://www.subdomain.YOURURL.com OR http://www.YOURURL.com/subfolder These would contain sites we control and be on a variety of topics. You would have to switch the DNS info for these new subdomains over to one of our servers so that we can make changes to these sites. For this we would pay you a monthly fee that we both feel is fair.

Anyways, if you could get back to me as soon as possible it would be appreciated. We would like to make this a win/win situation! I Hope to hear from you soon!

Jill

jill@masterlinkservice.com

p.s. I do not want to waste any of your time. If you’re not interested please just delete the message and I will not contact you again. I feel the offer is a win/win however and that we can make lots of money together!

p.p.s. I hope to hear from you soon!

Website:
IP: 142.161.37.169

For the unfamiliar, I’ll explain these two ideas in some depth.

The first one sounds like a typical advertising campaign you might see on a blog, such as AdSense or BlogAds. Only this one is bound to contain ads you don’t want on your site, like online casinos or erectile dysfunction drugs. In the case of this company, I’m going to guess home improvement loans, based on some domains I caught this company involved with.

The second one is absolutely something you should never, ever do if you want to be found in a search engine. Companies which get control of a portion of your domain space in this way will typically do one or both of two things:

  1. They’ll post “free” articles on various topics, which also happen to be rather boilerplate, and appear at various other domains across the Internet. One example I caught this company doing involves http://www.homeloaninfobox.com and http://www.homeinus.com which contain exactly the same content, word-for-word. Search engines catch on to this sort of trick and lower both sites in their results.
  2. The more evil possibility is that of a link farm, pages with dozens or hundreds of links to various other sites, which contain dozens or hundreds of links to the same sites. Spammers want sites outside their own sites to link to them, so as to increase their legitimacy, and decrease the chance that their link farm will be caught. Google delists entire domains that it finds involved in link farms, and this is definitely not something you want to happen to you. It happened to Matt Mullenweg of WordPress. He thought it was a good idea at the time, but it turned out to be anything but.

There are good ways to make money on your blog, and there are bad ways. Those are two very bad ways.

October 18, 2005 - Posted by | AdSense, Advertising, Blog Spam, Google, Link Farm, Spam, WordPress

1 Comment

  1. Though I have got a lot of the first request, this is the first time I have seen the second one.

    It would really be a dumb idea to give anyone control of your space, because without doubt you are putting your site and yourself at risk!

    Comment by Ajay | October 30, 2005


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