unethical search engine optimization the spam business model

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					Unethical Search Engine Optimization

The SPAM Business Model

SPAM – Deceptive practices to manipulate search engine rankings
Three years ago I used to be the SEO Director of an established design firm.
For the first twenty sites we optimized, we employed deceptive search engine
optimization practices.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Spam
Committing time and client’s money to unethical SEO tactics is not a good
long-term business practice. The few months of success was not worth the
hangover of being banned from the search engines. The loss of income and
client trust was a high price to pay.

Ethical SEO Practices
In the process of rebuilding we used ethical practices. We researched and
worked within the search engines published guidelines.

In the process we found that the time and costs of good search engine
optimization are no more than that of spam. The end result is what the client
really wants. Ethical SEO delivers a consistent stream of unique site visitors;
more qualified sales leads; and a broader market exposure at an economical

Unintended Consequences of SPAM

In the signing of guestbooks to build false link popularity, we widened the
client’s exposure to email harvesters. The results were that they received
150 spam emails per 1 genuine enquiry. The additional time needed to delete
1000+ spam emails a day was costly for the clients.

The worst cost of guest book spamming was a public relations nightmare for
one particular client. Without looking, the SEO team spammed a murder
victim’s memorial site! The client was suddenly flooded with hate mail from
the victim’s friends and relatives. More costs for the client.

There were more problems in the deploying of deceptive redirects. The page
content did not match where the redirect was going. When the visitors did
not find what they really wanted, they found themselves trapped in a redirect
loop. Again, the client had to take the time to answer hate mail.
Personal Costs
In a short time we had built up an impressive $33k a month in service billing.
A few clients had actually hired extra staff to handle the new search engine
business inquiries.

Then overnight it was wiped out. The additional use of unreadable text and
keyword stuffing had finally caught up with us.

Not only did the boss have to deal with the loss of income, but also he had to
try to repair the damaged client relations.

It was very fortunate that we had used alias domains instead of working
directly on our client’s sites. No doubt the legal department would have been
very busy if we had.

Rebuilding the Right Way
The boss had spent years developing the client list from the design side of
the house. Now we had to reprove ourselves all over again. The monetary
costs were enormous. Two thirds of the total accumulated service income
was needed to rebuild.

Good Content and True Link Popularity
Instead of signing guestbooks we researched good relevant link
opportunities. We invested in submitting to paid directories. We took the
time to write good relevant content. The end result was surprising.

The client sites’ received additional qualified traffic above what the search
engines were sending. Visitors started to find exactly what they wanted. The
client started to experience higher sales per visitor ratios than ever before.

The Happy Ending
In the end we found that good content sells itself. And the search engines
love it. With ethical SEO practices you can spend time on tweaking higher
conversion rates, not trying to stay ahead of the spam police.

Michael Kannon

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