Confessions of a Marketing Cynic

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Ah, nice to see some justice done.

If you scroll down a bit on the blog, you'll see me complaining about three different blogspammers - but if you follow the links today, you'll notice that two of them are gone from the system.

Now, I don't for a moment think that means the end of blogspam - quite the opposite. But it does provide an explanation for the usernames - benpeterson7768, benpeterson7769, and so on. I don't think the removal of the automated blogspammer's accounts one by one is the ultimate solution to the problem, but it's still nice to see that the company is paying attention and doing something about it.

Now - if I was working on the system, I'd definitely be experimenting with ways to autodetect and remove the accounts used to game the system in this way.

And of course the blogspammers would be working on a way to create - say 24 different blogs, and updating each every half-hour in a random rotating fashion so that there would always be a fresh inbound link for the spiders to find.

24 is probably a low number, given the lengths people will go to to get to that prize - the hypercompetitive keywords can cost you up to $100K a year in SEO work just to stay within the top 20 or so.

Or so the SEO experts claim - I wouldn't know, it's not what I do, but I think I'll take their word for it.

So the question becomes - what kind of linking strategy can you pursue that won't cost you more than you'll make when you try to monetize your traffic?

One solution that several people have had some good results from is the press release strategy - if you do it well, you can have several hundred one-way incoming links that'll both drive traffic from the news item when publishers pick up on it and will be mighty tasty spider food.

Dual advantage for you, of course.

Which is nice if you're a merchant or you're selling your own product and you manage to tie your own product(s) in with something newsworthy - but I don't see how that strategy can work for an affiliate marketer. A press release about you joining as an affiliate for a (not-so)random example won't have half the impact that a press release about the new Auctions! for another (not-so) random example had.

But there's an alternative to press releases - article writing. If you're good enough to get picked up by ArticleCity or any of the other big article repositories, you'll frequently get the very nice surprise of seeing your articles picked up by lots of different publications. Hey, if you're good enough you can get into the ientry network of publications - webproworld and their other publications frequently republish articles from

Which include affiliate links or domain-based affiliate redirect links for something you're trying to promote - so if you can't do press releases, think about trying for articles instead.

You never know until you try, right?

Sunday, November 14, 2004

This is just too much!

Corie Lewis's blog

These unethical bastards are trying to BlogBomb Spybot Search and Destroy to point to their crapware instead of the real Spybot Search and Destroy.

Any wonder I'm a cynic about a lot of this?

Whenever there's a buck involved, ethics takes a back seat.

I really, really hope the next algoritmit update from G. catches these buggers out and greybars every single last RSS spammer who's trying to crapflood the 'net with their junk.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

As much as I complain about blogspam...

Well, there's still email spam in the world too.

And I'm sure lots of people have already pointed at this spam solution from MarketingSherpa.

But they have a good point - there are days when Torture-a-spammer seems like the only thing to do.

The game, of course - in real life jail time is plenty.

Bobby Jackson's blog

Bobby Jackson's Automatic Spam-for-SEO blog

These people are driving me crazy.

Half the blogs I look at here daily are nothing but SEO spam blogs - this one happens to be spamming for personal injury attorneys.

But come to think of it, I'm sure Google must be aware of this attempt to game their system - I wonder if the rumours of a rebuild of the index and new spiders showing up is an attempt to detect and penalize sites that uses automated blog spamming like these crap sites do?

And I'm not thinking of the spamblog itself when I'm saying that - I'm thinking of the sites that benefit from this.

It would serve them right if the next index update greybarred the lot of them

Monday, November 08, 2004

On The Road with Dave: Definition of Marketing

On The Road with Dave: Definition of Marketing

Marketing jokes and definition jokes are nothing new of course.

But I hadn't seen this version of it before - it's a pretty funny variant of the marketing definitions.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Money doublers, money cyclers, and money games.


Someone else has also had enough of the crap with Money Doublers - David Congreave, editor of The Nettle, to be precise.

Yes, I've been calling them ponzis since I first saw Empowerism, or was it somehting else that claimed to guarantee making money - matrixes, probably. Or gold games.

Old scams never die, they just get renamed.

Last year it was randomizers that were the ponzi-of-choice. This year it's "doublers".

Whatever they are called though, they have one thing in common.

They're all illegal, immoral, and virtually guaranteed to lose you money.

Stay out of it if you know what's good for you.

Look, you want to have a way to legally make money from home ? Fine, take some courses, read some books and get to work. But don't expect to play the con games and make a decent living.

Monday, November 01, 2004


sitereviews is another one of those blog spambombs.

Why are they getting away with this crap? This has to be some kind of automated spam tool...

So - how come a Google subsidiary is enabling spam?

Business Is Very Personal

Business Is Very Personal

Yeah, it's a nice book. And the examples are probably good.

But it's still presenting as "New insights" the concept that 'all marketing must make a profit' - something that Claude Hopkins wrote about in that nice little book he wrote in 1920.

Sure, people like new books. And it's nice to see the big advertisers catching on - hopefully the concept will spread enough to let small business people understand that their money is mis-spent if they don't track the results.

Don't be on it through, not as long as media agents are more interested in selling their advertising space than in providing results for the advertiser.

Which leaves it up to you to do the testing and tracking yourself.

Of course, if you test and track your search engine advertising, you'll quickly find out that PPC advertising fraud is endemic - and hidden from you.

BenPeterson Blog: adult santa claus letter

BenPeterson Blog: adult santa claus letter

Wow. Is this what we call blogspam?

Nothing but the same affiliate link posted over and aover and over....


Blogspam. And I'm helping him do it.


Saturday, October 30, 2004

Funny business.... isn't funny.

So I own the domain Marketing Cynic and the DBA Marketing Cynic, for my ezine "Confessions of a Marketing Cynic." And of course I'm about to start the Marketing Cynic blog.

I'm nothing if not consistent.

And what do I find?

Some ...person... has registered my business name as their blog, and is marketing themselves using my slogan, USP and everything.

I think a Cease and Desist order is next on the agenda.

I am not amused.

In fact, I'm severely annoyed.

Oh, and did I mention that customer service was being completely unhelpful?

Marketing Cynic

Marketing Cynic

Yup, definitely using my domain Marketing Cynic and my stated position on marketing and small business - while not making any effort at all to acknowledge where he got the name, the idea, or anything else.

I am severely annoyed.