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Location: Manchester, Lancashire, United Kingdom

On a quest for knowledge

October 20, 2005

SEO Spam

So Much Spam & So Litle Time

Well as per usual this will be the first post I've made for a while which is due to a heavy work load and the huge spam problem I've at present (I'm that close to jacking this blog in and starting a new one).

Anyone reading this blog (not automated programs that is) will be able to see the huge amount of spam comments being added to the blog. These spam comments are just people exploiting the ability to leave comments with a nice little anchor rich text link. I can see why it's tempting to do so and wouldn't mind so much apart from the manner in which there being posted.

I followed one of these links the other day, only to find a redirect to a page selling an automated blog comment and pinging tool. I didn't read that much into it (far too busy at present) but read enough to get the picture.

The tool allows you to search for specific keyword focused blogs and place a pre configured comment with your text link, creating thousands of backlinks that influence PR and link popularity. It then pings the blog hoping to allert crawlers to the new comment spam. Well we all know links are a must for competing in competative markets but surely you need to either be desperate or simply not care about pissing blog owners off to fall to these drastic measures.

I know there is probably a way of preventing this from happening but have not had the time to conduct any research. So any automated programs reading this, please feel free to a leave comment on how I can prevent you from returning ;) or anyone reading this who knows any methods please let us know.

All work & no play

As mentioned before my recent work load has been incredibly high, this has been a combination of pre-xmas search engine positioning for a higher number of clients than usual but mainly the last few componants required to have our brand spanking new eCommerce Solution up and running with it's own dedicated website to advertise the truly amazing / revolutionary features it contains.

I've been mainly focusing on the SEO side of things. The first thing was to completly anoy the hell out of the developers by telling them "no, your just going to have to do it this way" in order for the front end to be complety search engine friendly. Which doesn't sound like much work, but when you think every little change has to be left for a few days, waiting for each of the main search engines to pick up the changes before you're able to view and conclude the results, a frantic work pace was required from all the team if we were going to meat the launch date set by the management.

How many test shops?

In order to even come close to the launch date, we had to set up a total of seven test shops. Each shop containing a few dozen or so products, just enough to create a site requiring deep crawling for all pages to be indexed. This allowed us to test seven different additions to the SEO at the same time. Then it was just a simple case of studying the impact of each development and choosing which was the best to include in the end product.

My favourite development has got to be the SOE componant "self optimising eCommerce", which basicly automates a large quantity of elements that effect SEO. When the shop owner adds each product via the CMS, it will take things like the name of the product and use it for the title and alt tags on corresponding images. This allows people who no knowledge of SEO to optimised pages but also allows who want full control over the SEO elements to adjust them as well.

At the moment the dedicated site is not up and running but we do have the demo shop online which shows off the eCommerce Solution quite well.