Sometimes I just get tired of dealing with certain things…

I use Akismet on all my blogs to deal with comment spam. Even though WordPress automatically adds the nofollow tag to any link in its comments, and therefore those links do absolutely nothing for your SEO, there are still people stupid enough to spam my comments. Stupid, stupid, stupid! Even if one or two of them get through Akismet, they still have to be approved by me, and of course, I just delete them. Even if I don’t get around to them, they automatically get deleted from my spam queue after thirty days.

This is pretty much what I think of spammers:

Anyway, these spam messages are sometimes strangely humorous. A recent one showed up on my “Ann Romney” post that begins “This photo really made my day.” Well, yeah, I thought. It really made my day, too. But then I kept reading:

I feel very happy to see the photo of the lady and to see that she is still alive.

Did I miss something? Was there a false news report about her death? Nope, just regular old spam. Here’s the rest:

She was one among the first patients i saw in the emergency. Most of you may not know the reason why she is asking the OPD attend to let her talk with the clinicians. She is suffering from a terminal illness (malignancy) and has a tube inserted in the urinary bladder through the abdominal wall as the mass lesion is preventing her from voiding urine through the urethra. She has to get the tube changed every 3 weeks and has to get the tube cleaned every alternate days. But there is no one to accompany her to the clinic and she always requests different family members and relatives to take her to the clinic. So she manages to get atleast a person a week and comes for cleaning and dressing the tube atleast every 7-8 days. If she gets a late appointment then she will not be able to return home the same day and she fears that the person accompanying her may get bored and may not help her next time.There are hundreds of stories in the remote hospitals where lack of fast service hampers the proper utilization of the health facilities.

I wrote earlier about my adventures doing free-lance writing, much of it for the SEO market. I have no idea who hired this particular spammer, but they certainly got their money’s worth out of this one. The irony here is that this piece of spam linked to a wiki entry on some German corporate website which itself was spam about—of all things—hiring a clown for pensioner’s birthday party. (The clown’s name is Marco de Pasco. If you’re even in Germany and you run across him, please feel free to run over him.)

Interestingly, Marco de Pasco doesn’t have any kind of spam filter on his blog—so I left a comment with a link back this blog. Thanks for the link, Marco!

Another bit of spam showed up on my post about adding comment metadata to your Graphene blog. This one is even stranger:

We forget. We forget how intimidating the the public of nostrum can be- infliction of uncomfortable tests, waiting in the service of results of biopsies taken. We forget how bobbles in our trouble, from promises of reimbursement calls not kept to timetables unmet, jangle.Since the summer, my priest, a retired naval man with totally a way with stories (I over I got my love of speaking from him), [link deleted] has been quite hoarse. From the start treated with gargles and decongestants, his PCP then hit upon the prospect of GERD causing his hoarseness.Pleased with a diagnosis that I could clutch, I held forth before phone and email on bed wedges, on nocturnal snacking, on twice ordinary PPIs with an H2 chaser for the treatment of tighter sway of acid.

Yes, we do forget, don’t we? We forget what a piece of garbage we become when we spam other people’s sites. In this case, the link in question is from a social networking site where people can sign up and create their own blog. In this case, someone is using that blog to run a “get rich quick from the internet while sitting around in your underpants” scheme. The odd thing is that none of the links on that page actually link to anything that wants your money, your email, or your bandwidth. Ridiculous.

Most annoying, however, is that the website this is hosted on bills itself as “the official athletes movement foundation created by [name of totally crap website] and its many Olympic member organizations to unite all athletes around the world in a quest to make a positive change and bring about peaceful relations between people from all nations, gender, ethnicities, cultural backgrounds and walks of life.” They go on to add “As athletes we are ambassadors of goodwill in the world of sports and by inspiring others with the glory of sport we can make contributions to communities around the world.”

Yep, they are contributing to communities around the world. They’re contributing spam. What a bunch of crap. They don’t have anything to do with the Olympics. They just make money off all the ads on their site.

The best one lately is a pingback on my post about adding a category description to Graphene. It linked to an article on, ironically, how to use “nofollow” in WordPress to improve your search rankings. Reading the web page was incredibly depressing, because one thing that all the hoopla about SEO does is cause people to engage in criminally bad writing. Here’s a sample:

This site is built run and promoted by a true [city] affiliate marketing expert. Businesses in [state] looking for an expert in SEO, marketing online or an experienced affiliate marketing manager can email [this jackass] anytime. Hes your guy cause you found him like this, online doing what he does everyday. I dont do this because it makes me money (and it does), I do this because it�s endless fun, creative and interesting everyday. I build and rank website’s as a professional [city] SEO company and at home in my spare time for affiliate income or adsense revenue. I like it alot. alot.

I edited that, of course, but the guy apparently doesn’t know what an apostrophe is (“Hes”, “dont”, etc.) and the one instance that he does use an apostrophe properly, it’s improperly encoded and shows up like this: “it�s”. When he does encode it properly, it’s superfluous: the plural of “website” is “websites” not “website’s”. There is also a clumsy shift in person: “hes your guy” in one sentence and “I dont do this” in the next.

It gets worse. The next paragraph reads:

Not all of our SEO clients are [city] based, many of the largest we have worked for and done SEO consultation for are all over the world. Our Search marketing office is based in [another city in another state] and [another city] and we are never looking for clients. Our clients find us from great satisfied customers word of mouth.We have clients in [a bunch of other places] and outside our region we deal with SEO for doctors, SEO for lawyers, SEO for real estate, SEO for car dealers and SEO for authors from New York to San Diego to Miami and back here home to Bojangles.*

SEO, SEO, SEO—can you have any doubt about what this guy does?

The irony is that if this guy showed up at your office and actually sounded like this, you would think he’s an idiot. And he probably is. But because he’s on the internet, and he uses that magic word “SEO”, all sorts of people are probably lining up at his door, ready to fork over cold hard cash because he can use the word “SEO” seven times in four sentences. Hey, I bet I can do that:

I can mention SEO seven times in four sentences. You should use the word SEO a lot, because SEO is an important word. If you use the word SEO a lot, people will see you using the word SEO and know that you know a lot of about SEO, and will pay you a lot of money, because it’s important to have SEO on your site so that you can make plenty of money, even if you are a jackass in Bojangles who says he knows a lot about SEO but doesn’t know the difference between a balanced line of prose and a turd and anchovy pizza.

Gosh, I did one better: I used “SEO” eight times in only three sentences.

Maybe I should forget about this teaching gig and just make a living spamming other people’s websites.**

I’m finished ranting. I feel better now. But I may get some more interesting spam in the future. I didn’t call this “Part 1” for nothing, you know?

*“Bojangles” is not a place. It’s the nickname of Bill Robinson, an underappreciated and (sadly) mostly forgotten US entertainer.

**There are aspects of SEO that are useful, but these largely have to do with making your website easy to follow and filling it with information that people actually want and need. I’ll write more about this in the future.

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