Running this site is pretty easy, with the exception of writing the articles. Taking care of the technical aspects of the site is simple. Responding to comments is fun. Updating plug-ins and tweaking the design is enjoyable. I like it all.
One of the things I do is delete spam from the comments queue. Most of the spam is automatically deleted by a special plug-in I use, and I rarely find spam that gets past the filter except for one particular type of spam, which I delete manually. It’s able to sneak past the filter because it contains keywords, and the filter thinks it might be appropriate.
The spam I’m referring to comes from law firms. It’s usually not written by the lawyers. It’s written by the search engine optimization (SEO) firm hired by the law firm to improve the rank of the firm’s website. The law firm has hired these people to do whatever it takes to move the site up in Google. SEO firms employ a variety of techniques to game the ranking algorithms the search engines employ.
One of the techniques these firms use is commenting on blogs with a link back to the firm’s site. They comment on my site most every day.
Unfortunately, the comments are usually stupid, poorly written, and generally not responsive to the post or the discussion focused on the post. The comments are frequently written in second-rate English, and it’s fairly obvious that some of the SEO writers didn’t learn English as their first language.
I can deal with deleting the comments; it’s no big deal. The damage to the law firm, however, is a big deal. These firms have authorized someone to behave badly in front of bloggers. They’re doing what they’re doing in full view of the people who have a platform and are heard across our community. They couldn’t pick a worse place to behave badly. These SEO firms are damaging their clients’ reputations with the people most likely to spread the word about the firm. Is moving up on Google worth trashing your reputation in your own community of professionals?