Saturday, March 31, 2012

Bulk Directory Submission Spam

Hardly a day goes by when I don't receive at least one spam offering to improve my search engine rankings or offering bulk directory submissions, often several. If you own a website with a contact page you probably get a few too. Here's why you should never give them your business.

As a point of principle I never give business to spammers, but for those who aren't as fussy NZ search engine analyst Sheldon Nesdale has written an article on "5 Reasons why you should never hire someone to build links to your website". He talks about how the blog comment submission link builders work and why they are doomed to be ineffectual.

It's not just the blog comment submitters that people need to be worried about, there are a lot of spam emails offering directory submission services. There's nothing wrong with professional link builders submitting to directories as part of a balanced service, provided they play by the rules. I'm talking about the ones who simply offer a "directory submission service", especially the ones who advertise through spam.

I run several reciprocal web directories so I get to see the other end of these bulk submission efforts. I see the same kind of submission over and over again, each of the teams that target my directories has a recognisable "signature" to their posts I soon learn making them stand out and I simply delete their submissions on sight.

My directories are all specialist ones and the submissions from these services are usually off topic for the directory. Failing which they play silly games with the reciprocal link or ignore the language requirements "Submission requirement: English language", Submitted text: Russian, Ukrainian, Chinese etc"  Who knows what language the site's in? I never bother to look.

I check every submitted site and I assume other serious directory owners do too, so I can only assume that the success rate on submissions by these "services" is very low. I doubt this worries them as they only promise to submit, no guarantee of inclusion.

The message for site owners is using these directory submitter spammers is going to hurt you.
  • You won't get anywhere near the number of links you think you'll get
  • You'll mostly only get links from low quality directories where you'll be placed on the same page as dozens of spammy links.

Unless they own the directory,  nobody can guarantee free inclusion in a specific directory and any service that guarantees inclusion in a number of directories either owns a directory farm or takes the time to do the submissions properly. There are services that do take the time, and I have good relationships with a few of them but they aren't the ones that spam.

If you want to get listed in directories, either submit the requests yourself or use a reputable link building service. Doing the requests yourself isn't that hard. Last year I wrote a simple guide to directory submission giving my take on how the submission process should work. If you are going to use a link building service pay a little more for a quality one who will not only guarantee results but can name happy customers as reference sites. If at all possible, try to use a local business (wherever you are) so you can actually talk to them and meet them before giving them your business. If they are out of town at least phone them.

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