2018-05-22 The linkspammers are back, but they are trying to hide it a lot better
Over the years I have ranted several times about linkspammers. About spammers in general too, but linkspammers are a special category. Most of them, especially the fully automated ones died when google started detecting their deceit. That time there was some amusement to be had reading mails "somehow there is an evil link to my site from your site, please remove it as it affects both our google ranking". But now they are back, but trying to hide it a lot better. I received several nicey-nicey and helpful mails with really personal suggestions to improve my site, or improve the world in general by adding some link they proposed, complete with the right anchor text. At first I thought they were personal and answered them telling them the proposed links were wrong, or they had not read the article/post/.. they wanted to change very carefully. And then a week or two later I'd get another personal mail asking whether I had considered their previous request. And answering with "did you read my answer?" did not change a thing. My best guess at the moment is that I wasn't looking at a personal mail and that I should add a lot of airquotes about terms like "personal" above. It's a template with 'page X' 'needs link Y' and 'with anchor text Z' and there is software running that checks whether page X has the 'right' link and keeps sending reminders until it does. As you can imagine (or not), I feel very annoyed by this new scam tactic. One sample:Hi pal, My name is Oliver and I'm writing to share an infographic that aims to educate people about PTSD amongst our veterans and serving military personnel. The infographic is titled "The Silent Enemy: How PTSD Damages Our Soldiers". You can view the infographic by clicking here: [link] To spread the word about these issues, I ask if you could add a "weblink" to this infographic from this page on your own website: https://idefix.net/~koos/newsitem.cgi/1318581406 Note how this page has only a link to 'military' but actually reading it for 4 seconds would let you know that it has no link to PTSD in the military. I chose this page because you already link to www.af.mil/News/Photos/ from this page. If this is possible, you could add the below text to this page on your own websi te: The Silent Enemy: How PTSD Damages Our Soldiers – An infographic aiming to raise awareness about PTSD in the military. Alternatively, you could also publish the infographic on your website as a "guest blog post". If this is OK, I can write a unique introduction to go with the infographic. This will save you time and also help to highlight the important issues covered in the infographic. I really appreciate your time. I know that linking to this infographic will help to build awareness about mental health issues amongst veterans and serving memb ers of the military. I'm sure this is a cause you would like to get behind by adding the above link. I've actually attached the infographic to this email for you to add to your website at either the page I suggest or as a fresh blog post. Many thanks, Oliver Clark Rehab 4 Alcoholism Please click on Unsubscribe to be unsubscribed from any future communications. P rivacy notice.The last line is quite a hint that this is from an automated system, the stories are somewhat long so this isn't always very visible. Now I also wonder whether the link would be to a very commercial rehab organisation.