Spam comments, as any regular blogger and forum user will tell you, are a right royal pain in the arse. While it's a way of life on teh interweb, it doesn't make them any less irritating to delete, especially if you get hit by a plethora of spam comments, which is what happened to Lewis yesterday. He started off by Tweeting that he'd been hit by an unusually large amount of spam. He Tweeted his further investigations, and uncovered the source - a company called Demya who, for the princely sum of £75, promise to publish 100,000 forum posts promote website, products and service. They stopped short of offering to love you long time.
And how do they promise to do this? By going out into communities, engaging with bloggers and forums, or even just alerting relevant people to the product? No, they've gone for a much more simpler option:
"We use special software to automatically register on forums worldwide and post promotional messages.
Your message will appear to be a normal post on forums. Different usernames are generated by our software so that each forum registration and post appears to be unique. You can 'rotate' pre-written messages and publish multiple promotional posts.
This is the most advanced level of penetrating online established communities. We can target communities based on your campaigns keywords."
They're not overly picky about which clients they take on either:
"Do you Promote Gambling, Dating or Viagra Campaigns? Yes, we don't care what the website, product or service is that we are promoting. "
But, get this, their services are completely and unequivocally NOT SPAM. Ok?
"Legality We do not "spam" forums or emails. We use an automated system that registers on hundreds of thousands of forums for legit accounts and posts your custom messages automatically. "
Funny that. I could have sworn that sending out an automated system posting hundreds of messages out on random forums and blogs without any thought for the content is, well, spam.
You can take a tin of spam, put a label on it and call it ham. But it'll still be spam inside. The same goes for the online version. No matter how many times you say "hey, this isn't spam" doesn't change the product in front of you. Spam. Or, as Helen Lawrence rather nicely lists it:
"There are a zillion things wrong with this.
- It’s spam. Spam, spam, spam, spam. Forums are not the place for marketing messages.
- Contrary to their site’s claims, this kind of activity will actually push you down lower in search rankings.
- Even if forums were the place to send out marketing messages how the hell are you supposed to monitor 10,000 possible conversations (most of which will be ‘fuck off’) and gain any insight from it? Just attack and leave, what kind of relationship is that? Don’t go into a forum if you’re not being honest and you don’t have anything to offer other than a promotional message.
- It’s spam.
- It’s spam.
- It’s spam
- Its’ spam
Oh, I’m so angry. How does this kind of rubbish still exist? Why do people still think that forum spamming offers any kind of result other than just pissing people off?"
The sad thing is there are probably a few brands or businesses who've decided to get a web presence and think this is a surefire way to get attention for their product on the web. Well, yes, it will. But only if you want to appear in Google rankings having people yell "Spam" and much worse next to your name.
Frankly, I'd have no sympathy if any company goes down this route and finds it backfiring on them. If you're that stupid about your approach to online PR and marketing, then you probably deserve bad Google karma.
I try not to swear often on this blog (a policy that's not anywhere near as successful in real life). I always feel that, unless you're particularly good with your profanity, swearing kind of undermines your argument.
But when even Helen, whose blog is a lovely, friendly, excitable happy place that often comes with recipes for bacon brownies and lusting after McFly, feels compelled to describe them as spammy cunts, I think I'll make an exception. So Demya, I'd just like to say that you're an absolute bunch of spamming cunts and I'd quite like you to take your service, shove it up your arse, and fuck off while you're doing it. Kthnxbai.