Dealing with all that spammy requests

One of the tricky parts of blogging is one having time to blog and the amount of hammy messages you get when doing it for a long while.

In a conversation on mastodon with a few people about web3 (don’t get me started). I saw Rysiek’s blog which talked about the second problem. He calls it SEO link spam email.

Ah, SEO link spam e-mails. If you have a blog that’s been online longer than, say, three years, you know what I’m talking about:

Hey,

I read your article at <link-to-a-blogpost-of-mine> talking about <actually-not-the-topic-of-the-blogpost>. I think your readers would benefit from a link to <link-to-an-irrelevant-or-trivial-piece>.

Would you consider linking to our article?

For a long time I just ignored these, flagging as spam and moving on. Obviously I am not going to link to some marketing crap that’s there only to drive up SEO of some random site.

But then that one spammer showed up in my mailbox, and he was persistent. Several e-mails and follow-ups within a month. I decided I needed a better strategy.

To be fair Rysiek does lead with a large disclaimer but I do like the crowd sourced proposed strategy.

In short, offer a counter offer which makes up for the time of posting a post with their link using rel="sponsored nofollow" surrounded in a blog post pretty much tearing down the linked content.

I’m tempted to do this by creating a page on this blog and listing them as requested but with a clear sign saying they paid a lot of money for the crappy placement. Not exactly what they wanted but I’ll be upfront about it all. An alternative was to back date a blog post, so it would be on the blog but never appear on the aggregated page/rss unless you were searching for it.

As Rysiek says, its more about getting rid of the endless requests for placement on this blog. Its kinda clear get lost and beats marking all those emails as spam.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.