Learning from Spammers: Blackhat Secrets to High Keyword Ranking

Here’s a process I’ve picked up from the spammers to some of my blogs.  I deduced the following from a few minutes of reverse engineering.

  1. Have someone post a question to a questions board such as yahoo answers, wikiHow, etc.
  2. Have someone else post an answer that references your site.
  3. Have the author of the question select your planted answer.
  4. Spam the hell out of blogs with comments putting that questions board question page as the referenced web page and using strong keywords for the author name.  Make sure to use a content spinner of some sort to generate your answer so your comment doesn’t instantly get flagged as spam.

Yes, it’s just that easy. Now, you get the benefit of not touting your OWN site as the answer to a planted question, but to have someone else provide that social proof while having the third party site rank high in the search engines.  Cute, huh?

This is absolutely a black hat technique and fairly spammy, but the more you know, the more you are prepared to defend your blog against attacks like these.

Sun Tzu: War is Deception; Business is War – The Lines are Drawn

Sun Tzu, if you haven’t heard of him was an incredibly successful military general in ancient China.  He is traditionally believed to have authored an influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy called The Art of War.  This book was designed to teach strategists and emperors how to win their wars. You can download the free ebook version and see what it’s all about. Sun Tzu’s Art of War has become a staple in the world of business education.  An article I read a few years back even went so far as to attribute that one of the common characteristics of the world’s most successful business leaders was that they approached business as if it were war.

Mind you, I haven’t read the actual book, only excerpts and extracts such as The Art of War for Business and its ilk and read various pithy leadership quotes from Sun Tzu’s work such as:

  • A leader leads by example not by force.
  • Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
  • Management of many is the same as management of few. It is a matter of organization.
  • The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.
  • Speed is the essence of war. Take advantage of the enemy’s unpreparedness; travel by unexpected routes and strike him where he has taken no precautions.

However, I was recently watching a military documentary about the impact of deception on the battlefield and I was exposed to a side of Sun Tzu’s teaching not terribly prevalent in those leadership books.  Sun Tzu’s Art of War was quoted as saying “All of war is deception,” setting the theme for the show.

As I have also spent a great deal of time lately soul searching about business ethics, this triggered an epiphany for me.  There is little wonder why we have a plague of deception in business – it’s baked in through the training of our leadership.

Everybody Lies

The power to deceive one’s enemy is the most powerful weapon that can be used in war.  Leveraging the techniques of misdirection used by illusionists, coupled with deep knowledge of “your enemy”, wars are won by spreading ‘misinformation’ that trick the opposition into believing they know your strengths, weaknesses, and intent.

But who is this “enemy” to whom we should direct all of our negative warrior-like energy and deception?  As they said in WWII, “Loose lips sink ships.”  So, when too many people know the “truth”, you run the risk that some of that truth will leak out into the general public and/or to the elusive enemy.  And, in these successful military campaigns the deception was maintained to those within their own ranks, the media, and the public at large.

So, when you take the “business is war” approach, and you accept the doctrine that deception must be maintained for an effective campaign, in the mind of the leader, what are the limits on this doctrine?  Who is it acceptable to deceive?

  • Competitors?
  • Customers?
  • Employees?
  • Stockholders?
  • Investors?

I don’t have the solution in my pocket or anything, but it’s obvious we have a problem here.  Perhaps the only thing I am empowered to do is to save myself and maintain my own integrity.

Google Profiles in Google Search Results

image With the introduction Google’s recent introduction of FriendConnect (look in the bottom right-hand corner of this blog!) and the profile pages you can build for your profile ON FriendConnect, it was just a matter of time before Google started to index those profile pages in their very own search results.

Depending upon how well you use it (Such as filling out good titles for your links, and content rich information in your “About Me” section) you may see a message like this on your Google profile like it appeared on mine this afternoon.

Your profile is eligible to be featured in Google search results. You can find your profile at <link here>.

Here are some ways to share your new profile with your friends:

  • Add it to your IM status message
  • Link to it in your email signature
  • Note it in Google Reader
  • Post about it on Twitter
  • Share it on Facebook

These last three were dynamically created based upon the services which were hooked up in the Add Links section.  Make sure to set a vanity URL that matches your name as it appears in all other social media.

The awesome thing about it is that you can link to every last thing in the universe that you’re on from here.  FriendFeed, Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Friendster, Your Blog(s), You Article Marketing Feeds, Reddit, Delicious, YouTube, YouNameIt!

In my few tests, Google’s profile page for the user name in question (for several of my nomes de plume (sp?)) came up in the first page of results again and again.

Conclusion

If you want to be found set up your own Google Profile, and link to every last thing in the world with your name on it (that you’re proud of, at least).

To sign up, just do so over in the bottom right of my blog in the “Friend Connect” box using the “Join This Site” button. and you’ll get started right away in setting up your Google profile.

Kumo: Microsoft Search- Rebranded

The Microsoft Kumo Search Engine (not Cumo or Kumho)  may be MS’s rebranding of the same old MS Live Search, but it may also be Microsoft’s re-emergence into the search engine space.

Kumo Search Engine

Microsoft Kumo Search Engine

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How to Create a Cult for Your Brand – Marketing Brainwashing

I’ve become quite a bit more active on YouTube recently, creating a series of videos featuring me, little cartoons, and delivering presentations.

Whilst wandering around the favorite videos of some of my newest YouTube friends, I discovered something that reminded me of some of my earliest education in psychology: the “art”, as it were, of brainwashing.

Watch the following video from the creator of a popular MLM (Multi-Level-Marketing) program and notice the unusual use of the word “prompting” at time marker [0:29].  I had never heard this term used in this way prior to watching this video:

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SEO Tips on Keyword Density

I’m trying a few new things in this Search Engine Optimization post.  First, I’m working on an outsourceable model of video creation.  :-D   Witness the video and how it’s not ME!  It’s my words, and my direction, but not me.  Heck, you can probably even see hints of my own mannerisms in the character, but it’s not me.

This type of “productization” of my knowledge is one of the goals I push my clients toward regularly (you know who you are!).  I, too, have suffered from the malaise that my most meaningful content is hard to separate myself from.

Perhaps this medium can allow me to do so.  Now, onto the meaningful SEO tips !

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10 Hot Marketing Tips Straight from Joint Venture Alert Live in Orlando

I just spent the weekend in Orlando and had the most amazing time. I met some fantastic people and was able to pick the brains of so many wonderfully skilled and caring people.

Having the skills without the caring doesn’t matter.  I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have a drunk derelict who would give his life trying to save mine administer CPR than a triple PhD who’s motivations are purely selfish.

Without further ado, here are some quick tips on improving your marketing from some of the top marketing folks around:

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WordPress Plug-In – TweetBacks “Considered Harmful”

When_Tweetbacks_Attack I’ve recently installed the WordPress Plug-in called “TweetBacks” on  two of my sites, to see how it goes.  Those two sites are those I promote highly on Twitter .  The first is this blog, about Small Business Internet Marketing , the other is a blog about How to Twitter .

What is TweetBacks WordPress Plug-In?

The TweetBack plug-in automatically picks up conversations when people Twitter about your particular WordPress blog post and inserts each tweet as a comment in your blog.

It was working out pretty nicely for a while.  I even recommended TweetBacks to members of my inner circle, but then I noticed some very strange things only happening on this blog.

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Wordpress SEO: Optimize Your Permalinks!

That title certainly sounds like a personal problem, doesn’t it?  It makes you wonder:

  • What the heck are permalinks
  • Why would I care about optimizing them?
  • Will I have to undergo expensive surgeries in order to optimize?

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Website Atrocity – Things you Should NEVER do to your Web Site

A faithful reader sent me a link this morning to a website he found particularly distasteful and YOWZA - he was spot on , as they say across the pond. So a big thank you goes out to Lucas Black of London, UK whose blog can be found at http://www.SometimeSpace.co.uk/

Now, this retailer, oddly enough, is quite the effective marketer, due to her nationwide television adverts, traveling double-decker billboard bus, and tons of free press and huge buzz about her unique style, not to mention, her quite effective marketing techniques.

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