Confessions of a Search Marketer
If you haven't ever seen what search spam looks like then you've never used Google, Yahoo or MSN Search to find anything. All the search engines are loaded with bogus entries, rich with keywords aimed to take fake sites and bad information straight to the top 10 entries on any search engine with a crawler. These are often pages loaded with links and no real information about the supposed topic you clicked thru to find.
Covering Search Engine Strategies provides a rather unique opportunity to meet the people behind these back handed search marketing tactics, as well as the people who work at trying to stop them. These black-hat search marketers achieve an almost rockstar like status among the search engine optimizers of the world because they've made a game of beating the system and rake in five and six figures monthly as a result. While the results suffer, the annoyance isn't as obvious to the casual surfer because these aren't the people who barrage your inbox with advertisements for physical augmentation and chemical remedies for ills you never knew you had. In fact, most of the search spamming community looks down on the people who overload inboxes with junk mail.
As part of our coverage of SES, we got a chance to talk to both Google's expert on solving search spam, Matt Cutts, and a few practitioners of the dark arts of search marketing. Only one of the black hat search marketers braved the microphone, because he's also got some legitimate Web businesses and he'd prefer not to link the two worlds. You can hear his commentary in Meet Joe Spammer. The interview with Matt Cutts is also quite interesting as Chris talks to him about what he's gone through in Googlefasting and the hurdles Matt and the Google team face in combating search engine spam.