A lot of folks have been hammering away at sending out automated link exchange emails for WordPress driven sites.
The hallmarks of many such efforts
- URL with something cheesy like “partners” or “friends” or “roundtable”
- automated emails without a name that mention a search engine ranking and (falsely) apologize for being sent multiple times
- auto-generated content that is overly boastful & looks like it comes from one of those internet marketing review sites that has fake comment bots which say *everything* is the best thing since sliced bread / a genius in motion / a deity of your choice
- Thumbshot previews
- a bit of technical trickery
Nice bit of false empathy there. 😉
The technical trickery mentioned above is that if you visit the link they put in the email the linking post will appear *all over* the site that is “linking” to you. But if you open up a new browser from a different IP address and try to visit the parent category page before visiting the individual post page you will see that the post is only visible to a person who knows exactly where it is. So the people are not only mass automated email spammers, but they lie at hello as well (by deceiving folks into thinking there is an on-the-level exchange of some sort, while screwing them over with a page that is invisible to everyone but them).
The stuff is so out of hand that even new age doomer movies about 2012 are using it & are sending the emails to sites about SEO, offering sources of ‘enlightenment.’ 😀
Clearly they are enlightened. 😉
Some tips & strategies:
- The easiest way around such issues is to delete unsolicited commercial messages, especially if they are not personalized. But if you want to give someone the benefit of the doubt, then the best way to do so is check the source code of the page inside Google’s cache. If the page isn’t cached by Google then generally Google probably doesn’t care much about it. (Yes there are exception to that, but the people who are sending unsolicited emails probably do not deserve too much benefit of the doubt.)
- If you are out sending emails asking for links then it goes without saying that you don’t want to look like the above folks (though I have received *far* worse emails from some SEO companies & PR folks). Automated tools can be dangerous things when in the hands of tools!