When I was going through the SEO Hosting comments that were being held in moderation, I came across these two gems:
Normally, comment spam doesn’t get my attention, but I thought it was strange to receive comment spam from the same IP address for two social communities (instead of the normal pharmaceutical spam).
Out of pure curiousity, I decided to run the IP address through the DomainTools Whois. The IP address resolved to TATACOMM-IN, which is an ISP in India. If you have ever visited the services forum of a forum like Digital Point, you know how many individuals and companies there are in India that offer “mass blog commenting” services.
Because it seemed unlikely that an individual or company in India would randomly submit comment spam on behalf of two social communities, I wanted to see if there was any relation between SiteProNews and DropJack. I began by using SEOQuake to see if the two sites were hosted on a shared IP address; however, DropJack has its own IP address and the only other website on the SiteProNews website is a domain that redirects back to SiteProNews.
Although they had individual IP addresses, I noticed something interesting when I pulled up DropJack in Yahoo! Site Explorer:
After checking the footer of SiteProNews, I found out that both websites are a part of the Jayde Online Network. According to their homepage:
“Jayde Online, Inc. was incorporated in March, 1998 and the Jayde Online Network launched in 2001. Headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, with reach all across the globe, the Jayde Online Network (“Jayde Online” or “the Company”) has become a one-stop repository of practical information and useful applications for those seeking to enhance their web sites and/or understanding of web-based business and trends.”
After reading this statement, I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt, so I decided to see if this was an isolated incident. The easiest way to do this is by checking for traces of other spam. Since the same anchor text was used in both comments, I decided to Google the phrase “start social networking.” And lo and behold, guess who showed up at position #36?
If you’re scratching your head and wondering how they ranked for a phrase that doesn’t appear on their page, just ask Google’s cache:
And, although it wasn’t ranked as high as DropJack, the SPN Community showed up in the SERPs for the same term between 200 and 300. Once again, it was ranked solely because of external anchor text:
Just to be clear, I didn’t write this post to give SPN and DropJack a lecture on comment spamming. Instead, I wanted to get an important point across to all of our readers. If you thought that what you do online is anonymous, I hope this post showed you otherwise. If you’re tempted to dabble in anything questionable, think about the impact it’s going to have on your reputation if you get caught.
To end on a light note, for a company that touts itself as “a one-stop repository of practical information and useful applications for those seeking to enhance their web sites and/or understanding of web-based business and trends,” you think they would at least invest their time in spamming for a keyword phrase that actually gets some traffic
Update: Ironically enough, these comments came through after I published this post: