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Thoughts on this. SEO looks like shilling to me.

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by jonsidneyb, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. jonsidneyb

    jonsidneyb Well-Known Member

    I got an email from a watch vendor. They let me know they hired an SEO company.

    The posts looked like a normal member but he posted links to the watch vendor.

    The watch vendor didn't know enough information to work with the links so contacted me.

    It looks like they were using me for advertising when I thought it was just a member that liked a product.

    What do you guys think of this and how do you stop this kind of stuff.
  2. Lisa

    Lisa Well-Known Member

    Send them an invoice for an extortionate amount of money in return for using your site without permission to advertise?

    Personally, I'd delete the posts, tell the vendor that unauthorised advertising, especially the underhand kind, is frowned upon, and ban the poster as a spammer. (If I misunderstood your post, ignore everything I said... still letting the caffeine into my system).
    jonsidneyb likes this.
  3. jonsidneyb

    jonsidneyb Well-Known Member

    You understood it. I have been them and hidden the posts away.
  4. jonsidneyb

    jonsidneyb Well-Known Member

    One thing I run into a lot. My store is older than my forum but manufacturers tend to see me only as a forum owner. Often times I contact a manufacturer that has not been mentioned in my forum and boom, people start posting about them yet I have not received a reply. I do a little bit of digging and it is that company.
  5. Lisa

    Lisa Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I'd send them an invoice. I don't imagine they'll agree to pay it, but it might make them reconsider.
  6. jonsidneyb

    jonsidneyb Well-Known Member

    I am going to send them an invoice.

    This is happening so often it is amazing.
    Lisa likes this.
  7. MikeMpls

    MikeMpls Well-Known Member

    Why waste time on spammers? When was the last time a spammer paid an invoice?

    Just report them to StopForumSpam.com & delete them. Any of their garbage that you leave in your forum (signons or posts) just dilutes your own SEO in the search engines.
  8. jonsidneyb

    jonsidneyb Well-Known Member

    I don't get members from SEO. These are all human and they actually compete with me. I have to figure out who are legitimate members and who are shills. A lot of the shills are the manufacturers themselves.

    They are often manufacturers that I initiated contact with.

    I contacted a company in the UK once that I was prepared to place a fairly large order with. I never got a reply. Time passed and I noticed some odd posts that had been going on on my forum.

    I started digging and traced them back to the manufacturer, it was an employee acting like a happy customer. I sent an email to them telling them I was not happy they sent shills when I was trying to make a purchase, more of their shills arrived. After a couple of years of this I got an email out of the blue.

    "I’ve been meaning to email you for quite some time re: shilling incident that happened within the XXXX XXXXX name. I’d firstly like to apologise for this happening and take a little time to explain the situation." Blah Blah Blah.

    It the only time one of admitted to it but I have plenty of documentation on many of them.

    Many of my shills are companies that I initiate contact with then the shills show up.
  9. cmeinck

    cmeinck Well-Known Member

    I would delete the link and reply that you have deleted the link -- and a note to stop spamming.

    I'd highly recommend that you regularly check links to your site in Google's Webmasters. I've had a situation where a spammer posted a thread (which was on topic, so it didn't get deleted right away) and then hired a spammy SEO. The result being that my site had hundreds of spammy links pointing to this thread which existed on my site. I'm now in the process of reaching out to the sites and filing a disavow file to Google.

    I use a combination of SonnB's spam plugin, splendid's Anti-spam and do a daily clean out of those abusing signature/homepage links using XenUtils.

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