— aleatory

SEO: Belfast?

Local rag the Belfast Telegraph is Google gaming.

evil mediaThey’ve set up a ‘guide’ that contains regurgitated articles from across the web with the added SEO magic dust of adding ‘Belfast’ to the end of each article title. Other regions are doing the same thing with the exact same articles. Compare Kent Online with Belfast er, online. Or Londonderry for that matter.

This particular form of content spamming, or spamdexing is known as article spinning and although Google permit it, they normally require linking back to the original source. But…

Looking further into this they don’t give SEO juice to the original source (courtesy of a nofollow link) and also employ a 3rd party service to put random local companies addresses in a directory listing at the top of the page. If you want your company address added ‘free of charge’ there’s a link that takes you to their site.

Directorym.co.uk the business behind this has built up a large network of publishing partners but I wonder are local sites such as the Tele aware they are just republishing generic non-local content with a single keyword added in to the title? I doubt that is really delivering a service that ‘fits the exact needs of our end users by combining important, local information into one place’. Directorym’s goal is ‘to become the central database in…countries well before anybody even thinks of database centralization.’

Personally I don’t see the value in a central db of spammed articles delivered via online media agencies, ‘local’ or not.

Ran into this while searching for local anti-virus services. Both Belfast & Londonderry searches contain Directorym-sourced spam links from a few different publishers.

  1. rutherford says: 27 April 20106:40 am

    And somewhat unbelieveably: http://bit.ly/abVyMZ.

    There’s a definite disconnect between net savvy media companies and the tree felling type. The traditional industry should be on top of these issues by now, instead of being shown up as the clueless relative.

  2. Barry Adams says: 12 May 20109:47 am

    As the resident SEO specialist at Visual Script I feel I must set the record straight here a bit: VS did not have anything to do with this ‘local guides’ scraped content.

    On the contrary, I’ve strongly advised the tele on several occasions to remove this stuff as soon as possible, as I believe the site may already be penalised in some way for hosting this type of spam.

    I conduct SEO with purely ethical means and I eschew grey-hat and black-hat methods, and the service delivered by Directory M is definitely a shady practice at best.

  3. Barry Adams says: 12 May 201010:39 am

    Addendum: it took this blog post of yours to be forwarded to the right people within the Tele, but it got the job done – the local guides content has been removed. So I owe you a big thanks. :)

  4. rutherford says: 12 May 201010:29 pm

    Hey, didn’t realise they were a client of VS Barry.

    Hmm seems there’s a delay between policy decision and action – still seems to be largely online. I wouldn’t see it as that big an issue but to anyone with an interest in online brand identity and it’s intrinsic value it’s a bugbear I’m sure you’ll agree.

    When niche sites such as the Telegraph begin to blur their brand and turn their digital identity into just another web content bin then that intrinsic value is largely lost.

    It’s disappointing some publishers see this as a landgrab exercise. Quality not quantity and all that

  5. seo secrets says: 3 June 201011:12 pm

    I think by far the best backlinking technique is to build link wheels, by hand, and string them together yourself, all these automated software programs leave too many footprints, my two cents anyways :)

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