We all know about spam. For most of us, it’s a matter of email. But if you run a website there’s the dreaded scourge of ‘comment spam’. You’ve seen it. People who go into comments and post totally off-topic comments with links to this or that commercial site. “So, hey, you’re talking about health care reform and mandates, but check out the great Refi i just got at scamrefi.com!!!”
Clearly, the folks who do this for a living are shameless and awful. But this morning I learned they’re striving for even greater levels of shamelessness and actually achieving it.
Here’s the letter we received this morning — note the parts in bold …
LINK REMOVAL REQUEST Saturday 7th of July 2012 11:20:13 PM
ATTN TALKINGPOINTSMEMO.COM care of Network Solutions PO Box 459 Drums, PA 18222 US
Dear Marshall, Joshua:
It has come to our attention that a number of links exist on your domain which send traffic to our website realinsurance.com.au. As a result of warnings in Google Webmaster Tools we have determined that these links may be harmful either to the future marketing and reputation of realinsurance.com.au or our search results.
Accordingly, we request that you (A) remove all existing links to realinsurance.com.au from your domain, including, but not limited to the following URLs:
(B) Cease creation of any additional links to realinsurance.com.au
(C) provide us with prompt notification once links to realinsurance.com.au have been removed either by return email, or using the link below.
This request is being made because your domain and link has been identified as one that may be causing our site a penalty post Google Penguin update. The work of previous SEO agencies on our behalf has caused problems for us post Panda so I hope you can help us comply with Google guidelines.
Thanking you in anticipation of your co-operation in removing these links at your earliest convenience.
In other words, the estimable businessmen and women at realinsurance.com.au have been paying SEO companies to spam the comment sections of sites around the globe. But now Google’s new search algorithms are making that legacy spam really damaging. So now they’re sending out cease and desist notices to the victims of their earlier spamming demanding that they search their archives and remove their spam.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.