November 29, 2007

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge and other SEO spam explained

I average upwards of 100 spam comments per day per blog, very little of which actually gets through (although that very little is obviously enough to be quite annoying!). Recent research from Sunbelt explains part of what’s going on. (More here in Computerworld.) What’s going on is this:

1. Aggressive black-hat SEO is being done for all kind of long-tail terms and phrases, by posting comment spam filled with little except links on those phrases. For example, one of the first spams I checked for this post consists simply of 10 links to the same .cn, with anchor text, with anchor text and subdomain name being the same keyphrase. Keyphrases included “an occurrence at owl creek bridge”, “allegheny assessment county tax”, and “am been hate i ive who who.” As this kind of spam came by, I’d been wondering why people bothered, since it didn’t seem terribly easy to monetize.

2. These links turn out to be malware loaders. Ahhhh. Now it all makes sense.

As for An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge itself, I recall it as a film from grade school. I’ve never actually read the story, and was surprised at how short it was when I looked it up right now. Come to think of it, that kind of surprise is very much in keeping with the theme of the story itself …


One Response to “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge and other SEO spam explained”

  1. Dave on March 9th, 2008 5:52 pm

    There is a free streaming video of “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge here:

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