rants from the dark side of marketing

Why spam works

Brad Fallon might be saying that fake content has less value over time than genuine content, but he is just pimping his telecourse. What I have written below assumes a one man show and no crazy outsourcing.

Genuine content takes either time or money to create. Let’s say you create your own content, so it just costs you time. To make it simpler let’s assume that if creating one article takes five minutes, then creating 1000 articles will need 5000 minutes or 84 hours.

Now let’s take a couple examples for the spammer. First, let’s say the “fake” content is scraped search results. With a mediocre system, you could create around a couple hundred thousand pages a day. If you don’t scrape you will probably be able to create millions of pages per day. At this point you also stop “renting” content, now you own it.

That means that after a point the amount of content approaches a very big number but the time needed stops increasing. You can’t do that with real content.

content vs time

Let’s take the amount of sites created over time. There is again a point that after that making a much larger amount of sites requires only a very small additional amount of time. On the contrary, “real” sites will require more attention as they get bigger. With “fake” content you can just build and forget.

sites vs time

Of course, there’s another important variable to consider, deindexing of sites. Let’s say an average spam site that scrapes content will last only three months. When I can create 500 sites a day I don’t care if they are banned. They only cost me a couple hours to make, plus $500 to $1500 for the domains. Hosting 500 sites on a $200 per month server for three months is gonna cost $600 or $1.2 per site. That means that if they only make 10 cents each for only 30 of the 90 days, I make a profit if I bought cheap domains.

Then there’s the deindexing of sites with “real” content. We all know that it happens, since there are hundreds of webmasters whining in the forums. Making one real site per day, is probably not gonna happen. Let’s say that over a period of time you have 20 real sites and that’s a lot for most webmasters. When one of those get banned, you are losing a big percentage of your online “real estate”. When a spammer loses 100 sites, it’s no big deal.

To better illustrate my point take this example:
Someone makes 500 sites per week.
Every 12 weeks 500 sites get banned.
50% of his sites make 10 cents a day for 30 days or more.

Ok, I could keep going on this for pages but I am a button pusher. It’s just not interesting enough.

Posted on Thursday, December 1st, 2005 at 6:16 am under Rants. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

11 Comments

SEO Black Hat: Black Hat SEO BlogList of Free Blog Hosts Says:

[...] Here’s a nice list from CountZero of about 50 Free Blog Hosts. His post on why spam works was interesting too, but I nearly pissed myself looking at those MSpaint graphs. [...]

Irishwonder Says:

this is almost an exact copy of earl Gray’s interview, did you ask for his permission to use it?

blackhat-seo Says:

I wrote that off the top of my head. Maybe I just happen to think a bit like Earl. I don’t see where it’s an exact copy, do you care to elaborate?

Dave Says:

no its no irishwonder, its not the same at all….why dont you shut the hell up and stop self policing everything….you make blackhats look bad

Monty Loree Says:

Hilarious,
Complaining about copying content on a post that promotes creating 500 sites a month with scraped sites!!

I like the honesty and straightforwardedness of your analysis.

Is that a realistic number that one of these sites would make 10¢ per day. Or is that a ‘figure’ for illustration?

blackhat-seo Says:

Complaining about copying content on a post that promotes creating 500 sites a month with scraped sites!!

Scraping is suboptimal, I mention it but I also mention “not scraping”.

Is that a realistic number that one of these sites would make 10¢ per day. Or is that a ‘figure’ for illustration?

According to my statistics, 10 cents a day is quite a conservative figure. There are too many variables so your mileage may of course vary.

Here is a link to Earl’s Interview that I “copied” so you can draw your own conclusions.

yourbestmate Says:

Why spam works: Great guys, lets all make millions of sites and millions of pages a year… that way no-one will find any info of any use and the internet itself will devalue .

asldkhf Says:

That hasn’t stopped David Naylor! He’s making 8 figures income from spamming google. And guess what? Google probably knows about ALL his domains. But if you add in the adwords factor, he’s spending money on that end, so they view it as good spam.

Laura Says:

I’m a freelance writer and an editor at Dmoz, this is sickening on both counts. At least it’s something to keep in mind while I’m reviewing submissions. Likely most of your sites don’t get listed if you abandon them so quickly. I don’t quite get how this works just knowing that people are doing it is enough.

Ash Says:

Ha – I like the way you put it – i have been doing the “right thing” for a couple of years now – and as many of you would know – someone like me is never going to make it into the top 10 on an engine.

I just started doing stuff like you say above, because i am feed up with all the SE’s.

I think google, yahoo and others should have two sections on their results – a feature list of high ranked sites, and a feature list of low or new ranked sites. I have made a good site with good content but do not have the time to chase down 1000 links etc… (and so my site will never rarely be seen)

So now i am going to automate it, and who cares if google doesn’t like me – i am past liking them

Jeff Says:

@Ash:
That pretty much sums up the exact thoughts that where going through my head right now.

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