SEO Battle – Standards vs. Spam

I remember a line in the movie Norma Rae. As she’s introduced to a union leader, she remarked her surprise that he didn’t have horns on his head. I remember thinking that it was a very honest remark, that she truly felt that “commie-lovin union jews” had forked tongues, horns and a tail.

I had a similar reaction several years later when I found out my dad was a republican. He had a photograph of Reagan in his office!!! I couldn’t imagine republicans looked like normal people and in my own family?!

Interview with a spammer

This leads me to a conversation I had this week at the Business Blog Summit with a spammer.

An evil, destructive, soul-less spammer! The scourge of the internet, the source of horrible web sites?

But you look so normal? I thought you’d be taller with beady eyes and long boney fingers. I thought I’d be scared, nervous, and light-headed as the blood rushed from my brain to my wallet.

No, this was a guy that honestly thought he was providing a service to people and businesses by producing web sites filled with random text, creating link farms, and hiring people to spread the gospel of comment spam.

I was having lunch with Molly E. Holzschlag and he stopped by to say hello. Personally, I think he had the hots for Molly, as I felt like Ducky in Sixteen Candles, only Molly wasn’t as infatuated as her Ringwald counterpart. He gave us his speech about the power of spam, referring repeatedly to the “bible” of spam.

I wish I were making this up.

I confess I’ve done my share of spam. I’ll admit my alt attributes were not always worthy of Joe Clark praise. I’ll admit that I’ve recommended purchasing in-bound text links. I’ll admit that I’ve thrown the kitchen sink into my keywords. But this is the new world and these desperate tactics will be blown away by good solid content and obtaining inbound links the hard way… earning it.

Did our buddy walk away a new man? Did he convert to the holy scripture of W3C? Did he lead us to the light of page rank? No, it was a smile and a thank you, I’ll pass your name on to so and so…

I saw him again today, chatting up some others about the doctrine of all that is spam. I took a little walk around the table, hoping to see the tell-tale outline of a tail up the back of his shirt. No outline but I did notice a glazed appearance in the eyes of a new convert.