Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Times (UK) Spamming Social Media Sites Since 2004, The Times retained the established SEO consulting firm Sitelynx to handle their search engine marketing. Working on behalf of The Times, a Sitelynx employee posted thousands of links to community and social news websites, including Mahalo,, StumbleUpon, Metafilter, Yahoo! Answers, Ma.gnolia, and Netscape's Propeller. His actions were done without any disclosure of his affiliation to Sitelynx or The Times and were, in some cases, posted under the assumed identity of his wife.

The accounts were all created by Piotr "Peter" Wyspianski, an SEO Manager at Sitelynx since June 2007. (Though his LinkedIn resume says "Executive.")

Before coming to Sitelynx, Piotr had a history of promoting his own business, an online jewelry store called Signature Gems, by using his profiles on sites like Myspace, Flickr, and Yahoo 360 to manipulate his search engine rankings. After coming to Sitelynx, he continued to use this technique to promote The Times.

Some nice tactics
If anything, this teaches you it's a lot of hard work to get your stuff out there. But if you commit to spreading the message, chances are it will pay off.
The article has a list of most of the sites Piotr used to promote his jewellery and The Times. You should check out what he did.

I actually have a rogue Facebook account. It started off as a laugh, but became an experiment on how an idea can spread through the net. I have a lot of friends I don't know and it's weird watching their lives unfold down my mini feed.
I don't do any real work on it and it's growing of its own accord. Except I have done some mini promotional activities. I sometimes tag myself in photos and join groups which relate to my character. And there are tonnes of other rogue profiles for various inanimate objects and characters. I like how we all seem to find each other. And I can't tell you who I am, because then you will know it's me!

It is amazing how the merging of the net and people's behaviours have allowed this 'play' to happen. And people like it. I always interact with people when they chat to me and it always is a lot of fun. They lap up the ability to participate with something interesting. It's a good lesson for brands too. People do want to interact, and that involves participation, conversation and some fun in between!

No comments: