The SEO Web Ninja Incident

So. I sell some links on my site from time to time. The people who do the actual purchasing of said links tend to be sketchy…some are just penny pinching scumbags, while others are outright nefarious. I had the opportunity to interact with the former type recently, in an email conversation / offer that turned a little sour.

For purpose of reference, the SEO genius sketchball from this post works here (as a web ninja) and here (as a shirtless starfighter.) See what I’m talking about?

Without further ado…the email thread:

Yoav – Operad Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 1:25 PM
To: Joseph Swanson

Hello, how much do you charge for a positive review on a software?
And how long does it take to go live?


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Joseph swanson Sat, Jan28, 2012 at 12:15 PM
To: Yoav – Operad

Hello Yoav,

I typically do three review levels

$25 – Links only, worked into a post on a similar topic

$50 – Links and screenshots, brief post (appx 100 words)

$100 – Links, screenshots, user experince…lengthy review (appx 300 words)

I would prefer 48 hours to complete a review, but could do it within a day from acceptance if time is a concern.

If you are looking for a more comprehensive review, we can negotiate a price. All of my posts are topical, and will blend in with my typical content. I have had good luck driving traffic on my previous work.

Look forward to an opportunity…cheers

Joe

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Yoav – Operad Sun, Jan 29, 2012 at 8:24 AM
To: Joseph Swanson

Hi
I want two posts (with 100 words and links) Can you make it around
70$ total ?


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Joseph swanson Tue, Jan31, 2012 at 5:37 AM
To: Yoav – Operad

$85 and we have a deal. Send me details and I’ll have them for you in two days from time of email.

swantron.com is the url…I’ll add relevant pictures to the posts as well.

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Yoav – Operad Wed, Feb 1, 2012 at 11:17 AM
To: Joseph Swanson

Let’s make 3 for 100$ and call it a day?


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Joseph swanson Wed, Feb 1, 2012 at 11:06 PM
To: Yoav – Operad

I’ll do three posts in the 100 word range for $100. Positive reviews, blending in with the look and feel of my site.

Payment via PayPal.

Send details if that sounds reasonable

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Yoav – Operad Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 9:22 AM
To: Joseph Swanson

100 words is uselss for SEO, it’s too little.


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Joseph swanson Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 6:31 PM
To: Yoav – Operad

Now you are catching on. Allow me to remind you of the rates I run:

>>> $25 – Links only, worked into a post on a similar topic
>>>
>>> $50 – Links and screenshots, brief post (appx 100 words)
>>>
>>> $100 – Links, screenshots, user experince…lengthy review (appx 300 words)

I am not going to slide you three hundred dollars worth of my services for one hundred dollars, Yoav. Nice try.

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Yoav – Operad Sun, Feb 5, 2012 at 5:55 AM
To: Joseph Swanson

I’m not trying to get you to “slide” me anything,
But I’m sure that your’e aware that 50$ for a short paragraph is too much.

If you can compromise on a lesser price or more words let me know and I’ll
order 2-3 posts.

Thanks.


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Joseph swanson Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 8:38 AM
To: Yoav – Operad

Truth be told, I’m not sure I can rattle out one hundred words about any of your “products.” Your website is full of empty drivel, and the SEO game is a dead horse.

Best of luck and happy kicking…

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Yoav – Operad Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 12:11 AM
To: Joseph swanson

Now you got my curious. I still haven’t given you any of my websites or products,

How did you gather the information to write me this rude message?


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Joseph swanson Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 9:08 AM
To: Yoav – Operad

…my starting point was the gif attached as your email signature. It doesn’t take a web ninja to do the rest.

I was working under the assumption that you were looking for a review for something that either operand or sorezki is peddling. If there is another degree of separation, I am even less interested in writing a review. The thought of a software producer actually purchasing services of this nature makes me want to puke.

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Yoav – Operad Sat, Feb 11, 2012 at 11:42 PM
To: Joseph swanson

Well if you knew half a thing about SEO you would know that SEO agencies don’t pay for articles about THEMSELVES but about their clients that has to do with dozens of relevant subjects to the websites.

This conversation will now end because I’m having a hard time keeping myself from laughing at people such as yourself,

Have a great week amigo!

Bye.


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From: Joseph swanson [mailto:joe@swantron.com]

Joseph swanson Sun, Feb 12, 2012 at 12:55 PM
To: Yoav – Operad

Yoav,

Thank you for the lesson ins SEO. As payment for said lesson, I have prepared for you an image to be used as your email signature. I feel it is more befitting of a Web Ninja than what you currently use.

Kind regards,

Joe

web_ninja.jpg
11K

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Yoav – Operad Sun, Feb 12, 2012 at 2:07 PM
To: Joseph swanson

thanks brother!

Sincerely,

Yoav,
Operad OffPage SEO


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I guess we all learned a lesson today. I’m just not sure what that is. I thought I was going to get some money, but instead got a way better post. Yoav thought he was going to get some work done, but instead got a sweet new email signature.

I was getting sort of fed up with this guy, but once I found his bio thing…

yoav the web ninja

(you made more internets)


…it turned into a whole different thing.

Maybe I should start selling signatures instead of links…that looks pretty killer.

Spoofing User Agent Types from the Command line

I’m back on the command line…look out…

ubuntu terminal spoofing user agents

green on black...my favorite

So, I am still poking away at various ways to interface between the bash and various web components. This stuff is still shaking out of my Twitter to CLI to LCD project. I have been using some of the usual suspects (wget, python url libraries, etc) in an effort to find one that is best suited to sniffing and parsing html info. I have found that writing to serial is the most fail-proof means of mashing around data quickly, so that is my inspiration.

Anyhow, I was horsing around with curl on the command line. It turns out, that spoofing user agents is pretty simple to implement.

Take this two-line one liner for instance:

swantron@Dell15:~$ x=10
swantron@Dell15:~$ for (( y=1; y<=x; y++)) ; do curl --user-agent "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.01; Windows NT 5.0)" swantron.com ; done

In a nutshell, this is acting to snag this site ten times, with credentials indicating the machine is running Windows 2000 and MS Internet Explorer 5.1. The success is indicated by my server statistics:

Before:

Windows 2000 IE 5.1

Windows 2000 IE 5.1

After:

IE 5.1 on Windows 2000

IE 5.1 on Windows 2000

Not too bad. I am considering using this as a testing tool for my site. Messing around with PHP and CSS…I can put together a quick regression using some legacy operating systems and browsers to make certain that I can still snag my content. Granted, the example setup may seem like gross overkill, but as those stats indicate, I do see quite a few requests from ancient machines. Makes you wonder..

Anyhow, this layout is in need of some serious testing. If anyone is interested in a copy, drop me a line. Cheers.

Internet Marketing Change

I don’t pull punches when it comes to my love / hate relationship with Google. Google may be Big Brother-esque, when it comes to the wi-fi sniffing and general evil empire building. They too are the same company who dropped Android on us, so for that I am thankful. Similarly, the Chrome browser is a “love”, but Chromium is most definitely in the “hate” catagory. As a publisher network conneseur, I can say that I am glad to announce that AdWords may have a competitor.

And that, friends, is breaking news.

Breaking News...For the Win

Breaking News FTW

MS Paint inducing breaking news. AdSense and AdWords are no friends of mine.

Here is the basis of my stance. I had swantron.com living as a parked domain for a number of months after re-branding my old site. When I switched it to my primary domain, even though I had a redirect in place, I was flagged for illegial click activity. My appeal was made to deaf ears, though my point was valid. Regardless, I’m proud to say that Google AdWords, Meet Your Competition: Clickbook CPC.

The most interesting aspect of Clickbook is that the cpc network has its sites set on Google Ad* from the start. Pay attention to some of the “big” sites…look for the Clickbook reminders. You may see some exposure via CNN / ESPN, because they have made the switch.

I’m excited. I haven’t had much luck with any Ad* alternatives yet, so I’m the target publisher. Maybe I’ll be rolling in the pay per click loot before we know it.

SEO Protip: Ditch the Polls

Many moons ago, I heard through the grapevine that slow sites are penalized by search engines. Being the owner of a fast-as-lightning-bro-you-better-get-your-Nikes-bro site, I didn’t care. After plugging into the world of php, jquery, css, html, and a boat load of 3rd party crap on ol’ swantron.com, I have a slow site. Waah.

custom google logo

google folks impressed by logo...direct all job offers to @swantron

(Hint: that ampersand in front up there ^ means Twitter)

Looking into the cause of my crappy speed numbers, the first culprit was my stupid “poll” plugin that I have been using. Nobody cares about the polls on a site, unless they have exhausted every other iota of content on said site. Not the case here. Not the case by a long shot.

I do have some content that is popping in the search engines, however. Tons of impressions, in fact. I am lacking the placement, even on swantron-specific terms. Maybe my lean-and-mean approach will win me SEO gold, readership silver, and living off of saying dumb shit bronze. Maybe. Polls are officially off line until the jury has deliberated.