Making Money Off Penguin, or How I'm Being a Dick

22 replies
  • SEO
  • |
Thought I would share an interesting development that I find sort of amusing.

With the rollout of Penguin, many web sites are panicking and scrambling to get rid of "suspect" links.

I own a few dozen Wordpress autoblogs. I don't actively manage them anymore and they're just sitting out there. Some are good domain names, so I'm just hanging on to them. They are populated with goarticles and ezine and other stuff pulled by Wordpress plugins designed to do just that.

Over the last few weeks I've been getting some request for me to take down articles. I've been ignoring them. Today I got another:

Hi,
I am contacting you on behalf of http://www.[REMOVED].com.
We have noticed that there is a link from this page,

http://[NameRemoved].com/tag/destinations/

Pointing to our client. We would like to you to remove the link that is part of this website. If you do need to authorisations for this I can get the website owner to email you with this request as well.
This time I replied:

It's a Wordpress blog, so it would require logging in and deleting the articles.

Thing is I used to run dozens of these autoblogs, posting public domain content from article directories. It's been years since I managed them, but they still sit out there.

You client posted those articles for link building, and now that Google's all up in arms about it, they want to go back and undo it. So that means my time and effort to help them recover from what they now see as a mistake (but didn't see as a mistake at the time).

I'll remove the articles for $10 per article.

If that's acceptable, please identify, by URL, all the articles you want me to remove.

Send me the list of URLs, I will generate a PayPal invoice.

Once invoice is paid in full, I will remove the articles.

Thanks,

Webdango
And lo and behold they replied with a list of URLs.

I just made an easy $70
#google #making #money #penguin #penguin update
  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    My response would have been to ask for your website, just so I know your legit.

    Then when I got your website, I would have built about 10,000 of the spammiest backlinks I could to it.

    Then I'd send you another email stating "hey, I just built 10,000 super spammy adult porn backlinks pointing to your website, if you don't take those articles down, the links stay, if you do take them down, I'll remove my own links - peace out you cheap f$$k, oh btw thanks for trying to extort me for $70, not happening".

    When people play dirty with me, I usually play that much dirtier. Fortunately you just happened to find a gullible idiot, but you might not get so lucky next time.

    BTW I'm not trying to insult you, just saying I wouldn't have put up with that at all.

    -Red
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6264666].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Richard Van
      Originally Posted by RedShifted View Post

      My response would have been to ask for your website, just so I know your legit.

      Then when I got your website, I would have built about 10,000 of the spammiest backlinks I could to it.

      Then I'd send you another email stating "hey, I just built 10,000 super spammy adult porn backlinks pointing to your website, if you don't take those articles down, the links stay, if you do take them down, I'll remove my own links - peace out you cheap f$, oh btw thanks for trying to extort me for $70, not happening".

      When people play dirty with me, I usually play that much dirtier. Fortunately you just happened to find a gullible idiot, but you might not get so lucky next time.

      -Red
      Wouldn't you then have to go through 10,000 sites removing all the links afterwards?

      If you built 10k links and then removed them (after he'd had to take just 7 off) and did it manually, I reckon you'd have wasted well over $70 in time.

      If you just spammed him with 10,000 Fiverr links then you'd spend even longer removing them.

      ...and he could just do the same back.

      Just saying.
      Signature

      Wibble, bark, my old man's a mushroom etc...

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6264714].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
        Originally Posted by RedShifted View Post


        When people play dirty with me, I usually play that much dirtier. Fortunately you just happened to find a gullible idiot, but you might not get so lucky next time.

        BTW I'm not trying to insult you, just saying I wouldn't have put up with that at all.

        -Red
        The first time I read the OP's post, I too thought "extortion" and then I had to go back and re-read and I completely changed my mind.

        The other company is responsible for putting out web content for syndication. They decided to change their mind about that content being out there - and yes - it's unfortunate - but they need to be willing to pay to have their good deeds undone.

        I'm still wondering if it's too early in the game to be weeding out all the backlinks as I'm not sure it's going to make much difference a few months from now. There are some massive issues with the latest changes and too many "good" sites are vulnerable to getting negative seo'd by their competitors. Penguin is by no means the final update or change. And I think whoever can develop a script for a site that kicks back unwanted links is going to make a killing in the end.
        Signature

        "May I have ten thousand marbles, please?"

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6264983].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author wilsonm
      Unless the site has an obvious brandable name, how does someone know the site is of value to the OP? It would appear to most that he had just abandoned it and it was just sitting there gathering dust.

      Originally Posted by RedShifted View Post

      My response would have been to ask for your website, just so I know your legit.

      Then when I got your website, I would have built about 10,000 of the spammiest backlinks I could to it.

      Then I'd send you another email stating "hey, I just built 10,000 super spammy adult porn backlinks pointing to your website, if you don't take those articles down, the links stay, if you do take them down, I'll remove my own links - peace out you cheap f$, oh btw thanks for trying to extort me for $70, not happening".

      When people play dirty with me, I usually play that much dirtier. Fortunately you just happened to find a gullible idiot, but you might not get so lucky next time.

      BTW I'm not trying to insult you, just saying I wouldn't have put up with that at all.

      -Red
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6266772].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author webdango
    Playing dirty? WTF are you talking about?

    Why should I take my time and effort to correct what they've now decided is a mistake? Asking to be compensated for my effort to correct a mistake YOU made isn't playing dirty, it's good business sense.

    And link bombing works both ways. We're all a Fiverr gig away from 10,000 scrapbox links.....
    Signature
    I make $2,000 - $3,000 a month and YOU CAN TOO
    Get the exact methods I use in my No Joke Guides:
    How to Build Income Earning Websites
    Search Psychology and Keyword Brainstorming
    How to Find a Profitable Niche
    Read more tips at my NoJokeGuide blog
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6264699].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author WPBounce
    I lol'ed
    I have to add the latest google update is a complete crap.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6264846].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author dv8domainsDotCom
    Hey Webdango, I have to side with you on this one.
    They posted to ezine with the express permission (and likely, intent) to have those articles "syndicated" to blogs such as your own. That's end of story, as far as I'm concerned.
    Beyond that, anything that you do on YOUR blog (regardless of the original owner of the article) is your business. If they want you to do something for them on a blog you own, then they are essentially 'hiring' you. And, guess what? You probably don't work for free, I imagine (and hey, if you do, PM me ). Therefore, you deserve to get paid for work that you do.
    You're not a dick. You've put a dollar value on your time in this case, and refused to work for free. It's as simple as that. Good job!
    Signature
    Support a Warrior, Save Money!
    Rock Bottom Prices on Domains and Website Hosting
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6264996].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author RevSEO
    Karma's a bitch.....

    If this is how you plan on making money, so be it. To each their own.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6266544].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JSProjects
    I don't see anything wrong with it. If I had a bunch of old sites and was getting requests to remove content just because the content author is worried about the latest Google changes I'd be a little annoyed too.

    Not sure if I'd charge. And I definitely wouldn't boast about it here @ the WF. But I can see where he's coming from, asking for a small fee to have to take the time to log in (and potentially need to remember the login info), find the articles, and remove them.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6266697].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mosthost
    I think you made the right call. You didn't put the links there, they did. And nobody works for free.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6266706].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
    You know, my initial reaction was "what an ass". However, it's actually a good idea since it wasn't you who put the links there. I agree. Why should you volunteer your time to fix someone else's mistake?
    Signature
    Want a REAL Online Business That's Fun to Run?
    CLICK HERE FOR INFO
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6266713].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author FraserC
    I don't see how you're being a dick. You're getting compensated for your time.
    Signature

    I'm the publisher of Universe Today and co-founder of the Keyword Strategy content marketing tool.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6266776].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author paulgl
      $10? A fool and his money are soon parted. P.T. Barnum
      had it right. There's a sucker born every minute.

      Paul
      Signature

      If you were disappointed in your results today, lower your standards tomorrow.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6266785].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author wilsonm
    Yes what a sucker. Nice one OP!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6266801].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author FrankTheTank
    Since when did writing an article to be syndicated with links become high risk? Seems overly aggressive to be trying to remove those types of links unless they are on porn sites or something.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6267079].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author dracoboar
    So how long before there is a business model of creating spam links to site (whether they put out publicly available content or not and then selling the link removal.

    LOL penguin just keeps getting better and better.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6267182].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author retsek
    IMO, you charged too little.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6267425].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author honestbiz
      What an utterly. s***ty. situation.

      This scenario seems to be playing out exactly and CONFIRMING my suspicions.

      Google wants SERP wars to commence in order to ease their task of getting rid of a lot of sites, leaving behind only the big ones that cannot be touched by bad links. We all know what they are.

      Don't forget the "Distinguished Engineer" Matt Cutts has called Penguin a "resounding success". They planned all this. They know where it's going too.

      There is a big bad agenda here at play, which unfortunately, many internet marketers still cannot see or comprehend.

      The only one to be blamed, is Evil Google.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6267790].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    No big deal, OP was compensated for his time.
    Signature
    Hi
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6267785].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author JSProjects
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      No big deal, OP was compensated for his time.
      Exactly. It's not his fault that the article writers submitted content, knowing that it could get syndicated anywhere. Not sure why he'd be expected to spend his time removing their articles for them at no cost.

      Though I wouldn't have boasted about it here @ the WF. But I've got no issues with asking for a small fee.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6272192].message }}

Trending Topics