Spammers, and proud of it

People in new media often wonder when the giants are going to roll in and just take over everything. After all, with their talent and leverage and money (and more money) they ought to be able to see what’s going on online and just run with it.

No need to worry. Consider the case of Reed Elsevier (no link on purpose). They’re a division of the company that publishes Variety and LexisNexis and Publishers Weekly and various trade shows around the world. And they’re totally clueless. And apparently proud of it.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve received several meails, all the same, all from real people at Reed. They baldly (and boldly) ask me to swap links with them as part of a scheme to move up the Google rankings. Anyone who reads this blog knows that I don’t do that, nor does any reputable blog I know of.

Surprised by their corporate background, I’ve responded to them, twice. And both times, the response has amazed me. Not, "sorry, we didn’t know," but "If our content can’t be found then it does not matter and there is no point to providing this information to our users (or being in business on the web w/a B2B content site). It is both a benefit and a service to our B2B users to have relevant information be returned in their google, yahoo, etc searches. We would be providing a poor user experience if we ignored search engines since many users start their search in this fashion."

Worth noting that their site is a disaster of bad organization, big ads and little content. Worth noting that their site has no traffic as far as I can tell.

They wrote to me again today. I’m on their list, so are you and they’re going to keep hammering away because, ‘hey, it’s just my job.’

Translation: it fits our business model to be ranked highly, so we’ll go ahead and cheat to get there.