"Search Engine Optimization" is a weird field. On the one hand, it can involve improving sites which are actively inimical to search engines. On the other, more common, one, however, it is essentially the art of lying to search engines.
Of course, search engines, which hold themselves in rather high regard, resent being lied to, so tend to adapt to ignore these tactics. One which was popular a few years back was inserting links to one's site wherever, whether through comment spam, buying links, or more interesting tactics. Apparently, it still happens a bit.
In 2006, I wrote a post about AJAX, which was very much the thing at the time. In it, I mentioned, and linked to, Apple Safari. Apple, in common with many large companies, likes to randomly re-arrange its website every few months, so the link is now broken.
A month ago, I received an email notifying me of this dead link, and recommending I link to a page on a website called learnstuff.com. I, of course, ignored this, it being a form of SEO scam, albeit a pleasingly retro one.
And then, a few weeks later, I got a followup. So, this is interesting.
A search for the text of the first spam gets me 516 results. The second, 729 results (some people seem to have gotten a variant of the first as their initial contact). The third, which arrived today? A mere 7 results. I'm oddly excited to see whether I'll be one of the lucky few favoured with a fourth.
I really have to wonder, though, at this point why bother? Search engines are surely good at detecting this naughtiness by now?
The mail relay being used is also interesting. It's smtp.com!
"But now I do so with confidence!"
By avoiding those cheap, low-end Star Trek transporters which leave one's face slightly out of phase.
"Everyone must know the truth about Safari. Everyone."