more on gaming the system

I subscribe to a feed of all blog jobs from — you know, just for fun. I haven’t found anything worth checking out. I come across a lot of useless stuff and, of course, things like “make me a WordPress blog for $150.” No thanks, cheapskate.

Anyway, today I ran across this listing on elance (via indeed) and figured it was worth noting. Maybe you don’t realize what’s going on here but an employer is looking for a contractor to leave comments on .edu blogs that link back to the employer’s site. I don’t know exactly why he’s targeting .edu blogs but all those links back will improve his Google Page Rank. Basically, he’s spamming blogs but with a human so that his spam won’t be so easily recognized.

There are tons of “jobs” like these listed every day. Employers who just want a writer to produce blog entries each day in hopes of driving traffic. Or they want someone to write copy with an eye on SEO. Of course, these people — the employers and writers alike — aren’t really saying anything. So what’s the real value?

Likewise, I’ve had clients and employers alike get very concerned about how to drive traffic, how to raise visibility and I always just kind of shrug my shoulders at the wasted effort of it all. Because either you turn into one of these leeches who’s just gaming the system and not actually delivering any new information or you end up competing against them.

I don’t have a solution but I have this suggestion: information is valuable. If you are delivering actual information and not just linkbaiting or regurgitating keywords then your site will have value. So why not just concentrate on creating value and forget about keywords, SEO and linkage?

Oh and in case Indeed takes down that link, here’s a screenshot of the listing.