SEO Need to Know: What is Domain Spamming?

“SEO Need to Know” has a nice ring to it. This may start a series of articles covering things that you need to know as an SEO.

Greywolf did a post about domain spamming but came up with the great euphemism search engine reputation management which is a much better term if you are talking to clients.

So what is domain spamming and why do you need to know it as an SEO?

Domain spamming is trying to own more than one of the first page SERPs on different domains for the same search term. These domains can be domains that you own or on another companies hosted service (like myspace, MSN spaces, blogger, Yahoo 360, wikipedia, squidoo, or expedia).

For a brand name, it will often be easy to create a small network of spots on hosted services that can occupy most of the top spots for brand related queries. This is known as reputation management as the likelihood of negative press making it into those top search spots is greatly reduced.

For competitive search queries, the modern SEO Black Hat is not content with just one or 2 of the top ten spots – He wants All ten. This often means a sophisticated mix of parasite hosting for the aggressive spam portion plus 10-15 “legitimate” looking sites for if and when the search engines clamp down on aggressive spamming. Each of the owned domains should pursue a slightly different look / feel, be hosted on different servers, and not have obvious footprints (like sharing 70% of links or blatant interlinking). Why have just number 1 when you can go for 1-10?

When selecting new domains for domain spamming, look to purchase websites with a long history and strong existing backlinks. It is MUCH easier to obtain the top ten spots on established domains than it would be to try to get those same 10 spots with fresh domains.

Sometimes, you will find 1 or 2 other serious competitors in a space. If you can’t just outspam them, it’s often a good idea to see if you can work out some kind of mutually beneficial relationship: be it lead trading, 4 way link trades, or some type of cross promotion. The specifics of the market will dictate what opportunities exist.

A solid domain spamming strategy will also protect you from the occasional Google hiccup that takes a number 1 site and throws it to, say, number 31. When you own number 2-10 as well, loosing number 1 suddenly doesn’t hurt as much – especially if your number 2 site then moves up to number 1. If you have corporate clients with money to spend, why not go after all 10? It’s a sound strategy that should appeal to risk averse as well as overly aggressive cliental. It will increase your value as an SEO and allow you to bill more (you’ll be building 10X or more sites!).

Just remember to call it “Search Engine Reputation Management” and not “Domain Spamming” and both you and your client can look forward to more money making it to the bottom line.

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4 Responses to “SEO Need to Know: What is Domain Spamming?”

  1. JeremyL says:

    I have found that creating a negative complaint site works best. If I register companysucks.com and say some really bad stuff it would be easy to links and ranking. Once I get the links I change the content over to something nice and friendly and say something like the company went out of their way to correct the problem.

    People love to feed of negativity. I just help them 😀

  2. Muskie says:

    While checking out some keywords I monitor I noticed that in both Google Image Search and Yahoo Image Seach every single image returned for a particular keyword was from my site. The entire first page results were all images from my domain.

    This isn’t Webmaster World so if you want to know the keyword it is “plaguemarine”. Not exactly a money maker, but what can I say it is just a hobby site. Have you ever seen dominance of a keyword in image search like this? This was using only a single domain with a few subdomains.

  3. skillfull says:

    always a good article had usual 😉

  4. Stretch says:

    Depending on a)the serp and b)how Google is feeling at the moment, my “top ten” placements can sometimes even go “top 20” because of deep linking on those domains/subdomains.

    2 Questions:

    How many subdomains in one serp does Google let you get away with (assuming I’m not eBay)?

    With multiple subdomains in the same serp, what kind of staying power can one expect?