Understanding SPAM – Email and Web SPAM

Email SPAM is no doubt the most common and well known form of SPAM, probably on a pair with the incessant river that is your mail box with infinite cascades of useless flyers from your “thoughtful” next door pizza place and supermarket.

By now you would expect anyone that used email for more than one year to have taken the time to learn what SPAM is, but evidence (my Inbox) shows that this is not the case at all, no matter if they are digital natives, people with master degrees and doctorates, even academics in IT and communications otherwise recognised in their fields and big companies alike, all walks of life seem to be at it. Is ignorance an excuse?

Understanding Email SPAM

Having said all the above now would probably be a good time to give you a link where you can learn what email SPAM is, Wikipedia a perfectly good place for that.

But in short any message of commercial nature that is sent in bulk to someone that hasn’t asked for it or given you permission to mail them marketing related material is in fact SPAM.

I’m in no doubt that some people SPAM their entire contact list or part due to lack of information rather than actually intentionally wanting to SPAM, but in this day and age there is little if any excuse to confuse it with email marketing.

You charitable good intentions or an introduction such as “apologies for the group email”, won’t cut it either, we’re all busy people with more causes than we have time for, not learning the basics of online interactions is akin to bad spelling or shouting at the library. After all you wouldn’t go knocking on every single person you know every time you launch a product or service just because you know where they live, what makes you think that Email is any different.

It is more than time to start treating the Internet as part of this world and not some parallel reality where anything goes. Don’t you think?

I would go even further and make the analogy to the phone, would it be appropriate to call or send a text message to that person in the list? Ask this simple question, if not that’s probably a sign you shouldn’t send them that email. In particular as more and more of us carry so called “smartphones” in our pockets at all times.

Understanding Web SPAM

If you’ve been anywhere near finding out about what SEO is; short after that you’ve come across web spam or spamdexing or web index spamming and soon after that you may have found out about Matt Cutts, the senior web spam guy at Google.

What are some of the projects that the webspam team might tackle in 2011?

You can also go here and check what they were trying to tackle in 2010.

You can go to Google search engine and search engine spam where you can learn more about the subject and below is a summary quote that explains it more succinctly than I could.

Just as a reminder, webspam is junk you see in search results when websites try to cheat their way into higher positions in search results or otherwise violate search engine quality guidelines. A decade ago, the spam situation was so bad that search engines would regularly return off-topic webspam for many different searches. For the most part, Google has successfully beaten back that type of “pure webspam”—even while some spammers resort to sneakier or even illegal tactics such as hacking websites

If you are new to SEO and “webmastering” follow these two links and you can learn lots more: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Google Webmaster Central.

Using email SPAM to Promote Web SPAM

I end this post with one my favourite pet peeves, a quoted email for entertainment purposes.

I found your e-mail through Googling.
I would like to inform you that we are offering one way links for all niche  (theme) related PR1-PR4 all the link will be in English language. If you are interested we can discuss more upon a conversation
Note : Please do not consider as a SPAM, If you are not the right person then ignore this message or revert with Remove or forward it to concern person.

I only accept links with PR 12.59 or above, preferably in Klingon.

If you got here form my contact form take a good read and instead of spam do something useful.

I ain’t going to SPAM you, I promise!

About Pedro Matias

A central London SEO consultant and private tutor, also specialises in WordPress web design and training. All SEO, web consulting and training approaches are centered on user experience, minimalism, speed and engineering centric design. Runs 10K for lunch most days for fun and health.
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