An email I just sent:
You guys left comment spam on my blog! Not the sort of behavior I expect from a hosting provider — probably against your own terms of service (which I suspect you don’t enforce). Ironically, since the topic of my blog episode was colocation, you could have left an honest message about your services, something like “we can beat the price of the company you endorsed.” (You can’t, though. Not even close.) Or maybe, “One thing your readers might want to consider is…” I would have welcomed that. All you had to do was be honest about who you were.
But you didn’t, so, stop it. If it happens again I shall shake my tiny fist in public, and have no negative impact on your business whatsoever because I’m just some obscure back-water blogger to whom exactly no one turns for colocation advice. But the next guy you annoy may not be.
So, yeah, I said I would shake my tiny fist if they did it again, and here I am tiny-fist-shaking anyway. I decided that by not giving the name of the hosting company I’m still within the spirit of the threat. (‘Threat’ used in the broadest sense of the word.)
I find that when I complain to companies about their spamming practices, I get one of two responses. Either I’m ignored, or I get a request for more information. Then there’s these guys, who both took my tiny-fist-shaking seriously, and flattered me in the process. Here’s the message I got in return for my above rant, in its entirety except for contact info redacted at the request of Mr. Welbourn:
Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. It was not I who “comment spammed” your blog but I suspect it was a company hired by me to provide search engine optimization services.
If possible, it would be greatly appreciated if you could forward me the comment. .
This is my first foray into the realm of SEO companies. In the past, I have been very hesitant to engage with these firms as they all claim to have some “secret sauce” and are reluctant to share their strategies and tactics. Unfortunately, while we are an extremely high quality colo provider in the Chicago area, we are somewhat of a well-kept secret amongst the Ubergeeks of the world and I really need to boost my web traffic. After some extensive research, follow up with several references and completing what I felt was substantial due-diligence, I entered into an agreement with a vendor who will remain nameless until I am able to get to the bottom of this.
Their services were described to me as a combination of on-site and off-site components. The on-site modifications were pretty simple text revisions to make the key words I am targeting more prevalent in the copy of our website. The off-site component, which is handled 100% by the vendor, consists of establishing external links to our website.
I assume this is where muddleramblings.com became involved.
If their off-site methodology includes “comment spamming” blogs then I imagine our relationship will be a short one. I spent an enormous amount of time with them explaining what we do, how we do it and how we would like to be represented. While I have not yet seen the content of the comment, since it annoyed you and prompted you to shake your fist, I am sure it must be obvious spam and the sort of thing I would not want to be associated with.
Any additional information you can provide would be helpful.
By the way, I spent some time reading some of the muddled ramblings. I like your style.
Director of Sales / Account Relations
360 Technology Center Solutions
It’s interesting on a lot of levels. First, even people who try really hard to do the right thing have to trust the companies marketing their product. In his letter giving me permission to publish the above, Mr. Welbourn said he had clarified with his marketing company what was and was not acceptable. He also said that Munchies would make a great movie.
Pardon me while I pat myself on the back with my tiny fist — I helped a company maintain its ethics and microscopically reduced the amount of spam in the world. And hats off to Mr. Welbourn, for taking the issue so seriously. I like the way those guys conduct business. If you’re in the market for enterprise-level colocation services (and who isn’t?), maybe you should drop by 360tcs.com.