I think Marc is a great guy and am sure he had great intentions when he created the Isulong Seoph contest, but getting manually comment spammed 10 or 15 times a day gets old.
When blogs were newer and I had less brand value I am certain I was probably a bit of a blog spammer too, but you have to use effective techniques while they are effective. I don't think you are going to win an SEO contest today by manually blogspamming garbage comments on a blog that uses nofollow and is getting hit by 100 other people using the exact same spamming technique. Weather or not something is spam is entirely up to user perception, but you have to think that I am going to know when an SEO contest is going on. The tolerance for spam and the ability of spam to go undetected is probably roughly about inversely proportional to the frequency the person being spammed is exposed to that type of spam.
From this point forward I am going to just file anyone's comment signed with Isulong Seoph straight to the junk folder without even reading it (same goes for if they have made up contest words in their URL). Not trying to say I am better than anyone (and I am sure I did some manual blog spamming back in the day) but you have to use effective techniques while they are effective.
Today there is soooooooooo much spam opportunity out there:
- Google over-trusting subdomains
- MSN trusting just about any type of spam you can think of ;)
- Wiki links and indirect wiki links
- tagging, community, and social sites
- other types of sites where you can create profiles without seeming overt
- large ecommerce sites trying to integrate user feedback and guides into their sites
- a few others I won't name
Then of course you got all sort of the more traditional spamming opportunities still available.
The fake words are boring AND make an obvious footprint that makes it easy to detect many types of spam. Whoever holds the next contest should use a real word. See who could be the first person to rank number #1 in Google for spammer. That would be a bit more challenging though, since it would require them to beat one of the original blog spammers.
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