John Andrews is a Competitive Webmaster and Search Engine Optimization Consultant in Seattle, Washington. This is John Andrews blog on issues of interest to the SEO community and competitive webmasters. Want to know more?

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Competitive Pressures: Keeping up with the Spammers & Googlers

I’m always looking for ways to motivate myself to compete, because it is that competitive work done in an emotional, driven fury that pays off year after year as dividends (residual income). The daily grind brings in the bread, yes, but the bi-weekly checks from activity on sites built over a few frantic days of go,go,go! completed long ago… well that sugar is sweetest of all. If you’ve ever been to Brazil and eaten the bananas or mangos or pineapples, you will agree that some sugars are definitely sweeter than others.

So I have decided I will try and keep up with the spammers. I process upwards of 800 emails per day on most days. Of those, about 400 are actual information (the rest are automated reports, security status indicators, and the like). Of those 400, it seems that about 100 or so are spam. No, I don’t use a spam filter (I can’t afford to… the spam filters block too many of my automated reporting scripts).

So I will now set a goal of working “at least as hard as the spammers”. That means I have to generate at least 100 new items of information per day, to keep up. That’s probably going to be 10-20 pieces of unique content. Ten to twenty pieces of feedback, commentary, or announcements. Ten or so bits of meaningful internal communications to sustain my business, and about 50 thoughtful emails. That’s just an estimate.

Just to make sure I am not actually becoming like the spammers, I will exclude from the count all ThreadWatch activity, all simple “approval” or “consent” emails, all SEO forum activity, and any other non-work-related bits. That way no one should tell me that my stuff is just spam because I’m on a kick to meet a quota (no one who knows me, at least).

I should be able to keep that up for a few weeks at least. A nice competitive push towards the holiday season. Of course my other competitor is Google, but with Google managers spending a mere 25% of their time communicating with their people, and dining on avocado wrapped in fennel cake, topped with chocolate chips, I am not too concerned.

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3 Responses to “Competitive Pressures: Keeping up with the Spammers & Googlers”

  1. Xuru Says:

    If you are getting false positives on your email, then you aren’t using the right system. Do a search for “bayesian filters”. It learns. For a few months you check both your inbox and spam box and tell it when it has false positives. Within a month or so, you will get maybe one false positive per 10,000 emails.

  2. john andrews Says:

    Yes yes I know a better system will work… not in my experience. And I choose not to keep trying (wasting time). I can scan the headers by eye and see the spam (and see that it is spam) so it’s “handled once” and that works for me.

  3. Aaron Pratt Says:

    I can totally relate to the getting work done in an emotional driven fury, in fact I am sitting at my desk now waiting for a little inspiration. Thanks for the good honest talk John which is lacking in the SEO communtiy.
    Signed,
    Extremely Bored with SEO

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