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?  Competitive Web & SEO
December 18th, 2006 by john andrews

Hoovers Spam

When you have a huge database, you should find yourself with tons of opportunity to optimize your data for search engine exposure. You publish some of it according to best web publishing practices, with an eye on the competitive nature of the search engine results pages (aka SEO).  But what if you don’t want to give the data away for free?

Well, I can think of a half-dozen or so good ways to use the data for SEO, without giving away too much of the value that the business database offers. Perhaps the added value my data service offers is in the summary, so I can excerpt some of the quality work the editors have done. Perhaps the value is in the organization of the data, so I can show screen shots demonstrating the utility and convenience of the retrieval system and user interface.  Perhaps the value is in the interlinking; the associations created within that database. I can demonstrate that with some insightful related suggestions or ancillary data. Perhaps the data is frequently updated, so I can reveal some older data with a pitch for the new data, promoting how we work hard to bring you the latest, quality-checked data. 

There should be many ways. We must be adding some value to the raw data right? How else could we remain in business as an information broker? Why would people pay for it otherwise, when they can find it for free on the Internet?

But then, if I were devoid of creativity, and seeking an automated super-cheap way to spam my way to the top of Google, I could just make up fake pages that look like they have the data for every record I might ever actually have (whether or not I have it). Then I could feed it all to Google. Since my domain has a history of distributing data like that, it will seem believable that my pages are actually full of such data. That way I don’t have to reveal any actual data; just enough to make it look like I have the data. And it can help prevent people from finding the free copies that are out there on other websites (but not on Morgan Stanley’s. Go ahead, search for it, see the first result? Click on the third site link “inside the company” –> that’s right, it’s a 404 Page Not Found!)

Sure the Google SERPs get filled with skeleton doorway spam pages that are not really on topic, but who’s to say that such pages on my famous domain are irrelevant? Nobody knows until they buy something, and chances are good that when the customer comes in to my fee-based system, they will find something they want, if not what they were looking for originally.

Oh, and along the way we blocked out any pages that were actually giving away the same information for free. That was a primary goal anyway. Like that famous concrete wall holding back the flow of water that simply desires to flow according to the direction of least resistance, Hoover Dam. Maybe we can call this Hoovers Spam.

Out of fairness to Hoovers, it’s not entirely their fault they have to resort to spamming Google. Google is a semantic engine and works with words, and Hoovers data is not generally stored in full sentences with semantic meaning. However, a decent web master would combine the words with the data to rank the pages, instead of publishing copy like this:

How do individual Morgan Stanley executives contribute to the Morgan Stanley executive team? With Hoover’s you get up-to-date information on Morgan Stanley executives, officers, and board members. Executive biographies usually include recent work history, salary, career progression, and a review of other company affiliations. Salary and bonus are provided for Morgan Stanley executives when available.

CALL NOW (866) 464-3156 or register below to learn how you can access all of Morgan Stanley’s executive information.

Obtain a roster of the Morgan Stanley executives, and Morgan Stanley executive biographies. Executive data provided by Hoover’s includes expansive lists of up to 200 key employees, officers, and board members per company. Name, title, salary, bonus, age, and biography are provided for company management when available

★★ Click to Share!    Digg this     Create a Bookmark     Add to Newsvine
December 15th, 2006 by john andrews

Ted Leonsis

The Ted Leonsis pages are moving along, but these pages seem to need some help:

★★ Click to Share!    Digg this     Create a Bookmark     Add to Newsvine
December 15th, 2006 by john andrews

SEO Job from Hell: Ranking a Pharmacy

So how does one rank a pharmacy web site?

There is so much pharmacy spam, a regular pharmacy (or pharmacist) can’t hope to rise above the noise. There is so much pharmacy blog spam, a pharmacist blogger is assigned nofollow whenever she comments on a blog. There are so many pharmacy splogs.. most ranking, relevant blogs have comments turned off. The very terms that define pharmacy (pills, medications, drugs) are saturated in the search engines, with few if any actual pharmacies or pharmacists involved.

My previous example of a tough SEO job was : Molly Ringwald hires you to rank her new line of aromatic candles, called “16 Candles.”

I think the pharmacy thing is worse.


★★ Click to Share!    Digg this     Create a Bookmark     Add to Newsvine

Competitive Webmaster

Wonder how to be more competitive at some aspect of the web? Submit your thoughts.

SEO Secret

Not Post Secret

Click HERE


John Andrews is a mobile web professional and competitive search engine optimzer (SEO). He's been quietly earning top rank for websites since 1997. About John




comments policy



Recent Posts: ★ SEO Industry Growth, Widespread Failure, and SEO Industry Challenge ★ Do you want to WIN, or just “Be the Winner”? ★ 503: GONE ★ Cloud Storage ★ Identity Poetry for Marketers ★ PR is where the Money Is ★ Google is an Addict ★ When there are no Jobs ★ Google Stifles Innovation, starts Strangling Itself ★ Flying the SEO Helicopter ★ Penguin 2.0 Forewarning Propaganda? ★ Dedicated Class “C” IP addresses for SEO ★ New Domain Extensions (gTLDs) Could Change Everything ★ Kapost Review ★ Aaron Von Frankenstein ★ 2013 is The Year of the Proxy ★ Preparing for the Google Apocalypse ★ Rank #1 in Google for Your Name (for a fee) ★ Pseudo-Random Thoughts on Search ★ Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, or a Blog ★ The BlueGlass Conference Opportunity ★ Google Execs Take a Break from Marissa Mayer, Lend Her to Yahoo! ★ Google SEO Guidelines ★ Reasons your Post-Penguin Link Building Sucks ★ Painful Example of Google’s Capricious Do Not Care Attitude 


☆ about

John Andrews is a mobile web professional and competitive search engine optimzer (SEO). He's been quietly earning top rank for websites since 1997. About John

☆ navigation

  • John Andrews and Competitive Webmastering
  • E-mail Contact Form
  • What does Creativity have to do with SEO?
  • How to Kill Someone Else’s AdSense Account: 10 Steps
  • Invitation to Twitter Followers
  • …unrelated: another good movie “Clean” with Maggie Cheung
  • …unrelated: My Hundred Dollar Mouse
  • Competitive Thinking
  • Free SEO for NYPHP PHP Talk Members
  • Smart People
  • Disclosure Statement
  • Google Sponsored SPAM
  • Blog Post ideas
  • X-Cart SEO: How to SEO the X Cart Shopping Cart
  • the nastiest bloke in seo
  • Seattle Domainers Conference
  • Import large file into MySQL : use SOURCE command
  • Vanetine’s Day Gift Ideas: Chocolate Fragrance!
  • SEM Rush Keyword Research
  • ☆ blogroll

  • Bellingham SEO
  • Domain Name Consultant
  • Hans Cave Diving in Mexico
  • Healthcare Search Marketing
  • John Andrews
  • John Andrews SEO
  • SEMPDX Interview
  • SEO Quiz
  • SEO Trophy Phrases
  • SMX Search Marketing Expo
  • T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East 2007
  • TOR
  • ☆ categories

    Competition (39)
    Competitive Intelligence (15)
    Competitive Webmastering (547)
    Webmasters to Watch (4)
    domainers (63)
    Oprah (1)
    photography (3)
    Privacy (16)
    Public Relations (187)
    SEO (398)
    Client vs. SEO (2)
    Link Building (3)
    Search Engines vs. SEO (1)
    SEO SECRETS (11)
    SEO vs. SEO (1)
    ThreadWatch Watching (5)
    Silliness (24)
    Social Media (7)
    society (31)
    Uncategorized (23)

    ☆ archives

  • November 2014
  • September 2014
  • December 2013
  • October 2013
  • September 2013
  • August 2013
  • May 2013
  • April 2013
  • March 2013
  • February 2013
  • January 2013
  • November 2012
  • September 2012
  • August 2012
  • July 2012
  • June 2012
  • April 2012
  • March 2012
  • February 2012
  • January 2012
  • November 2011
  • October 2011
  • September 2011
  • July 2011
  • May 2011
  • April 2011
  • March 2011
  • January 2011
  • December 2010
  • November 2010
  • October 2010
  • September 2010
  • August 2010
  • July 2010
  • June 2010
  • May 2010
  • April 2010
  • March 2010
  • February 2010
  • January 2010
  • December 2009
  • November 2009
  • October 2009
  • September 2009
  • August 2009
  • July 2009
  • June 2009
  • May 2009
  • April 2009
  • March 2009
  • February 2009
  • January 2009
  • December 2008
  • November 2008
  • October 2008
  • September 2008
  • August 2008
  • July 2008
  • June 2008
  • May 2008
  • April 2008
  • March 2008
  • February 2008
  • January 2008
  • December 2007
  • November 2007
  • October 2007
  • September 2007
  • August 2007
  • July 2007
  • June 2007
  • May 2007
  • April 2007
  • March 2007
  • February 2007
  • January 2007
  • December 2006
  • November 2006
  • October 2006
  • September 2006
  • August 2006
  • July 2006