spam pingl,

Referral traffic from Pingl is spam

I was checking the analytics on a client site and saw a referral from a website I did not recognise.  And so I investigated it.

referral traffic, analytics referral,

New referral site turns out to be spam

After typing in the reach-publisheral website address manually (I always do this in a new browser window), an automatic redirect came into effect and I ended up on [no, don’t follow that link please].

Black Hat SEO tactics

In the SEO world there are goodies and baddies…. and it’s a game of tension between the unscrupulous on one side and those who follow search engine websites’ guidelines on the other – refereed by Google and Bing.

Black Hat is the term given to tactics that are underhand and try to cheat the system.

White Hat is the opposite – those who work within the framework set by search engines.

Updates to search engine algorithms are usually driven by their desire to undermine black hat tactics.

After a quick search I found several other commentators had found referrals in their analytics also coming from Pingl.  This rings alarm bells.

Who is Pingl?

A set of clever Black-Hatters masquerading as authentic “growth hacking” tacticians.

They use a technique called notification referrer service which is basically a spam referral to your website.  By masking their site identity they make the link “appear” to come from another site – reach-publishinglo  in my case (but others report variants on Ali Baba).  This domain is setup with the sole purpose of sending you to pingl’s home page –  it refers you directly to them.

Although you may be getting a lot of referrals from the masked page, it is not real traffic, and it can ruin your SEO – notably your bounce rate.

How to overcome referrer spam

Create filters in your Analytics to remove this traffic from your results in two ways

  1. Campaign Source Filter – will stop all traffic from the source (pingl) site
  2. Campaign Referral Path Filter – will stop single web pages
  3. Languages Setting Filter – stops traffic from named languages (was useful for Russian spam in 2017)

Why I’m not signing up with DesignRush

There are lots of agency listing websites and directories – I have long been a fan of Chuck Meyst at and Tom Holmes’ Creative Brief in the UK.

DesignRush logo, agency search service,

DesignRush is a nicely designed website for listing agencies allowing filtering by country and skillset.

I found three New Zealand agencies there – none of them competitors for us.  But instead of reaching out for our profile and submitting it, I decided not to go that route.


The main reason is that the site lists agencies with a price per hour as part of the filtering.  This is WRONG on many levels.

  1. Firstly, buying creativity is not like buying socks – a commodity.
  2. We sell by value, not by the hour (I’m not a solo-preneur or just getting started)
  3. This encourages viewers to buy based on price and that demeans the whole industry of creative agencies

So thanks, but no thanks for us.

Make your own mind up by answering these situational questions

  • A client approaches and asks your price to solve a problem situation.  You know the answer and how to solve it.  Does it matter if you solve the problem in five minutes of 50 hours?  Will the client be happy that the problem was solved or unhappy that you did it in 5 minutes?
  • You are asked to respond to a brief in some detail.  You do it with a written proposal which the prospect takes and uses as a bid document to ask other firms to submit prices.  You don’t get hired as a result.
  • A marketing director asks for your credentials and whether you have experience in a particular industry.  Does this matter to her – is it an exclusion or inclusion filter?  Does it affect your ability to do the work?

Coaching and learning how to navigate the new business development minefield is available.

semantic keywords, SEO, keyword indexing, natural search

Keyword tool tip for 2019

Happy new year everyone.  I’m loving being on summer break – but it doesn’t stop me researching and finding top new tools and ideas for digital marketing success.

Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords

Found this great site which can help you identify LSI keywords for your website SEO.

What are LSI keywords?

LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords are words that are commonly found together within a single topic and are semantically related to each other.

So they help you understand the connections and correlations between groups of words and phrases – so you can select good ones to use on your natural website SEO.

Testing LSI Keywords

I did a quick test for a client and found a list of over 10,000 [seriously, who needs that many?] to download.  The site asks you to list up to 10 “seed” words before it runs the analysis.

semantic keywords, SEO, keyword indexing, natural search

Latent Semantic Keywords

And then I reviewed the listings and found a lot of non-relevant words – so I refined the seed words to improve the outcome, downloaded and got my list.

Next step – back to the Google Analytics query to assess the current search results and revise / review and improve.

How Marketing Automation Can Help Your Business Long Term

Market automation is a technological process that streamlines as well as provides visibility into the marketing activities of a business. It is an assortment of tools, processes, and workflows, where the tools are used to automate the commonly repetitive tasks. While marketing automation is highly important in producing and nurturing new leads, for long-term business engagement it can be costly for your business without initial proper implementation. It is considered an excellent practice for your market automation to be infused into the sales and marketing processes to optimize a buyer’s journey from potential customers to loyal clients.

A study projects that the market for market automation will grow by 3.3 billion USD to 6.4 billion USD in 2024. The driving force for this growth is the increase in demand for personalized advertising, the urge to keep clients for the long term, and the use of predictive analytics techniques to understand customer behavior.

To help you understand how to market automation could be a lifesaver for your business, below are seven key points:


Marketing automation helps shift your business focus to only the most essential aspects. For instance, once you create content for marketing campaigns, the technology takes care of all the other activities automatically. The burden of grappling with social media posts from one platform to another is eased, so you can easily schedule posts to be published to these social media sites based on need.

2.Customer Loyalty

With the ever-changing needs of the customer, everyone wants to be ahead of the game by obtaining customer loyalty. Achieving customer loyalty in the long term is a grueling task unless you can leverage analytics to understand customer dynamics, such as predicting their new likely interests. Automation makes businesses smarter in retaining customers, as most small companies are always on the lookout for new customers while continually losing existing ones. Once you understand the purchasing behavior of customers, it will be easy to align your marketing strategies with their respective interests.

Below are ways you can increase customer loyalty:

  • Sharing Company Content – You can share company content from your company sites such as blog posts and videos. When done on time, it enhances chances of customer retention, for instance, by helping them have optimum use of their purchases through user guides and new product features.
  • Request Feedback – One other way that market automation maintains customer loyalty is by requesting feedback. However, it is essential to note that feedback should only be required when appropriate to do so to reduce the chances of being a bother to the client.

3.Tracking and Monitoring Results

Market automation has an embedded metric for understanding marketing efforts, and this helps you continuously measure success through market optimization. Insightful analytics from marketing data streams will help you perceive the performance of your marketing campaigns. Once you can clearly understand the nature of engagements, you can further follow up on new customer streams, as well as fine tune the marketing campaign to align with changing client needs. Tracking will help you make better-informed choices on what should be improved and what should be discarded.

4.Lead Generation

Market automation, when optimally implemented, will help you increase sales through new leads generation. These leads mostly come from website visitors, new engagements, and exciting insights from predictive analytic tools. It is therefore prudent to capitalize on such insights to achieve a long-term return on investment (ROI).

5.Aligning Marketing and Sales

Another critical factor that will enable marketing automation to achieve long-term business goals is that you can align your sales and marketing activities. An enhanced collaboration where marketers—in their effort to provide a personalized market experience—also presents valuable information to the sales team, helping them craft important communication for sales closure. This kind of collaboration will lead to a much-shortened sales cycle, based on proper profiling of potential clients and working towards fulfilling their buying anticipations.

6.Marketing ROI

Marketing automation provides visibility into your marketing activities and an environment that enables you to track engagement and optimize campaigns. You will ultimately reduce your marketing cycles, which later transforms into increased revenue for your company.

7.Reduced Costs

Any automated process reduces the cost of manual labor in terms of staff or contractors for the same tasks. What this means to your organization is the availability of a pool of funds that can be plowed back to improve front-end business processes.


Marketing automation is worth the financial investment as it will help your business achieve your long-term goals in the long run. With improved visibility into your marketing activities, you can realize high sales turnover through the faster decision making and proper planning. Finally, you will be among the few companies setting the pace for the rest to follow.