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 Pingl.net [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 AgencyFinder.com 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.

Why??

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.