Fighting back to the spammers: charging for removal of blog spam links…

Right from (almost) the start, this blog has suffered from spam. I guess it just goes with the territory but I’ve written in the past about people who’ve left spam comments and then found Google’s index quotes them out of context or tech companies criticising their competitors “anonymously” in blog comments.

Even when I was helping my then-CTO to raise his social media presence, my employer’s PR agency was encouraging the use of comments on blogs to generate backlinks and now the tide is turning as Google cracks down on low-quality backlinks.

As a result, I’m getting an increasing number of emails from digital agencies including phrases like the one below:

“I’m writing to request the removal of a link to my clients’ [sic] site which is located at the following page:”

They’re (or their clients are) wasting my time, so I reserve the right to charge for removing such links.

The irony is that, over the last few years, Google’s index changes have penalised original content creators like myself in favour of corporate websites and this blog has just a fraction of the traffic it once enjoyed (oh, those were the days)…

Would be blog spammers at this site should check out the Rules for Comments.

Adding Twitter’s RSS to Feedburner

I spent some time yesterday afternoon working my way through an article on SEO-ing Twitter profile pages.  Whilst I don’t agree with absolutely every point in the article (e.g. is too many letters for a URL shortener – I like to use with a custom domain), it does contains some good advice (who would have thought of naming their Twitter profile picture to include appropriate keywords?). One point that doesn’t work though, is feeding your Twitter RSS feed to Feedburner.

There is a workaround though. Following Michael Phipps’ advice, I created a page called twitterfeed.php with the following code:

I then fed the URL for this page into Feedburner. I’d prefer to use an address on my own domain though – and it’s simple enough to create an HTML page to redirect to the correct location (and to add information for browsers to recognise the RSS location):

@MarkWilsonIT on Twitter

Redirecting to the @MarkWilsonIT Twitter RSS feed. If you’re not redirected within a couple of seconds,
try this link: @MarkWilsonIT on Twitter

The downside of this is that Outlook doesn’t like an RSS feed that’s redirected from HTML. Google Reader seems happy with the redirection although, because it does actually resolve to the Feedburner address, it won’t help me should I move the feed elsewhere in future…

In the end, I’m not sure what this achieves, but you can now subscribe to my tweets via RSS