Why spammers spam

As a continuation of the thought process started in part 1, here’s why Spamming really is “worth it”:

  • Time - In the hour it takes to write one article of reasonable quality, I could have a fresh spam blog up and running with 500 pages.  Anyone with an intermediate level of programming skill can easily build systems to automate this process.  Feeds are everywhere.  With an advanced level of skill the world is your oyster.
  • Lifetime value - A spam blog can and usually does get shut down in about 3 months once Google thinks up a fresh name for its next update.  Lifetime value is very low for spammers, but the speed with which another website can be thrown up makes it a non issue.
  • Cost - Spamming costs money.  Domains, servers and fresh worldwide IP’s become a serious issue once you’re dealing with 1000′s of websites, each of which requires whois protection.  It certainly adds up, but also acts as a basic barrier to entry for beginners.
  • Ethical issues – Hunger makes this a none issue.  Although I’m well aware that I am potentially destroying the “cleanness” of the Internet, the fact is, spam provides a service and value.  If it was not of value, it would not be profitable and hence, would not exist.  The fact is someone out there opens their wallet and hands over some cash to someone else because of spam to get something they perceive will be of value to them.  I say it is the trickery in deceiving that perception that is at the centre of ethical issues.  More specifically, leading visitors to believe that, upon visiting your site, they will receive the answers they are looking for, when in fact, you merely lead them to others.  As I said above, I don’t have the luxury of ethics at this stage.
  • Logistics - Running a single site is easy.  Grab some hosting, get a nice domain and off you go!  Not so with spamming.  It requires spreadsheets and databases to avoid getting swamped in data and the competition for good keywords is fierce.  As someone with interest in BIG DATA this is one of the more exciting aspects I see with becoming a spammer.  Keyword searching, deep mining, Bayesian Algorithms and Genetic Engineering are all things I’m passionate about and knowledge of which will certainly come in handy.
  • Robustness - If you have a single blog and it gets removed from Google Search then you’re done.  If you have 1000 blogs and 500 get removed, it’s not that big a deal, you’ll still have some money coming in and you’re always building more anyway.  Throw in multiple ad networks and one can certainly say spamming is ROBUST.
  • Money - Spam wins.  Hands down.  No questions.

With all that said and done… (and with this “good” blog now blocked by both Reddit AND Hacker News) i’m turning to the dark side.

Have you thought about becoming a spammer?  Is the juice worth the squeeze?

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5 Responses to Why spammers spam

  1. Pingback: What is a spammer? | NERDr.com

  2. I’d argue against it being robust. I’d be worried if I were a spammer, every time Google does an update my entire life could be ruined. On the other hand a “normal” website as you put it may be blocked too. Interesting post.

  3. I like your style. I’m a self-taught developer who’s spent the last 3 years “deep” in the affiliate scene, and I’ve made best friends with some of the biggest spammers and blackhat SEO in the world. Combined, the services I’ve done consulting for process over 30% of the SEO spam online. Personally, I don’t spam, because the money’s easier in PPC affiliate marketing — Less challenge, sure, and more up-front investment, but when was the last time your spam campaign surprised you with 10x ROI for a week?

    If you want to talk more about this, maybe feel each other out for contacts or something, just hit up the email I posted this with.

    • I’ve seen an enormous amount of talent going to waste in the startup scene. Guy’s fresh out of MIT working 100 hour weeks trying to be “ramen profitable” while begging VC’s for a crumb and giving their right arm in equity. I’m honestly nervous as to the revenues these tech founders could generate if they went into spamming (i’m including affiliate marketing here too, as it’s a way to get those links out there, and of course black and white). The potential upside is massive and they have the skills to make a significant impact. What a waste!.

  4. I totally agree with all your points. I come from a frustrated background of attempting to launch webservices for profit, but doing this by yourself is taxing. Spamming and site generation are among my passions to build an income stream. Above all else, automation – from tools designed and produced by myself – are beneficial to this arms race.

    As the previous poster said, you meet some great people in this scene. Sure, you have those who have dreams of being millionaires and are completely unskilled at marketing, site creation, research, and development — but then you have guys who see it for what it is and assist. I’d like to open a dialogue with you about your thoughts, so if you find the time — hit me up on my email.