Internet forums As Major Marketing/sales/Astroturfing Platforms

Pyramid of Spam

    Moderators and Influencers

In the course of our investigation into Astroturfing and Spam we came Across the following how-to guide on Forum Posting below.  What struck us as notable is the idea that the assumption out of the gate that as a moderator or regular guy (influencer) on the forum is that you are paid to sell a product or idea. This suggests that predominantly that these online communities are not operating as mutual interest groups but rather as Astroturfing platforms to sell product (s) through sneaky little adverts and to optimize SEO Spam..

How To Be A Great Forum Poster

 

http://thewahblog.com/2008/06/work-a…forum-posting/

Some notes on this matter.

If you’re great at this, you can get lots of regular and enjoyable work
doing it. Here are a few tips:

Figure out what everyone is talking about by researching the subject matter.

Ask open ended questions to get people posting and talking rather than answering yes or no only.

*Don’t reveal you are a paid poster. The webmaster will want you to blend
in nicely.*

Introduce yourself to get conversations started so you’ll blend in as well.

Use full words instead of online slang and *use keywords* that relate to
your subject matter in the posts to help your client with their search engine optimization. (SEO refers to their placements in the search engines which can help them get new members.)

 

Plenty of forum posting Jobs available Just Google it

 

  • Searches related to forum posting jobs

 

finding paid forum posting jobs

forum posting work at home

link posting jobs

paid forum moderator jobs

paid forum posting jobs

paid posting tools

forum posting service

posting jobs online

So after some thought we developed an idea to test this by utilizing our keyword seeding/stuffing table from our Arctic Silver 5 investigation as much of the Seeded Keywords were found on forums these where bias tested against competitors of more or less equivalent performance  and is shown below.

Search Engines Results of AS5 Marketing Mems Bias tested against the Competitions2
The idea is relatively straightforward, perform a site search with the above key phrases on some of the community forums and look for those forum moderators and Influencer’s ( Posters with an excess quantity of posts) as the moderators and influencer’s one would surmise to be a more finite group then the general population of users.

 

An exact search example of the phrase “Get yourself some Arctic Silver” Returns 10K as shown in the following screenshot

 

So sampling some of these links with the targeted keywords we find them on every site we tested and many with high volume posters and moderators.

 

On Overclock.net

 

http://www.overclock.net/t/1470085/amd-fx-8350-problems#post_21857896

01http://www.overclock.net/t/618096/did-i-apply-thermal-paste-wrong/10#post_7767898

Get your self some 01

http://www.overclock.net/t/345291/newb-pentium-d-2-8-on-asus-p5n-d#post_4034308

Get your self some Arctic

On amazon

http://www.amazon.ca/Zalman-Computer-Prevention-CNPS8900-Quiet/dp/B0077POH8M

Amazon 01

On Reddit

https://www.reddit.com/r/brum/comments/2zdogz/could_really_do_with_some_help/

Redit

 

On Notebookreview

http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/how-important-is-thermal-paste.543868/#post-7006592

Notebook Review

On Overclockers.com(same people that own overclock.net)

http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php/381758-my-2-4-ghz-celeron-temp?s=0033d31c7aa2d58fdc328ba08c13de8f

on overclockers.com  get yourself some arctic silver

 

 

From Anandtech

http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=1717433

Anandtech

Note here that quoting the keyword is common practice for keyword propagation

Another example of an influencer posts on another keyword phrase “Good old Arctic Silver” using acronym AS5 (Arctic Silver 5) note the post numbers of the forum member 36,791……….

http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showpost.php?s=2788e51b401677e39f713b78d596ad92&p=27496268&postcount=11

propagate

 

 

On Hardocp.com user has 14,425 posts

http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1630920

 

 

 

Silent AS5

Another technique to note is the optimization of key phrases in other words they spam their own spam in order to reinforce their search engine ranking as in the following example derived from an exact search and going to the last page with omitted results included.

Jar Jar

 

 

Following those links send you to nonsensical pages with a sneaky redirect that typify attempted Search Engine manipulation

lucky

 

Generally keywords and key phrases  are the primary indicator , you look for multiple full name and acronyms as in the following found on Tom’s Hardware. Where Arctic silver in one form or another is mentioned 7 times in the thread as well that as the guy orders it he could have it before X-mas w/ free shipping included!. Sneaky Advert? If so should they be paying Tom’s hardware for the advertising space? Or perhaps they did? Perhaps something or perhaps nothing, it is nature of Astroturfing to be anonymous  so while an individual post can not be labeled as such in a gross overview patterns begin to emerge.

 

Micro

Any user/consumer on the Internet should be wary, WYSIWYG is likely not the norm. The following was taken from Reddit and a common argument to be found on any forum. Here several users (manufacturers?resellers?) are all promoting or arguing about which paste is the best along with back links on where to buy. All this makes one wonder if anything at all is real on the Internet at all.

Any User

As you can plainly see and after having read our previous two part series on backlinks, forum posting is just another way by which to astroturf and spam and yet the majority of the public is oblivious to what they are experiencing and looking at

For more information and an in depth technical research follow up please read the following paper from Stanford University:

The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine by Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page Computer Science Department, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA sergey@cs.stanford.edu and page@cs.stanford.edu

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s