Infographics as SEO spam?

On the weekend, I got a request to post an infographic on my blog related to the “ethics of the wealthy”, supposedly on the strength of one of my recent OWS-related posts:

Hi Nathaniel,

In searching for blogposts that have used or referenced, I stumbled across your site and wanted to reach out to see if you were interested in sharing a graphic with your readers. It
illustrates studies found on how those socially and financially well-off behave unethically compared to the lower ladder.

Would love to connect, if you’re interested. Thank you!

Tony Shin

I replied back that I’d be interested in looking at the graphic, and a day or so later got a response. The graphic was bothering me, because it contained hardcoded references back to “accountingdegreeonlineDOTnet” (butchered because I don’t want to give them a link accidentally). The site is featureless, with no useful information about the people behind it and its WHOIS information firewalled behind a privacy shield so I emailed “Tony” back requesting more information about the site. I got no response from “Tony,” but the next day a second email address on my site got the same original request from “Tony” with the same wording.

I use “Tony” in quotes, because I did a quick bit of googling tonight and found posts by a guy named Mark Turner on the Mystery of the Infographics. Seems he got the same sort of spam I did, including one from “Tony,” but his offers are related to PIPA/SOPA and TSA topics. Both of us seem to have checked out “Tony’s” Twitter, which doesn’t link back to these sites he’s promoting, so something is certainly fishy even before he’s spamming multiple accounts on my site with the same infographic request.

I’m not entirely sure what the purpose of this is – if it’s SEO spam, or what. That’s the best guess I have, but whatever it is, it’s annoying. I won’t be posting that particular infographic, but if you are interested in the ethics of the wealthy, this recent Berkeley study will be of interest to you. There is some sort of irony here, as well, because whoever’s behind this seems at best guess to be wealth-seeking and behaving pretty unethically.:P Figures.

One thought on “Infographics as SEO spam?”

  1. Hi Nate, Thanks for the link, and for also blogging about these mysterious infographics. I’m still unsure what purpose this activity serves but it’s fishy enough that I discourage others from posting these graphics, too.


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