Revealed: Infographic SEO linkbait

Occasionally, I get email from people who read this blog. Usually, it’s quite easy the reason for the email straight away, however, recently I received this email:

From:Jen Rhee
To:me
Subject: Right point of contact?

Hi Tim,

I was wondering if this is the correct contact regarding the content for blog.tdobson.net?

Thank you in advance!

Best,
Jen R.

I don’t know any Jen Rhee and it seemed a bit of a strange email to get – to have come up with it, one most have been to this page, reconstructed my email address by hand. Once you’ve jumped through a hoop like that, generally people are happy to send their email straight away – why bother to confirm if I’m in charge of the content of this blog?

I did some googling. and found some kind of comment on some nonsensical blog, and a mention in a Google+ conversation thread.

The Google+ conversation thread turned out to be very interesting.

To summarise, it seems SEOers are trying to raise the profile of sites by generating high profile incoming links and if they create pretty, informative infographics on topics people may be interested in, they can get high profile sites to embed their image and link to them as attribution.

I found Jen Rhee’s twitter account. 90% links to infographics related pages.

I’m touched that any SEO-er thinks my blog has enough pagerank to justify a personalised targeting, however I think the motives behind that strange email have been explained… and I’m justified moving it to my Spam folder…

17 thoughts on “Revealed: Infographic SEO linkbait

  1. Hey Tim,

    I just got a similar e-mail and I’ve been doing some Google searching on “Jen Rhee”. while the content of my e-mail was different, it ended with “Best,Jen”.

    Thanks for looking into this, I’m going to simply ignore the e-mail.

    James

  2. Hey Tim. I just received a boilerplate email very similar to yours but customized to an actual blog post I made. At least she’s a human (if in fact she is a she!). Thanks for posting this. I’m labeling further communiques from her as SPAM.

  3. Very interesting. I just received an e-mail from someone using the name Jen Rhee offering to share an infographic that she says, “my team and I created which takes a closer look at the lack of women in math and sciences today.” If the site this infographic links to has no real connection to the lack of women in math and science, I think I’ll pass on it.

  4. Thank you! I got an email about an infographic concerning worker exploitation. I replied and then got a further email. I *think* I’m talking to an actual human but that’s one for Turing to figure out.

    Pesky spammers are getting far too clever!

  5. I’ve had three emails from ‘Jen’, the tone of which implies that I’m somehow remiss at not responding. I’ve deleted the first two then got a third today and googled her to see if there was anyone else mentioning her. She’s definitely consigned to the spam folder now!

    I just don’t see why anyone would respond, the email address is a gmail one, there are no details as to who she is. I assumed they were fishing for live emails which seems a good enough reason not to reply!

  6. We just got one of these emails for one of my sites as well. I have seen a lot of blogs starting to use infographics, and I think it just cheapens the blog. I have no idea what these guys pay (if at all) to have you post a big colourful picture, but it can’t be worth very much.

  7. I’m jumping on the bandwagon to thank you for this post, too. The email I got from Jen Rhee was so specific, but also too vague. So, I Googled the name and found your post. Thanks! This time around, the graphic was supposed to relate to bioethics and (yikes) the black market for human organs. Whaaa? No thanks, Jen!

  8. The infographics exist, the site exists and I’m pretty sure there are warm bodies at the end of those addresses. So, it begs the question… if you think the infographic is worth linking then who cares if this is an SEO technique, link to it?

    Random, but hey.

    Ps. The infographic they pointed me to was interesting by not relevant to my blog so I did no linking as recommended by me above :P

  9. Got emailed about an Ocean Exploration infographic from a Meika Jensen, didn’t initially respond, but then after two more emails I almost went through with it until I Googled for more work about this character and found this thread. I ended up responding scolding them and asking them not to email me anymore, we’ll see if they comply or if I have to permanently block them.

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