Feeds

Times Online denies knowledge of link spam campaign

Black sheep at SEO firm

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Times Online has blamed a rogue individual at its search engine optimisation contractor Sitelynx for the link spam campaign that rained digital derision upon the UK's oldest daily national newspaper today.

Speaking to The Reg, annoyed-sounding Times Online search editor Drew Broomhall denied that the site had any knowledge of what was being done in its name. "We would never condone this type of activity," he said. "It's not effective and it doesn't help anyone."

Piotr Wyspianski, a manager at Sitelynx, was revealed on the Waxy.org blog to have waged a one-man campaign to game web aggregation communities such as Metafilter and StumbleUpon with over a thousand links to Times Online stories. Before working for Sitelynx, he had form for a similar astroturfing effort for his own online jewellery store.

Predictably, the Waxy.org story has hit the front page of Digg and some Diggers have piled in to condemn Times Online, blaming a conspiracy by the original Digger himself. "I haven't respected The Times since Murdoch bought it, since that effectively means I can no longer trust its content. Fuck you old man!" wrote one.

Broomhall told us he couldn't understand why a Sitelynx employee would have taken it on himself to target social news sites. "There's nothing you need to do artificially promote stories in social sites, it's best to just let the users find things naturally. Like most news sites, we get plenty of links that way.

"Writers sometimes submit their own stories, but that's normal."

Broomhall went on to condemn any kind of link spamming. "The majority of the work we do is just in the page to make sure it's picked up [by automated search crawlers]."

According to Broomhall, Sitelynx has assured Times Online it had no knowledge of Wyspianski's activities, but he said he didn't know if the two firms' ongoing relationship will be affected by the embarrassment. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
Inside the EYE of the TORnado: From Navy spooks to Silk Road
It's hard enough to peel the onion, are you hard enough to eat the core?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.