A suggestion for Tumblr: Try to figure out a way so spammers can’t use this black-hat SEO (search engine optimization) technique. It’s dead simple to take advantage of, and as a result, some sites (such as our own) often drown in it. Today, for example, we got a ton of fake traffic from bots doing an obscure search on Google (see screenshots). Here’s a quick explanation as to what’s happening, as far as we can see:

  • first Black hat SEO types hit Google and type in this specific phrase — “ ‘liked this’” — a common phrase on Tumblr due to the way it handles likes. 
  • then Then, sketchy bot types will create hundreds or thousands of fake Tumblr accounts whose URLs forward to a sketchy-looking site not on Tumblr.
  • result These sites end up getting hundreds or thousands of backlinks to their sketchy sites on Google — and all they had to do was like tons of people.

» But we have a temporary solution: Are you, like us, getting a lot of spam on your Tumblr? This is a likely reason. We’d like to offer a suggestion to solve the problem. If you know how to edit your theme in HTML, do a search for the phrase “{PostNotes}” and replace it with this: ”<!—googleoff: all—>{PostNotes}<!—googleon: all—>”. This prevents the notes from getting crawled by Google, which is good because it focuses your content, but bad, because any relevant content in reblogs won’t account for what shows up in search engines. This is really a problem Tumblr needs to look at — if they take out common phrases or make them invisible to search engines, everyone wins. But we hope this at least helps your sanity. It’ll help ours.


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