Akismet Ban Might Equal Google Rankings Decrease

  • Comments: 21
  • Written on: January 13th, 2009

A few months back I started experimenting with Jeremy Schoemaker’s Shoemoney Tools suite.  In particular I tested out the Related Blog Post tool. While the other tools in the set are invaluable, this one caused me some serious grief because I failed to fully understand what the tool did.

As a result of my lack of understanding, Akisment banned me from the WordPress comment system.  Anytime I attempted to leave a comment on another blog, it automatically went to their spam folder.  It even treated my own trackbacks to other posts on this blog as spam in my own spam folder!

It should be pointed out that the tool does come with a warning that reads “Be careful with this one,” but I did not heed the warning.

What the Related Blog Posts Tool Does

To describe it in a word, its a trackback spam tool.  I am privy to some hush hush private tests that indicate links from trackback blog comments are not only indexed by Google, but have a net positive impact on the Page Rank of the page they point to (despite Google’s denial).

The tool allows you to enter keywords from your blog post and then copy and paste a block of text links to the manual trackbacks field in your WordPress interface.  In essence, the tool allows you to send fake pings to blog posts that are related to yours (at least in the eyes of the search engines)

Inexplicable Drops and Blocked Comments

After using the tool for a couple days, I noticed that trackbacks from my own posts to my own blog were being reported as spam in my Dashboard.  In addition, comments I was making on other bloggers’ sites were not appearing (presumably being caught up in the Akismet plugin’s spam detection)

By this time I had figured out that the tool (at least the way I was using it) was ineffective in the short-run and incredibly detrimental to the growth of a legitimate blog in the long-run.

I stopped using the tool and figured it would just take time to gather enough manually approved comments from Akismet-enabled blogs to undo the damage I had done.

Blacklisted by Askimet

I behaved myself for months, dutifully posting legitimate, thoughtful comments on other blogs, and manually salvaging my own trackbacks on this blog.

I estimate that I sent about 400 to 600 trackbacks using the Related Blog Post tool.  To this day I am still working to get my blog off the Akismet blacklist.

Akismet and Google Sharing Spam Data?

While I have no concrete evidence to support my theory, it is at least possible that Google & others might be using the Akismet API to influence search results by determining what blogs are involved with spam-like activities.

Shortly after making the blacklist at Akismet, my PR on the home page of this blog dropped to a PR3 from a high PR4.  In addition, Google stripped the multiple listing search results form a search for “Thor Schrock” in Google.

This drop came at the same time as a dramatic increase in backlinks as well as direct and organic traffic to my blog, due primarily to Top Affiliate Challenge.  The increase was also pumping up my (some consider meaningless) Alexa ratings.  My Technorati authority also increased during this period.

While a drop in Google interest coupled with a Akismet blacklisting does not necessarily mean they two are related, I think there is at least a coorelation here that should be explored by experts more qualified than myself.

  1. Ruby W said on January 14th, 2009 at 4:52 am

    Now if that’s true, then many bloggers will suffer from this in rankings because Akismet is the best and mostly used spam blocker, especially on wordpress platforms.

  2. Mionica - Current account said on January 15th, 2009 at 7:01 am

    Wooh that is really serious for an online marketeer. I experienced a similar episode when I got all my comments reported as spam. I contacted Akismet but I was told I was not in their spam list. I cleaned my acts and after a couple of days got my commentys visible on sites again.

    Google will never use results from other tools/software to influence their search results. Well matt cutts thinks that will never happen anytime soon.

  3. Thor Schrock said on January 26th, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    @ Mionica

    He’s probably right. They will just buy the tool and then the data is their own ;-)

  4. Thor Schrock said on January 26th, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    @ Ruby

    I recently noticed another interesting trend. When I was banned by Akismet I hardly received any trackback spam. Now that I am unbanned, its like open season again. Could being banned by Akismet actually result in you getting less trackback spam?

  5. startanewbusiness said on February 10th, 2009 at 9:48 am

    Akismet its a good bad application then?

  6. DRK
    DRK said on March 21st, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    I have somehow ended up on akismet’s spam list for my site. Just emailed one of the support guys because I have no idea how this particular site ended up there. I rarely leave comments with it and it is in a very low competition niche. It’s really irritating because all of a sudden I can’t leave any legitimate comments with my website now.

  7. Daniel McMullan said on May 7th, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    I would appreciate your critique of my plugin.. thanks

    daniel

  8. fiberblend said on August 1st, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    If google did this it would cause a major problem – like a commenter said it would be really easy to employ someone to ‘unrank’ your competitior – just pay someone to leave rubbish comments leaving your URL and they would soon get banned

  9. Dave said on September 16th, 2009 at 11:10 am

    I was just talking to my business partner about this the other day, we had a “seo” company provide us with backlinks, and ended up getting blacklisted from akismet. It took a long time to realize what was going on, but we also took a PR hit for our main page. Its hard for me to think that they could be realted though, due to the fact that you could really just “blacklist” your competitors url and cause them harm. It is definatly worth looking into though.

  10. Darius Connors said on March 30th, 2010 at 11:38 am

    I don’t think you can be penalized for being blacklisted. If that was the case I could post my competitors URL’s on askiment enabled blogs and askimet would effectively blacklist there site url.

  11. Kevin
    Kevin said on April 3rd, 2010 at 10:19 am

    The Million Dollar question is…. Is there any way to fix or reverse being banned?

    This is crazy buz like you said we could all get each other banned by throwing someone’s link out there. That is crazy.

  12. Thor said on April 3rd, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Yes there is. I simply emailed them, explained what happened and why it happened, and asked to be reinstated. They did so the next day.

  13. Pescar Hoinar said on April 16th, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    I have alse 2 sites banned by Akismet and I did not made spam.
    I suspect my competition, but I can’t do anything.

  14. scott
    scott said on May 12th, 2010 at 12:06 am

    I believe that my competitor has also caused me to be banned

  15. Amy Sanders said on August 27th, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Testing to see if this is askimet banned?!

  16. forum said on November 9th, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    akist can ban me. How can I get this black list, please Waiting for your help.

  17. The Coupon Mole said on November 19th, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    I’ve been doing some research on Akismet as I use it on some blogs. It has caught a few false negatives which upsets me. If Google were to get in with Akismet, it sounds like a way spammers could take down their competitors if you ask me.

  18. Maximilien said on February 10th, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    It’s a real bad news, I have been ban by akismet recently for my new blog… it smells bad..

  19. security-systems-uk said on April 7th, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    This is a little bit worrying if you decide to use a mass backlinking tool for seo. we’ll have to keep an eye on that one…

  20. Brian said on August 24th, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    lame, akismet unfairly pooped on me, and didn’t wipe.

  21. […] on: January 15th, 2009 As I explained in yesterday’s post, Akismet banned me from posting comments on WordPress blogs because of my use of a trackback spam […]

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