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.

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