Friday, March 19, 2010

Comment Spam and SEO Campaign Apology

By way of an update to yesterdays blog covering my concerns over a comment spam and SEO campaign by Sophos (of which this blog was one such target), I received an apologetic email from Sophos early this morning and we exchanged a couple of followup responses.

Here's some of this morning's email apology:

I am mortified, as is everyone in our marketing team, that this has happened.

The messages were not posted on that guy's blog by an employee of Sophos, but by a worker at an external company hired by our marketing department.

We have called the company concerned in for a meeting today, and will be reading the riot act to them. Furthermore, we will be ensuring that this kind of activity stops immediately, as it runs counter to everything we believe in as a computer security company.

There's enough junk on the internet already - we don't need firms representing computer security companies adding to the problem with such inane and unprofessional posts.

We strive to be much much better than this, and on this occasion things went badly wrong. I'm genuinely sorry.

Just so you know, we are going to put better processes in place so that third party agencies understand what Sophos does and doesn't find acceptable in promoting our brand.
Thanks for the quick response Sophos. Apology accepted.


  1. This certainly is ironic, that a company such as Sophos that has been rallying against spam for years now has to be involved in this incident. After the co-founders of Sophos stepped-down back in 2006, everything looked great with Steve Munford driving their company. Who would have guessed that a management error would be their slight bump on the road. As much of SEO as I know of, being an SEO Reseller, spams are what's killing websites. Irrelevant and off-topic posts are the ones that are killing blogs that used to have high ranks, and is still evident now. I do hope other SEOs will go back to using content-driven and ethical methods, rather than the useless and mindless banter they post, or rather, spam on decent sites. It is nice though that they've apologized, but they clearly have to review the amount of SEO knowledge that their workforce have.

  2. As an admin of a large anti-abuse group, I dug into this issue after our forums were continually trashed by spammers. I contacte some surprisingly reputable companiies whose names were being spammed, also some unknowns.

    Seems we have a lot of rather unethical "SEO Marketeers" targeting companies from small to large, and I suspect at cut-throat prices.

    However, the result is what you find as comment or profile spam in your blog or forum.

  3. Just wanted to drop some information on you. The company responsible for this was inSegment. They are based in Needham, Massachusetts. They have lost several clients in this exact same manner. They have no idea how to to proper marketing, so they resort to these black hat tactics. Cheers.

  4. Gunter, I am happy for you that your matter is solved in a pleasant way. I think there should be security measure form the google so the people who are trying to dropping the SEPRs on other’s blogs and websites should be banned and we should also start a private campaign to stop this idiotic thing.