Paid Guns (SEO Authors)

Over the past half-year, I’ve noticed a few rings of what I call “paid guns”… these are authors from all over the world that are hired by a few select secret enterprises (mostly based in LA, Malaysia and California in general).

I have been unable to get any of these authors to give up the name of their bosses, but we have been actively removing them for the past year. It’s a shame because we would ALLOW them passage on our site if they wouldn’t be so secretive.

What I really want from these folks: To stop sending duplicate articles promoting the same URL from various pen names.

Their MO: They are SEO writers who write for keyword density rather than sharing expertise. They usually have nothing in common with the company they write for, and they barely understand the concept of article marketing… In other words, they are like an employee that was given a job to write articles and submit them, but very little training beyond that.

Soon, I may begin naming names…not of the paid guns, but of the companies that hire them secretly and then fail to train them on how to not destroy the credibility of the firms they were paid to promote by sending in duplicate submissions continually.

Ok, now my rant is over. How are you doing today?


Lance Winslow writes:

Interesting, makes sense folks would do this. Now then isn’t the benefit for the writer to attract people to websites? Then if someone hires people to write for them? That should be fine. Your comment on the duplication of articles is an issue, as that needs to stop. It is unfortunate the folks would write junk articles rather than informational. Although in some regards this helps you too as the people coming to these articles will click out? Question is will they click out on your links or will they click out on their own? It appears that this site is successful and others wish to copy it or use it to their advantage. All in all, you will be able to monitor this new trend and in a way it is a real compliment to your excellent work.

Comment provided July 7, 2005 at 1:26 PM


RG writes:

It would be nice indeed to see the names of these companies and I wonder why you are being so protective of them instead of facilitating their evolution by uncovering the dirty work being done.

That would increase YOUR credibility as well!

Comment provided July 7, 2005 at 11:47 PM


Alden Smith writes:

I am glad to see someone taking a stand on this issue, Lance. I use Feed Demon for looking for content for my blog as part of an experiment w/ Underachievers 20 Day challenge, and yesterday I found a good dozen blogs that were nothing but spam — probably created by Traffic Equalizer or one of those. Jammed w/ keywords, but no useable content. I was incensed, and thought that if there were a way to report them, I would. They were all posted on different Word Press blogs, and were created within seconds of one another.

When will it ever end?

Comment provided July 10, 2005 at 5:47 PM


Joel writes:


Why would anyone post articles for distribution if the articles are just blobs of keywords? What website would ever accept them?

Also, why do you see this as an issue of someone hiring someone to write for them (which is a normal business practice) vs. someone violating the website rules or posting bad content?

Comment provided July 10, 2005 at 10:28 PM


Chris Knight writes:


Other website directories where the editor is asleep at the wheel would probably accept keyword vomit articles, but we work hard not to.

Hiring someone to write for you is not the problem. Trusting them to give you an exclusive license to use the content without any of it being plagairized is usually the problem.

I see it daily… someone will hire a ghost writer to write content for them and the next day, the ghost writer will post the same content under a different pen name, diluting their and their clients credibility.

The real issue with these SEO article author rings is that they send in the same exact content under multiple author pen names. I’m guessing they are paid by how many places they get placed. This wastes our time and pollutes our site, requiring enforcement.

Comment provided July 11, 2005 at 6:38 AM


Joel writes:

Could you just confirm this for me:

+The end clients are dupes who think that a link from the articles directory of will give them a search engine boost (I really doubt this is possible since there are so many articles on the site the link popularity would be incredibly diluted).

Comment provided July 11, 2005 at 2:08 PM


Chris Knight writes:


I’m assuming it does work for them (submitting articles to directories) which is why they keep doing it.

I have no idea what kind of value the search engines place on links from us.

I do know that syndicating your articles with us will help to create a flood of themed backlinks that can provide real value to you, even if the search engines don’t recognize it right away.

Comment provided July 11, 2005 at 3:12 PM


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