It is always good to have your ego stroked. Yesterday I got this email,
“Hi Doug Team,
My name is XXXXXX. I’m Founder of Feedspot.
I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog Doug’s Archaeology
has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 50 Archaeology Blogs
on the web.”
Not only am I a top 50 blog but I am number 13! Except, it’s all a scam (why I am not linking to the list).
Some of the “blogs” are suspect- number two on this list is Ancient Origins which has a bit of checked history of real archaeology and psudo-archaeology. Not all of them are blogs (the title on the webpage says websites too but the rest of page just talks about blogs). Number one on the list is Archaeology Magazine- which is a magazine, not a blog. In fact, the top five are not blogs but news websites. Number six is the Reddit for archaeology, a voting forum. Selected by panelist???? Not panelists who know what a blog is and what a forum is. Which means it is an automatically created list based on the “ranking factors”, not hand chosen by a panel.
Their methods say so. The rankings are based on Twitter follows, Facebook followers and Alexa rank – it’s on their page. Basically, the top “blogs” are sources that are trusted be search engines and users. This is why these ranking aspects have been chosen. The rest of the email included this statement,
“Also, you have the honor of displaying the following badge on your blog. Use the below code to display this badge proudly on your blog.”
How It Works
The code to this badge is important- they have included a link in it to their website.
This is an old SEO (search engine optimisation) tactic. Make an award, give out a badge, have a link in the badge, watch your Google rankings go up. Basically, they get people to link to their website when they put the badge on their website- who doesn’t want to let people know you got an award. A link is important because it is one of the factors Google uses to determine who shows up at the top of search results. All of these “blogs” have been chosen because they rank high in Google search and thus a link from them means more. It’s called Page Rank- read about it here on Wikipedia
Is This really a Scam?
Scam is a strong word and I was a bit hesitant to use it. But after looking up a definition – ‘a dishonest scheme; a fraud’, I decided it fit the definition. They are not being honest that the intent of this is to increase their search ranking. They are also not being honest that this was not chosen by a panel of people. By definition it is a scam, they are being deceitful to sell their product through increased search ranking, which seems to be some sort of tool for SEO.
If you have an archaeology blog don’t use their badge and don’t link to their website.
Looks like they have an Anthropology list too. If you are an anthropologists don’t use this badge.