An LA-based firm called Perfect Market is helping newspapers and/or websites cash in on their archived articles through a practice that’s curiously close to spamming.
When blogger and popular sex columnist Violet Blue set about combing through SFgate.com’s archives for research on a post, she came across something that would have made any blogger turn… cerulean? Blue discovered that the site had been copying and distorting her online archives, stripping her posts of all links, commas, bio information and comments and spreading the content across several pages. Additionally, and rather disturbingly for the famously sex-positive columnist, the URL for her column had been changed to “ashamed porn star.”
Perfect Market works by saturating “shadow” web pages with SEO-friendly outbound links and ads. You’ve likely happened upon similar pages at some time or another while searching for terms online, or, if you write online, you may have received emails from companies promising to “boost traffic” through “keyword optimization” or the like. The mission statement on the company’s website, however, places a slightly more positive spin on their practices: