Quick, what has black hat, bots, and boobs all over? Wrong, dirty bird! It’s Pinterest. Word on the street is Pinterest got so much traffic, it’s like selling candy to babies. Babies who will pin it to others babies with computers who will repin and buy it through an affiliate link. Like the Matrix. It’s that serious, folks.
Christa Laser, a popular Hangout Academy personality on Google+ was publicly praising Pinterest’s responsible practices about 10 days ago. Didn’t think twice about it until the spamming noise broke out. That same week, the Daily Dot published their findings about the black hat activity “exploiting” Pinterest’s vulnerabilities.
Since then, the web has been buzzing over the scandalous spamming news and it’s been making rounds on popular blogs for about a few days now. Could harmless piece piece of praise on Google Plus been a tip to this “quiet” feud between sly marketers and the team at Pinterest?
Christa, like thousands of other women, have fallen head over heels with the new social network that has apparently caught a sizeable following of visually stimulated women (and some men too).
Meanwhile, secretive members were amassing an army of bots to counter their apparent strides in social awareness, drawing fat Amazon paychecks off of the hot new network’s voracious appettite for buy-worthy pins.
The picture that’s being painted is that Pinterest is chock full of “buying traffic”. Whereas most people are fawning over the social benefits Pinterest offers to the creatively inclined, a small crowd of digital hustlers are boasting over their spending behaviors.
I reached out to Lyndon Antcliffe to learn more about “black hat” methods and his take on the situation. The UK based, search engine optimization expert says determining something to be black hat is like asking how long a string is. The mild spam he sees on Pinterest can be called unethical at most, but nothing surprising at the end of the day.
“It’s pretty easy to spot though, look at the front page of Pinterest and look for Amazon posts, then look at who repinned … easy to work out.”
Turns out these people seem to just like to try out things that work and scale up to their will and pleasure. Although Lyndon finds a few methods here and there intriguing, he says it’s white hat methods that pay the bills.
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Spam or Smart Man?
In a follow up interview with a particular spammer, the Daily Dot published a statement from Steve that I thought was especially interesting. Out of all of Pinterest’s vulnerability’s, the one that stands out to me, as in most social media crazes, is the human vulnerability;
“Trust me when I say Pinterest is NOT invite only. That’s a marketing ploy to get people interested, and women will fall for it instantly. No disrespect intended to anyone” – Steve, published on Daily Dot
In the latest update, the Daily Dot states Steve claimed he wasn’t a spammer, apparently trying to take back his story. But I suspect that in this sense, about the marketing ploy, he was making an honest observation. Certainly, he’s doing what works for him.
I’d say he pulled off a great mindf*** in time for April Fool’s Day by leveraging the attention this story would get to take the news site audiences for a spin. It’s in Pinterest’s court now to make lemons out of some bad press. Unless they created it, of course …
Is it really all that bad? Will the network self-correct? Can Pinterest balance rapid growth with all the attractive eye candy put out by a band of brothers with black hats? Or will they employ the Googlebot to handle business? That might be interesting. I’m sure we’ll all be well updated and reminded every freakin’ step of the way. Have I caught your Pinterest yet?