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Philippines takes World’s Best Spammers title?




One of the greatest advantages the Philippines have in the world of BPO is that we got really cheap labor and we’re relatively very good in English. That’s why we’re one of the top suppliers in the call center industry. And it doesn’t stop there.

According to the latest entry by Akismet in their “State of Web Spam“, the anti-spam service points out our exceptional skills in written English:

Human-posted spam has been on the rise for some time. Low-paid workers are hired by “SEO” firms to post comments on blogs and forums, advertising their clients’ web sites (typically small local businesses). The workers generally operate out of internet cafes and universities, particularly in India, South-East Asia, and Turkey. The quality of comments varies, with the best written spam usually coming from SE Asia. There are now sophisticated marketplaces set up specifically for hiring manual workers to do this kind of spam.

They didn’t really mention the Philippines but we all know that among the countries in South-East Asia, the Philippines is the top English-speaking country.

I’ve known a lot of SEO sweatshops being operated in some key cities in the Philippines, including Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Cebu City, Legazpi City, Bacolod and Iloilo. They’ve heavily trained employees to write very sensible and relevant comments in blogs and forums that that get past spam filters.

I’ve encountered a lot of these human-powered spam since last year in my blogs and they sometimes pass manual review — the comments are sensible and well written but the accompanying links usually gave them away.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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33 Responses

  1. I consider it a backhanded compliment. LOLZ!!

  2. Yup, the link gives them away no matter how sophisticated the comment may seem.

  3. Jon says:

    I do have a couple of friends who do this kind of work for extra income. They say, if you can bear with the tedious nature of spamming, it is a really good source of extra income.

  4. Aja says:

    how do i apply to this kind of job? can anyone give me a link? thanks!

  5. partyfunky says:

    “I’ve known a lot of SEO sweatshops being operated in some key cities in the Philippines” -yugatech

    If you don’t mind me asking, what is your definition of “sweatshop”? I don’t agree with the term used, with all due respect.

  6. partyfunky says:

    I know a couple of SEO friends who are well compensated, offices setup in Grade-A IT/BPO facilities in Makati and Cebu City. I don’t believe they are underpaid, or anything that would justify the term “sweatshop”.

  7. yuga says:

    @partyfunky – i think we know different circles so maybe i don’t know those couple of friends you know.

  8. jan says:

    off the topic,nabasa ko na binibenta mo ung mga units na nareview mo na cguro abe maganda kung magkaroon ka ng section were readers can bid on particular product. =] tnx

  9. fjordz says:

    so aside from BPO, number 1 na rin pala ang Pilipinas in terms of spamming..

  10. yuga says:

    @jan – I’m planning to open a section just for that.

    @fjordz – not really no. 1 but the best in terms of grammar and sentence construction.

  11. bongskie says:

    cheap labor? parang di yata maganda yun ah

  12. jan says:

    tnx abe well definitely wait for that!

  13. jade bryan says:

    First of all I’m not the an employee for this Bacolod SEO branch. hahaha . Medyo tama ring tawagin na “sweatshop” coz the work are just in the label of low-IT skills. But I’m not going against out ITes and for sure pang more on freelancing ito.

  14. Jhay says:

    I’ve caught a couple of comment spams with sensible grammar in the last couple of weeks. It’s just a matter of keeping a sharper eye on the links and keywords they include in the comments.

  15. iphoney says:

    sweat·shop [swet-shop]
    -noun
    1. a shop employing workers at low wages, for long hours, and under poor conditions.

    -Sent via YugaTech Mobile App

  16. yuga says:

    @bongskie – that’s why countries such as the Philippines and India have become the hub of BPOs because our salary scale is way cheaper compared to those in the west. Exchange rate is a factor (imagine a single salary in the US could be $3,000 but just $300 in the Philippines).

    Same reason the biggest factories are operating in China. Labor is cheap there too.

  17. Pusang Kulog says:

    Saan ba pwede magapply ng ganyang trabaho? He he he…

    Marami na rin akong nakitang ganyan dito sa Yugatech…

  18. yep..dami ngang ganyan… you can see that on my last 4 blogs… the 3 post has a comment of someone known as a “fake steve ballmer”, but this is interesting, since people specially with sites that needs to have a high PR will surely bite this kind of modus!!!

    http://teknisyan.blogspot.com/2010/04/what-browser-are-you-using.html

  19. dannybuntu says:

    Hmmm, Abe, pero if the comments are relevant and the links point to something that is related – doesn’t that qualify already as non spam?

  20. Anna Chua says:

    Well…even not directly mentioned eh maybe true.. =) Philippines has been always branded to be #1 in many aspects. #1 Corrupt country in asia?, #1 or texting capital of the world, #1 in call center business.., to mention a few. gee… maybe we should be glad? har har…

  21. Kimwell says:

    As a blogger I also have these share of so called comments. At first I was keen on accepting these kind of comments but later I realized that they could really affect my ranking.

    Pero minsan hahanga ka talaga sa effort ng ibang spammers. Mas mahaba pa minsan ang comment nila compared sa post mo.eheheh

  22. dannybuntu says:

    @aja

    @Pusang Kulog

    Haha, baka magalit si Abe kaya hindi ako magpopost ng link. I’m a freelance writer kaya I happen to know where these are coming from.

    The rate is $0.10 USD per comment. Hahaha.

    Pero, no, hindi ko pa natry yung professional backlinking – promise!

    Mas malaki ang kitaan pag article writing. About $5 per 500 words. So article writing na lang di ba?

    Another form of spam kung iisipin niyo. Pero as long as it is not illegal and immoral why not?

    If you’re interested. Check out my name nandun ang link sa blog ko na may link papunta doon sa hinahanap niyo!

    Hahaha!

  23. yuga says:

    @dannybuntu – true, if there is value in the comments, why not? Definition of spam is subjective.

  24. Scolex says:

    wow!may trabaho pa lng ganun? cguro maghahanap din ako comment or article writing.

  25. dannybuntu says:

    @scolex

    Bandang huli nakakasawa din na trabaho yan. :)

  26. Algie123 says:

    Sometimes the purpose of posting comments is to get a high PR?

  27. dannybuntu says:

    @algie123

    If and only if the blog where the comment was posted has a high rank and if and only if that blogs comment is do follow.

    It’s not a hard and fast rule since di naman talaga sinasabi ni Google kung paano.

    Pero it could be a valuable traffic generator, specially if people want to know more about you or what you said in your comment.

  28. so, totoo pala na ang comments sa dofollow blogs ay counted as backlinks that would determine your PR?

    How about for the blog itself, are all comments posted there counted as backlinks in their favor?

  29. Ghanima says:

    Tsk tsk tsk… ang hirap kaya makakuha ng backlinks papunta sa blog. Iyong blog ko nga eh 5 to 20 visitors kung suswertehin. Hahahaha!!! Kawawa talaga… testingan niyo pa punta dun. Nun Sept 1 lang ako nag simula.

  30. boots store says:

    I really like your wp format, exactly where did you get a hold of it?

  31. Zion says:

    LOL! Spam comments are definitely a bummer. But not all commenters spam sites. Some of us do read the post and offer our insights.

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