Flickr is Turning into Spam Central

Written on January 24, 2008 – 4:06 pm | by bigoak |

I suppose I should preface this post by saying that spam is in the eye of the beholder. The people who add giant, bulky graphics as comments on certainly don’t view their contribution as spam, even if the graphic has no relevance to the picture. But these days, Flickr seems harder and harder to differentiate from MySpace. Take, for instance, this page:

A very attractive site

Some of the gargantuan comment graphics in that URL take up nearly half the page, but other Flickr users don’t seem to mind. In fact, they seem to be embracing it. This is good news for owners of these link-laundering websites from an SEO standpoint, provided that Flickr doesn’t add no-follow tags or disable external live links in comments altogether. They can seek out high PageRank Flickr pages and drop comments, and of course, the Flickr community builds their links for them. Indeed, Flickr is a link-launderers paradise.

But at what point will the users step back and say, “Where am I? MySpace or Flickr?”

  1. 17 Responses to “Flickr is Turning into Spam Central”

  2. By Ginger on Jan 24, 2008 | Reply

    I wouldn’t go so far as to compare it to MySpace, but it’s definitely a little irritating. When people can change page backgrounds and make things completely unreadable, I’ll stop visiting Flickr pages.

  3. By News me on Jan 25, 2008 | Reply

    Flickr is not about pages it’s about pictures.

  4. By eFengShui on Jan 25, 2008 | Reply

    This is nothing comparing to the spam market going around on some forums..with 10 bucks you can buy lists of high PR pages for you to post a “useful and not spammy” comment. That page is quite clean if you see these pages after 2 days.Of course, just useful comments posted there…”thanks for the useful article” LOL

  5. By Aidan on Jan 26, 2008 | Reply

    That’s why we need to make the most of these sort of techniques before they do “add no-follow tags or disable external live links in comments”

    By no means am I encouraging people to spam but sometimes, a clients site is so boring you need to look at alternative ways to building links.

    I personally never have used flickr for seo purposes, but use a similar technique for squidoo.

    But as you say “spam is in the eye of the beholder” and you should always try to create something of value first, then drop links when they are “relevant”.

    Enjoy the sunshine while its lasts I say ;)

  6. By Jimsvarkey on Jan 27, 2008 | Reply

    I have stopped my visits to flickr because of the same thing you mentioned-spam

  7. By suchmaschinenoptimierung on Jan 27, 2008 | Reply

    this is not only a problem from flickr. every internet portal which start small and is big now have these spam problems.

  8. By Will on Jan 28, 2008 | Reply


    What are you using as an alternative?

  9. By Sheryll on Jan 28, 2008 | Reply

    Id have to agree with search engine optimisation nz. When the site your optimizing just isn’t that interesting, you have to find other ways to build links. But you have to exhaust all quality options first. At any case, flickr still have advantages for seo.

  10. By senkrecht-it on Feb 25, 2008 | Reply

    Hmm spam isn’t stoppable, in every medium it is used very heavily

  11. By Shell Harris on Feb 27, 2008 | Reply

    And now Flickr has added the nofollow tag to much of the site. There are areas where nofollow hasn’t been added, but the spam should decrease now that they have rendered most links impotent.

    Read our thought on continuing to use Flickr for SEO purposes.

  12. By Simone on May 28, 2008 | Reply

    The biggest Spammers are SEO. If you have a little Blog it´s easy to filter spam, but not in so big comunities.

  13. By Will on Jun 18, 2008 | Reply

    Simone, there are bad apples in any community, but the vast majority of SEOs are people who act responsibly and follow Google’s guidelines to the letter of law. Any reputable SEO firm will closely examine Google’s guidelines and only do things that fall squarely within those lucid guidelines.

  14. By Torben on Jul 11, 2008 | Reply

    Hi Will,
    I know a few SEO´s from Germany and know their work. For me they are the biggest spammers in Blogs. I know two SEO Companies which have Students, which are blogging all the day. I think, many SEO´s are trying to get a Link, how ever. When the Comment in a Blog is well – it doesn´t matter. But the comments like “Hey, nice site you have” are Spam for me. I have had my own Blog one year ago, but there was so many spam – so I have closed it. Sorry about my english.

  15. By Suchmaschinenoptimierung on Oct 14, 2008 | Reply

    Hi Torben,

    aren’t you doing the same (with a little more afford of work)?

    I think that seo professionals do this in another way. Or are there enough blogs for any topic and any product available? Seo only works as a combination of content and trustful links. Only bloglinks created by spamming blogs are not as strong as individual written and topic-relevant articles with a few links to the site, the article is written for…

  16. By Kruegers on Oct 26, 2008 | Reply

    I don’t think, that SPAM is stoppable…

  17. By Jeff Paul on Nov 4, 2008 | Reply

    This blog Is very informative , I am really pleased to post my comment on this blog . It helped me with ocean of knowledge so I really belive you will do much better in the future . Good job web master .

  18. By Lexx on Dec 25, 2008 | Reply

    I checked the source of the flickr page you linked.

    Outbound links are now nofollow, presumably this is sitewide.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

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