Jocelyn Salada and Georgia Higher Education Resource Query – Did You Get An Email Like This?

online schools

And the spamming “let’s exchange links” aka “here’s recognition for your blog” aka “we have an award for your blog” game continues!

The Pitch From Online Schools

Have any of our members of GeneaBloggers or other bloggers received the following email from Jocelyn Salada lately?

From: Jocelyn Salada []
Sent: Monday, August 06, 2012 1:23 AM
To: there
Subject: Georgia Higher Education Resource Query

Hi there,

I had a question about the listed college and career web resources for prospective students on the website. I would love to hear back from you, and if there is someone else I should be emailing, could you direct me to the appropriate contact?

Of course your results may vary.  These spammers are oh-so-clever at using different names, different emails, etc.  Same baloney, just dressed up with different condiments.

Why Was I Suspicious?

For you new bloggers and perhaps all bloggers, here is why I got suspicious . . . first, the email was addressed to “there” as in Hi There.  LOL.  Really?

Second, I went and looked at the link at GeneaBloggers and there was no reference to “college and career web resources for prospective students.”  I knew this already.  I figure Jocleyn tried to leave a spammy comment on the post, but WordPress let’s me disable commenting on any post older than 14 days at GeneaBloggers. I give Jocelyn an “A” for effort.

I Took The Bait – Sort Of

I figured I’d play along, so I emailed back and told Jocelyn I was interest.  I was surprised it took two days to get back to me, but here is what I got:

Hi Thomas,

Thanks for your response. I’m emailing to see how an online project that I’ve been working on for that past year can be included and shared as a resource for students and parents on your website. This resource, is a compilation of every college program offered online in Georgia that is offered full and part time.

For the past year, we’ve been crawling through thousands of college catalogs to compile this information because many students that visit our website have requested a directory of all college programs that they can take online apart from the more well known online schools.  Many of our students didn’t even know that their local colleges offer many online programs until this database was built!

This database will be updated yearly and will always remain free and open.  Higher education for all students is a passion of mine, and passing knowledge to what types of programs exist out there in hopes that students will find a higher education program that excites them is our goal. I hope that your school, counselors, advisors, parents and students will find it useful.

So far, school districts and high schools throughout the State of Georgia have added the project as a resource for their students and parents to refer too. If you think it could be of use and value to those who visit your site, I would be honored it you would also add a link to the page for others to refer to.

I look forward to hearing from you soon,


Just as I suspected – a link exchange.  Also Jocelyn sent me some links that I could add to my blog if I wanted to. As you can see I am not using any Online Schools links so as not to send them “link juice.”

I told Jocelyn that I wasn’t interested, that I didn’t do link exchanges and that I would make sure I put the word out at my blogging community.

Don’t Buy Into Link Exchanges

Recently I had someone tell me that asking for link exchanges was not a black hat SEO technique.  Whether it is or isn’t doesn’t matter – I still think it is sleazy and I still won’t accept a link from a website that doesn’t deal directly with genealogy or from a company about which I know nothing.  I also take a dim view to companies that just do “cold calling” via email.

All that these sites are doing – and the online school type sites do it all the time – is this: they are trying to game the system over at Google and other search engines to get a higher page rank by building links to their sites.  They don’t care if you are selling genealogy or polished dinosaur turds that look like jewelry.  They’ll take anything – they aren’t picky. I call them Link Sluts.

Remember that you can’t control the site to which you link, so who knows what kind of content one of these sites will put up in the future.  Make sure you know who you are linking to and the best way to build you niche is to keep the focus on your direct subject matter, such as genealogy.

©2012, copyright Thomas MacEntee

GeneaBloggers Ranks #83 on Top 100 Most Popular Genealogy Websites

genealogy in time

GenealogyInTime™ Magazine has put together a global list of the Top 100 Most Popular Genealogy Websites and GeneaBloggers has been listed at spot #83!

As stated in the article:

The Top 100 list is the end product of an extensive and exhaustive evaluation of thousands of genealogy websites. The list and the accompanying article provide a considerable amount of insight into the genealogy industry. It can also help you discover some interesting new genealogy websites.

You can read the Top 100 Most Popular Genealogy Websites and look at all the rankings and get a better understanding of the process.  In addition, Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings has a good overview of the Top 100 and you can read it here.

Thanks to all the readers and supporters of GeneaBloggers who help make this site possible!

©2012, copyright Thomas MacEntee

Blog Talk Radio Interview Tonight – July 22, 2011

Your Ancestors Want Their Stories To Be Told

This evening, Wednesday, July 20, 2011, I will be a guest on Blog Talk Radio and I invite members of GeneaBloggers and readers to listen to yours truly discuss genealogy, social media and technology. The show starts at 8:00pm Central and you can click here to set a reminder and to listen to the live broadcast.

Jane E. Wilcox hosts the Your Ancestors Want Their Stories To Be Told show and she’ll be asking me how I got into the genealogy field as well as how I am using social media and technology to not only advance my own research but to bring more recognition to the genealogy community. Jane is also a member of GeneaBloggers and runs the Forget-Me-Not Ancestry blog and website.

If you can’t catch tonight’s live episode, don’t forget to listen to the archived episode here.

©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee