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How To Spam Recruiting.com

(July 26, 2007) For the past 90 days, I have been "editing" the Recruiting.com website under a contract with Jobster. Jason Davis, who owned and operated the site for a number of years, moved on to greener pastures at RecruitingBlogs.com. With him went much of the community that was the mainstay of the Recruiting.com conversation. RecruitingBlogs.com, Jason's new project, is an important step in the evolution of our industry and merits your attention and participation.

The change at Recruiting.com has been notable for its quietness. I've been learning the software, watching the flow and posting occasional comments. The site at Recruiting.com is a Digg style voting system with room for personal blogs (like mine). I don't imagine that Recruiting.com will be the same as it was during Jason's tenure. I am viewing things through a different lens (surprise). The Recruiting Roadshow is a key initiative in that it tries to put physical community (local) first while utilizing online tools.

Yesterday, as I was trying to understand the recent uptick in voting results on Recruiting.com, I accidentally deleted a couple of posts. I was surprised at the fact that a few posts garnered an enormous number of votes within ten or so minutes of being posted. (If I remember, each post had about 15 votes.) Generally speaking, the number of votes per article is on the rise.

I apologize for the deletions. As I have said, I have no intention of becoming a traffic cop or a hall monitor on recruiting.com. If I deleted your article, please repost it.

However, I'd hate to leave the ability to spam the site in the hands of a select few. Here's how to get your article to be highly ranked.

It's important to know that if you log in to the site, you are only allowed one vote per article. So if you'd like to vote ten or eleven (or, heck, even a couple of hundred) times, you have to log out of the system and vote again. Then, you

  1. Click on the "Tools" menu on Internet Explorer
  2. Click on Internet Options
  3. Click on The "General" tab
  4. Click on "Delete" Browsing History
  5. Click on "Delete Cookies"
  6. Click on Close
  7. Vote Again

It's easy and fun for the entire family. Just like shampooing, you can repeat this process ad nauseum. It's apparently becoming a vogue thing over at Recruiting.com.

The reason people take the time to spam the voting system in this way is that Recruiting.com is a very good source of traffic. By voting their articles into the top of the queue, marketers who are too cheap to spend money on real advertising or traffic acquisition garner a few more page views.

Where solid community members build traffic by delivering  interesting content on a routine basis, the spammers just jimmy the ballot box.

It's a flaw in the system. But you have to ask yourself, if they'll exploit this vulnerability on Recruiting.com, what will they do with your vulnerability?

My recommendation is that you carefully assess the meaning of the votes associated with an article. The higher the vote count, the more suspicious you should be. While it is generally a problem of shoddy marketing practice, the are other axes being ground as well. When an article seems pretty self serving (like a new feature on a product) and it has a lot of votes, you can be pretty sure that the company is generating spam votes.

That really tells you a lot about the company.


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