Pocodot – or how NOT to promote your website online

Posted on 29. Mar, 2011 by in Digital Marketing



Some people are wondering these days what exactly is Pocodot/p0c0d0t?

Nearly everyone who have asked themselves the above question are active YouTube users.

Pocodot is a new social website that claims to be the new Facebook rival. Launched in February 2011, it has a short and confusing ethos: “Pocodot helps you connect the dots in your life”.

Anyone can sign up for free and create your own profile, like in any other major social website.

There is only one key learning from me regarding pocodot, and is how NOT to approach social media in general.

The site has been trying to gain awareness by creating numerous fake accounts on YouTube and posting comments as if they were coming from genuine YouTube users. The technique is simple:

  • Pocodot selects the most viewed YouTube videos (preferably with millions of viewers)
  • Then a fake account is created and a comment added to the YouTube video
  • The comment is posted with a tone that pretends to claim that:
    • The famous person of the video created a Pocodot profile
    • Some sort of additional information about the celebrity can be found on the aforementioned site
    • Crucially, not only theree are fake accounts created by masses on Youtube but also, these accounts vote for each other comments to ensure that they are classified as ‘Top Comments’ because many people ‘liked’ them.

Let’s take an example to illustrate:

Eminem – Love The Way You Lie ft. Rihanna

This video has over 312 million views, and therefore is a perfect candidate.

As you can see on the following image, the top 2 comments mention Pocodot, both have been created by Pocodot themselves using automated bots.

In the second comment we can clearly observe that they mention their brand using zero’s instead of O’s. This might well be because YouTube is already trying to fight against their fake comments, and a way to get undectected is by using zero’s instead of regular O on their brand name.

Each comment has 39 Likes which makes these fake comments rank on top.


Using spam techniques on Social sites:

Millions of people are using YouTube these days, and therefore thousands of users are now wondering what Pocodot is. It is creating a buzz on the internet as people try to find out on Google after they have seen comments with the brand name on YouTube.

Google Trends reflects the search volume for ‘pocodot’ this year. It is clear that Pocodot was nowhere in January, and suddenly ‘became known’ in February 2011, with a drop in popularity in March and at the moment picking up on searches.

Interestingly enough the regions where Pocodot is most popular is Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Why you should stay away from Pocodot?

From a user perspective:

  • The site doesn’t allow users to delete an account, they can only be created
  • Pocodot doesn’t have a system whereby an email is verified (any trustworthy sites would want to verify if an email is correct)
  • Pocodot can:  sell your data for profit, use your login details to access other services like your email accounts or bank accounts.
  • Trojan Virus /Worms – some users are also claiming that after they created an account their computers were infected by viruses

From a corporate point of view:

  • Gaining popularity in social networks is a good strategy, but not when is based on fake comments, and multiple fake accounts

Conclusion

Learn about the Pocodot effect from a safety distance, and I highly recommend you DO NOT open a Pocodot account for the safety of your personal data and to preserve they good health of your own computer.

Key take away here is that faking comments on social networking sites is certainly not a good approach to promoting your site in general. Users will pick on that and talk about it. Trying to recover from bad reputation online is tougher than getting a site promoted properly on the first place.

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  • Mr. Mister

    awesome!

  • http://greenroominteractive.com/local-small-business-seo/ Joana Leighmoore

    I’ve seen this bad bot across Youtube, really. And it’s not just Pocodot – there are tons of sites that do this obnoxious way of advertising across Youtube. At times like these, the “mark as spam” button is really helpful!