LinkedIn: watch out who you connect to…

Friday, August 3rd, 2012 - LinkedIn


LinkedIn: watch out who you connect to…

LinkedIn is a wonderful resource, especially for job seekers, but you have to watch out who you connect to.

At some point in this series I will do an article on LinkedIn Open Networkers, or LIONs as they are more commonly known, but this post focus on a very different aspect of LinkedIn: the automated spam-Bot network.

Do you recognise this man…

Do you recognise this man? He claims to be Philip Green of Xenoxx IT consultants:


Or what about this man? He claims to be Tim Doring, also of Xenoxx IT consultants:

Do the faces look familiar? Actually, they are the correspondent file images of Mark Easton (Home Affairs editor) and David Shukman (Science editor) of the BBC! In total there are presently 16 “identities” in the entire Xenoxx consultants spam-Bot network:

Spam-Bot networks on LinkedIn

Why would someone take these images and fake an identity under another name? Well, there are a few, but the advantages are all for the person creating the spam-Bot network, and not for those who connect to them.

LinkedIn SEO works in a number of ways, but the basics of ranking both on and off platform are:

  • Headline
  • Title/s and position descriptions
  • Personal summery
  • Specialities
  • Recommendations

But due to the three-span network limitation, often the most important in reality is the number of connections a person has. So you can be the best X there is, but if someone outside your 3-span network is searching for X, your profile either won’t be found/displayed, or will be displayed anonymously.

Hence new users who want to built instantaneous credibility and traffic to their profile need connections, so how do they do this? Well, they could pop over to Fiverr, and buy 2,000 “real people” connections for $5:

But what are they actually buying? They are buying 2,000 Spam-Bot connections. In other words, a totally unresponsive network.

Will they get SEO credibility? Err, that’ll be a no as well, as these spam-BOT networks only have credibility at the third level, when they get real people to connect to their network of false identities.

What could these people – who have been conned – have done to make sure that they didn’t connect to a fake spam-Bot network, like the Xenoxx one?

LinkedIn: avoiding the Spam-Bot networks

If you run through the guide which we posted a few weeks ago re Accepting LinkedIn Connection Requests, you will know that building your network is not as simple as “Click to Connect”.

By doing so, you are risking people not only selling your profile, but also putting you on an InMail spam list, and distributing your identity information – email address, phone numbers – to others.

In the case of the Xenoxx Spam-Bot network, there were – apart from the use of the BBC profile images – other obvious signs by looking across the other Xenoxx profiles :

  • All the profiles look exactly the same!
  • Have you ever met a man called Janine?

Watch out who you connect to, and don’t become a victim of a spam-Bot and identity stealing network on LinkedIn.

Good Luck!

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3 Responses to “LinkedIn: watch out who you connect to…”

  1. Thomas Condron Says:

    H1, just to say that this post is amazing, well written and comes with all vital info. This is a killer issue for LinkedIn, why do they keep ignoring it? Rgds, Thomas

  2. Lillie Bevins Says:

    Awesome issues here, very happy to read this article! Thank you a lot Lillie x

  3. Misra Burleson Says:

    Thank you a bunch for sharing this! All people will recognize what you are talking about! Bookmarked!

  4. Laurence Says:

    Spot on the money and there is one down in Bristol too, which has already been reported to LI head office.

    The other obvious to look for is the lack of testimonials.

  5. Carlos Scarpero Says:

    Great tips. Thanks for sharing. The other suspicious one is “hr manager”. I’m passing this along to my network.

  6. Carlos "mr. Leads" Scarpero Says:

    Great job on this blog posts. I’m telling all my Linkedin connections about and will be sharing it in my LinkedIn seminars.

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