Is Brenda Lyttle spam? When I got her guest post request email, I wasn’t sure. I did some light digging and found out pretty easily: Brenda Lyttle is an SEO spammer. “She” is not a real person. She’s a persona used to convince unsuspecting authors to publish spammy SEO backlinks on their blogs.
Fake personas and SEO guest post requests are nothing new. They happen all the time. I’m writing this post so the next honest blog author who gets a guest post request from Brenda Lyttle will know the truth about “her” and her motives.
Note: there is at least one real Brenda Lyttle. See the end of this post for more about her.
Who is Brenda Lyttle?
She’s no one. She’s not a real person. But some SEOs have gone to great lengths to make her seem real at first and second glance. Here’s all the information I could find about her.
Name: Brenda Lyttle
Googling her name brings up some interesting results. The top result each time I’ve tried has been a forum discussing these very issues: is “Brenda” a real person and should authors accept her guest post request? Red flag #1.
After that forum, you should start to see some of her latest work. The interesting (and revealing) thing there is that, in her request email, she claims to be an expert in a certain field. Browsing through her recent posts, however, paints a very different picture. “She” doesn’t specialize in any one field. She guest posts about any topic that will drive traffic. Red flag #2.
Again, the later results start to showcase her previous guest posts. By this point, it’s becoming very clear who she is and who she isn’t. More topic variety and yet seemingly no blog or website of her own. Red flag #4.
Brenda’s Facebook profile
Take a quick look at her Facebook profile, which is attached to her gmail address. Facebook offers plenty of privacy settings to hide your posts from non-friends, but her profile is just barren. I would have tried friending her to see behind the privacy wall, but “she” has disabled that feature. You cannot become her friend. Red flag #5.
The only activity on her profile is that she answered a question about Xbox 360 Kinnect, another spam-haven topic on the web. She has one profile photo, one cover photo, and subscribes to one person (which makes me suspicious of that person). That’s all she’s accumulated since joining Facebook 18 months ago. Red flag #6.
Knowing what I now know (or believe) about her, I find her Google+ profile both expected and surprising. As expected, she “hasn’t shared anything” with me. Of course not, she hasn’t shared anything with anyone. On the other hand, “she” has taken the time to add 159 people to her Circles and 83 have added her back.
Oh, and here she claims to live in Plainwell, MI.
Fake Guest Post = SEO Spam Backlinks
The concept is simple. And, when done honestly, it’s actually not a bad thing. SEOs email bloggers asking to publish a guest post (and carefully-chosen backlinks & anchor text) on their blogs. It’s when SEOs lie about themselves and their motives to fool unsuspecting authors that I have a problem with it. But honesty is not the SEO way. It’s too hard and takes too much work. SEOs will always choose the easy way out: deceit.
If you want a link from my site back to yours, all you have to do is ask me. I’ll consider your request and decide for myself. I know not every author is open to even considering such requests, but I think they’re harmless when done professionally. Links are still extremely powerful in the Googlerithm™, so why not have an open conversation about sharing links? As long as it’s done above-board and with best practices, there’s nothing black-hat or spammy about it.
The real Brenda Lyttle
I came across one real person by the same name, a lawyer from Wyoming. In my opinion, this woman deserves to have her name back. So, to the real Brenda Lyttle, I apologize on behalf of these SEOs who spam other people and potentially damage your name. If you know anything about SEO, you’ll find that the only do-follow outbound link in this post is that one, pointing to your Facebook profile. It’s the best I could do after writing an entire post intentionally capitalizing on searches for your name. I hope my post helps to steer would-be authors away from the fake Brenda and thereby kill her persona, taking her out of your way.