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Unit 1.16 – Blog Comment Spam

It’s not very often you get advertising spam comments as long and reasonably structured as the one below. Rather than just delete it I thought it would be more efficient to make an example of it and use it as material for some more of our beloved sample GAMSAT questions!


Difficulty: Medium / Hard

Time: 3 minutes


The following is a recent comment made on this blog by web spam expert, Babbette Bhaksian


Hello Web Admin, I noticed that your On-Page Search Engine Optimisation is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization. On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings, You now NEED On-Page SEO. So what is good On-Page SEO?First your keyword must appear in the title.Then it must appear in the URL.You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1,H2,H3 tags in your article.Your Keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence of the page. You should have relevant usage of Bold and italics of your keyword.There should be one internal link to a page on your blog and you should have one image with an alt tag that has your keyword….wait there’s even more Now what if i told you there was a simple WordPress plugin that does all the On-Page SEO, and automatically for you? That’s right AUTOMATICALLY.



1. Rhetorically, ‘SEO Optimisation’, is an example of:

  • A      Pleonasm
  • B      Metaphrasal
  • C      Synechdoche
  • D      Paraphrasal



2. The reference to LSI or ‘Latent Semantic Indexing’ is:

  • A      used out of context and not fully explained
  • B      included in order to make the writer appear to be an expert in his field
  • C      included to make the web admin feel like they know little about SEO
  • D      (All of the above)
  • Q1: A
    Pleonasm: The use of more words, or parts of words than is necessary for clear expression of meaning
    Metaphrasal: When something is translated literally, word for word.
    Synechdoche: Using part of something to refer to the whole thing
    Paraphrasal: The restatement of the meaning of something using different words.

    SEO optimisation translates as ‘search engine optimisation optimisation.’ The second optimisation is unnecessary so pleonasm is the best answer here

    On reflection, this question appears quite bitter. Won’t be doing this again. The sentence itself makes no sense – claiming that an article must contain latent semantic indexing. LSI is a mathematically-based process of identifying patterns and relationships in meaning within words in a body of text. It would have to be applied TO the article. You don’t need to know this to answer the question. We know the passage is intended as an advertisement, so we can infer that B and C are also apt.

    Gamsat Sample Questions

    May 27, 2012

  • Shouldn’t Q1 be A, Pleonasm? Pleonasm means “redundancy”. Putting the word “optimisation” after the abbreviation SEO is an example of this kind of redundancy. Tautology is more to do with an argument backed up by its own statement (ie. the Earth is round because it is round). Both the dictionary definitions as well as an expert in the field of English have pointed this out to me.


    September 2, 2012

  • Thanks, Jay, you’re actually right. Tautology is supposed to be a repetition of meaning using different words and pleonasm is probably the more accurate answer here. Fixed it.

    Gamsat Sample Questions

    September 8, 2012

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