As I showed in the History of Email Spam post, Spammers aren’t idiots, the more sophisticated ones actually have traditional and modern marketing theories working for them. They scale their projects and use real economics to work out profit.
The marketing model I would attribute to spamming is “Attention Economics”, where the traditional model was a linear progression called AIDA:
Attention, Interest, Desire and Action
In present day, the study of Spam Economics continue, and I am sure that much of it happens behind closed doors at google, where Adsense has been a secondary revenue driver for a very long time. However in present time, the Marketing Definition of spamming has been referred to as “Information Pollution”. When it comes down to search engines, SERP spam is the same as email spam, however the motivations are different – Email Spam is a “Push Marketing” technique while SERP Spam is a “Pull Marketing” technique.
Spammers as Marketers?
Absolutely. As I mentioned above, the two marketing techniques, Push and Pull are trigered by peoples attention. However SERP Spam is uniquely placed, the web spammer isnt inundating you with offers to your personal channels such as email, he / she is using their various SEO skills, whether they be Black, Grey or Whitehat (!?) to get their result infront of your eyeballs before anyones else does, with a view of making a profit off your searches.