Archived posts from the 'Spam Report' Category

!knihT

Mantra: There’s no such thing as wisdom of the crowd. Repeat. There’s no such thing as a wisdom of the crowd! You’ve got a brain of your own for a reason.preloading

THINK!There’s a huge difference between Thomas J. Watson’s campaign in the 1920s, which made IBM –as a company gathering intelligent individuals– think big and therefore get big at the end of the day, and the votable daily insane pestering social media, forums, blogs, and whatnot, that we willingly and thoughtlessly consume in today’s information ghetto. The difference is, that nowadays the crowd delegates their thinking to a few well paid ‘early adopters’, bullshitters/prophets, and other conmen who dominate the Interwebs just because they’re loud enough.

In fact, all the hypes celebrated by the dumb crowds distract and mislead you on a daily basis. As a webmaster you really shouldn’t care about ‘latest discoveries’ like LDA and ADL, or search engine FUD reiterated on webmaster hangouts as advice that ‘answers any question’, for that matter.

Not that you can’t get valuable advice out of search engine webmaster guidelines at all. The opposite is true, but you need to read the source, and judge yourself based on your skills and your experience, applying common sense.

Also, there’s other good webmastering advice out there, if you’re willing to seek(needle, haystack=wget(’http://google.com/search?q=seo|sem|webdev|webdesign|webmastering|internet-marketing&num=n‘)). Don’t. Rely on yourself, and your capability to interpret facts, not on speculation spread by ‘authoritative’ sources.

It’s so much easier to join a huge community or two, and to believe/implement/adapt what’s ‘hot’, or what’s repeated often, respectively. Actually, that’s a crappy approach, because the very few small communities that openly discuss things that matter, are out of reach for the average webmaster, chatting and networking protected by /var/inner-circle/private/.htpasswd.

Here are the components of a public webmaster/SEO/IM community, listed by revenues in ascending order (that’s -1 before zero and 1), what equals alleged trustworthiness/importance in descending order:

  • Many fanboys (m) and groupies (f) who don’t have a clue, but vote up everything what an entity listed below suggests. They will even rave speak out at other alien places, if their idols (see below) get outed for bullshitting anywhere. They go by the title of junior members.
  • A few semi-professional whores who operate blogs/forums/aff-programs theirselves, and manage to steal a tiny portion of the floating popularity to feed their pathetic outlets. Those are considered senior members.
  • A handful of shiny rockstars who silenty suck up to their owner master (see below). They may or may not participate monetarily, and have the power of moderators.
  • One single guy who laughs all the way to the bank.

Looked at in full daylight: when you join a crowd you become cannon fodder, and your financial misery is considered collateral damage. Lurking (silently listening to crowds) is not exactly cheaper, and certainly doesn’t make you an unsung hero, because you’ll totally share the crowd’s misery. Your balance sheet doesn’t lie, usually.

Reboot your brain before you jump on popular band wagons. Don’t listen to advice that’s freely available, not even mine (WTF, you know what I mean). If somebody discusses ethics (hat colors), then run for your life, because ethics will kill your revenue. When it comes to SEO, then it helps to evaluate (search engine/any) advice under the premise “what would I do, and what could I achive (technically), if I’d run this SE?”.

It’s all about you. Don’t care about the well beings of search engines that suffer from WebSpam, or the healthiness of affiliate programs that make shitloads of green out of it, but tell you ‘thou shalt not spam’ because they sneakily dominate your SERPs with their own graffity. WebSpam is what gets you banned, everything else just makes you money. Test for yourself, and don’t take advice without proof that you can easily replicate on your very own servers.

Do not risk your earnings –that is your existence!– with strategies and tactics you can’t handle on the long haul, just because some selfish moron tells you so.



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Ditch the spam on SERPs, pretty please?

Say there’s a search engine that tries very hard to serve relevant results for long tail search queries. Maybe it even accepted that an algo change –supposed to wipe out shitloads of thin pages from its long tail search result pages (SERPs)– is referred to as #MayDay. One should think that this search engine isn’t exactly eager to annoy its users with crappy mash-up pages consisting of shabby stuff scraped from all known sources of duplicate content on the whole InterWebs.

Wrong.

Prominent SE spammers like Mahalo still flood the visible part of search indexes with boatloads of crap that never should be able to cheat its way onto any SERP, not even via a [site:spam.com] search. Learn more from Aaron and Michael, who’ve both invested their valuable time to craft out detailled spam reports, to no avail.

Frustrating.

Wait. Why does a bunch of spammy Web pages creates such a fuss? Because they’re findable in the search index. Of course a search engine must crawl all the WebSpam out there, and its indexer has to judge the value of all the content it gets feeded with. But there’s absolutely no need to bother the query engine, that gathers and ranks the stuff presented on the SERPs, with crap like that.

Dear Google, why do you annoy your users with spam created by “a scheme that your automated system handles quite well” at all? Those awesome spam filters should just flag crappy pages as not-SERP-worthy, so that they can never see the daylight at google.com/search. I mean, why should any searcher be at risk of pulling useless search results from your index? Hopefully not because these misleaded searchers tend to click on lots of Google ads on said pages, right?

I’d rather enjoy an empty SERP for an exotic search query, than suffer from a single link to a useless page plastered with huge ads, even if it comes with a tiny portion of stolen content that might be helpful if pointing to the source.

Do you feel like me? Speak out!

Hey Google, I dislike spam on your SERPs! #spam-report Tweet Your Plea For Clean SERPs!



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Google went belly-up: SERPs sneakily redirect to FPAs

I’m pissed. I do know I shouldn’t blog in rage, but Google redirecting search engine result pages to totally useless InternetExplorer ads just fires up my ranting machine.

What does the almighty Google say about URIs that should deliver useful content to searchers, but sneakily redirect to full page ads? Here you go. Google’s webmaster guidelines explicitely forbid such black hat tactics:

Don’t use cloaking or sneaky redirects.” Google just did the latter with its very own SERPs. The search interface google.com/ie, out in the wild for nearly a decade, redirects to a piece of sidebar HTML offering a download of IE8 optimized for Google. That’s a helpful redirect for some IE6 users who don’t suffer from an IT department stuck with this outdated browser, but it’s plain misleading in the eyes of all those searchers who appreciated this clean and totally uncluttered search interface. Interestingly, UA cloaking is the only way to heal this sneaky behavior.

Don’t create pages with malicious behavior.” Google’s guilty, too. Instead of checking for the user’s browser, redirecting only IE6 requests from Google’s discontiued IE6 support (IE6 toolbar …) to the IE8 advertisement, whilst all other user agents get their desired search box, respectively their SERPs, under a google.com/search?output=ie&… URI, Google performs an unconditional redirect to a page that’s utterly useless and also totally unexpected for many searchers. I consider misleading redirects malicious.

Avoid links to web spammers or ‘bad neighborhoods’ on the web.” I consider the propaganda for IE that Google displays instead of the search results I’d expect a bad neighborhood on the Web, because IE constantly ignores Web standards, forcing developers and designers to implement superfluous work arounds. (Ok, ok, ok … Google’s lack of geekiness doesn’t exactly count as violation of their webmaster guidelines, but it sounds good, doesn’t it?)

Hey Matt Cutts, about time to ban google.com/ie! Click to tweet that

Google’s very best search interface is history. Here is what you got under
http://www.google.com/ie?num=100&hl=en&safe=off&q=minimalistic
:

Google's famous minimalistic search UI

And here is where Google sneakily redirects you to when you load the SERP link above (even with Chrome!):
http://www.google.com/toolbar/ie8/sidebar.html
:

Google's sneaky IE8 propaganda

It’s sad that a browser vendor like Google (and yes, Google Chrome is my favorite browser) feels the need to mislead its users with propaganda for a competiting browser that’s slower and doesn’t render everything as it should render it. But when this particular browser vendor also leads Web search, and makes use of black hat techniques that it bans webmasters for, then that’s a scandal. So, if you agree, please submit a spam report to Google:

Hey Matt Cutts, about time to ban google.com/ie! #spam-report Tweet Your Spam Report

2010-05-17 I’ve updated this pamphlet because it didn’t explain the “sneakiness” clear enough. As of today, the unconditional redirect is still sneaky IMHO. Google needs to deliver searchers their desired search results, and only stubborn IE6 users ads for a somewhat better browser.

2010-05-18 Q: You’re pissed solely because your SERP scraping scrips broke. A: Glad you’ve asked. Yes, I’ve scraped Google’s /ie search too. Not because I’m a privacy nazi like Daniel Brandt. I’ve just checked (my) rankings. However, when I spotted the redirects I didn’t even remember the location of the scripts that scraped this service, because I didn’t look at ranking reports for years. I’m interested in actual traffic, and revenues. Ego food annoys me. I just love the /ie search interface. So the answer is a bold “no”. I don’t give a fucking dead rat’s ass what ranking reports based on scraped SERPs could tell.



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Opting out: mailto://me is history

Finally quitting emailToday I’ve removed all instances of the thunderbird icon from my computers, and from my memory as well. I’m finally done with email. I’ve forwarded1) all my email accounts to paid-links@google.com, and here’s why:

Sebastian’s Pamphlets

Dear Sebastian,

I visited your web site earlier today and it seems you are also a seo company like us. As an SEO company we are in this field since 1998 in India(CHD). We have developed and maintained high quality websites.

We understand link building better than other because of our 11 year experience in linking industry and we follows the right manual link building approach in seeking, obtaining and attracting topic specific trusted inbound links. We have different themes related sites, directories and blogs and i would like to make a request to enter a mutual understanding by EXCHANGING LINKS with your website in order to get targeted visitors, higher ranking and link popularity.

We look forward to linking our site with yours, as exchanging links would Benefit both of us.

You\’ve received this email simply because you have been found while searching for related sites in Google, MSN and Yahoo If you do not wish to receive future emails, simply reply with this email and let us know.

Waiting for your positive and quick response.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS NOT A SPAM OR AUTOMATED EMAIL, IT\’S ONLY A REQUEST FOR A LINK EXCHANGE. YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS HAS NOT BEEN ADDED TO ANY LISTS, AND YOU WILL NOT BE CONTACTED AGAIN.

Regards:
Lara

Lara
Megrisoft
lara@megrisoft.info

 

Direct message from Spamdiggalot

Hi, Sebastian.

You have a new direct message:

Spamdiggalot: hi!I think you should like my article “12 addons to get the most out of safer-sex”, here: digg.com/x010101 please RT!

Reply on the web at http://twitter.com/direct_messages/create/Spamdiggalot

Send me a direct message from your phone: D SPAMDIGGALOT

our company proposal

Dear Sebastian Pamphlets,

My name is Vincentas and I am member of board in multi-location hosting company - Host1Plus (http:// www . host1plus . com). Our servers are in U.S., U.K., the Netherlands, Germany, Lithuania and Singapore.

I just visited your website which I found interested and it provides excellent complementary content.
We would like to offer you free hosting for your site in Host1Plus hosting service the only thing we would ask you is to place our visitors counter to your website here is the link http:// www . count1plus . com or it could be any other feature.

So let me know if you are interested for my offer and I hope that offer is interested to you. Hope to hear you soon.

Kind Regards,
Vincentas Grinius

Host1Plus.com Team
part of Digital Energy Technologies Ltd.
26 York Street
London

W1U 6PZ
United Kingdom
T: +44 (0) 808 101 2277
E: info@host1plus.com
W: http:// www . host1plus . com

Vincentas Grinius
Host1Plus.com
vincentas@host1plus.com

Link Exchange

Hi,

I think if I receive something like this I would pay more attention to that.
\”Dear Webmaster I am so happy to find your website and I like it so much! So I want to be a link partner of your site.

If you are interested to make us your link partner , please inform us and we will be glad to make our link partner within 24 hours.

Our Link Details :

Title: Social Network Development UK

URL: http:// www . dassnagar . co . uk/

Description: Web Development Company UK: Premier Interactive Agency, specializing in custom website design, Social network development, Sports betting portal development, Travel portal design, Flash gaming portal design and development.

Link\’s HTML Code:

<a href=\”http:// www . dassnagar . co . uk/\” target=\”new\”>Social Network Development UK
</a> Web Development Company UK: Premier Interactive Agency, specializing in custom website design, Social network development, Sports betting portal development, Travel portal design, Flash gaming portal design and development.

Please accept my apology if already partner or not interested.

Reasons to exchange link with us.

1. Our site is regularly crawled by google, so there are better chances googlebot visiting your website regularly.
2. We ask you to link back to only those pages where your url is present, indirectly you are increasing your own link value.
3. By linking to our articles and technology blog you can provide useful content to your visitors.

This is an advertisement and a promotional mail strictly on the guidelines of CAN-SPAM act of 2003 . We have clearly mentioned the source mail-id of this mail, also clearly mentioned the subject lines and they are in no way misleading in any form. We have found your mail address through our own efforts on the web search and not through any illegal way. If you find this mail unsolicited, please reply with \”Unsubscribe\” in the subject line and we will take care that you do not receive any further promotional mail.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Kind regards,
Tom
Webmaster

John
dassnagar . co . uk
rdcouk@gmail.com

 

Trust me, quitting email is a time-saver. And yes, I’ve an idea how to waste the additional spare time: Tomorrow I’ll have paid me a beer for a link to myself. And I can think of way more link monkey business that doesn’t involve email.

 I'm such a devil!

1) Actually, “forwarding” comes with a slighly shady downside:
If you continue to send me your (unsolicited) emails, you’ll find all your awkward secrets on literally tons of automatically generated Web pages –nicely plastered with very targeted ads and usually x-rated or otherwise NSFW banners–, hosted on throw-away domains.
I’m such a devil.

 

 



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You can’t escape from Google-Jail when …

spammers stuck in google jail… you’ve boosted your business Web site’s rankings with shitloads of crappy links. The 11th SEO commandment: Don’t promote your white hat sites with black hat link building methods! It may work for a while, but once you find your butt in Google-jail, there’s no way out. Not even a reconsideration request can help because you can’t provide its prerequisites.

When you’re caught eventually –penalized for tons of stinky links– and have to file a reinclusion request, Google wants you to remove all the shady links you’ve spread on the Web before they lift your penalty. Here is an example, well documented in a Google Groups thread started by a penalized site owner with official statements from Matt Cutts and John Müller from Google.

The site in question, a small family business from the UK, has used more or less every tactic from a lazy link builder’s textbook to create 40,000+ inbound links. Sponsored WordPress themes, paid links, comment spam, artificial link exchanges and whatnot.

Most sites that carry these links are in no way related to the penalized site, which deals with modern teak garden furniture and home furniture sets, for example porn galleries, Web designers, US city guides, obscure oriental blogs, job boards, or cat masturbation guides. (Don’t get me wrong. Of course not every link has to be topically related. Every link from a trusted page can pass PageRank, and can improve crawling, indexing, and so on.)

Google has absolutely no problem with unrelated links, unless a site’s link profile consists of way too many spammy and/or unrelated links. That does not mean that spreading a gazillion low-life links pointing to a competitor will get this site penalized or even banned. Negative SEO is not that simple. For an innocent site Google just ignores spammy inbound links, but most probably flags it for further investigations, both manually as well as algorithmically.

If on the other hand Google finds evidence that a site is actively involved in link monkey business of any kind, that’s a completely different story. Such evidence could be massively linking out to spammy places, hosting reciprocal links pages or FFA directories, unskillful (manual|automated) comment spam, signature links and mentions at places that trade links, textual contents made for (paid) link campaigns when reused too often, buying links from trackable services, (link request emails forwarded via) paid-link/spam reports, and so on.

Below is the “how to file a successful reconsideration request when your sins include link spam” from Googlers.

Matt Cutts:

The recommendation from your SEO guy led you directly into a pretty high-risk area; I doubt you really want pages like (NSAW) having sponsored links to your furniture site anyway. It’s definitely possible to extricate your site, but I would make an effort to contact the sites with your sponsored links and request that they remove the links, and then do a reconsideration request. Maybe in the text of your reconsideration request, I’d include a pointer to this thread as well.

John Müller:

You may want to consider what you can do to help clean up similar [=spammy] links on other people’s sites. Blogs and newspaper sites such as http://media.www.dailypennsylvanian.com sometimes receive short comments such as “dont agree”, apparently only for a link back to a site. These comments often use keywords from that site instead of a user name, perhaps “tree bench” for a furniture site or “sexy shoes” for a footwear site. If this kind of behavior might have taken place for your site, you may want to work on rectifying it and include some information on it in your reconsideration request. Given your situation, the person considering your reconsideration request might be curious about links like that.

Translation: We’ll ignore your weekly reconsideration requests unless you’ve removed all artificial links pointing to your site. You’re stuck in Google’s dungeon because they’ve thrown away the keys.

I’d guess that for a site that has filed a reinclusion request stating the site was involved in some sort of link monkey business, Google applies a more strict policy than with a site that was attacked by negative SEO methods. I highly doubt that when caught red-handed a lame excuse like “I didn’t create those links” is a tactic I could recommend, because Googlers hate it when an applicant lies in a reinclusion request.

Once caught and penalized, the “since when do inbound links count as negative votes” argument doesn’t apply. It’s quite clear that removing the traces (admitted as well as not admitted shady links) is a prerequisite for a penalty lift. And that even though Google has already discounted these links. That’s the same as with penalized doorway pages. Redirecting doorways to legit landing pages doesn’t count, Google wants to see a 410-Gone HTTP response code (or at least a 404) before they un-penalize a site.

I doubt that’s common knowledge to folks who promote their white hat sites with black hat methods. Getting links wiped out at places that didn’t check the intention of inserted links in the first place is a royal PITA, in other words, it’s impossible to get all shady links removed once you find your butt in Google-jail. That’s extremely uncomfortable for site owners who fell for questionable forum advice or hired a promotional service (no, I don’t call such assclowns SEOs) applying shady marketing methods without a clear and written warning that those are extremely risky, fully explained and signed by the client.

Maybe in some cases Google will un-penalize a great site although not all link spam was wiped out. However, the costs and efforts of preparing a successful resonsideration request are immense, not to speak of the massive loss of traffic and income.

As Barry mentioned, the thread linked above might be interesting for folks keen on an official confirmation that Google -60 penalties exist. I’d say such SERP penalties (aka red & yellow cards) aren’t exactly new, and it plays no role to which position a site penalized for guideline violations gets downranked. When I’ve lost a top spot for gaming Google, that’s kismet. I’m not interested in figuring out that 20k spammy links get me a -30 penalty, 40k shady links result in a -60 penalty, and 100k unnatural links qualify me for the famous -950 bashing (the numbers are made up of course). If I’d spam, then I’d just move on because I’d have already launched enough other projects to compensate the losses.

PS: While I was typing, Barry Schwartz posted his Google-Jail story at SE Roundtable.



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Fraud from the desk of Sebastian Foss

Frequently I receive emails from very angry people complaining about various “SEO tools” and “Money Making Software” delivered from the desk of Sebastian Foss (AdBlaster, Instant Booster, eZine blaster, Blog Blaster, Feed Blaster, Newsgroup Blaster, eBay Cash Machine, Doorway Page Generator, Google Cash Machine, and countless more scams), which got their sites banned or which just didn’t work as promised, asking for a refund and demanding compensation. I’m sick of replying to all these emails to set the records straight, so here is the guy’s address:

e-trinity Internetmarketing Ltd.
Sebastian Foss
Böhler Str.14
Lindlar, 51789, North Rhine-Westphalia
Germany [map]
Phone: +49 2266 478 230
Fax: +49 2266 478 197
email: sebastian@etrinity-mail.com

I suffer from his fraudulent and spammy activities too. I find his URLs in my referrer stats, I receive his email spam from the desk of Sebastian Foss, and people get mad on me because they assume I’m him just because I blog about SEO and Internet marketing.

Here is the last email spam I got from Sebastian Foss1) at promote-biz.net:And here’s the attached HTML file:A smart investigator can should be capable to assign this URL on promote-biz.net to e-trinity Internetmarketing Ltd., Sebastian Foss’ company in Lindlar, Germany.

If you’re sick of spam and scams from the desk of Sebastian Foss too, then turn him in. Last time I looked, sending out email spam is a crime in Germany. In case the spam report form below (courtesy of the german cops) doesn’t work, here you go: Police Lindlar, Germany.
SPAM REPORT (yellow background = mandatory)

Your coordinates:






What to report?







Provide internet address (URL), IP address, channel, email-ID (email header), and other information useful to track down the issue:



Details (mandatory!)

Witnesses (if any, provide names and addresses)

Perpetrator and site of crime:






Here’s a tiny sample of domains related to or operated by Sebastian Foss, according to Rip Off Report “[one of] the biggest scam artist[s] on the Internet”:
10-thousand-dollars.biz 101-website-traffic.com 2click.com auction-machine.com automatedriches.com automatic-mailer.com blog-blast.com blog-blaster.com cashcreation.com clickedcash.com dollarbuddy.biz etrinity.com feed-blast.com free-traffic-handbook.com hit-booster.com hitworkz.com income-builder.com income-machine.com incomeuniversity.com instant-booster.com megapromoter.com megawealthpackage.com minuteprofits.com money-license.com moneybank.com plugin-income.com press-blast.com promote-biz.net promotionpalace.com sebastianfoss.com seo-secret.com submit-it-easy.com …

It doesn’t hurt to link to this post with “Sebastian Foss” in the anchor text ;)

Update: I received a threat from Sebastian Foss, so I’ve edited this post (look for original text followed by changes). I’m not 100% certain which instance of “Sebastian Foss” sends out the email spam, but all known instances of Sebastian Foss are obviously spammers. More Information on the spammer Sebastian Foss and his clones respectively multiple/virtual personalities.



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Full Disclosure of Paid Links

Since I’ve moved the blog from blogspot.com to this place, this post makes not much sense anymore. I’ve dispensed all the stuff from my old and ugly sidebar at blogspot over a couple pages here, not much of it is still on the sidebar.

Following Matt’s advice on paid links I’ve looked at this blog to reveal sneaky commercial links, although nobody really likes this idea.

I’m pretty sure that I never got paid for posting, so there was just the sidebar to check. I found a couple of links leading to articles I wrote with both educational and commercial intent as well. I consider these valuable resources so there’s no need to report or nofollow them.

Next in the “What I read” section I didn’t find a suitable procedure to report that “Books, tons of books” includes commercial stuff like database manuals and other publications with a clearly commercial message. I paid for all these books … sigh.

Ok, next the blogroll. Again, all links point to good resources, nothing to report. Under the search box there’s a link to Technorati which I can’t nofollow because it’s put by Technorati’s script. Technorati sends me traffic, I use Technorati for research, so probably this link is fine and counts as honest recommendation, although it functions as a traffic deal too.

Checking the “Links and Folks” section I found a not that related link pointing to bikes for sale at OCC. Well, I really like OCC bikes, and this is my personal blog, so why shouldn’t I link out to a resource unrelated to search and Web development? Hmmmm … perhaps I should ask Google for permission to dofollow this somewhat commercial link before I receive a free bike in return.

Next the “Ads by Google” links are fine, because they’re put client sided and even the Googlebot executing JavaScript knows that everything in a block of code containing an AdSense publisher code is auto-nofollow’ed by definition.

Both the MBL widget as well as the Twitter badge are put client sided, plus both were free of commercial links, at least last time I looked. End of sidebar, I didn’t find serious fodder for a paid link report, could that be true?

Wait … I missed the header, and luckily there’s a big fat paid link:

With this link I pay Google for Blogger’s services and hosting, and it is not nofollow’ed. Dammit, I can’t nofollow it myself, so here’s my paid links spam report:

paidlinks spam report

Ok, seriously I think that Google can discount commercial links because that’s how Google’s cookie crumbles. And I perfectly understand that Matt asks for a few samples of paid links Google has not yet discovered to fine tune Google’s algos. However, I fear that this call for paid-links-spam-reports will result in massive abuse of the form I use to report webspam that really annoys me because it disturbs my search results. I’m happy that it’s pretty easy to filter out abusive reports filed to damage a competitor’s rankings marked with “paidlinks” once Matt’s team has collected enough examples.

Tags: ()

Update: Read Rae Hoffman’s full disclosure too!



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