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  1. #1
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    Google Calling for link spam reports

    Google are stepping up their never ending battle to combat spammy links with an appeal from MC on his personal blog for people to report spammy sites. There are two issues here:

    1. Paid links are being targeted as a priority.. still.

    2. Sites, like forums and blogs, that allow spammy commenting like 'nice info, thanx' will be penalised for allowing Google's lovely index to be cluttered up with spammy backlinks.

    Google Calling for link spam reports Scroll down a bit to find the entry.
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
    ImgWebDesign - Web design in Buxton, High Peak, Derbyshire UK.

  2. #2
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    Bloody hell. That's great news. It'll be interesting to see how they deal with the reports though. We know from personal experience just how hard it is to stop that kind of thing from going on, no matter how hard you fight it.

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    This is great news! If there's anyone out there who has the best talent to combat this type of thing effectively, it's Google. Oh, and the SitePoint staff. You guys rock too!
    TAKE A WALK OUTSIDE YOUR MIND.

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    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    We may not have a problem with spammy backlinks (as they get dropped pretty quickly) but the forum is filled with "thanks for the info" posts

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    We may not have a problem with spammy backlinks (as they get dropped pretty quickly) but the forum is filled with "thanks for the info" posts
    Thanks for the info.
    TAKE A WALK OUTSIDE YOUR MIND.

  6. #6
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    forums and blogs should also do some initiative since its also for their own good..

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAWK View Post
    That's great news. It'll be interesting to see how they deal with the reports though. .
    There are lots of ways to hide paid links from Google. My guess is that they'll use all the reports outing sites that do it (and there will be many.....) to improve the algo's ability to spot paid link profiles. I think it's more of an information gathering exercise than the actual effort to combat paid links, that will come later when they've digested all the reports.
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
    ImgWebDesign - Web design in Buxton, High Peak, Derbyshire UK.

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    I've always been confused about something regarding this issue - what's the difference between someone paying you to advertise on your site, or paying for a link? I've done occasional advertising but have never engaged in paying for a link or accepting money just to post a link to someone's site.

    And how could anyone know if a link on a site was paid for or put there by the site owner? Perhaps I've missed a crucial, yet simple point somewhere along the way??

    Forgive me if I sound ignorant, but this has confused me for some time and I've been working so much it's time to catch up on things like this.

  9. #9
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by fitnfree View Post
    I've always been confused about something regarding this issue
    Me too...

    I recently had a client ask if it was worth paying for a link. The site offering to provide the link was relevant and on topic. A quick intake of breath from me, then I told them that search engines don't like paid links. Consequently, they decided not to go for the paid link. Ironically, the site went ahead an gave them a free link anyway. The link is actually listed in their advertisements section. At least they aren't paying for the privilege of being labeled as spammy.

    (maybe there's a niche for charging people not to link to them? :-)
    WebPie - Oxford and Beyond

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    Well it will be a more tricky , to find out paid links. But Spam links are easy to find out, specially Thanks or nice info they are just spam, some time spammers also put too much links in their comments specially in the Blogspot blogs. I had seen many spam links in the comment section specially in the blogspot.
    So its good news that now Google is taking this issue seriously and are going to deal with these Spam..

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by fitnfree View Post
    I've always been confused about something regarding this issue - what's the difference between someone paying you to advertise on your site, or paying for a link?
    Quote Originally Posted by harryzimm View Post
    Me too...

    I recently had a client ask if it was worth paying for a link. The site offering to provide the link was relevant and on topic. A quick intake of breath from me, then I told them that search engines don't like paid links.
    It's against Google ToS if you pay for a link that passess SEO benefits like PR. If it's just for human traffic that's ok but the link should be 'nofollowed'.
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
    ImgWebDesign - Web design in Buxton, High Peak, Derbyshire UK.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Member fwcsummers's Avatar
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    I get requests all the time from people who want to purchase links and I have many fellow bloggers (even the one who referred me to this site) who make their money with text links.

    But how does Google know they are paid? Are they just going to take wild stabs in the dark? That sounds pretty bad for PR.

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    I can tell you now, Google will never beat the spammers and the spammers will never beat Google.

    Google put a hurdle infront of the spammers, and the spammers find a way around it. Spamming blogs, as we all know, is a method to gain backlinks. There are 2 tools that spring to mind that do this very well.

    The spammers make a lot of money from their highly ranked sites. Once you cut their income, they work damn hard to find another way. A lot of the big earners are not silly.

    It's a never ending battle and it will never end.

    As long as Google have algorithms for giving authority and weight to web pages, spammers (or, we will call them Internet Marketers because 99% of them are) will always find a way around it.

  14. #14
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    What if you really mean to say thanks for the info to the one who posted the info? Will it be considered a spam?


    -------------------------

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    Google are stepping up their never ending battle to combat spammy links with an appeal from MC on his personal blog for people to report spammy sites. There are two issues here:

    1. Paid links are being targeted as a priority.. still.

    2. Sites, like forums and blogs, that allow spammy commenting like 'nice info, thanx' will be penalised for allowing Google's lovely index to be cluttered up with spammy backlinks.

    Google Calling for link spam reports Scroll down a bit to find the entry.
    Permalinks are great for archive purposes - instead of saying "scroll down a bit...". Here's the link to the blog post:
    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/callin...-spam-reports/

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by hannesaj View Post
    Permalinks are great for archive purposes - instead of saying "scroll down a bit...". Here's the link to the blog post:
    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/callin...-spam-reports/
    Yes, thanks. 'scroll down a bit' was a bit rubbish wasn't it.
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
    ImgWebDesign - Web design in Buxton, High Peak, Derbyshire UK.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dacoda View Post
    What if you really mean to say thanks for the info to the one who posted the info? Will it be considered a spam?
    it is considered fluff and it is against our forum guidelines

    ask yourself how someone would feel seeing that there has been an update to a particular thread they're interested in, only to find that the latest update was totally devoid of new information

    if you wish to thank someone, send a private message
    rudy.ca | @rudydotca
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  18. #18
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    In this area, I wear my "web user" hat.

    There are two ways I perceive "web spam": (i) when a good page gets contaminated with bad links, and (ii) when I do a web search and get a worthless page in the results. Both of these are forms of blight that make my life work.

    Many forms of spammy link contribute to problem (i), whereas, as far as problem (ii) is concerned, I'm more concerned about the quality of the page than I am about the quality of the links.

    Although some webmasters are "absentee landlords" and let people go crazy with XRumer on their forums, the majority of them hate type-I blight, and join with search engines to fight it.

    Paid links, however, are a different matter, because, given the chance to get seven years worth of Adsense income in one lump sum (and still get the Adsense income in the future!), many webmasters will leap at the chance. If paid links are placed wisely, it's difficult to detect them and even harder to "prove" conclusively.

    I think Google's war on paid links is unfortunately more about intimidation than it is about effective tactical action. I think some people will be dissuaded, but others will not.

    The real problem that I see isn't the bad links, but it's the lack of good links. Many of my friends believe that 'if you build they will come' applies to web sites -- they learn the hard way that it doesn't. Maybe it was different 15 years ago, but organic links don't come easily in 2010.

    "Quality" links are, definition, sites from people who have a lot more "juice" than you... Be that observable traffic or the elusive "Page Rank". There are what, 20 million web sites out there? Sure, most of them are a joke, but it starts getting tough to find sites "bigger than you" when you're in the top 200,000. You're still a "nobody" with a top-200,000 site, but you're still in the top 1%, so 99% of the sites out there aren't going to give you significant links.

    I don't envy anybody who analyzes link graphs for a living, because the power law character of link graphs makes the data noisy and capricious. Link graphs are a powerful method for resource discovery for resources that are in richly linked parts of the graph (Wikipedia is a great resource... duh!) but linkage information doesn't give Google good information about the quality of "ordinary" web sites.
    Last edited by ontology2; Mar 9, 2010 at 13:42. Reason: typo

  19. #19
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    ontology2, I think the good sites are there, their just heavily swamped under all the trash that's built up over the years. You would be surprised how many good quality sources I find as a result of using StumbleUpon (which get's content filtered by users giving it the thumbs up / thumbs down / report as spam). Of course it's getting hit with more and more junk which is affecting the service, but I've found some really good sourced material there.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    ontology2, I think the good sites are there, their just heavily swamped under all the trash that's built up over the years. You would be surprised how many good quality sources I find as a result of using StumbleUpon (which get's content filtered by users giving it the thumbs up / thumbs down / report as spam). Of course it's getting hit with more and more junk which is affecting the service, but I've found some really good sourced material there.
    I create product review sites, the content on the site is genuine, with neutral reviews based on what other people thought of the product.

    The content on the site is not spam at all, and I sit at the #1 spot for a lot of products, in most cases I sit above the vendor when the product is searched.

    I also use wordpress sites, high PR article sites with authority, and social bookmarking sites to get backlinks.

    I've now opted to manually reply to blog articles with a response that is relevant to the content. And I only post on blogs that are related in some way to the review site I am promoting. As for bookmarking and article writing I use software to manage the submitting and bookmarking.

    But does this make me a spammer? My review sites often have more information than the vendor and amazon. So people find the content useful. The only advertisement I place on the site is adsense. But this works for everyone because the user finds the product they want and the advertiser makes a sale.

    Still, the question remains. My site is there for my to make cash, that's the only reason why I publish these sites. Am a spammer? Or an internet marketer in the supplying the content what the user demands?

  21. #21
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Don't get me wrong, it's a sticky situation but review sites do have a reputation these days for having paid reviews, bad blood being passed around (etc) - not that I'm implying that you are guilty of it, though I do wonder how you can actually prove that none of the reviews were financed or falsely attributed - especially as review sites are entirely subjective and unless you meet and know the background of every person who reviews, it's next to impossible... don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you are a spammer but having a website which makes cash and helps others make cash through referrals (link or word of mouth) does fit a definition of sorts.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    Don't get me wrong, it's a sticky situation but review sites do have a reputation these days for having paid reviews, bad blood being passed around (etc) - not that I'm implying that you are guilty of it, though I do wonder how you can actually prove that none of the reviews were financed or falsely attributed - especially as review sites are entirely subjective and unless you meet and know the background of every person who reviews, it's next to impossible... don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you are a spammer but having a website which makes cash and helps others make cash through referrals (link or word of mouth) does fit a definition of sorts.
    Well said.

    I suppose in a sense I am guilty for attributing to the poor comments on blogs and paid links. Not that I am intentionally doing anything "bad", but it's often a tough fight to increase SERPS especially when you have some seriously shady billion dollar companies using some black techniques to promote their product.

    I think it was Joel Comm that was guilty of selling link space on his high PR blog and I'm sure other top end marketers are guilty of it too.

    Not only that but long tails keyword marketing is becoming popular. It used to be the small fry that used long tail marketing, but now the big companies are using it as an additional means of traffic.

    But, I suppose it all boils down to the products are not mine, they own the TM, so why should I piggy back and make cash from them by outdoing them in the search engines. On the opposite side of the fence would they refuse the sales I am driving in ... doubt it.

    Sorry if I swayed off topic, lets keep it back to the point.

  23. #23
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    Lightbulb

    Hi there, I host my own WordPress blog and receive many spam comments (thankfully all blocked by Akismet) which contain several spam links each. I'd be more than happy to use a plug-in (if one existed) to automatically submit the spam URL's to Google (and others) in the fight against spam.

  24. #24
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    Wow, lots of helpful comments, thanks everyone. So it's more those spam garbage posts ppl make on blogs. Grief, how annoying those are! That's something that would be wonderful to see take a hit but I'm afraid cascadingstylez was spot on in saying, "It's a never ending battle and it will never end."

    Sure must keep a lot of ppl busy though... (sigh)

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    @AlexDawson,

    You're right to point out that social media sites are playing an increasing role in discovery online. However social media is better at evaluating some types of content (blog posts, photos of kittens) and worse at evaluating other types of content, i.e., product reviews.

    So far as right and wrong, there are a lot of shades of gray. In some cases, a link is an appropriate reply to a blog post or a forum thread. If you take the time to write a good and thoughtful piece of content, isn't it fair to get a link in return? On the other hand, it's not hard to find abandoned forums and wikis that are loaded up with complete garbage.

    Contentwise, product reviews are an area where there's a wide range between content that's super-useful and stuff that's the worst junk. When I buy things, I like to do my research, so I love good product reviews... I want to find them very badly. On the other hand, we all know there's k-rap out there... As a visitor, I care about the quality of the site more than I care about what they did to promote it.


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