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Asking for Specific Help & URL Posting

If you are having a specific problem with your own website, please try to outline the issue with as much general information as possible, rather than including specific keywords or the URL. Members are encouraged to use the Private Messaging system to discuss specifics and share examples.

WARNING - When posting for advice on an issue specific to your own website, be aware that if you choose to link to your own website/company name within a post as an example, your site URL/company name may appear within Search Engine Results when a user searches for it. By virtue of your own description of any corresponding SEO related problems your site has, it may create a negative impact on your SEO campaign. We accept NO RESPONSIBILITY should this unintended result occur.

The best option is to only include your URL as part of your member profile, under the homepage field.

Public Spam Reporting Policy
Spam Reporting DO NOT use the forums as a method of reporting spam to the search engines. If you wish to report spam, do so directly to the search engines through general feedback forms or via special pages some offer. Forms for some major search engines are:

* Ask Jeeves Customer Service
* Google Spam Report Form
* MSN Search Feedback Form
* Yahoo Spam Report Form

We do not want the forums used as a public spam reporting tool for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, that's not their main purpose. If we allow spam reporting, the forums could quickly be overrun with these type of posts. In addition, some members are uncomfortable with the idea that anyone might be "outed" in a public manner. To some degree, the forums are a neutral ground where search marketers across the spectrum of tactics that are followed can discuss search. Allowing spam reporting hurts the common ground we wish to offer here.

We do allow discussions of search engine spam in general, such as whether particular tactics or content might be considered spam. In these discussions, we do not allow linking to a particular page or a particular search query to be used as examples in the discussion.

For example, you might see something on a page and wonder if it is spam. DO NOT link to the page itself and ask something like, "Is this spam?" Instead, describe what you have seen on the page within the forum thread in a way that doesn't identify the exact page but does describe the issue you are concerned with.

Similarly, don't ask about specific search queries, as they related to spam. For example, someone might ask, "I searched for 'blue moon shoes' and all the sites look like spam. Is this the case?" Don't do this. As above, describe generally the situation you see in a way that doesn't list the actual query.

In very rare occasions, we may make exceptions to the "don't name a site" and "don't name a query" rule, as they report to spam discussions. In some cases, it can be helpful to see a specific site or query as part of the discussion. If you feel a specific example is warranted, contact a moderator for clearance before this will be allowed. If the moderators agree that something is absolutely essential to be shown, they'll allow a link or an example to be posted with a note that it has been approved. These will be determined on a case by case basis by the forum staff.

When RARE exceptions do occur, these are more likely in cases involving popular or well-known web sites or instances where a spam situation has been discussed in a variety of news venues.

For example, if someone were to point at something on Amazon that seemed like spam, we might allow this to be named given the stature of the site. The site is so important that discussion of any spam issue, if it proved true, would almost certainly not get the site banned on a major search engine (and for the record, this is an example only -- we're not saying there's a problem with Amazon and spam!).

Similarly, if someone were to ask a spam situation that's reached the popular press -- as with the WhenU case in early 2004 -- sites and examples can be named there. In such cases, you needn't seem moderator approval. But be absolutely sure you feel there is already ample coverage of this if you post. If in doubt, ask a moderator first!

In other discussions on the forums, such as about search quality, relevancy issues and other non-spam topics, the forums general rule that you may link to items as appropriate remains. If you feel it makes sense to link to a page or show an actual search request, you may do so.

DO NOT try to take advantage of this liberalism to do a "hidden" spam report. If the moderators feel something is being posted primarily to focus attention on a site to get it removed from the search engines, the thread will be pulled.

Members are asked to help us in protecting our liberal linking and no spam reporting policy. If you see someone violating the no spam reporting rule, or if you feel someone is trying to do a hidden spam report, please report the post using the Report Bad Post feature located on the upper right hand corner of every post box.

That will send a message out to active moderators who will review the post. Sometimes this will take only minutes. On weekends, when the forums are generally slower, it might take up to a few hours, though we will try to be much faster than this. But the action sent will be attended to.

DO NOT attack someone in a thread that you think is doing a spam report.

Posting to that thread only lets it "live" longer, for one, and possibly be seen by more people. In contrast, reporting the post means the thread won't bump up as recently updated, helping prevent people from noticing it.

The main reason is that such attacks are not helpful to the community as a whole. In particular, this forum has a number of first time posters or those interested in searching issues, rather than search marketing issues, who may be participating. If they make a mistake, it's best that the moderators correct that privately.

Self-Promotion & Gratuitous Link Dropping
We encourage links to outside resources and example sites for the purpose of productive discussion. However, we will actively remove links that we determine are intended primarily for the purpose of self-promotion or spam. Should you believe a link is dropped solely for self-promotion or spam purposes, please private message (PM) the forum moderator or use the report a post feature.. Please do NOT post such concerns in the thread itself.

Talking about your own product, website, service or article is permissable IF it is relevant to a discussion that has already started, participate as appropriate. Be forthright and let people know any relevant connections. You will get more respect from the community by doing this. Members posting only for the sake of self promotion will be edited as necessary. Please note that we have a specific forum for soft launch and beta test announcements.

Please refrain from repeatedly promoting your own product, site or service within posts. Doing so will result in formal warnings and editorial actions by forum staff.