Search Engine Watch
SEO News

Go Back   Search Engine Watch Forums > Search Engine Marketing Strategies > Search Engine Optimization
FAQ Members List Calendar Forum Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-27-2004   #1
searchengineblog.com
There's an anti. Let's up it.
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Above my reputation
Posts: 62
searchengineblog.com has a spectacular aura aboutsearchengineblog.com has a spectacular aura about
MODERATOR NOTE: This new thread was split off from when is a page "spam"

Albert Einstein said "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler". I wonder why some people desire an over-simplistic definition of spam? Anyone would think they had built their business cases around it

Consider the fact that there have been thousands of threads like this and everyone continues to hold differing opinions as to what spam is or is not. This, in itself, should tell us that the term "spam" is unlikely to ever have a singular, objective definition.

The only definition that may affect your business is the definition made by a search engine. That does not therefore mean that the most popular search engine at any given moment has the authority to define the term outside their borders. Given that the search engines choose to keep their working definitions to themselves, that leaves us to speculate at where the edges lay for that particular engine. That is probably as good as it is ever going to get. What SEO X thinks is spam is no more relevant to me than what my cat thinks is spam. She thinks it's the tasty stuff in the tin.

BTW: Please stop the "if you don't agree with me, then you're a spammer" line. That demonization is transparently self-serving and contributes nothing to the debate.

Last edited by dannysullivan : 08-31-2004 at 12:38 PM. Reason: Added link to original thread
searchengineblog.com is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2004   #2
seobook
I'm blogging this
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: we are Penn State!
Posts: 1,943
seobook is a name known to allseobook is a name known to allseobook is a name known to allseobook is a name known to allseobook is a name known to allseobook is a name known to all
If I could pass more reputation to ya searchengineblog I totally would...great post
__________________
The SEO Book
seobook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2004   #3
4eyes
Quit - its just not worth the bother anymore
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 64
4eyes will become famous soon enough4eyes will become famous soon enough
What is spam?

There are always some people like to redefine words to suit their own aims.

Go to google and type in "define:spam"

Nice long list of definitions there - can't see much that fits the 'breaking search engine guidelines' meaning.

Anyone striving to create their own definition and apply it to the world might be better off creating a new word of their own rather than fight against the tide.

It doesn't matter how 'clever' or 'respected' you may be, if you can't persuade the majority that your definition is better than theirs, you lose.

Create a new word of your own, it would save you a lot of stress in the long run.
4eyes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2004   #4
Nick W
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 593
Nick W is a jewel in the roughNick W is a jewel in the roughNick W is a jewel in the roughNick W is a jewel in the rough
Quote:
BTW: Please stop the "if you don't agree with me, then you're a spammer" line. That demonization is transparently self-serving and contributes nothing to the debate.
Man, i'd give u some rep for that 2 but i cant great post, great point!

Nick
Nick W is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2004   #5
Elisabeth
 
Elisabeth's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: the wasatch front
Posts: 987
Elisabeth is a splendid one to beholdElisabeth is a splendid one to beholdElisabeth is a splendid one to beholdElisabeth is a splendid one to beholdElisabeth is a splendid one to beholdElisabeth is a splendid one to beholdElisabeth is a splendid one to beholdElisabeth is a splendid one to behold
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4eyes
There are always some people like to redefine words to suit their own aims.

Go to google and type in "define:spam"

Nice long list of definitions there - can't see much that fits the 'breaking search engine guidelines' meaning.

Anyone striving to create their own definition and apply it to the world might be better off creating a new word of their own rather than fight against the tide.

It doesn't matter how 'clever' or 'respected' you may be, if you can't persuade the majority that your definition is better than theirs, you lose.

Create a new word of your own, it would save you a lot of stress in the long run.
excellent points, 4eyes, and certainly along the reasoning of bakedjake's recent posts at WMW - http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum10/6467.htm - where it's also pointed out how the term spam is becoming overused and not in the best interest of our industry as a whole.

I fully support the idea of low-medium-high risk SEO/SEM, it's all a matter of varying degrees unless the SE's post crystal clear, consisent guidelines & SERPs that follow. until they take the lead and TRULY define the practices of the industry on their end, there isn't word anyone can say in either camp as fact arguing against the other side.

I'm half tempted to help start the movement and make "spam", "blackhat" and "whitehat" banned words here, since nothing will ever change in this debate as long as either side can't at least respect the other opinions, experiences and knowledge like mature professionals should respect their peers.

kind of scary that we're practically turning into political parties that way.
Elisabeth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2004   #6
WilliamC
Your Competitions Edge
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 178
WilliamC is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elisabeth
kind of scary that we're practically turning into political parties that way.
Seems more like a number of religious fanatics to me. You know, those types that just *have* to make you think the way they do.
WilliamC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2004   #7
Mikkel deMib Svendsen
 
Mikkel deMib Svendsen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Posts: 1,576
Mikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud of
Yes, it would make a lot of sense to find another word for "spam" when it comes to search engines. The way most normal people understand spam just dosen't match "search engine spam". Unlike e-mail spam and off-line spam we, as companies, are not nessecarily "pushing" our listings to the user. The user request and the search engine serve results. With most "normal" spam users never requested anything. All I see is either good results or bad results - and what I think is good may not allways be the same as you but I don't think it's spam. It's just bad results. Similar in a newspaprer I would not call bad articles spam, I would just call them "bad articles" (and maybe complain about the messed up journalist that wrote it) - and if there are too many I'll buy another newspaper.

I used to like Dannys "spamdexing" but it may be too academic for the masses
Mikkel deMib Svendsen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2004   #8
seobook
I'm blogging this
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: we are Penn State!
Posts: 1,943
seobook is a name known to allseobook is a name known to allseobook is a name known to allseobook is a name known to allseobook is a name known to allseobook is a name known to all
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikkel deMib Svendsen
Yes, it would make a lot of sense to find another word for "spam" when it comes to search engines. The way most normal people understand spam just dosen't match "search engine spam". Unlike e-mail spam and off-line spam we, as companies, are not nessecarily "pushing" our listings to the user. The user request and the search engine serve results. With most "normal" spam users never requested anything. All I see is either good results or bad results - and what I think is good may not allways be the same as you but I don't think it's spam. It's just bad results. Similar in a newspaprer I would not call bad articles spam, I would just call them "bad articles" (and maybe complain about the messed up journalist that wrote it) - and if there are too many I'll buy another newspaper.

I used to like Dannys "spamdexing" but it may be too academic for the masses
I have been reading / watching a small bit about politics and linguistics recently. Search engines really have that "broken algorithm" concept framed exceptionally well by tying it to the word spam.

Its hard to create something that will work well "for the masses" and still be able to reframe that concept without boiling it down to some good vs evil spam vs non spam type explaination.

How do you take what has been branded as search engine spam and reframe that issue without that negative connotation?

The first guy who figures out how to market that idea will stand to have a great position in the SEO community.
__________________
The SEO Book
seobook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2004   #9
Mikkel deMib Svendsen
 
Mikkel deMib Svendsen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Posts: 1,576
Mikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud of
Quote:
Search engines really have that "broken algorithm" concept framed exceptionally well by tying it to the word spam.
Yes, exactly and the question is who benifit from that? I don't think it's the users and I certainly don't think it's "us" (the SEOs). Look at this thread - we are all over each other about it. Yes, from a political/PR stand point of view search engines definately have done a good job moving a lot of the relevance discussion out of their headquaters where it really belongs. Smart. But, could it hit them back when they least expect it? Yes, definately!
Mikkel deMib Svendsen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2004   #10
seobook
I'm blogging this
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: we are Penn State!
Posts: 1,943
seobook is a name known to allseobook is a name known to allseobook is a name known to allseobook is a name known to allseobook is a name known to allseobook is a name known to all
I think the best way to reframe the issue and to help keep SEOs from jumping down each others throats is if everyone started renaming "search engine spam" as "broken algorithm"... it puts the fault where it belongs...and perhaps it could remove some of the negative stigma from the SEO community?

Why do we have hundreds of pages of threads trying to define "their problem"?

so long as we use descriptive phrases for seo techniques like:
extremely risky
conservative
moderately risky
dumb <-- not associated with any risk levels, just dumb & ineffective
smart <-- not associated with any risk levels, just smart & effective
risky
we have no reason to try to define spam.
__________________
The SEO Book
seobook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2004   #11
Mikkel deMib Svendsen
 
Mikkel deMib Svendsen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Posts: 1,576
Mikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud of
Quote:
so long as we use descriptive phrases for seo techniques like
I think that alone will give us plenty to discuss
Mikkel deMib Svendsen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2004   #12
Nick W
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 593
Nick W is a jewel in the roughNick W is a jewel in the roughNick W is a jewel in the roughNick W is a jewel in the rough
I'd certainly like to see a shift in the blame where bad algorithms are concerened. Good posts Mikkel/seobook, why dont we just start doing just that?

Nick
Nick W is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2004   #13
NFFC
"One wants to have, you know, a little class." DianeV
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 468
NFFC is a splendid one to beholdNFFC is a splendid one to beholdNFFC is a splendid one to beholdNFFC is a splendid one to beholdNFFC is a splendid one to beholdNFFC is a splendid one to behold
>I think that alone will give us plenty to discuss

<-------- walks away, lips pursed tight together
NFFC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2004   #14
searchengineblog.com
There's an anti. Let's up it.
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Above my reputation
Posts: 62
searchengineblog.com has a spectacular aura aboutsearchengineblog.com has a spectacular aura about
Quote:
Good posts Mikkel/seobook, why dont we just start doing just that?
Seconded. Own the frame
searchengineblog.com is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2004   #15
mcanerin
 
mcanerin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,564
mcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond repute
I could definately live with that - I'm a habitual categorizor (not that you could tell from my desk) and I've been trying to define spam for some time, with little success.

I'd be happy to see the term "search engine spam" disappear and be replaced with other descriptors, whether risk-based, compliance-based, or whatever.

As Mikkel alludes to, I think that would provide quite enough areas for discussion all by itself.

Additionally, when I tell a client that a particular technique is "spam" I almost always end up telling them why. It would save time and energy to skip straight to the "why" based explanation, not to mention help educating the client on risks associated with various techniques.

If that's the only thing that gets agreed to in this thread, I think it's been well worth it, amusing as it has been to listen to you [deleted] bunch of [deleted] [deleted] with a big helping of juicy [deleted] on top of it discuss it in such a [deleted] and [deleted] manner....

Ian
__________________
International SEO
mcanerin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2004   #16
DianeV
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 121
DianeV will become famous soon enough
Good one, Ian. In any case, it's clear that definitions in a vaccuum don't work well. What is "spam" to search engines may not be "spam" to searchers. Or to SEOs.
DianeV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2004   #17
I, Brian
Whitehat on...Whitehat off...Whitehat on...Whitehat off...
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Scotland
Posts: 940
I, Brian is a glorious beacon of lightI, Brian is a glorious beacon of lightI, Brian is a glorious beacon of lightI, Brian is a glorious beacon of lightI, Brian is a glorious beacon of light
How is risk factor determined, though?
I, Brian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2004   #18
Mikkel deMib Svendsen
 
Mikkel deMib Svendsen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Posts: 1,576
Mikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud ofMikkel deMib Svendsen has much to be proud of
I am not saying it will be much easier, but I hope it will be more usefull

To evaluate risk factors you have to look at experience - and my experience is probably not the same as yours.

Some risk factors may be easy to discuss, but others may turn out to be more difficult. For example cloaking, which can be very, very risky - especially in the hands of unexperienced people. But how do I make a valid argument that it dosen't have to be so risky if you do it right and "protect" yourself well enough when I di not want to share those details or show real examples? How can you prove you manage to hide something if you won't show it?

There will most likely be other advanced techniques where it can be difficult to get the facts on the table. I don't think people will share their deepest seecrets in a public forum.

So, how to we turn this into a valid evaluation discusion of risks without having the facts?
Mikkel deMib Svendsen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2004   #19
DianeV
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 121
DianeV will become famous soon enough
... you first?

Just kidding.
DianeV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2004   #20
mcanerin
 
mcanerin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,564
mcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond repute
Speaking first would be "risk"

Ok, I'll start. Probably the easiest would be to agree on the extremes - since in my experience most "discussion" revolves around the grey areas and boundries.

A starter list for discussion (feel free to change or edit)

SORTED MOST RISK TO LEAST
  1. Techniques that are automatically penalized without human intervention
  2. Techniques that are usually penalized when an SE finds out, and are relatively easy to spot.
  3. Techniques that are usually penalized when found, but hard to spot or prove
  4. Techniques that are legitimate normally, but considered spam when used excessively
  5. Techniques that are not usually penalized but make your site look stupid
  6. Techniques that attempt to manipulate but don't work and are ignored
  7. Techniques that are "blessed" by the search engines but not visible to visitors
  8. Techniques that are simply website design that do not consider SEs at all

I suspect there is enough in there to cause several arguments all by itself

Ian
__________________
International SEO
mcanerin is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off