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Old 10-06-2004   #1
littleman
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Ethics on Spam Reporting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elisabeth
Read my post again, littleman.

I have nothing but the utmost respect for those who outsmart, outwit and outplay. To me, those with the technical skill & knowledge to make something work well deserves all the traffic they can get, without deceiving the client or the customer.

But don't insult my intelligence and make it too easy to uncover crappy-cloaking 101 and abuse my(my clients') brand name/trademark/intelliectual property. That to me is the perfect example of uninspired, unoriginal and unimaginative marketing.
from here:
http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...8&postcount=40

Okay, I am following RB's request and starting a new thread...

So Elisabeth, you only turn in competition which you deem to be dim witted?

I can see how that is a safer stratagy.
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Old 10-06-2004   #2
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ah... i didn't see RB's note about reporting spam needing a different thread... but it does, i suppose.

to clarify for you even further, I have not reported ANY site for SPAM in over a year, maybe two.

I'm just saying that if you can't do it well enough so that you don't get caught by an easy click of the cache page, then maybe, just maybe, you deserve to be called out.

but let me pose this question, why do the SE's provide people with a method of reporting if they didn't want people to do so?

i'm sorry, but i don't buy into the whole 'snitching is wrong' thing - whining about tattletales is pretty equivalent to the act of tattling in my book.
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Old 10-06-2004   #3
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>>i'm sorry, but i don't buy into the whole 'snitching is wrong' thing - whining about tattletales is pretty equivalent to the act of tattling in my book.

But it feels really good to emphatically say that I've never done either and I've been in the game since 1997. In contrast if I were on record as an informant will cause a subtle dark spot in people's mind, one which will inevitably cause people to hold back in dialog and be suspicious -- which in turn will ultimately hurt your own knowledge base.
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Old 10-06-2004   #4
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but let me pose this question, why do the SE's provide people with a method of reporting if they didn't want people to do so?
And allow me to answer: The SE's cannot, i repeat, cannot control their own algorithms. They must blame somebody for poor quality SERPS - they sure as hell wont be taking responsibility themselves.

In the current immature, technology retarded search environment I cant envision a system where it wont be easy for those with a little determination to if not crack the algo, at least understand the basic princiiples of the algo and manipulate it. It's a fundamental flaw the way SE's currently work.

So, what should the SE's do about it?

Well, they cant admit that they're not in control of their own websites now can they? So, we move down the road of blame allocation and culpability evasion. And what better way to do that eh?

You set up a form on your website. Not a form for complaining about bad quality results, that one's at the bottom on every SERPS page. One set up specifically for one webmaster to report another webmaster.

Turning webmaster against webmaster, encouraging and promoting a "witch hunt" like atmosphere amongst site builders provides them with a situation where they can not only dodge blame for their own poor results, but can justify it by pointing a finger at a group of people (and it dont matter what damn color hat you're wearing) that are already warring amongst themselves on the very same topic.

Have you ever seen one of Matt Cutt's "please report spam" posts over at webmasterworld? - the mans a genius. He posts somting like "if anyone is seeing this kind of thing, please fill in the spam report form" then hangs around for an hour or so personally telling webmasters that he's got their submssion and thanking them for helping. Outstanding

Im not certain they ever envisioned the whole "white knight of SEO" silliness some base their entire business models on but they must be laughing their nuts off. It's a killer plan, and shows no sign of slowing down or petering out.

Nick
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Old 10-06-2004   #5
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What annoys me most is webmasters who report spam as a business tactic (would they report cloaking etc on a site ranking below them?) but then try to dress it up as an altruistic attempt to improve the web for everybody.

If you're reporting shady tactics so you get a better listing, then be honest with yourself and everybody else. I for one would have a bit more respect for you. Not much, but a bit more.

And don't get upset when an algo shift knocks out your 'clean' site as collatoral damage. SEs only care about the quality of their results and how effectively they can monetise them, and don't give a stuff about you as an individual. And if you try to get sites knocked out so you can rank better, neither do I.
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Old 10-06-2004   #6
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To me "spam" doesn't need reporting. All things considered, "spam" is a short-cut and if people use a short for too long they get a trench right to their door step.

I practice spam tactics to save time, to get the ball rolling but I doubt you will ever see it and even if you did, by the time you wrote a spam report and Google investigated there is nothing there and now the reporter is "what" -- discredited?

I play the game - and the game is: "time is money".

A software company can put out a new version of software with a known bug but the delay to fix would cost millions... so they put the product out, start making revenue, fix the bug, put out a patch and the next version run gets the hard coded fix.

In the software world - this is a spam practice - and not any more illegal than search engine spam... there is a time and place for everything.

Google itself plays the game - and the game is: "time is money". If they waited until they fixed all their volunerabilities they'd be Altavista.

Same - same.
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Old 10-06-2004   #7
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Quote:
Google itself plays the game - and the game is: "time is money". If they waited until they fixed all their volunerabilities they'd be Altavista.
fathom, i've said it before, and ill say it again, your a true star.

What really both cracks me up and at the same time really annoys me is that whilst some smug do-gooder is reporting some competitor for "cheating" (yeah right, as if it's a game LoL!) they're doing exactly the same thing themselves.

Possibly not to the degree of the victim of such an attack but, without a doubt doing things the SE's would much rather they not do.

In the end, filling in a spam report is just a petty, malicious, self serving justification for not being up to the job at hand. Stop whining and get on with it... besides as fathom said, it doesnt do any good anyway for the most part.

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Old 10-06-2004   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick W
In the end, filling in a spam report is just a petty, malicious, self serving justification for not being up to the job at hand. Stop whining and get on with it... besides as fathom said, it doesnt do any good anyway for the most part.

Nick
I wouldn't say petty - they do serve a purpose... allows Google to get free "tips" on how to improve rather than wasting money on customer surveys.

Their budget is pretty tight - you know!
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Old 10-06-2004   #9
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This is business. Reporting spam is something I have never personally done yet. But I can see it being done all the time and it is.

There are all types of highly unethical things that businesses do to each other. Some are more unethical then others.

How far are you willing to step over that gray line?
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Old 10-06-2004   #10
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>>This is business

Yes, and therein lies the point of what I said earlier regarding Googles motives and what fathom said after me.

I spent 10/12yrs in a higly competitive, cut-throat industry before I even owned a PC so I can to a large extent understand the policy of "what hurts him might help me" but, and it's a big but: Most of the whiney spam reporting types are dressing up what they do for personal gain as some kind of bizzarre self appointed crusade to "save the public", or even sillier, to "save google" from SPAM.

That's at best naieve and at worst downright stupid.

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Old 10-06-2004   #11
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What the many viewers can get out of "this thread":

Don't SPAM.

Don't run the risk.

Amazing stuff.

If you are "cheating", I could care less what market you are in. I could care less who you are. If I see a site up there and they are clearly spamming, and if I have the time, I report it. That said, it's been about 6 months since my last report. But let me tell you all something; if your site is ahead of "my" client's site in the serps, and you are clearly spamming, and it's clear to me that is exactly why you are there; then trust me; I will report your site at every turn. Make no mistake about it, okay? I think you know by now I'm a man of my word, and I don't mix words to often. You know where I stand on the issue of spam.

It's threads like this that are amazing to me. Notice that the other side of this debate stays out of it? I can't stay out of it. I can't let this type thing slide by.
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Old 10-06-2004   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick W
>>This is business

Yes, and therein lies the point of what I said earlier regarding Googles motives and what fathom said after me.

I spent 10/12yrs in a higly competitive, cut-throat industry before I even owned a PC so I can to a large extent understand the policy of "what hurts him might help me" but, and it's a big but: Most of the whiney spam reporting types are dressing up what they do for personal gain as some kind of bizzarre self appointed crusade to "save the public", or even sillier, to "save google" from SPAM.
At the end of the day if the bulk of your seo campaign is spam reporting then you are truely missing many big concepts.

sure you can report spam, but usually it is not going to do much good. make your site. make it better than the competition. build more links into it.
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Old 10-06-2004   #13
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I have only reported spam a few times and when I did, it was always pretty blatant spam and not the typical "he's beating me so he must be spamming."

One time it involved someone who was completely hogging the first couple of pages of SERPs with multiple domains. You conduct a search and they would have 16 different sites listed, all the same company but slightly different designs. That is just plain old greedy IMO. I was not only competing with one company but one company that was hogging the SERPs with mirror sites.

Other than those type of scenarios, there is just way too much spam to waste any precious time reporting all of it.

Note: Let's keep this thread on topic. There have been a few off topic posts and personal attacks that have already been deleted. Thanks!

Last edited by David Wallace : 10-06-2004 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 10-06-2004   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ihelpyou
What the many viewers can get out of "this thread":

Don't SPAM.

Don't run the risk.

Amazing stuff.

If you are "cheating", I could care less what market you are in. I could care less who you are. If I see a site up there and they are clearly spamming, and if I have the time, I report it. That said, it's been about 6 months since my last report. But let me tell you all something; if your site is ahead of "my" client's site in the serps, and you are clearly spamming, and it's clear to me that is exactly why you are there; then trust me; I will report your site at every turn. Make no mistake about it, okay? I think you know by now I'm a man of my word, and I don't mix words to often. You know where I stand on the issue of spam.

It's threads like this that are amazing to me. Notice that the other side of this debate stays out of it? I can't stay out of it. I can't let this type thing slide by.
I applause the morality, and thank god these hardcore activists are around.

They serve me well - I don't need to even look for spam to know that others are hard at work doing their job so I can be productive at mine.
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Old 10-06-2004   #15
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Thread Title: Ethics on Spam Reporting

<sticks tongue firmly in cheek>

But what does ethics have to do with SEO? I should be able to do anything that gets my client to the top, and if that means cloaking or telling on cloakers then as long as I tell my client about it then it's an acceptable business practice...

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Old 10-06-2004   #16
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Tongue in cheek or not, that's a far better way of looking at it. I have a lot of respect for anyone that'll knobble a competitor but NOT dress it up as some kind of public service...

You gonna get a big green kiss for that... <oops looks like i gotta spread some around first lol!>

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Old 10-06-2004   #17
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I never bothered reporting spam no matter how bad.

Until the engines improve their algo’s, isn’t it waste of time?
Surely a serious spammer will just start again and be back where they were before.
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Old 10-06-2004   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seohelp
I never bothered reporting spam no matter how bad.

Until the engines improve their algo’s, isn’t it waste of time?
Surely a serious spammer will just start again and be back where they were before.
It is a strange debate - look at the logical

I can write an original page of content and add to my site but can't add it a second time with a few word changes (noting "keywords" changes) as this is spam.

Yet on the other hand - I can post at a forum the exact identical post (an asked question) that had been ask 100 times before - and that's ok because it is not spam.

I can't set up 50 mirror websites with the same content to gain an advantage because it is spam.

But I can write tons of articles and post them on 50 repositiories to gain an advantage - and that's ok because it is not spam.

I can't show something to a browser that is different to a bot as this is spam.
... but showing differently to different browsers is ok because the bot is blind to visible appeal and that's ok because it is not spam. (it doesn't matter if the visitor get's something unledgible though)

Needless to say, it's a suggestive topic and if:

1. you don't spam - great

2. you do spam - great

3. you don't report - great

4. you do report - great

Clients pay for what you tell them they're paying for... and if in your contract you spell out that they pay you to seek out spam and destroy it - who am I to argue with them! It's their right!

Last edited by fathom : 10-06-2004 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 10-06-2004   #19
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Ahh the Great Debate Again

Spam reporting exists - there is nothing you can do about it. It is now part of the SEO toolkit.

(A nasty trojan horse placed in the toolkit by the SEs but there none the less.)

And like every other invention of mankind some will consider its use acceptable others not.
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Old 10-06-2004   #20
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SEO without spam reporting is a race.
SEO with spam reporting is a crash derby.
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