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View Poll Results: Should we Report Spam at SEW?
Yes: I think we should report Spam at SEW - it wont do any harm 2 7.69%
No: It will ultimately harm the forums - I dont like it. 17 65.38%
What? - who where an why? 7 26.92%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-14-2004   #1
Nick W
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Reporting "Spammers" at SEW

I like this place, Ive begun to call it home but, there is somthing really bothering me of late, and it really does worry me: Is it acceptable to the moderators and admins for people to report their competitors here at SEW?

It appears so, and that worries me. Once SEW becomes known as a place to shop the competition, i fear a downward spiral in the quality of information, sharing and community that is being built here.

Does the posting of "spammy" competitor sites here at SEW worry you?

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Old 10-14-2004   #2
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I think it is better to report the actual "technique" or "offense" as opposed to naming names. That way it remains a subject that all can get involved in as far as discussion goes rather than pointing the finger at a specific company or site. For example, they are using the <div> tag to hide text or they are using a frameset to hide a doorway page ... that kind of thing.

That is my opinion anyway on the matter.
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Old 10-14-2004   #3
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NO.
It is a nasty practice, and should be highly discouraged.

I have no issue with talking "technique" or "offense", but those "LOOK AT WHAT THIS SITE IS DOING!" type posts are terrible for an SEO community.
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Old 10-14-2004   #4
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If the purpose is to just point fingers at something you don't like then I don't think it's appropriate but in many other situations I do indeed think it serves a good purpose to show examples - for example, when someone posted a clear example of how MSN is cloaking to illulstrate that sites like that will most likely not get whiped out. It's difficult to make that argument unless you show the site.
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Old 10-14-2004   #5
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The problem with that though Mikkel is that by that definition, you allow people to report spam here at SEW - There is no way to prove intent if you dress it up a a "question"...

Under the present (non existent) policy on this, i could find a competitor of mine and post here, knowing full well that industry reps and engineers read here, an "example" of what I "consider" SE Spam.

I would be reporting spam at SEW.

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Old 10-14-2004   #6
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reporting spam is what the saerch engines provide feedback links for - hit my rep ->

Thing is, most (if not all) search engines provide a way for *users* to give feedback.

And most of the time some wanker (optimizer) posts about somebody spamming, it's because they can't figure out how to optimize better than the other person.

Just the other day, I was reading some post about a few keyword searches in Google that looked spammy / and was wondering, why would you post about that, unless you couldn't compete? Eg, you wouldn't expose your own keyword / site to the scrutiny of the masses (generally) and the practice, while I could care less if people do it, should be discouraged in a forum for discussion of making our own businesses better which seems to me far more positive than trying to figure out how to take out somebody else's business.
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Old 10-14-2004   #7
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There are plenty of forums around that have a very restricted policy on linking. Personally I enjoy that we here at SEWF allow more linking and I am not about to change my feelings about that - even if a few spammers might feel insulted.

As most of you know, I have done my part of just about any kind of SEO and I strongly believe that if you are not man enough to stand up to what you do you should not do it!

I always worked from the standpoint that every single website I do will sooner or later be reported by someone to the engines so I better make sure that when it happens I either get away with what I do or have a good back-up strategy. I don't think the risk of getting penalised goes up very much by having the site appear here at SEWF.

Nick, Littleman - I really thought you guys had more confidence
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Old 10-14-2004   #8
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Heh, Mikkel, you caught me in some hypocrisy.

(my shaky attempt at justification)
I guess it is different when it is MS, after all they are a huge owner of a major portal.
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Old 10-14-2004   #9
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I think we raised this in a moderator discussion recently, with the idea that we might be adding something to the FAQ that the forums are not intended as a replacement for reporting spam directly to search engines. I think that may be in the works to put up.

Ultimately, it leaves it to the moderators' discretion as to whether something is being posted to honestly help everyone or instead just to do try and raise awareness of a particular situation.

We've got a fairly liberal link policy, and we really want to preserve that. I also don't think we've had a ton of obvious "is this spam" type of threads happening for ulterior motives. Yes, I know some has happened -- but I don't think it's been rampant.

If anyone feels something is being done in this manner, certainly PM a moderator. It's something we can watch more closely, if need be.
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Old 10-14-2004   #10
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Gawd Mikkel, Great posts!! Kudos to you.

I certainly agree; If a site wants to take risks, then they have to assume the responsibility that comes with those risks.

And yes, in case others in this thread may not be aware; I disagree with the original posters premise of this thread in every way. Be man or woman enough to accept that some websites go against stated guidelines and live with it, or quit doing whatever it is the site has to look over their shoulder about and be worried about. It's "very" tough to discuss a technique without actually seeing what the heck you are writing about.
 
Old 10-14-2004   #11
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I kinda like it, helps me pick out the wussies.
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Old 10-14-2004   #12
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open-ended

open-ended questions are better, IMO. Although I was accused of attacking a "competitor" in here in the past simply for questioning a method. I do not think that naming names is any good, unless of course it's a company that is doing serious harm to the industry. It would hurt the forum, IMO, if this became a place to simply trash people for spamming.
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Old 10-14-2004   #13
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I'm in the discuss the technique camp.

I feel a little uncomfortable with the idea of sticking people in the stocks and throwing rotten tomatoes at them.

If people find stuff and want to report it, then that is their perogative too.

I'd say that by discussing the techniques that everybody wins. SE engineers looking to improve algos, people looking to learn how to spam , people looking to learn how to identify spam etc etc. If you haven't the technical know how to understand whatever technique is being discussed, then I say tough titty. A discussion of the technique at hand would be your opportunity to learn.

Lets face it, very, very, little is new under this particular sun. Its hardly as if that by discussing the technique, some kind of satanic hidden book of SE secret rituals is being unearthed.

I find it a little ironic that people can learn how to spam google, by searching on...yep! Google! How funny

Last edited by robwatts : 10-14-2004 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 10-14-2004   #14
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>>discussing the technique

Absolutely. I love to read about this stuff, none of it is ever particularly "new" to me but i do like to have an informed discussion on *all* opt. techniques. BH/WH - i just dont care, i love this kind of discussion.

I draw the line at posting "examples" though (unless its a large corporate entity like M$ or similar...)

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Old 10-14-2004   #15
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Wouldn’t want this place to go the way of other forums.

Remember when someone noticed google linking to a site for mac users which was full of paid links? – that post lasted about 10 minutes before being deleted on a private section of a well known forum. All i wanted to do was place a bet on how long it would last –no fun!
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Old 10-14-2004   #16
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Quote:
It would hurt the forum, IMO, if this became a place to simply trash people for spamming.
I don't think anyone want the forum to be filled with flaming posts and as Danny pointed out: If you see such postings please PM the moderator so we can remove it. However, it's a case by case situation that I don't think could be defined by simple rules. What should they be?: "Don't link to spammy sites"? or "Don't link to competitors - or their clients"? I don't think thats realistic. So, as long as we have a liberal linking policy here, one that I agree on, I don't think we can or should avoid links to bad sites too - as long as they come in the right context.


Quote:
If you haven't the technical know how to understand whatever technique is being discussed, then I say tough titty.
I very much disagree with that. Search Engine Watch Forums are not just for the elite but for people that want to give - as well as learn. Many people here do not have great programming skills (but many other skills) and I do in fact find it to be a very important mission to teach them more about how things work.

In my experience you get the best results with SEO if you can have your team of both technical and non-technical people work together and that requires that there are some degree of understanding of the techniques each group uses between them.
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Old 10-15-2004   #17
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...then I say tough titty. A discussion of the technique at hand would be your opportunity to learn.
Mikkel

If I'd used the sentence you quoted in isolation then I'd agree with the latter part of your post 100%.

As for the need to show urls. If techniques and methods are discussed, then that would not exclude interested parties from enquiring or seeking clarification.
If people are desperate to know or to see the technique in action then there is always the "PM me for the url approach"
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Old 10-15-2004   #18
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IMHO a lot can depend on the reasons for posting links. At times it's important to see sites involved to explain a concept enough so it can be understood by those reading. That is legitimate imho, and is one of the reasons SEF was instrumental for me learning SEO in my early days.

But that is not always the case - there can be cases where links are posted for the express purpose of "reporting spam" and that's something I'm diametrically opposed to. There's a difference between the two; a *big* difference.

Quote:
don't think anyone want the forum to be filled with flaming posts and as Danny pointed out: If you see such postings please PM the moderator so we can remove it.
I can personally testify to that. One time I came across a post here and someplace else as well that without a doubt was done with the sole intention of outing a competitor, and was of absolutely no value to anyone. And in actual fact, it was not *spam* at all!

I reported it here and at the other site as well, and the posts were removed both here and there.

Quote:
Remember when someone noticed google linking to a site for mac users which was full of paid links? – that post lasted about 10 minutes before being deleted on a private section of a well known forum. All i wanted to do was place a bet on how long it would last –no fun!
If it's the one I remember, I was the one that pulled that particular post. And it was 3 sites - not one.

It wasn't spam, either; it's everyday, common practice and those were top-notch quality sites. It was just some jerk trying to get away with what they full well knew violated and was contrary to the TOS they *agreed to* as a condition of membership when they signed up, when they thought no one was around. Little did they know that some people never sleep.

Last edited by Marcia : 10-15-2004 at 05:23 AM.
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Old 10-15-2004   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcia
If it's the one I remember, I was the one that pulled that particular post. And it was 3 sites - not one.

It wasn't spam, either, it's everyday common practice. It was just some jerk tryng to get away with what they knew violated and was contrary to TOS when they thouight no one was around. Little did they know that some people never sleep.
I don’t recall there being 3 sites, was a PR9 site linked to from google FAQ to help mac users. Nothing that existing, but was talked about on most forums –mostly PR9 envy. Just a post i remember being deleted when most would of been happy to talk about it.

Post got several replies quite quickly, but was deleted because? No less quality than current thread like “If I were Google....” and “Conference Dress Code“, link could of been removed if was just the link. Newb posts that are supposed to be kept out of the private section happen all the time so doubt that was it. Seemed like people were afraid of up setting GoogleGuy more than anything.
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Old 10-15-2004   #20
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Re: msg #19

Please do not misinterpret the intentions, but with all due respect, the entirety of that post is, for lack of a better word, sheer balderdash.

Furthermore, if anyone has a personal problem with how anything is done at another forum, the appropriate and professional thing to do is to take it up with the management of the other forum.

Last edited by Marcia : 10-15-2004 at 07:18 AM.
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