Search Engine Watch
SEO News

Go Back   Search Engine Watch Forums > General Search Issues > SEM Related Organizations & Events
FAQ Members List Calendar Forum Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-01-2005   #1
rustybrick
 
rustybrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 2,810
rustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud of
What is Spam? - SES NYC 05

By the way, this is a smaller room and much more roomy.

Shari Thurow was up first, she is one of the biggest white hats out there. She quotes Tim Mayer from Yahoo! saying search engine spam are pages created deliberately to trick the search engine into offering inappropriate, redundant or poor quality search results. Questions to ask: Does the content benefit your target audience and site visitors? Who should you ask this to? Your target audience. Would I implement this optimization practice if the Web search engines did not exist? Am I building primarily for search engine positioning? Technology is not spam, but it can be used to spam (user intent). She lists 19 types of search engine spam: keywords unrelated to site, keyword staking, keyword stuffing, hidden text, tiny text, hidden links, link farms, page swapping, redirects, mirror content, doorway pages, cloaking, gibbirsh, domain spam, mini sites, typo spam, affiliate spam, forum/blog spam, and CSS spam. She then goes over some other types of hidden text spam; black on black, white on whiote, noframes, noscript, hidden layers. She explains that cloaking is not spam, but it can be used to spam and gives examples. Shari then tells us someone took her content, cloaked it and she caught them, because she is as technically savvy as the cloakers. She then showed examples of cloaked pages, some were cute and showed how some were banned from Google. She then showed a very legitimate looking page from a university, but as you dig more, there is a site map with link spam for misspellings. I call this type of spam, high-class spam. Shari's favorite quote from Google from the Web-master Guidelines, where she highlights the part about spammers looking for loopholes to exploit. She explains that we do not control the search results, we only the control of the content. She explains that white hats follow the guidelines and black hats do not. She warns that anyone "guaranteeing" search results, its something to worry about. She then shows a slide on where to report spam, Greg Boser is shaking his head in disappointment, too funny - there are threads on the ethics of reporting spam.

Tim Mayer from Yahoo! is next up. He asks how many in this room have been banned? Some raise their hands, including Mr. Boser. He then defines spam, yada yada . Spam is more about the INTENT with which you use a technique and the EXTENT to which you use a technique... If search engines did not exist, would you use a technique this way, then you need to worry a bit. When Yahoo! recognizes this, they will "treat" it, lol. Where is that fine line? He said the lines vary by industry. He is basically saying that he understands that in some industries you need to compete. So link spam is OK in some industries (I am putting words in his mouth here). Its important to look at the site as a whole, if you pop then you need to be careful. I am sure Greg Boser will explain this more later. He then shows some example of black text on black background, blog comment spam (50% of blogs are left to die), he showed hidden keywords in a div, he got a phone call and the person who called had tons of links at the bottom of his footer. He showed some types of doorway pages. He then showed affiliate spam, in the background is a real site, and on top of it is a cookie cutter content template and it floods the search listings (all redirecting to the same site).

Matt Cutts from Google to present next. He talks about how NY has real weather, great, he didn't bring a jacket. He explains what is not spam? He asked who can afford to have his entire portfolio of sites removed, I was the only one who raised his hand, I think. He followed that up with, DO NOT SPAM. He said half the battle is making sure your site can be crawled, he kinda drifts into white hat SEO...He then pulls up some quotes from the Google's Webmaster Guidelines page. He said most of this is supposed to be common sense. He then shows examples; first one is a cloaked page (but cheap cloaking because its visible in the Google cache). Then he pulled up a doorway page, really ugly looking page, with content filler and read it to us and it sounded funny but got a very small chuckle. Then he showed more advanced doorway pages, he showed good looking pages, and he showed how people use databases to replace keywords within the same context. They call this spam, "mad lib" spam - so it has a name. He said it is a lot of work, so just make real pages (my comments, its a lot less work in reality). He then shows guestbook spam, link exchanges done in the wrong way. He put up a slide: SPAM = Sites Positions Above Mine. White hat = optimized within guidelines. Black hat = optimized outside guidelines. High risk/low risk. Then puts up his slide on how to report spam. I think its important to note that Tim Mayer did not put up that slide for Yahoo!. feb05feedback@googlegroups.com is the new special way to report spam to Google for this conference. Google handles spam by indexing -> detection -> corrective action -> re-inclusion request -> then reindexed. In 2005 Google will be working hard to increase relevance and reduce spam. "Grandslam spammers" is a term used in Google for those who violated every spam method.

Greg Boser from WebGuerrilla will be sharing the "consequences of spam". He started off by saying, Good morning, I am Greg and I represent the spammers. He got an applause for that. He said it really bugs him that small companies are terrified by the engines and thus don't do anything and don't rank well. He said, most of the time it is not the case. There are industries (PPC - pills, porn, casinos) where spam is the only way to rank well. He does lots of white hats stuff, also works with the engines sometimes. He said he has sites banned and your not a real SEO until you have - Shari hasn't so she laughed at it. The examples you saw (by the engines) were very targeted he said. Someone typed in a search phrase and didn't notice the spam, and they ordered, then its a win-win. His guideline is that he never violates the end user. He will never cross that line. He said all that stuff you saw, viagara pages the engines showed, make 50 - 90k per month working from their home. It is not going away, Greg said. What has changed is that people are spamming to drive relevant, targeted traffic as opposed just getting "eye balls." When you rank for terms that don't relate to your page, it is just a waste of time and hurts the end user. Shari is shaking her head no the whole time. He said, its all about what Tim Mayer mentioned, "stay what is in your space" - well he didnt say that directly, see notes above, but he did mean that. He said many big companies play on both sides of the fence, they have their white hat side and black hat side. He said how many times have you clicked on an result and get redirected to eBay? eBay hasn't been banned and sometimes the redirect pages are but so you start again and make a new domain. It is funny, he did not really discuss the "consequences of spam" as he was introduced to speak on or maybe he did . The bottom line is that we all think we have the most relevant site, the reality is that there are only 10 spots on the first page. Too funny, Shari and Matt keep shaking their heads no, Tim is drinking water. If you hire an SEO, make sure they tell you exactly what they are doing. He said he first pitches doing it the "right way" but that is not always an option. Just make sure to do it smart and know who your competition is.
rustybrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2005   #2
rustybrick
 
rustybrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 2,810
rustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud of
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihelpyou
Then his "Only" other option is to "teach" that client the "right" way, right? At least that is what a Professional SEO would do. If the client won't learn; you ditch the client.

Easy stuff.
Doug, obviously Greg and many others would not ditch the client.

Specifically, if you had a client who wanted to rank well for a little keyword named "viagra". These are the types of clients where there are no other options. Let's please not get into an ethical debate about it.

This is simply SES coverage. And to rank well for viagra, you will need to spam. I believe that is a fact. Tim from Yahoo! would agree, I am comfortable putting those words in his mouth for him.
rustybrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2005   #3
rustybrick
 
rustybrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 2,810
rustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud of
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihelpyou
That's false. Period.
OK, let's not discuss this anymore in this thread. I'll ask Tim to reply to this. But, of course, he will have to be somewhat diplomatic.

Enough said on the ethics.
rustybrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2005   #4
Marcia
 
Marcia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 5,476
Marcia has a reputation beyond reputeMarcia has a reputation beyond reputeMarcia has a reputation beyond reputeMarcia has a reputation beyond reputeMarcia has a reputation beyond reputeMarcia has a reputation beyond reputeMarcia has a reputation beyond reputeMarcia has a reputation beyond reputeMarcia has a reputation beyond reputeMarcia has a reputation beyond reputeMarcia has a reputation beyond repute
ihelpyou
Quote:
If Greg is able to tout spam and justify how it's "sometimes" okay to spam, then I should be able to discuss why it's "never" okay to spam, right?
Wrong. I wasn't there, but I didn't see it quoted anyplace where Greg "touted" spam or said it was OK or advised anyone to do it. This is what he was quoted as saying:

Quote:
He said, most of the time it is not the case. There are industries (PPC - pills, porn, casinos) where spam is the only way to rank well.
Nothing about OK or not OK - or influencing anyone one way or another as far as I can see.

All he simply stated, according to the report, is that for certain industries spam is the only way to be able to rank. Crucial difference there - stating a pragmatic reality is not anywhere being on the same page as stating a value judgment. There is a BIG difference between "should" and "should not" and "is" - they're a world apart.

rustybrick:
Quote:
Enough said on the ethics.
Exactly - and there will_not_be any butt-kicking contests on ethics, either.

Rather, some very interesting comments were made by the participants, and productive, too. It sounds like overall it was very informative, congenial, and firmly rooted in reality.

================================================== ==========

Added:

Right here we have a perfect illustration of why it's so valuable for us all to have the coverage Barry & Phoenix, et al are kind enough to provide us with of what's presented and discussed at SES, and in conjunction, to also have discussions like this here in our forums:

What is Keyword Competitiveness?

It all fits together beautifully as part of the arsenal of tools we have available to us. Realilty checks are an integral part of anyone's toolbox, no matter what industry or business they're in.

<echo>
There ain't gonna be any ethical hair-pulling and/or face-spitting matches, or any tried - fingers crossed & here's hoping.
</echo>

Last edited by Marcia : 03-02-2005 at 02:41 AM.
Marcia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2005   #5
rustybrick
 
rustybrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 2,810
rustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud of
There were others in the room. Let them chime in. I do my best to report on these sessions as objectivly as possible.

I really try not to let my own opinions mix in.

Last edited by rustybrick : 03-02-2005 at 09:47 AM. Reason: typo
rustybrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2005   #6
lots0
 
Posts: n/a
Barry, I want to thank you and phoenix, you guys are doing a GREAT job it is appreciated (at least by some of us)!

Thank you from those of us that were unable to attend.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2005   #7
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
Same here - thanks for the coverage, Barry. You do have a silent readship.
I, Brian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2005   #8
massa
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: home
Posts: 160
massa is just really nicemassa is just really nicemassa is just really nicemassa is just really nicemassa is just really nice
Rusty, for what it's worth, I believe you are doing fine. Your reports always come across as non-opinionated, balanced and as non-promotional or non-self-serving as any articles I've read by any of the major news sources. I think you provide a service that offers great value to the industry at large and I truly hope your skin can become thick enough to recognize when you're being baited and not allow yourself to alter your style based on any idividuals personal agenda.

The problem you are having to deal with here is that there is no participation in a discussion. That is not what's happening. There is no debate or presentation of factual evidence. There is not even one person's opinion being offered.There is only one person's grab for attention in the form of judging others with the false authority of a self-appointed protector of the world.

It is tiring. It is condescending and it is rude. In a real world setting, this type of behaviour would never work. At church, this person would find themselves with a pew all to themselves. In a bar, they would likely find themselves with their ass kicked.

What you are doing Rusty is a good thing and it does not go un-appreciated. I hope others will agree so that you know there is the kind of value to your efforts that you need not alter anything in what you do or how you do it.
massa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2005   #9
Michael Martinez
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 336
Michael Martinez is on a distinguished road
Post

Well, for what it's worth, it appears that at least one search engine operator is going after spammers with a very large pair of tongs:

http://www.computerworld.com/managem...?from=story_kc

I wonder if the 50-90K monthly incomes will cover all the legal expenses and probable costs of reimbursement for lost sales, if Microsoft and Pfizer have their way.


And I would like to say that I, too, appreciate these unbiased reports. I much prefer seeing the bias coming out in the discussions, where I can inject my own.

Michael Martinez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2005   #10
ferret77
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 60
ferret77 will become famous soon enough
that lawsuit is for email spammers, totally different

Plus I am pretty sure there a legitimate pharmacy affiliates, and I even if you were promoting a crook , I am not even sure if you could be liable , if all you do is send someone to another site.

If you don't take money or ship orders, I don't even know

Its think its legal to advertise gambling on a website, Its probably legal to advertise a pharmancy
ferret77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2005   #11
sem4u
Digital Marketer
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 236
sem4u is on a distinguished road
Thank's for the coverage Rusty. Sounds like it was an interesting session
sem4u is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2005   #12
Michael Martinez
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 336
Michael Martinez is on a distinguished road
Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by ferret77
that lawsuit is for email spammers, totally different
First sentence in the article reads: "Pfizer Inc. and Microsoft Corp. said yesterday that they filed parallel lawsuits against Web site operators and spam advertisers that sell illegal versions of Pfizer's Viagra."

Quote:
Plus I am pretty sure there a legitimate pharmacy affiliates, and I even if you were promoting a crook , I am not even sure if you could be liable , if all you do is send someone to another site.
According to Pfizer, there are no legitimate sources of Viagra on the Internet. At least not for the United States.
Michael Martinez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2005   #13
Brad
A Usual Suspect
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 111
Brad is a jewel in the roughBrad is a jewel in the roughBrad is a jewel in the roughBrad is a jewel in the rough
Great reports RustyBrick. I spent a good chunk of yesterday doing nothing but reading your threads on SES. Thanks.
Brad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2005   #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:
I do my best to report on these sessions as objectivly as possible
Barry, your reports are great, as is the degree of objectivity you bring to the task. Much appreciated
searchengineblog.com is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2005   #15
phpmaven
And now for something completely different...
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: San Clemente, California
Posts: 71
phpmaven will become famous soon enough
Quote:
It is tiring. It is condescending and it is rude. In a real world setting, this type of behaviour would never work. At church, this person would find themselves with a pew all to themselves. In a bar, they would likely find themselves with their ass kicked.
ROFL

Massa, that is classic!
phpmaven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2005   #16
JasonD
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 51
JasonD will become famous soon enoughJasonD will become famous soon enough
Hi gents.

May I make a suggestion so that Barry's excellent coverage can continue without heated discussion.

Bob and IHelpYou why don't we carry on the debate between good and bad in a new thread, that way it will not diminish the quality of Barry's work, which for someone who isn't in NY SES I am VERY grateful for.

IHelpYou, we've previously had some good discussions on black, grey and white hat topics without either of us getting down and dirty or rude. I am sure the 3 of us can continue.

How about it guys?
JasonD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2005   #17
ihelpyou
 
Posts: n/a
Thanks Jason, but I have no desire to discuss a thing with Massa. It's not worth my time. Frankly: I don't like him and neither do many others. He don't like me either, so the feelings are extremely mutual.

I do try to show people out there who are trying to learn, that spam does "not" pay, in spite of what is spoken about at SES and in here. I'm not allowed to discuss what other's speak about.

FYI; I deleted all my prior posts in this thread. It's truly not worth trying to teach in here.

Last edited by ihelpyou : 03-02-2005 at 05:28 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2005   #18
Buddha
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: CA
Posts: 21
Buddha is on a distinguished road
Hey Barry,

I'm not at SES and I think your summaries are great, probably even better than being at SES.

I believe that all of your readers very much appreciate what you do.

(and i think everyone has a gmail account already )
Buddha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2005   #19
hooter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4
hooter is on a distinguished road
Thumbs up

Thanks brickman for all of your "off-site" reporting - at least for those of us who aren't in attendance, we get a birds-eye view of what are very informative sessions.
hooter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2005   #20
VIZ
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4
VIZ is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihelpyou
Thanks Jason, but I have no desire to discuss a thing with Massa. It's not worth my time. Frankly: I don't like him and neither do many others. He don't like me either, so the feelings are extremely mutual.

I do try to show people out there who are trying to learn, that spam does "not" pay, in spite of what is spoken about at SES and in here. I'm not allowed to discuss what other's speak about.

FYI; I deleted all my prior posts in this thread. It's truly not worth trying to teach in here.
Good! And please do us all a big favour by not coming back to disrupt this high quality thread with your biggoted rantings.

Barry - thanks, your reports are great and highly appreciated.
VIZ 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