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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Coupons com look to be Spamming Google
    I was just looking through Google results on several key word combinations and was astounded to see that coupons com is taking up nearly all the top 10 listings but discreetly. What they are doing is using sub domains and doorway sites that directly or eventually take you to their site. For example go to Google and search for "grocery coupons" and your see what I mean.
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  2. #2
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    Huh? They have partnerships with popular sites promoting their shared listing. It is on target, matches what you searched on - and if you add the local designators, it is even area correct. That is called smart, not spam.

  3. #3
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    How about Ebay, hogging a full half of some SERPs with keyword optimized subdomain spam? That is just fine, since their root domain is PR9.

  4. #4
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    Yeah, that's not spam. It's major sites like newspapers using the coupons.com microsites. When you have an established site, if you add anything to it, it's going to rank well for the most part.

  5. #5
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    this would be something like pricegrabber working with/powering Fatwallet's price comparison

  6. #6
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    They're spamming the backside off of Google, by anyone's definition of search engine SPAM. They are deliberately using three different uber-optimized keyword-stuffed subdomains, for the same stuff on all the pages, for most of which the auctions have already been closed by the time visitors get there. Relevant SERPs my foot!

    The thing is, once sites reach a certain level of "importance" they're beyond reproach and above the rules that apply to everyone else, even if they're putting out worthless, spammed up crap.

  7. #7
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    I don't see how it's spam. Let's say Chicago Tribune wanted to offer coupons to their site visitors, they partner with Coupons.com to do it:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/shoppi...6808.htmlstory

    and it's microsite . coupons .com and since they're an established site, they're going to rank well.

    And it's different from ebay because all those subdomains are ebay subdomains. Those sites showing up for grocery coupons are all different sites.

  8. #8
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    That isn't quite the same thing as what Ebay is doing, and I can almost venture a guess which black hats Ebay has contracted with to do their SEO for them.

  9. #9
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    The thing is, that automated keyword-based wildcard subdomain generation is spam-based technology, no matter who's doing it; the difference being that high enough PR players like Ebay have a "get out of jail free" card, a carte blanche immunity that the less privileged don't have the benefit of.

  10. #10
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    We're talking about coupons.com tho and check out page 1 Google for grocery coupons:

    http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...rocery+coupons

    Where to you see any subdomains? Only 1 on page 1 and it's for target and it's their own coupons not coupons.com. It looks like what I said, established sites adding a coupon category and using coupons.com for it. Nothing spammy about that. And you can have the same microsite they're using and add it to your own site if you want.

  11. #11
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    Where to you see any subdomains?
    Maybe different, but there sure are subdomains here - 5 out of the top ten:

    http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...+bathroom+sets

    inurl:search.ebay.com

    Notice the keyword generated wildcard subdomains being generated there. If you or I did that we'd get banned. Then there's this beauty:

    inurl:search.express.ebay.com - which is showing 2 out of 2,600,000 with the rest being:

    In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 2 already displayed.
    If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included.
    Is that a joke or what? Unique Content is King, my foot! That is nothing more than spammed out keyword-stuffed swill from a PR9 domain inflating the index.

  12. #12
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    Maybe different, but there sure are subdomains here - 5 out of the top ten:
    yeah that's right, it's late so I won't have another look but there is a lot of coupons microsites & subdomains plus a few of the others which eventually lead to coupons.com or micro site.

    I think we need to take a step back and think how would we see this if it was a "no name joe blog" site who had all these results, would we judge this different even if they had a good genuine page rank?

    btw, has anyone noticed that adwords ads on the right hand side of google have become larger in font, I'm sure they used to be a lot smaller? They are taken up about 25% of the search page results now, what will it be like in the future - 75% adwords results and 25% organic?
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  13. #13
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    They are also having people post about them using payperpost.com

  14. #14
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    webworker: I know about ebay, you've mentioned them 4/5 of your posts but glinted was talking about coupons.com not ebay

    "yeah that's right, it's late so I won't have another look but there is a lot of coupons microsites & subdomains plus a few of the others which eventually lead to coupons.com or micro site.

    I think we need to take a step back and think how would we see this if it was a "no name joe blog" site who had all these results, would we judge this different even if they had a good genuine page rank?"

    subdomain . site.com
    site . com/ not a subdomain

    It is what it is. That's up to the SE's to sort it. But it's not spamming.

    I see 3 in the top ten using the coupons.com microsites and they're all newspaper sites: LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun. They could be using somebody else for their coupons and probably still rank for grocery coupons because they're established sites. Has nothing to do with coupons.com

    edited to add: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=coupons

    Coupons.com ranks #1

    So it's an established site using another established site for coupons. It's going to rank well. I think if the 3 newspaper sites substituted valpak, smartsource, coolsavings etc, in place of coupons.com, they probably would all still be page 1 for the term grocery coupons.
    Last edited by Trust; November 5th, 2006 at 12:03 PM.

  15. #15
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    btw, has anyone noticed that adwords ads on the right hand side of google have become larger in font, I'm sure they used to be a lot smaller? They are taken up about 25% of the search page results now, what will it be like in the future - 75% adwords results and 25% organic?
    Since so much of their money comes from AdWords, I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually eliminate "organic" search altogether.

    I'm looking for an Overture-like move at some point. Overture eventually made their main site into a corporate site, and for their revenue, they just show their PPC listings on other sites. Sure you can still go to www.overture.com and enter searches, but that site is set up to draw advertisers, not regular consumers.

  16. #16
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    "Since so much of their money comes from AdWords, I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually eliminate "organic" search altogether."

    What? They're not going to eliminate organic search. That doesn't make sense. That's why people go to Google, to search. That's why they're making money with Adwords because Google is the #1 search engine. If they eliminated organic search, people would go elsewhere, Google would go bye bye.

  17. #17
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    Sure is all automated "coupon" SERP and PPCSE spam. It should all soon be moot for the major SE's as they become "coupon" Super affiliates for all merchant's who offer them. They then create a simple merchant coupon uploader admin area (secure user name & password log-in) and a strong TOS guaranteeing their coupon search users that every displayed coupon will be honored by the merchant. Any landing pages showing Bogus or expired coupons will still be honored at merchants expense.... or they get booted from the log-in upload area and displayed SERP listing till account discrepencies are settled.

    Search users currently run head long into scumbag coupon spammers and bogus offers at every turn. Major SE's adopting a Super affiliate status get to play the role of point of sale attack dogs with the first SERP listing offering a guaranteed coupon by Merchant, product or brand search.

    Setting their cookie at the point of sale guarantees them more revenue via CPA, and less legal hassles then they currently get from PPCSE fees. No merchant is compled to join or accept Google Yahoo MSN as Super affiliate coupon partners and can continue to rely upon keyword buys and their current herd of coupon spammers. The SE's are only guaranteeing their own Super Affiliate enabled listings and have no staff tied up with the self serve merchant upload service. They then let the consumers vote with their clicks, using that all evasive "users choice" spin loved by the Couponers and BHO point of sale attack dogs, as justification for the move.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    "Since so much of their money comes from AdWords, I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually eliminate "organic" search altogether."

    What? They're not going to eliminate organic search. That doesn't make sense. That's why people go to Google, to search. That's why they're making money with Adwords because Google is the #1 search engine.
    Is most of their AdWords money still coming from Google.com? Or are things moving to a more Overture-like model, where the money's actually coming from everywhere but the main site?

    Their deals with MySpace and YouTube point to there being a lot of money for G in offsite advertising, or at least the expectation that there will be. It makes sense that if the trend continues, Google.com itself will eventually only be a minimal part of their financial picture.

    Then so what if Google.com goes bye bye, from their accountant's viewpoint? They'll be getting thier money from these outside deals. Page & Brin may keep it around for nostalgia's sake but corporate efforts will be magnetically pulled towards whatever's making the money.

    Granted, I don't expect to get a 404 page if I look at G tomorrow, but I do think that over time, the cumulative effects of the above factors will add up.

    They're not going to eliminate organic search. That doesn't make sense.
    It makes perfect sense. They're already not making most of their money off of search, but from AdWords. Once that AdWords money comes mainly from offsite sources, there's no reason to keep wasting money on organic search (and the overhead associated with it).

  19. #19
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    Not sure where most of their Adwords money is coming from. What I'm sure of is Google.com isn't going anywhere. Like I said, they're the #1 search engine, have been for years. Something like around half the searches are at Google.com. They're also going to be powering the search at MySpace soon.

    "It makes perfect sense."

    It really doesn't, part of me was thinking you were joking since it was so ridiculous.

  20. #20
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    What I'm sure of is Google.com isn't going anywhere.
    Unless you're an owner or director of Google, you're not any more "sure" than me--you're also making a guess.

    I'm guessing that the Market along with plain old common sense will eventually win, even at the Googleplex. It stands to reason that once the organic listings don't carry their financial weight, they are gone, because there's no good reason for them to stay.

    For some reason, you GUESS that they'll keep organic search even after it's nothing but a money pit. This thought process doesn't make sense to me. It's like saying, in 1927, that Ford would never get rid of the Model T, because "that's the best-selling car in the world."
    It really doesn't, part of me was thinking you were joking since it was so ridiculous.
    The only thing that's "ridiculous" is your intentional blindness when it comes to anything to do with Google.

  21. #21
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    Leader, common sense. They make money off the Adwords to the side of organic search. #1 search engine = lots of money. It isn't going anywhere, you're wrong on that.

  22. #22
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    Common sense:
    They're spending billions to get their AdWords showing elsewhere. They're not doing that for the fun of it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    Common sense:
    They're spending billions to get their AdWords showing elsewhere. They're not doing that for the fun of it.
    Well of course, why wouldn't they want Adwords showing at as many places as possible. What's that got to do with you thinking they're going to eliminate organic search? Also what I was going to add to my last post. They make more money per click off the Adwords by the organic search since advertisers spend more per click there. Google search isn't going anywhere.

    "New stats (PDF) out from NetRatings show Google now handles half the web searches in the United States:"

    Just saw you added this:

    "For some reason, you GUESS that they'll keep organic search even after it's nothing but a money pit."

    Money pit? What are you talking about? It's a money machine. Adwords is where they're making the bulk of their money and they make more per click with the Adwords showing next to the organic search than on the "content network" Those are cheap clicks.
    Last edited by Trust; November 5th, 2006 at 02:00 PM.

  24. #24
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    What are you talking about? It's a money machine.
    Currently.

    But my speculation, as I've said, is that over time, that will shift strongly in favor of offsite ads--just like it did for GoTo/Overture.

  25. #25
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    It's always going to make money because people use search engines to search, so that's where advertisers want to be. It's not complicated. Do you think Yahoo is going to drop organic search too since they hate making all that money with Overture?

    People are always going to use search engines to search. Having ads next to those results make money.

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