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  1. #1
    Newbie ronaldmarva's Avatar
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    Spamming Search Engines
    One of the recent concerns of Seach Engine providers is that many websites are resorting to spamming the search engines causing unnecessary work loads for their system. How should this problem be addressed?

  2. #2
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    As affiliates, we are all spammers by default. We are simply feeding the search engines material that is already available on the primary vendor's site.
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    Hmm..I do not completely understand the context of your post, but I'll give it a shot.

    From what I read about this topic last year, the bulk of the web pages we see indexed by big search engines are handled by computers which serve `web page cache', when a user performs a search via a search engine. It speeds things up for the user.

    Administrators of these servers can alter the `life-span' of the cached pages, so that new content can be indexed and content generally kept fresh. Some administrators keep the cached pages too long, and their hard drives fill up quickly.

    I'd say if peple are complaining about the load on their web cach servers, then it is a technical issue relating to the server and the duration of the cached pages (ie. the amount of time before the cache is deleted).

    The solution could be to get a better server and better administrator?

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    As affiliates, we are all spammers by default.
    A website that offers a unique opinion, news story, tutorial, review, idea, etc. and displays an affiliate link is not a spammer by default IMO.

    A datafeed affiliate site on the other hand....

  5. #5
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronaldmarva
    One of the recent concerns of Seach Engine providers is that many websites are resorting to spamming the search engines causing unnecessary work loads for their system. How should this problem be addressed?
    If you have affiliates that are spamming the search engines, remove them from your program and report them to the other networks. They need to make money to have an incentive to spam.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  6. #6
    Newbie affilio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronaldmarva
    One of the recent concerns of Seach Engine providers is that many websites are resorting to spamming the search engines causing unnecessary work loads for their system. How should this problem be addressed?
    First of all, I would hardly call this a "recent" concern.

  7. #7
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    I agree with Sim.. there are plenty of Affiliate sites that add value to the web. But if all you're doing is replicating a merchant's database with nothing else than that does nothing for the merchant or the Affiliate industry.

  8. #8
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simcat
    A website that offers a unique opinion, news story, tutorial, review, idea, etc. and displays an affiliate link is not a spammer by default IMO.

    A datafeed affiliate site on the other hand....


    If the datafeed site's converting, the customers are voting "NOT SPAM" with their wallets.

    That infernal c*ntent that gets in the way of people finding things to buy, on the other hand...

  9. #9
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    IMHO it isn't merchants' job to be the spam police for the search engines. If they have in their agreements that their affiliates will be terminated if caught "spamming" the engines with their SEO methods, they can terminate them on the grounds of violating the TOS.

    That is, if they even know enough SEO so that they can actually discover spam and can define what the definition of spam really is.

  10. #10
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webworker
    IMHO it isn't merchants' job to be the spam police for the search engines. If they have in their agreements that their affiliates will be terminated if caught "spamming" the engines with their SEO methods, they can terminate them on the grounds of violating the TOS.

    That is, if they even know enough SEO so that they can actually discover spam and can define what the definition of spam really is.
    It sounds to me like such a clause would be nothing but the basis of a bunch of ignorant terminations, or worse, the basis of outright fraudulent terminations and reversals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loxly
    If you have affiliates that are spamming the search engines, remove them from your program and report them to the other networks.
    NO.
    Try to destroy someone's livlihood just for spamming some stupid engine(s)? That's just too far over the top and disproportionate of a reaction to believe!!! SEs DO NOT have any binding contract with webmasters!

    As long as they're not ripping off stuff from someone else's site or otherwise doing something truly fraudulent, I couldn't give a flying farge how people get listed, and I don't think any other program should, either. The internet doesn't need would-be nannies trying to impose their puritan standards on it.

    That said, some spam is so ugly (or otherwise poorly done) that it doesn't convert, and done so poorly that it doesn't rank. I find that the Market itself does quite well on its own in these cases--people don't tend to keep bothering to make pages that don't convert, whether they are "allowed" or not.
    Last edited by Leader; February 8th, 2007 at 04:54 PM.
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  11. #11
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    SEM is a GOOD thing
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_marketing.

    What merchants exclude SEM in their TOS?

  12. #12
    http and a telephoto
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    I guess we are seeing the work "spam" differently. I was referring to terminating the sites that are truly spamming, i.e. using 301 redirects to clone other sites to just take their content and blow it all over the net under different urls with the affiliate ID's changed.

    Building big (or small) sites and using SEO/SEM is not spamming, IMO.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh
    As affiliates, we are all spammers by default. We are simply feeding the search engines material that is already available on the primary vendor's site.
    Actually, it's generally the merchants' sites that haven't got the "value added" that Google says they're looking for, as compared to many affiliate sites that have original text (sales spin) that's targeted and written for "users."

    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    If you have affiliates that are spamming the search engines, remove them from your program and report them to the other networks.
    Remove them and report them for what? For excessive keyword density, for putting too many words in their image alt attributes, for repeating keywords in meta tags or page titles, for too many hyphens or repeating keywords in their URLs, for joining link programs, for cross-linking their sites?

    Besides there are plenty of spammy keyword-stuffed merchant sites, and some that even have doorway pages and feeder sites - with (at least) one that even has their own affiliate links on their doorways with hidden links all over their site to those doorway pages.

    They need to make money to have an incentive to spam.
    If their sites suck they won't make any money anyway, the free market economy works very well that way. And if they're good SEOs who are good at cloaking, their spam will never get found out and they'll continue to make a ton of money.

    Quote Originally Posted by ronaldmarva
    One of the recent concerns of Seach Engine providers is that many websites are resorting to spamming the search engines causing unnecessary work loads for their system. How should this problem be addressed?
    The search engines have very capable webspam teams who get paid very well by them to address the problem. It's their job to play cat and mouse; our job is to make our own sites the best they can be, get traffic to our sites, and send our merchants targeted visitors.

    Personally, if I see a site that's malicious and hurting and damaging others (like some with malicious downloads or doing hijacks), I'll report them for sure. Otherwise there's enough to keep busy with without going out meddling and hunting down spam.

    And trying to rank by taking out competitors is not only futile, it's the worst marketing strategy - and dirty pool. But that's usually what folks have in mind when they get pre-occupied with cleaning up the web for the search engines.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader


    If the datafeed site's converting, the customers are voting "NOT SPAM" with their wallets.

    That infernal c*ntent that gets in the way of people finding things to buy, on the other hand...
    Just like when people buy viagra from those emails that go out randomly. Since they're buying it's not spam, right?

    - Scott
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  15. #15
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    I think the search engines are already cracking down on this. I am seeing far fewer scraped (and meaningless) content sites these days - I think that bubble has burst.

    Submitting thousands of product pages (that have a purpose) is not spam in my opinion. Unfortunately, however, many of these pages get tossed out with all the garbage pages submitted. I set up a site with a whole bunch of product pages last summer - the search engines will have nothing to do with the pages.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader


    If the datafeed site's converting, the customers are voting "NOT SPAM" with their wallets.

    That infernal c*ntent that gets in the way of people finding things to buy, on the other hand...
    LOL, that made me laugh, Leader Thanks.

    I agree with what you said; `spam' in eyes of some is a welcome opportunity to buy a desired product to others. Though I wonder if people were really buying all those penis enlargers?

    Guys, fess up....do guys really buy them? I know Asian men do...when I was in Indonesia they showed them off proudly! (wierd, i know)

  17. #17

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    So price comparison sites are SPAM sites?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by nakedgamer
    So price comparison sites are SPAM sites?
    Sites
    Positioned
    Ahead of
    Mine

    are spam.

  19. #19

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    lol

  20. #20
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    Just like when people buy viagra from those emails that go out randomly. Since they're buying it's not spam, right?

    - Scott
    Actually, from what I hear, the conversion ratio on those emails would indicate that it IS spam.

    To be not-spam it would have to have a *decent* conversion ratio, not just sell something like 1/500,000.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  21. #21
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    I guess we are seeing the word "spam" differently. I was referring to terminating the sites that are truly spamming, i.e. using 301 redirects to clone other sites to just take their content and blow it all over the net under different urls with the affiliate ID's changed.

    Building big (or small) sites and using SEO/SEM is not spamming, IMO.
    If by cloning "other sites" you mean sites that belong to other people--That's not "spamming," it's stealing sites. Theft is a totally different, and much much lower, class of activity. I agree that site theft is not to be tolerated. But, in those cases, the problem isn't whether they spammed engines with the ill-gotten material, it's that they stole the material (aka "content") in the first place.

    "Spamming" the engines, in and of itself, is basically ANY method of trying to attain higher, or more, rankings than the infernal engine would otherwise fork out.

    On the other hand, if you're talking about an aff taking HIS/HER OWN site and material, cloning that site, and rolling it out again and again and again...my original response applies.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  22. #22
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    The cloning of sites and scraping of content would be grounds from removal from my program. If affiliates were copying images, site look and feel, articles not released for affiliate uses, or my whole entire site, then they have crossed a line.

    Otherwise, not my problem! Let google clean up their own messes.
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
    MINDsprinting

  23. #23
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    Im pretty sure this problem was addressed in Googles latest update

  24. #24
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    Im pretty sure this problem was addressed in Googles latest update
    People are always trying to game the system one way or another. I don't think SE spam will ever stop being an issue.
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
    MINDsprinting

  25. #25
    Outsourced Program Manager tmartini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sthbodyjewelry
    Im pretty sure this problem was addressed in Googles latest update
    Wow that's the best laugh I've had all day. During the latest update Google removed some spammers and a bunch of other spammers took their place. Google and the rest of the search engines don't have a clue how to fix this problem. All they're doing is running to stand still.
    Todd Martini
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