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Alexa: Now showing other sites owned
figment88




msg:375685
 5:12 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Alexa is now displaying other sites owned by the same person/company in the left column.

While this is a nice feature for examing the competition, I'm not particularly happy about the competition learning my network of sites.

 

IanKelley




msg:375775
 11:03 am on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

amzn you could save yourself a lot of time by reading this here thread :-)

Don't just change apartment numbers, it's not enough, the algo appears to be weighing similarity.

oddsod




msg:375776
 11:50 am on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Could someone indicate where this information is being displayed? I've gone to Alexa's page for several of my sites and cannot see what people are referring to.

I just can't this list on the left that has these guys all so upset.

I've tried about 30 URLs many of them with very clear connections like same IP, same whois details, same phone numbers on contact page etc. Nothing!

(I'm trying from the UK if that's worth anything)

oddsod




msg:375777
 2:35 pm on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the PMs, guys. I see it now. Strange that it shows connections for some networks but not others. And shows connections where there are obviously none. Hmmm.

drshields




msg:375778
 3:18 pm on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

<snip>


<trillianjedi>No calls to action please</trillianjedi>

[edited by: trillianjedi at 3:50 pm (utc) on Mar. 16, 2006]
[edit reason] Please see TOS [webmasterworld.com] #12 [/edit]

Demaestro




msg:375779
 4:30 pm on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Mr_Fern I hear what you are saying about the sue sue sue attitude. I really hate the something for nothing culture. You know the whole

"Hey something bad happened to me, someone, somewhere must owe me money."

It is silly, however, you are mistaking about you points on malice. The fact that about 20 posters in this forum are claiming to have made repeated attempts to have the incorrect information removed from the listing, and I still have yet to see one person say they even got a response.

They know the info is wrong and they are doing nothing. Not to mention the fact that they must have at least 1 tester on staff. And if this tester said that this algo is working then he is neglegent in his job, and if he pointed out how bad the data being returned is and they went live with it anyway then again, they knew the info was wrong but didn't care enough to do anything.

You are wrong that it has to be published
"with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not."

If I think of myself as a private investigator and I go about using what I think is a great procedure for solving a crime(my crime busting algo). Only to public accuse someone of commiting a crime incorrectly and with flawed data. Now I may have no mailice or reckless disregard towards that person I have accused, but I am slandering him because my method of determining the crimal is flawed and I should do some proof of concept first before going public, because if I go public I have some responsibilty to unsure my findings.

What if one of these porn sites turns out to be a front for child porn and you are listed as the owner? Then you are being listed as the owner of an illegal site. You don't think that is slander? You don't see the harm in this?

Damages would be hard to peg but I know I would be pissed if I heard a client decided to do some investigating into my business before paying me a commencement fee for a project we want to do together, only to find, incorrectly, that I am runnning some barn yard porn site when clearly I am not.

Sueing isn't the only answer but sometimes it is the only thing people respond to. Alexa has ignored emails from webmasters. You think they will continue to ignore letters when they come from the lawyers of the same webmasters? Which one you think they will repsond to first?

Mr_Fern




msg:375780
 6:31 am on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Alexa is not regarded as a Whois source. They are a page ranking site, of which, even that is not deemed credible by most people.

Sure there's the list of "Other Sites Owned", but once you click the domain name, it brings you to that site's Alexa statistics, which will not display your name or information as the owner. Nor will any legitimate whois source tie you to this other web site. The validity of the "other sites owned" is quickly proven to be non-existant in that case. For some Private Investigator to use Alexa as his investigation tool would be sad, and what would be sadder is for him to look at that list and say "Ah ha, this guy owns kiddieporn.#*$!", without following it further.

Let's say for the sake of things, that someone registers a domain using your personal information. Let's say that they use this domain for several illegal activities. Would Alexa be at fault for linking that domain with sites you legitimately have? Would you go after them? Would you go after the registrars? Let's include in this mock situation that the person used an Internet Cafe and a stolen credit card, so you can't go after them.

I think it's being turned into something larger than it really is. Is it annoying and a nuisance, yes. Would having a lawyer be appropriate if they ignore your e-mails, yes. But I'm not buying the whole defamation of character issue.

I appreciate you responding to my post, I'm glad to read your opinions.

Gomvents




msg:375781
 2:45 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

I hate this! A)One of my clients is IRRATE (they don't want my SEO site associated with them - people will then know they SEO / link build, fears legitimate or not, still there...) also the fact that we do not own their site, just registered the domain for them. we even have a different whois! Imagine if we had any adult clients... they would have been awful! We have some charities as clients!

ccity




msg:375782
 5:27 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Alexa's actions go beyond showing false relationships. They posted my full contact information for a domain name which I've had in Domains By Proxy (hidden whois) from day one.

It does not share an IP address with any other site I own. In fact, I don't even link to it from any of my other sites (because this site is unrelated to my other sites that are non-profit and "religious" in nature.

In addition, I just started this website a few months ago. In fact, this site can't even be found in any search engines! (accept Alexa!)

KeithCash




msg:375783
 4:56 pm on Mar 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

What was google's address again?

This is too much information for a normal surfer to need.

I am in to be opted out of this.

My provider charges about $2 for privacy.

ogletree




msg:375784
 5:01 pm on Mar 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

Keith if you read the post above you will see that does not help.

oddsod




msg:375785
 5:06 pm on Mar 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

In fact, this site can't even be found in any search engines!

Do you use their toolbar?

Iguana




msg:375786
 5:20 pm on Mar 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

My name and address have now been taken off Alexa for my main site - it now says "address unlisted". The linked sites are still showing.

Demaestro




msg:375787
 5:35 pm on Mar 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well it is nice to see they are at least moving forward. Who knows maybe some year the information they display may even be accurate.

farmboy




msg:375788
 3:08 am on Mar 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Previously in this thread, someone asked a question similar to, "What are you afraid of if you have nothing to hide?"

I'll provide an example.

I have a female friend who is a single mother and lives alone with her young daughter. She registered a domain for a site she was building. Before publishing the site, she asked me to look it over and offer any suggestions I might have.

She's selling handmade jewelry on the site. She's read a lot of internet marketing materials and a lot of them seemed to suggest making a personal connection with customers and prospective customers.

So she put up an "About Me" page that explained she is a single mother raising a daughter and selling her jewelry in addition to her day job to save money for her daughter's future college expenses. She is an attractive woman and also had a photo of herself on the About Me page.

I suggested she not publish the photo and I suggested she make her domain information private before publishing the website. I pointed out how the About Me page basically tells anyone she lives alone with her daughter and the domain registration information could give someone a map right to her front door. So she got the privacy option.

I just looked up her site and there is her physical address, the one she used when she initially registered the domain.

So much for trying to be safe.

FarmBoy

farmboy




msg:375789
 3:12 am on Mar 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Here's a suggestion for those who have private registrations with a registrar.

Contact the registrar and let them know what is happening. I don't know if they can do anything but my guess is they will want to try. After all, they are selling privacy and a number of people just found out they are not getting what they paid for.

If Alexa is going to defeat the privacy option, the registrars won't be able to sell as many privacy options.

And if it's OK with the mod, maybe we can indicate how the various registrars responded. I have a couple listed with GoDaddy and I'm going to email them tonight. I'll report back what I found out.

FarmBoy

farmboy




msg:375790
 3:26 am on Mar 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hold on - I need to update.

For the domains I have with privacy at GoDaddy, Alexa is not showing my contact information - they even put up a notice about "Contact information not available"

They are only showing the domains on which I don't have privacy.

So that brings up an important related question - does anyone have a domain with private registration through GoDaddy where Alexa reveals your contact information?

Maybe if we list the registrars where we have privacy and whether or not Alexa shows the contact information, we can discover a trend as it relates to registrars?

FarmBoy

graywolf




msg:375791
 1:31 am on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have received some resolution in this matter. I used the contact form that was mentioned in msg#54 in this thread and filed a complaint asking for my blog to not be associated with the porn sites, and they complied. I also filed multiple complaints for other sites I own and was notified today they will be removing them.

figment88




msg:375792
 8:37 pm on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I finally received a response from my original complaint to Alexa. They basically gave me a bunch of hooey saying that this information is somehow valuable to their users. They did, though, offer to correct inaccuracies.

While I do not think knowing related ownership of my sites is useful, I think it can be useful for some networks. For example, now that I'm pissed at Alexa, I will nolonger buy from Amazon.

Pfui




msg:375793
 10:36 pm on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I, too, received a reply to my e-mail to Alexa (mssg #54). Exactly one week later, this (excerpted) --

When Alexa crawls the Web, it merges together sites which we think have the same content. When we merge two or more sites, we combine their traffic to form one ranking and list them under the domain with the most traffic. With tens of millions of domains on the Internet, our automated procedures for determining which hosts are serving the same content may sometimes be incorrect and/or out-of-date due to ownership or content changes.

We will separate the sites during our next update of the service. After we have separated the sites in 1-2 weeks, you can submit contact information...

Here are some results, observations, and concerns --

INACCURATE / UNAUTHORIZED INFO

1.) The Contact Info for my husband's and my small personal sites is now completely gone. The listings also no longer show a p0rn site in Russia. OK

2.) The Contact Info for my large professional site is now "Address Unlisted" and "Phone Unlisted." OK

However --

3.) The large, well-ranked site shows an undated thumbnail hosted on "thumbnails.alexa.com" despite my blocking the Alexa / Archive.org / Internet Archive Wayback Machine / ia_archiver / lwp-request and A9 / Amazon.com robots via robots.txt and .htaccess/mod_rewrite for years. I also use NOARCHIVE tags. Apparently all to no avail because either Alexa or Amazon are using some unknown or unidentified agent or numeric IP for thumbnails. Or perhaps some other source completely. Maybe DMOZ?

4.) The Traffic Rank, Reach and Page Details show massive increases -- up 63% in Reach over six months. Well, that's all very nice but also very wrong.

5.) Also oddly skewed are sites linking in -- #1 is IMDb.com (correct -- but no big surprise seeing as how Amazon also owns IMDb). But #2 is an apparent link farm in Finland, and #4 is Yahoo! Asia. Go figure.

USER REVIEWS ON ALEXA -- AND AMAZON

Last but not least, both my personal and professional sites, and all others that I checked including WebmasterWorld, offer this:

User Reviews for example.com

Be the first person to write a review of this site on Amazon.com!
[or]
User Reviews for example.com

Then when reviews exist, they appear on Alexa and Amazon, and the Alexa stats -- correct or incorrect -- also appear on Amazon. FYI, here's how the User Reviews page looks for this site on Alexa [alexa.com], and with Alexa's stats on Amazon [amazon.com].

I've yet to have anyone write any reviews for my site(s) but I wonder how one stays apprised of them if/when they're written? (Dealing with what feels like an increasingly Dark Force comprised of Amazon and its spawn is danged tiring.)

Or would you even bother?

Pfui




msg:375794
 11:45 pm on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

STEALTH AGENTS

Eerily enough, this just in:

209.237.238.224 - - [05/Apr/2006:15:29:18 -0700] "GET / HTTP/1.0" [...] "-" ""

Curious. No User-agent string at all. And last month, here's the same IP range, switching UAs on the fly, getting the same html file more than once and graphics (lines omitted), even hitting .cgi counters -- 19 files in three seconds flat:

209.237.238.212 - - [03/Mar/2006:09:30:17 -0800] "GET / HTTP/1.1" [...] "-"
"Mozilla/4.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.7.5) Gecko/20041107 Firefox/1.0"
209.237.238.212 - - [03/Mar/2006:09:30:17 -0800] "GET / HTTP/1.1" [...] "-"
"Mozilla/4.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.7.5) Gecko/20041107 Firefox/1.0"
209.237.238.212 - - [03/Mar/2006:09:30:18 -0800] "GET / HTTP/1.1" [...] "-"
"Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.7.10) Gecko/20050920 Firefox/1.0.6"
209.237.238.212 - - [03/Mar/2006:09:30:19 -0800] "GET / HTTP/1.1" [...] "http://www.example.com/"
"Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.7.10) Gecko/20050920 Firefox/1.0.6"

And here's .224 again, and again, and again no UA, fetching files (omitted) but not graphics --

209.237.238.224 - - [02/Apr/2006:14:57:31 -0700] "GET / HTTP/1.0" [...] "-" ""
209.237.238.224 - - [04/Apr/2006:20:25:20 -0700] "GET / HTTP/1.0" [...] "-" ""

Who is "209.237.238.212"? Who is "209.237.238.224"? Wait for it:

CustName: Alexa Internet
NetRange: 209.237.237.0 - 209.237.238.255

No ID. No UA. No nothing but -- theft. IMHO

FridayNight




msg:375795
 9:02 am on Apr 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

this is sick and it doesnt work... it shows that i owe a site i havent seen before.

it shows some porno site in my list. dont you think that they can ruin my reputation saying that i own a porno site?

Wlauzon




msg:375796
 12:18 pm on Apr 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

it shows some porno site in my list. dont you think that they can ruin my reputation saying that i own a porno site?

Is it a GOOD porno site?

LittleEvilBunny




msg:375797
 1:19 am on Apr 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

I submitted this through their contact form. I recommend you guys rephrase this and file similar passive-aggressive notices. After several notices we can form a Class Action.

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

To: Alexa (website contact form)
Notice Date: Sat, Apr 15th, 2006

Please IMMEDIATELY remove the "OTHER SITES OWNED" information for all websites related to the domain name [DOMAIN]. There are several problems with this Alexa's service:

1. You use outdated Whois data

2. You have absolutely no legitimate right to disclose such privacy information (we have no privacy agreements signed with Alexa).

3. You directly affect competition in our market segment which can lead to Alexa's direct responsibility for our business losses.

4. Some of our domains are registered through PRIVATE registrations and you are still disclosing them.

Again, please remove the "OTHER SITES OWNED" information for all our sites that relate to [DOMAIN].

Thanks,
[NAME]
[DOMAIN]

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

jake66




msg:375798
 3:34 am on Apr 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

most of my domains are empty (none of this "other sites owned by..) stuff. but my oldest domain was registered by a friend, it shows only one of his (many) sites listed as "owned by me"

i'm going to keep an eye on all of my domains and ask for removal once something shows.

if somebody's that interested in what domains i own, they can either ask or go to a valid whois site and look it up. alexa doesn't need to be shoving this information into people's faces... it's nobody's business!

i can't see what useful things could come of such a feature?

jake66




msg:375799
 9:24 pm on May 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

got a reply back today:
Thank you for contacting Alexa Internet.

We have updated our internal records as you have requested. These
changes will be reflected publicly in 1-2 weeks.

We appreciate your interest in Alexa.

Best regards,
Alexa Internet Customer Service

why the heck does it take 1-2 weeks for this information to be removed?

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