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This 193 message thread spans 7 pages: 193 ( [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 > >     
Google Not Acting on Problem Results Reports

 6:09 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I keep seeing spam stealing the top positions so I report it to Google time and again and nothing happens, so what do I do?
If you cant beat them join them.
This is my living we're talking about after all. The bread on my table.
Not cloaking yet but it may become necessary if Google don't start taking the spam reports more seriously.
Why do they ask for them and then take no action?
How about some serious answers.



 6:19 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I sure hope you aren't a real judge using "logic" like that.


 6:35 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)



 6:48 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

> If you cant beat them join them.

Maybe that's what they thought when they decided to do the things you don't like.

Of course it's quite possible that if you do join them, both you and they will be banned. This will help put bread on someone else's table, but doesn't do you much good.

Mostly, I think that this comes down to whether you're in it for the short term or the long term.


 6:57 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I checked for spam reports by looking for your nick (JudgeJeffries), and didn't find any?


 7:00 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Same thing here JJ. Start your campaign but keep one site cleaner than clean.

I am fed up too.


 7:15 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Seems to me that they don't have enough employees to do hand checks and only check, let's guess 0,1 % of all spam reports.

You have to beat your competition, if they spam and Google won't remove them, you have to spam too, otherwise you end up having no money at all because the hardcore spammers do a good job at Google and steal your money.

So be better and "spam them away".


 7:16 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Spam always wins on google. Key to google success is simple. Buy a domain with your keywords in it hyphenated, get as many link swaps as you can with the anchor text being your keywords. Watch your little 1 page affiliate spam site beat major competitors.

I myself concentrate on brand and quality, but in the past few months ive started working on these spam type sites and the results are amazing. It looks like im gonna make more money and get more traffic from a 3 page site I put together in 20 min to rank well in google than I am with my 5 year old site with tens of thousands of pages of content. I have quite a few older sites and none rank well despite good PR. It is clearly all about anchor text and domain keywords and no graphics on your page.


 7:21 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes, it's amazing, Google loves spam. But no one should complain, just beat them. It's 2003 like in the old days 1998-2000. They don't have better spam traps or technology, it's the same OLD game, everyone is a player, the smarter player wins.


 7:29 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

As bad as "SPAM" is I actually don't see it distorting results all that much. The emotional problem is only when it is your site that has been trumped by SPAM, nobody else gets vexed because some other other guy is a few spots ahead of you through current un-ethical techniques. At the end of the day the searcher will find what he is looking for within the top 30 no probs. Geees I use Google nonstop and I can't remember the time I went beyond the 3rd page other than through curiosity. I always find what I need with Google thats why it is so great! SPAM maybe out there but is all part and parcle of 21st century Internet biz and to be honest easily side stepped if it really is worthless.


 7:32 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have been begging for help in this thread [webmasterworld.com...]

I to have reported the way GoogleGuy suggested, yet no assistance has been rendered.

I am being spamed with the help of a MAJOR CA university with very close ties to Googles founders, go figure!


 7:39 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well I made a spam report about 3 weeks ago because I see a very large travel site has been recently "targeting" my area.

I don't have a problem that they are beating me, I could live with #2, but on a couple of searches for "hotels in [destination]" and combinations thereof they are not only the first, they are usually second, third, fourth and fifth.

They have a ton pages with the same content "hogwashed" through their "scrambulator".

For instance they may list, say 20 hotels in the area, and they have a HTML page with the file name:


Then result 2 is:


Result 5 is a subdomain, uses the exact file name as result 1:


And it goes on and on: using ".htm" instead of ".html"; changing the alphanumeric string, changing the order of the destination names, stuff like that.

All in all I found ~ 190+ pages for this region from this site, by searching site:[domain] "[destination]". 190 pages with more or less the same content, albeit "scrambulated".

They've done the same thing with the [region name] map search, through their partner at [online map site].com, and they are in 1st place, but ironically they have *no map* of the area, bcz [online map site].com doesn't have information for this particular international destination.

So I guess I need to stop hand coding my pages and start serving everything from a database and make super long "cookie crumb" file names for my pages, oh and use subdirectories with the same content, just use different CSS and logotypes and page organization.


signed -

"frustrated in [destination]"

[edited by: PatrickDeese at 9:23 pm (utc) on April 16, 2003]


 7:40 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Anon27, I checked for spam reports with your nick too with no results. WebmasterWorld is not the right place to report spam, because specific urls aren't allowed. I'm happy to check out your reports, Anon27 and JudgeJeffries, but you gotta include your nicks or I can't find them. :)


 7:43 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I will send it right now, I had no idea I needed to use my nick, Thanks Google Guy!


 7:48 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

That's okay, Anon27--I found it by looking up the university. The automatic stuff we're testing in-house will handle that, but I'll see what else we can do.


 7:51 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hey GoogleGuy!

I'm in the same boat!

One site in particular is breaking all the rules!

Did you see any spam reports with my nick in them?


 7:52 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

GG, I just resent with: Please forward to GoogleGuy on the Webmasterworld.com forum FROM ANON27

in the subject line.

Thank you a million!


 8:03 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's been said time and time again that if you're on top of the serps it's good SEO, if you competitor ranks higher then it's spam.

Many time these types of "hogwashed" through their "scrambulator" type sites can be beat since they have low PR. Are you doing everything you can through good SEO to beat them? Keywords in url, domain, titles, inbound links etc...


 8:28 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's been said time and time again that if you're on top of the serps it's good SEO, if you competitor ranks higher then it's spam.

That's a cute saying, but it's untrue. There is such a thing as search-engine spam, and it's defined by the methods that are used, not by the success or failure of those methods.


 8:31 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Very untrue!

Many times the sites spamming have many duplicate site all crossed linked with strategic anchor text giving each site inflated PRs top positions.

Many times, the same site will command 3 or 4 of the top spots.

That is not solid SEO. That is spam and the only to beat is to to either have it removed, or join them and try to out spam them.

I prefer to keep my site clean and don't want to spam and instead just report them every month with the hope that some day they will get caught.


 8:31 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have a large directory, that's been established for many years, and is the largest of its kind in this country. We provide information to 1000s of visitors every day. It's a messy legacy site that's evolved, rather then beeing designed, you know the kind.

Until recently I've never even thought about SEO and our site has done funny things with Google. Somebody (in a great flustered panic) pointed out that I was in serious danger of duplicate penalty. Basically the site has over 200000 pages in Googles index despite only showing about 3000 category listings and around 30000 content pages. The reason was following:

Each content page was linked to like this:

but one page could be in several categories so

were the same page. I used the path to provide a return link on the contentpage which made navigation easier. Also many "related categories" and "other interesting related content" style links were loved by google. For some results we were dominating several pages of the search results.

Having been pointed out to the duplication penalty, and also noticing that of course each page had its own PR and a page that might have potentially PR 5 or PR 6 might in fact have 3 times PR 3 and a few PR 4 instead, I have now changed all links to point to:
Of course that is not as pretty and doesn't make any directory/navigational sense, but I don't know how I could maintain my neat directories and still keep Google happy.

Would it be better to 301 redirect like this:
/category1/contentpage1 -> /category2/contentpage1
I wonder. But of course a 301 changes the browser display and would confuse the visitors.

How can I handle this case best where Googles requirements actually prevent me from delivering a better user experience? (user readable URLS and so on)

In fact we have often discussed "theme pyramids" and hierarchical directory structures, but what if the leaf nodes can reside in several branches?

Thanks for your insightful comments.

PS: Note this is a directory, it does not sell anything to its visitors.



 8:37 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

If your site has been established for years, is doing well in google serps then why worry or change. If it ain't broke don't fix it. Believe me I have fiddled and tweaked with some sites to the point I don't where I am, where I was or where I should be heading! Uuuuuuh where's that beer.....


 8:42 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well that was my philosophy. Especially since it's code is SO convoluted by now I was scared to touch it, lest it break apart. But tihs friend of mine kept ranting how "so many on WebmasterWorld were doing the same, and POOF and CRY and they were gone".

I'd like to find a satisfactory solution. Is there some way to tell google to treat two pages as one, without doing an URL changing redirect?

Well I see how It will work this next update. I jsut hope Google won't kill off the site because of all the changed links. It's a tough enough site to get indexed properly, it beeign frames based.



 8:46 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)


You might want to consider cloaking (Gasp!) googlebot and always linking to the main version of that page. Neither Googlebot or the searchers care about where they end up in your tree, only those that are surfing your tree care.

As you would still be serving up the same content to both google and the users, I don't think there would be any penalty.

Anyone else have any comments on whether something like this is likely to be okay?

Google does encourage cloaking when it comes to session IDs, and I would expect something like this to be towards that end of the scale.


 8:50 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Silly question time....
Would G benefit from a volunteer spam investigator group?
Ala editors in ODP.

I do realize all of the moral and ethical problem lines that could be crossed, but it seems to me that G needs manpower.


 8:52 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hmm it took me a second to get what you were saying. Basically to ensure that the listings link to
/content/contentpage for google and to
/category/contentpage for everybody else.
hmm interesting. Thinking along those lines I've jsut thought about the 301 redirect.

I could google sniff at the server and mod_rewrite 301 all alternative categories to the "main" category, so google would see:
/category1/contentpage --301--> /category/contentpage
/category2/contentpage --301--> /category/contentpage
/category3/contentpage --301--> /category/contentpage

and others would get the normal content.

Would this have the desired effect? What about META NOINDEX or NOFOLLOW tags?
Ultimately I want all content to get indexed for the right keywords as well as not loosing any PR to "unseen" pages. would google take the PR vote and pass it on along a 301 redirect? or not pass it into a NOINDEX page?

Thanks for the great suggestion, it brought me thinking along new lines.



 9:03 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

'spam' has as much right to the top positions as any of your sites.
in fact, you'd probably consider each others sites to be 'spam' if you were competing in the same market.
it's all a bit boring isn't it, this crying game about 'spam' every month.
the people who get to the top are just better than you at getting to the top, that's all.


 9:08 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

PR does follow a 301. A couple of times it seems like it took 2 updates for the PR to follow it, but it usually makes it in one index.


 9:11 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I filled in a spam report last week, added my nick on WW to it and checked it again today. Bam, grey! (although still shows up in serps). It works.


 9:32 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks BigDave.

I've also noticed how GoogleBot hits the 301, but doesn'T hit the riedirection target page in that scan. Maybe it gets it later if it has time, the next update otherwise, I supose.

I've moved SO many URLs this month, several 10s of 1000s. Finalyl doign all through mod_rewrite, so they'll never have to move again no matter what happens under the hood. I hope Google will figure it all out.

My double redirection technique works a charm though :)


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