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Award Winning Sites or Problem Sites?

 3:43 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)
For at least a year now Google has allow a paying P.O. client of theirs to manipulate the search results.

Epromos has had three website


Call all of them and you will see that they answer and operated all of these websites as Epromos and owned by the same person: Jason Robins. The question is will Google still allow a company to cheat since they pad Google's pockets?

This company has 10-20 websites and the receptionist even brags about it. Every one of these websites are answered as PromoPeddler. SPAM! SPAM! SPAM! but yet Google has them #1 & #6 under promotional items. Google do cheaters win in your directory? Well, obviously they do.


and many, many more! They all answer to PromoPeddler and all are owned and operated by PromoPeddler.



 4:00 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

We normally trashcan such posts because posting urls is not allowed on WebmasterWorld. Occasionally, we do pick out one for example sake when folks are misquided.

Second, I have actually purchased from all of the above mentioned sites and have extensive experience in the tradeshow promotion site environment.

First, epromos has many more sites than what you mention. They are all targeted at individual products and promotions. Jason has done an outstanding job of building out quality sites and promoting them in a leading edge manner. They represent some of the best that the promotion world have to offer and I will not hesitate to reward that quality work by purchasing from them again soon.

> They all answer to PromoPeddler and all
> are owned and operated by PromoPeddler.

So what? They are all unique and quality sites. MugPeddler is not the generic promo people.

Then there are affiliates that work into the mix. The interesting thing is that you have the above sites pegged wrong. They are really just resellers for an even larger organization that you've not sussed out yet.

Do we start to call Google spammers for breaking down search as image, microsoft, or mac searches?

No, what the above sites mentioned by you are examples of outstanding diversification and promotion. They should win awards.


 5:52 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Brett, thank you for allowing this post. I've thought about creating some additional sites but, because I was penalized a couple years ago, was a-feared of rocking the boat.

Although I read WebmasterWorld constantly :), my main business is not SEO/webmastering and I often find it difficult to discern some things - like additional sites selling similar items.

By allowing this post I was able to check each of these sites to see how it could be done. A "picture" is worth more than a thousand words.

As always, WebmasterWorld, saves the day and clears the way for my addled brain to see through the smog.

Thank you, thank you.


 6:37 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

This company has 10-20 websites and the receptionist even brags about it. Every one of these websites are answered as PromoPeddler. SPAM! SPAM! SPAM!

Doesn't General Motors own Cheverolet, Buick, Oldsmobile, Saturn and others? Is it spam for them to have a website for each brand/product? Rhetorical questions...

A diversified company has numerous websites dedicated to different divisions. Seems like common sense to me.


 6:50 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

>Doesn't General Motors own Cheverolet, Buick, Oldsmobile, Saturn and others? Is it spam for them to have a website for each brand/product? Rhetorical questions...

Interesting because I was thinking the same. What if there is a widget company and it has the following sites.

widget.homecountry - mother lode


for each country xyz:

and for each model abc, for different trims

and then for each year since each combination is worth tens of million dollars each, it is justifiable. Then get all of them listed in directories for $1000 each site, then crosslink to heart's content, buy an entire SEO company, buy adwords, get into business deals with SEs.

This will ensure that no outsider can dare to enter the top 100 for any search related to that widget company. ;)

Spam? NO.


 6:59 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

then crosslink to heart's content

Is it spam or is simply the result of an algo that's overly dependent on incoming links?


 7:00 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

If I had a bag business and mug business, I think I'd be quite surprised if I couldn't have a site for each.


 7:11 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

That is impressive; [promopeddler.com...]

PR8 with 18,000 plus back links. It would be interesting to know how the back links were acquired. I think a lot of people have questions on that these days; Lots of uneasiness with relevance, systematic means to get them vs. individually gained, how they are listed on the site, ect. Clearly they have been extremely successful on a pretty big scale and itís paid off.


 7:26 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm curious what exactly makes this "not spamming"? Why create all these individual sites if its not to gain higher rankings in the search engines? Do the sites not interlink? Do they not target very similar keywords, giving multiple results in the SERPS for common searches? (these aren't rhetorical questions - I'm really wondering what makes this not spam?)


 7:28 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

It would be interesting to know how the back links were acquired.

Looks like a lot of contextual advertising.


 7:51 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Spam or not Spam, I am not really sure, but I give them ten out of ten for effort.

I wonder if they want to exchange links...


 8:43 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

It is only spamming if it is what the search engine decides is spamming.

Does anything that he is doing violate Google's guidelines?


 11:03 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't really have the time to go through all the websites however the rule of thumb for sites like these is very straightforward:

If the content is about 70-90% the same across multiple websites, then it is spam.

In the case above, if he simply has different gateway pages to the same inventory, then yeah it is spam.

Going on to elance and paying some indian engineer 500$ to write another PHP interface to your mysql database is not quality website development.

If, on the other hand, he has one database schema, a basic codebase, and each website has a different set of inventory then I could see where they would want multiple websites as they would likely have different audiences. He's gotten search engine exposure at the cost of cross selling.


 2:04 am on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm very suprised that Brett as well as others RECOMMEND, APPLAUDE, & APPROVE this spamming technique. They created these extra sites for one reason and one reason only and that is to gain MULTIPLE top rankings (#1 & #6) under the same search terms: promotional items. MANIPUTLATING THE SERPS. THAT'S SPAM, BRETT. Google's spam report page clearly states duplicate sites. Promopeddler and ePromos have done just that. I don't care if you are friends with Jason. Spamming is still spamming. So, basically you are saying money talks and since these companies have p.o.'s and pay Google a lot of money then, it is ok from them to manipulated the SERP's and the heck with all of the other companies playing fair whether or not they have money.


 3:52 am on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

But they aren't "duplicate sites".

While he might be toeing the line, he certainly is now way over the line.

Each of the sites is presented differently, yet all professionally. Several of them are sites that specialize on specific items that are not on other of his specialty sites. All of them seem to have a totally different focus on their front page.

If you actually search on a specific promotional item, instead of "promotional items" and the sites you list no longer own all the top SERPs.

It just doesn't look anywhere near as bad to me as someone that has a whole bunch of truly duplicate garbage sites.

I look at this sort of like YUM corporation. They own Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut. A search on "junk food" might have all three come up, but a search on "greasy fried chicken" will only bring up KFC, and "greasy tacos" will only bring up taco bell. Is YUM spamming by having different brands?

You could also consider Walmart and sams's club stores. Are they spamming if they come up in the same SERPs for the same item?


 4:25 am on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Its not spam, they are all great sites, some focusing on different products than others and with different themes.

Does this mean McDonalds are spamming because they have alot of shops?

What about Microsoft with its hundreds of websites?

I have a business that sells a large range of products, but i am about to create some smaller, more focused websites for a few popular departments; are you saying that i am going to spam by making a website dedicated to one product type? I think it will help my customers by showing them more relevant sets of data based on what they are after, just as these guys have.

They have nearly 1 million lines for crying out loud, google to would also prefer smaller targeted information on each site than on huge monster on its own...

I wish i could order some of his promo gear from Australia!....


 4:35 am on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't know about winning awards. I do think if you care anything for these folks...it's probably too late to get these links off of the same page. I wouldn't be surprised if a good deal of those 18,000 backlinks disappear next update. I can't speak for G, but a good deal of these clearly exist just to take serp slots away from competitors... which to a certain point is what we all try to do. Still, the tallest trees catch the most wind and are usually the ones that topple in the storm. As to whether there is spam... aesthetics of a websites boilerplate doesn't determine that it falls back on the content.

Reminds me of a search I recently did for "car-make city dealer" I knew the thing was there, I had seen it but couldn't remember which of the dealers on the strip had my car-make. To sum it up... I couldn't find it by G, Y, MSN, ODP etc. for all the spammy sites. Y directory was closest had the dealer downtown but not the one I wanted. I finally went to the car-make website and did a dealer search...turns out there are 5 in my town... I found the one I was looking for, but not how I expected. I suspect if someone was looking for an alternate promo company but couldn't remember the name these guys sites would frustrate them to no end.

[edited by: idoc at 5:49 am (utc) on April 16, 2004]


 4:45 am on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

What if Walmart decides to enter the internet market with one trillion websites each selling one widget only - all with entirely different look and feel?


 12:48 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

So, are you saying BigDave since they have the money to make all of their site more professional looking and don't garbage looking then, it is ok? Case in point: www.promopeddler.com (ranked #1 under promotional products & promotional items) and then, www.newideapromotions.com (#6 under promotional items). Two professional websites but one company ownes and operated them both. When someone calls either toll free number they answer "Promopedller - how can we manipulate you on Google today?" So, even though they look different but sell the same things - that's ok? Listen I'm in the industry. Wheather every item is exact on each website or not doesn't mean nothing. Both sites sell over 950,000 different promotional items period. They are manipulating the SERP's and trying to get in other SERP with different websites that sell the same stuff. THAT IS SPAM! Same thing applies to www.epromos.com and www.123imprint.com. They are owned and operated and the phones are answered as "ePromos - How can we manipulate you in Google today?"


 1:00 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

jb123 - have you verified that the content is the same across multiple websites?

If so, submit a spam report to Google.

For the uninformed:


Quality Guidelines - Specific recommendations:

Don't create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.
Avoid "doorway" pages created just for search engines, or other "cookie cutter" approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content.

If there is no substantialy duplicated content, then I don't think we have a problem here..


 2:04 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

jb123 = Someone Positioned Above Me



 2:17 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

NOPE. Don't mind not being #1 or someone being ahead of me IF they do it fairly. Cheaters should get caught and punished. It's that simple. Only cheaters support cheaters.


 2:28 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

By merely submitting a site to a search engine you are manipulating the results.

By your argument, jb123, all sites should be banned!


 3:09 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Why are you guys getting on his case? This is clearly cut and dry according to Google's guidelines.

Geeesh. Is ePromos paying you guys or something?

Let's move on.


 3:22 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Please - you guys are simply defending cheaters. You know as well as I do submitting website to SE is not manipulating anything. BUT creating multiple ones is. Obviously, you either don't know what spam is, you practice it and/or you condone it.


 3:25 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thank you - blaze. It appears that Brett_Tabke is friends with Jason Robbins, the owner of ePromos. And I know that ePromos pays Google a lot of money. So, these guys are getting away with SPAM because of all evils, money. Google isn't just a Free submit site for serp's, they are like Overture - the highest bidder - WINS!


 3:31 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

someone might like to tell the guy he's missing a TITLE tag on the 123imprint home page ;-)

(mind you, if he corrects this he might be manipulating the SERPs... :-O )


 4:57 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Just bought $2k worth of merchandise through them. I'm glad they had such good rankings so that I could find them.

I've yet to see anyone point to anything of a problem on any of the sites listed above.

Oh wait - WebmasterWorld also has webmasterworld.org and the .net that redirect to webmasterworld.com. Does that mean we are spammers? Say it aint so JB.

Hey JB - lets see your sites for some public review time too. I garantee you, that we will find a bannable offense on your site(s).

> If there is no substantialy duplicated content,
> then I don't think we have a problem here..

Exactly - it is all unique content and specifically targetted. Again, it should win some awards for promotion.

Those out there wondering how to promote your sites in a search engine friendly manner that helps the users find quality content and the search engines list quality content, should look at this set of sites. It is incredible creation of sub sites, specific sites, and affiliate sites. Again, they should win awards.


 5:20 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

The real issue here is the benefit to the searcher. Take the SEO hat off for a minute and do a search here.

Im also in the market for these products, so I had my assistant do the search. I asked her if she found any resources, she replied, "I've got several different places here."

Most prospective buyers like her wouldn't know at first glance that these are affiliated, but they do provide the product they searched for. They pass the user litmus test in that regard, so why the complaint, other than "they beat me to it, wish I had done it first"?


 5:48 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Brett, BigDave - You obviously either are defending a friend

Never heard of him till this thread.

or have other clients

I don't have clients. I do this for fun. I'm a firmware programmer by trade.

or yourself that use these same spamming techniques

Yeah, I must use these techniques on the one non-commercial .org site that I am the volunteer webmaster on. Oh yeah, and my personal site, and my blog. That's three sites and I sometimes use the same words on each of them. Quite the spammer I is.

or you just don't know what you are talking about.

You may disagree with me, but that does not mean that I do not know what I am talking about. And I find it really entertaining that you are telling Brett that he doesn't know what he is talking about. He is smart and he has been at this a long time. Where as I'm just really smart.

At least I am smart enough to avoid getting into such a competitive field full of sites selling all the smae junk for some other big company.


Not it isn't, at least not till google decides that it is. And they might, but I doubt it.

The sites are not all aimed at that one specific term. They are aimed at all sorts of different terms, but they come up on this one generic term.

I have reported them and I hope that Google will give them what they deserve - BANN THEM!

I suspect that the best you could hope for is that they don't let companies with the same whois info dominate a specific SERP.

I know GG commented one time that a very large percentage of the spam reports are never acted on because the sites are not spamming in google's eyes.

Anytime you are doing something to manipulate the SERP's - it is spam, period.

In their Guidelines page, Google tells you things that you should do to improve your ranking. I did those things. I do not think that is spamming.

Is it spamming for someone to change their anchor test from "click here" on all their internal links to something descriptive? Is it spam to ask an on-topic site to link to you? That is marketing, not spam.

PromoPeddler has two websites in the top 10 (#1 & #6) under the same search term (promotional items) that have almost 4,000,000 completing pages.

And that is only one incredibly generic term. The same guy owns over half the car dealers in my town. Is he spamming by getting all those listings when someone searches on "townname car dealer", but he only has one entry show up for "townname ford dealer"? Do you comprehend the difference?

Hey, I just found a real big spammer! I just did a search on a term that returns 1.5 million results and all these organisations that he is connected with are hogging the top spots. Try it yourself "Jimmy Carter". And the same thing happens with the 76 million result search on "microsoft" except they own the top 12 results.

The sites look different but they sell the same 950,000 items that all of us other distributors sell.


So, there are thousands of you selling exactly the same junk, that you all have drop shipped from the same companies, with exactly the same quality (or lack thereof) and almost exactly the same price.

So you are saying that removing his multiple sites are not going to help the searcher one little bit, it will only help his competitors!?!?

In fact, it will probably harm the searcher, because some of the other sites that I checked out were really crappy.

Seriously, if those sites are duplicates, so are 90% of the other sites that I looked at in that search. Whether or not they are "owned by the same company", they are all selling a duplicate list of drop-shipped junk. Get rid of them all.

Well, now you have reported them, and it is in Google''s hands. Go take a few good deep breaths and go back to work on your own sites and forget about it.

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