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Google Payday Loan search update to target spammy queries
Whitey

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 3:36 am on Jun 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts: We just started a new ranking update today for some spammy queries. See 2:30-3:10 of this video: [goo.gl...] #smx
[youtube.com...]
Google has officially launched a new search update to target “spammy queries” such as payday loan, #*$!ographic and other heavily spammed queries.


Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, announced this on Twitter saying “We just started a new ranking update today for some spammy queries.” He pointed to the video he published where he talked about upcoming Google SEO changes.

Our summary then was:

While queries that tend to be spammy in nature, such as [pay day loans] or some #*$!ographic related queries, were somewhat less likely to be a target for Google’s search spam team – Matt Cutts said Google is more likely to look at this area in the near future. He made it sound like these requests are coming from outside of Google and thus Google wants to address those concerns with these types of queries.

[searchengineland.com...]

 

atlrus

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 11:15 pm on Jun 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

The major problem with Payday Loans was that the Wordpress Social Media widget had its source code compromised ...


One of many. The MrCutts payday loan blog was ranking on pure old-fashioned comment spam (not on WP), as far as ahref was showing. The site appears to have been removed from blog co.uk completely, which would account for it not appearing in the results anymore.

I have competitors ranking via links which are 100% on unrelated websites and hidden in the code using display:none (I suspect those are hacked websites)

Basic things like that should be caught right off the bat, but are not. Google's algo is just too big for its britches and misses a lot of basic stuff. And they are adding more and more to it every week! I don't see how it would work, other than trowing in the towel and try to salvage as much of the high profile searches as possible via manual action.

johnhh

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 11:24 pm on Jun 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

@jmccormac
my info it is a plugin that is used widely sets a 'hidden' link using css to locate the link outside viewable area ( don't all rush at once !)

brotherhood of LAN keeping track is difficult maybe - @but how much money do Google make ? How much of that on a % basis would it cost to create a team to deal with it ?
serve a result when there is one to be served
not that difficult on the keywords in question - theres about 3 or 4 major players in the UK
aristotle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 12:19 am on Jun 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

currently No.4 in google UK serps for 'payday loans' is
paydayloansfrommrcutts.blog.co.uk

So when is Mr. Cutts going to make his next video about all the great things they're doing to make the algorithm even more perfect than it already is?

jmccormac

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 1:09 am on Jun 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

@atlrus What made the WP Social Media hack so effective was that it hit a lot of sites right on the index page and people thought it was secure when it was being installed. The Social Media widget had its source code compromised and it was published by Wordpress. It was pulled and a malware free version was then published. The problem is that many web developers use Wordpress as a production tool and most of them apparently have no maintenance agreements with clients so there are lots of compromised sites still around.

Perhaps the people in Google aren't as bright as the press releases and publicity would have us believe. Having seen the rubbish that is in the Google index despite the sites being hacked, I don't think that they are not dealing with this issue competently. It is fairly basic stuff but it is like they've twiddled the algorithm so badly that it is no longer effective when it comes to dealing with what is, essentially, a links problem.

@johnhh Yep. And this one is an easy enough signature to detect given that it is limited to one particular CMS.

Regards...jmcc

JohnRoy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 4:22 am on Jun 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hats off to Kelowna msg:4557115 . . .
[webmasterworld.com...]

Don't believe me?
Go check out what the payday loans serps look like.
- Mar 21, 2013
Dinkar

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 6:44 am on Jun 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

it is limited to one particular CMS


not one; at least two. Add joomla to the list and there may be many others.

johnhh

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 9:42 am on Jun 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

joomla is the one I saw as well

internetheaven

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 1:57 pm on Jun 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Ha! This is hilarious! The black hat community pranked Matt Cutts over payday loans (they ranked a site for that term and called it "Matt Cutts Payday Loans") ... so Google acts all interested in spam all of a sudden?

That's funny. Personally, they should have just put their tail between their legs and kept quiet. Talk about arrogance.

diberry

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 3:42 pm on Jun 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

I wish someone would attempt a spam prank like this on Bing. It would be interesting to see if they can be gamed as easily as Google, and it's just that nobody's bothering, or if they really are doing something better in that regard.

peter2013



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 3:49 pm on Jun 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Seems Google team is determined to bring down spammy sites at all costs

jmccormac

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 3:57 pm on Jun 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Dinkar There are many others but the Wordpress Social Media plugin hack was, as far as I know, a Wordpress problem. But a lot of the recent Payday Loans link injections were from the compromised Wordpress Social Media plugin/widget. They all seem to be for a set of links. With Joomla and other site compromises, the profile of the links tends to follow the classic drugs/warez/pron pattern. The Social Media plugin compromises only had Payday Loan links. From a search engine developer viewpoint, it makes it far easier to deal with as anything with these toxic links can be considered compromised. However the hardcore search engine developer attitude is to nuke anything compromised from the index. The Google approach seems to be a bit happy-clappy in that it is content to leave hacked and spammed websites in the index.

Regards...jmcc

atlrus

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 5:53 pm on Jun 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

I wish someone would attempt a spam prank like this on Bing. It would be interesting to see if they can be gamed as easily as Google, and it's just that nobody's bothering, or if they really are doing something better in that regard.


I don't think people in the UK have ever heard of bing :)

jmccormac

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 6:25 pm on Jun 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

I don't think people in the UK have ever heard of bing :)
Surely they are familar with 'Friends'? :) Then again Google has about 90% of the UK Search market from what I remember. Yahoo just gave it up and Microsoft never really had much of a clue.

Regards...jmcc

HuskyPup



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 7:41 pm on Jun 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

I don't think people in the UK have ever heard of bing :)


All the techies I drink with at night ALL know about Bing now, I've been hammering it down their throats for more than a year now and they're starting to use it because of G's awful results.

ken_b

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 11:29 pm on Jun 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

How many of you folks PROMOTE an alt SE on your sites?

viral



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 11:38 pm on Jun 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

The problem with Bing is that MS is just as bad as Google and in some ways worse. However having said that I use them and promote them to my colleagues and friends in an attempt to get some competition in place for Google.

heisje

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 2:21 pm on Jun 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

The Silence from Cutts on recent developments is Deafening. But then, there is little left to say . . . .

hitchhiker

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 2:56 pm on Jun 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

I was surprised by this also, either:

a) There are not enough of us hurt.
b) They are too worried about appearing weak.
c) They are planning a massive update to fix this.

My guess:

a) Isn't reasonable - the 'deafening' cry is definitely there. It is also greater than what we hear (as many didn't bother to post)

b) Likely :( As was pointed out (to me) a million +1 times!

c) A while back I would have insisted on this, but now no, i don't think there's an update coming to fix it. Reason: They could have stopped the subsequent rolling updates, they didn't.

Never seen anything like this. What's happening now is significant, one way or another we're witnessing something very odd.

viral



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 11:36 pm on Jun 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

Lol currently the top 6 results in google.co.uk are all redirecting to other sites and cloaking.

Amazing Mr Cutts glad you wiped this out. It would appear that blog.co.uk is being used to facilitate this but they look like they are making an effort to stop the spammers also.

My guess is that blog.co.uk will soon be struck from the index. possibly tripod.co.uk also.

brotherhood of LAN

WebmasterWorld Administrator brotherhood_of_lan us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 11:41 pm on Jun 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

>blog.co.uk
>tripod.co.uk

The so-called-problem isn't specific to them.

You can point the finger at these sites for allowing HTML content/links, or whatever user interaction they allow.

Or perhaps put Google at fault for placing too much 'trust' in what it perceives to be trustworthy/brandworthy/googleworthy domains.

Those domains are being used because Google values 'things' from particular domains more than other domains.

atlrus

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 11:44 pm on Jun 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

Really exciting times

I want to see google's response to this - the only way they can fix it is by manually selecting the top 10 results, which would be the one solid undeniable proof that certain websites are treated with preference. After all, someone has to select the top 10 and it's not going to be the algo.

viral



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 11:52 pm on Jun 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

What I find really interesting is that it even outranks Wikipedia. I would have thought Google would have just tweaked up Wikipedia's power for those particular searches.

seoskunk



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 11:53 pm on Jun 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

Lets face it BH is running ring round google.

To take a market they first destabilise the top ranked sites through negative seo. Then they mix links to authority sites with their own links. Use a subdomain of a so called trusted site and rank again.

Apart from the kiddies in BH there are some seriously intelligent players.

Google has become a BH2B engine, Black Hat 2 Brands...............

viral



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 11:58 pm on Jun 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

@seoskunk absolutely right and the only reason we don't see it other areas is that the payment model is too hard. If the BHers could bank in other niches like they can in payday loans Google's index would be a total mess.

rish3



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 12:27 am on Jun 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

It's not just black hatters manipulating the SERPS. Plenty of large, recognizable "brands" regularly buy high PR backlinks.

lucy24

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 1:38 am on Jun 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

What I find really interesting is that it even outranks Wikipedia. I would have thought Google would have just tweaked up Wikipedia's power for those particular searches.

Either they've changed it in the past hour and a half, or they're feeding me different results. Currently browser #1 gets me wikipedia in first place, followed by-- hold on to your hats-- an article dated 2008 I suspect this is a mistake from .ftc.gov. Within the top 10 there are at least two whose domain name alone would tell any human that these are garbage results.

Browser #2 still has wikipedia at the top, but the ftc is further down in the top 10. To make up for it, the most obvious garbage links aren't there at all.

viral



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 2:06 am on Jun 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

I am looking at google.co.uk which is where the big problem appears to be.

Wikipedia last link on front page for me.

atlrus

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 3:05 am on Jun 21, 2013 (gmt 0)



First 4 results - spammy subdomains of blog and tripod co uk, next 5 - unrelated sites and Wiki at the bottom. Wow, how embarrassing this must be for Cutts et al.

seoskunk



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 11:41 pm on Jun 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is it time we created our own SE? [webmasterworld.com...]

nickreynolds

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4583327 posted 8:30 pm on Jun 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

I tried to post on this subject about a week ago but my post was banned. I'll try again here. This is not Google bashing - just an illustration of the problem. A search in the uk loan niche produced 10 results on page 1. All the sites had very similar domains ie randomname keyword kewyword. All were registered in the last month and all had around 3k spammy looking backlinks.

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