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"Spam" results in search engine results
Alikris



 
Msg#: 4613768 posted 12:31 pm on Sep 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hia, not sure if I'm posting in the correct forum, so please excuse me if this is the wrong place.

When I do a websearch of my website URL I get lots of useless 'spam' results such as (without mentioning the websites concerned):

In the United Kingdom, example.co.uk is ranked 1187747, with an estimated 567 monthly visitors a month. Click to view other data about this site.

13 Best Websites that are similar to example.co.uk

insights, traffic stats and domain information

Is example.co.uk safe and reliable?

example.co.uk is ranked number 18781697 in the world according to the ****** Traffic Rank.

See the status of example.co.uk right now, and if it is down today for everyone or only for you. Instantly see if example is down or offline.

*****Register's example.co.uk whois information. example.co.uk Domain Name Records and information about who owns example.co.uk from *****Register.

Domain information. Country: Bulgarian Visit domain: http://www.example.co.uk/. Other domains in the same area.


That's just a very very small selection of the rubbish that clogs up search results.

I have never given permission for any of these companies to profile my website, and strongly object to them doing so. I have blocked many many of these companies in my htaccess, but it doesn't stop them. One of them even promotes 'free membership', but doesn't make it clear that the membership they are referring to is for their website, not mine!

A very few of these 'spam' sites offer delisting, which I have made use of, but the vast majority don't.

Apart from blocking them in my htaccess, is there anything I can do to stop these results in a web search for my website? Also, why do search engines fill up otherwise relevant results with all this rubbish ?

Many thanks,
Ali.

 

anallawalla

WebmasterWorld Administrator anallawalla us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4613768 posted 4:04 am on Oct 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

You don't get to choose whether other sites mention you in the manner depicted. They usually have some financial motive in attracting visits to their sites.

There is no need to block them from your site as they are unlikely to visit you, except, perhaps some that take a thumbnail, but the thumbnail-taking site could be a third party. Make your site so good that your own results fill up the top results.

lucy24

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



 
Msg#: 4613768 posted 6:58 am on Oct 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

All those sites have looked you up because at some time in the past someone else asked about you. Not a thing you can do about it.

But where are these results showing up? Before your own site? How long has your site been established?

For comparison purposes I tried the same thing myself-- not a site: search but a direct search for example.com. My front page came in at #1. (Whew!) But they must not like my anchors, because instead of a single result with sitelinks*, they went on to list an assortment of other pages in no discernible order. (#2 is a page nobody ever visits, though I wish they would ;) One whole directory is conspicuous by its absence. This makes me anxious.)

Scrolling down further (I do 30/page by default so there's a lot to scroll), getting into typo territory, I learn with interest that I am worth $118. This is approximately $118 more than the site has ever earned.

If your actual front page shows up as one of the first
results-- preferably the first if you're searching for your exact name-- you are OK. If it doesn't, you may be in trouble.


* This has no relation to site size. My art studio's site, which is less than 20 pages and gets about two human visitors a week, comes out with a gorgeous array of sitelinks, just as if it were amazon dot com ;)

piatkow

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



 
Msg#: 4613768 posted 11:10 am on Oct 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

As long as your own site comes first when searching on the url then what's the problem?

I only see the type of sites mentioned when searching on my site's actual url.

Alikris



 
Msg#: 4613768 posted 11:58 am on Oct 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks for your replies.

I think you're misunderstanding me. This isn't about my site position in search engine rankings (I'm ranked both 1st and second), it's not about how Google lists me (it does so correctly, just as I want it to), it's about how the search engine results are being clogged up by totally inappropriate 'spam' listings. Many people access my site (which has an unusual, very memorable and rarely used elsewhere adjective combined with a noun as a name) by doing a direct Google search for my site name (don't even need to put http or www or .com or .co.uk) then clicking the link to my site. These days this is quite common apparently, using Google instead of browser bookmarks.

What's the problem? The problem is these companies are being listed in a search for MY site. As I have said, one of them even offers free membership, Their first and actual words under the mysite.theirsite heading is "Continue to Page Join for Free" without making any effort to show that the 'free membership' refers to their site NOT mine.

I have no objection to genuine results from other websites or people who happen to use what I call my site as a genuine descriptive for an activity which is unrelated to my target audience (mostly youtube and photo sites links).

I learn with interest that I am worth $118. This is approximately $118 more than the site has ever earned


Exactly, results such as these are often totally wrong and are also inappropriate. The ordinary person in the street searching for your site wants YOUR site, not whois info, or how many other websites are hosted on the same server, or how much some automated script thinks your site is worth.

It also angers me that these companies are using MY domain name as an advertisement for their services. Something I have NEVER given permission for anyone to do. Many of them list MY site as a subdomain of their site (eg, http:// mysite.theirsite.com) Again, this is totally unacceptable.

13 Best Websites that are similar to example.co.uk
is ok I supposde I feel because it is relevant result for people searching for sites like mine, but that's as far as I would go.

All those sites have looked you up because at some time in the past someone else asked about you


My site has been online since May 2001, so I suppose it is possible, but I can assure you, many many many of the 4,000 + results that are returned when my exact site url is typed into Google (or 6,000 + responses from Bing etc) are automated spam listings that no human being has ever been anywhere near.

I can't believe that yous all find this state of affairs acceptable?

Ali.

lucy24

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



 
Msg#: 4613768 posted 7:23 pm on Oct 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

What's the problem? The problem is these companies are being listed in a search for MY site.

I think everyone responding to this thread got the impression you were talking about a search using
"example.com"
as the search term. That's not a search for your site. It's a search for any page that happens to mention the site name. In fact the search engine is helping us out by including pages whose URL includes the string "example.com" --or "example.org" or "examples.com" or similar, with the same variations you'd see in any lexical word. This literal text may not occur anywhere in the body of a page.

If you want to search for your site you have to use the "site:" operator.

In the course of experimenting, I discovered that you can say "link:" or you can say "linkto:" or you can say "links:" ... and they all mean different things. I wish they would explain this somewhere.

Alikris



 
Msg#: 4613768 posted 8:05 pm on Oct 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think we're crossing wires here Lucy. But thanks for your reply.

Grab the first person you meet in the street and ask them how they search for a website. I can guarantee you they will never have heard of the "site:" operative. What they do is put the name of the site into a search engine (just the key word, no www or .com etc) and go to the site that way. I've got the logs to prove it, I've even asked my members and they mostly do this when using their mobile phones etc. I mean even I do it when accessing my site on my mobile! That's what I mean by 'searching for my site'. More and more browsers are even using the address bar as a search bar, which actually promotes using search engines to access a specific site.

Now, the issue I have has got nothing to do with how Google, or any other search engine lists my site. My issue has to do with various companies using my domain name to promote their services, and the search engines complicity in this. As I said in the first sentence of my first post:

When I do a websearch of my website URL I get lots of useless 'spam' results such as (without mentioning the websites concerned):

I have never given permission for any of these companies to profile my website, and strongly object to them doing so. Especially the likes of one company which, as I have already said more than once promotes 'free membership', but doesn't make it clear that the membership they are referring to is for their website, not mine!

If I had the money I would sue these companies for tradmark infringement because that is exactly what is happening. They are using my trade mark and my domain name in order to promote their (IMO) useless services. Do you feel this is acceptable? Because I certainly don't.

I'm sorry we've obviously been misunderstanding each other here. To be honest I think I'm going to give up on this thread, but I'll try just once more. Going back to the first post in this thread, my question is
Apart from blocking them in my htaccess, is there anything I can do to stop these results in a web search for my website [clarification - searching for my website the way the ordinary person in the street searches for websites]? Also, why do search engines fill up otherwise relevant results with all this rubbish ?


Ali.

lucy24

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



 
Msg#: 4613768 posted 11:59 pm on Oct 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Blocking a site in htaccess in this case is analogous to blocking a search engine in robots.txt. It won't prevent it from mentioning your site by name, it will just prevent it from saying anything about it. A much more interesting question is how the search engine found these pages in the first place. Did someone else link to them, or does the search engine plug "example.com" into the site's URL formula, in the same way that it tries adding bogus parameters or requesting nonexistent pages?

Now, the issue I have has got nothing to do with how Google, or any other search engine lists my site.

It should, though, because it's all about interpretation of the search term. How is the search engine to know that when you put "example.com" in the search box, you want to find only results from the site example.com? Not just the first result-- which we've got-- but every result to the exclusion of all others. That's a major reinterpretation of the search-engine concept. What if someone wants to find out what others are saying about example dot com?

They are using my trade mark and my domain name in order to promote their (IMO) useless services.

It's got nothing to do with your domain name. The name only came up because someone searched for it. It could just as well be amazon dot com or irs dot gov.

Ideally, a search for a site name will bring in that exact-match site in #1 place, preferably with sitelinks. That's enough for the people who use a search engine as an address bar. Results 2-999 can be anything else.

Ordinary humans may not know what the site: operator is. But they've got no excuse for not knowing the difference between a search box and an address bar.

SevenCubed

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4613768 posted 1:14 am on Oct 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

What if someone wants to find out what others are saying about example dot com?

intext:"lucy24" would be the method to use to find the buzz you are creating (like a cosmic bee).
inurl:example.com would also be a better choice for your link(to)(s): example.

ken_b

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



 
Msg#: 4613768 posted 1:39 am on Oct 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Ordinary humans may not know what the site: operator is. But they've got no excuse for not knowing the difference between a search box and an address bar.


I dunno, since ordinary humans can search from the address bar, not knowing the difference might be understandable.

.

Alikris



 
Msg#: 4613768 posted 12:50 pm on Oct 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

It's got nothing to do with your domain name.


Lucy, here is a typical entry in Google search results:

mysite.com insights, traffic stats and domain information

www.web****insights.net/site/check?url=mysite.com
Contact information. The owner of mysite.com is mysite.com. They can be reached via phone under +44 115 9170000, Fax: +44 115 9170442. Their Email ...


Now, tell me, how has that got nothing to do with my site?

mysite.com MYSITE - Web Analysis - Stats****
www.stat***.com ‎Review by Stat****
16 Jul 2013 - mysite.com stats - web status: online, pagerank: 4/10, last updated: 16 Jul 2013.


Again, how has that got nothing to do with my site? These companies are using my sitename, my trademark without my permission. I have never given them permission to profile me or my website.

I'm sorry, I don't know how else to explain it

Results 2-999 can be anything else.


So don't you care what results 2 to 999 are?

Ordinary humans may not know what the site: operator is. But they've got no excuse for not knowing the difference between a search box and an address bar.


Sorry, but that just shows how out of touch you are. A lot of my friends come to me to sort out their computer problems, and they know absolutely nothing about even the most basic things. Heck, many people don't even know what a 'browser' is. When I tell them their browser needs updating, they stare at me with blank faces, when I explain it to them they don't understand how I can "update the Internet" or why it should even need updating. They have multiple toolbars that are their staring at them but they don't know what they are or how they got there, so they just ignore them, despite them taking up valuable screen estate. When I get rid of these toolbars for them they are surprised I could do that.

How on earth are they to know the difference between a search box and address bar when they don't even know what these terms mean?

Ali.

lucy24

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



 
Msg#: 4613768 posted 9:10 pm on Oct 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

There's a difference between what people do know and what people should know. There exist people who will burn out their cars due to not changing the oil, under the excuse that they didn't know this was something that needed to be done. I once met my father's newest au pair stranded in the street because the car had inexplicably stopped. It had run out of gas. (This is a true story.) To all evidence a perfectly sentient adult.

how has that got nothing to do with my site?

Substitute the name of any other active domain in the world and you'll get similar results. It's no more cashing in on your site than a lookup tool is cashing in on your IP if you search for
www.example.com/11.22.33.44

So don't you care what results 2 to 999 are?

If a person's sole reason for looking up my domain name was to find my site because they're too uninformed to type its name-- which clearly they already know-- in the correct place, then no, I don't care. Why should I? They themselves won't look beyond #1. If they do look further, it means they were after something other than a link to the site.

You might as well complain that when people look up your personal human name, the search engine has no right to mention anything other than sites you've personally sanctioned or contributed to.

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