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WebmasterWorld Weekly Roundup April 18
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msg:4566118
 8:54 pm on Apr 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've mentioned e-mail spam previously, and I guess I have more of a fixation about it than many. Most of the time, I don't take notice if it's blocked. Occasionally, I take a look for fun and learning.

But, from where are they getting all these e-mail addresses? Obvious sources include compromised systems, hacks, emails on websites, other spammers, domain name whois, guessed addresses, such as admin@, etc. We all know e-mail spammers will harvest e-mails addresses from just about anywhere they can get them.

The most recent harvesting i've noticed is picking up email addresses which are incoming only, and probably saved at only three places: 1, on my local machine, 2, at the service, 3, at my host. Unless, of course, the spammers are intercepting e-mails, I discounted that because some of the addresses have never sent or received emails.

Was my local machine compromised? Unlikely, as I have a pretty reasonable system in place to avoid being compromised. Additionally, some of the e-mail addresses don't even appear on my machine.

The service used for a specific e-mail address could have been hacked, and much of the time we will probably never know.

It's only when a higher profile address is hacked do we find out. Here's one of the higher profile services that admitted it was hacked. As it happens, I did get email spam from this hack. Dropbox Updates Security And Adds New Features Following Stolen User Details.

One of the other high profile services, which shall remain nameless, is the only other location for some of the e-mails.

The ISP/Webhost is probably the only other place I can think of, and has a connection between two. It makes me wonder if the harvesters have somehow broken into its database and harvesting addresses without the host even knowing.

All of these things are possible, and more, of course.

Either way, the e-mail spammer will continue to ply their trade while people will still buy from them. As to why people still buy, I have no idea. I imagine these buyers sitting in their trailers with a fixed stare at their screens, scrolling through tens of thousands of spam e-mails waiting for the next big stock offer to come through, or the placebo blue pill offer, or their next bride to be.



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The previous WebmasterWorld Weekly is here.

Welcome to this week's WebmasterWorld Weekly Roundup.

Since the previous Weekly, WebmasterWorld Members were discussing how hackers achieve well ranking sites in Google's SERPs.Google





News was out that Mozilla is working with payment vendors and the W3C standards body to create a common API to make online payments, both on desktop and mobile, easier and more secure.Mozilla







We all know that, according to Google, you're not supposed to buy links to artificially boost ranking, don't we? Well, the question arises, does buying links actually help? Join the discussion and read the reaction in our thread on the topic.

WebmasterWorld's monthly look at Google's SERPs changes shows that there is a lot of flux and volatility. How's your site been doing this month?

Facebook has rolled out new Open Graph tools for developers to make it easier to set up an app's Open Graph stories and timeline collections.Facebook




News was out that Microsoft and others were backing a FairSearch complaint in Europe over Google Android Apps being pre-loaded. Now, where have I heard this before? ;)Android






Do you know how to recover from a rankings drop in Google? WebmasterWorld Members were discussing this under the partucular circumstance of spidering isses.

This week, Google announced support for X-default hreflang for International landing pages. Read more about the implementation in our thread.

Facebook is making moves to make ad targeting more accurate. Now, advertisers can target to 500 specific segments, including "Dairy and Egg Buyers" and customers looking for a full-size sedan rather than just any car.

Avoid the most common mistakes using rel=canonical, and find out about best practice.

This week there was a major attack on WordPress sites that were under threat from a global attack of the most common user and password configurations.WordPress





The EU has reached a deal with Google meaning it will not have to change the algorithm that produces its search results. Under the proposal, Google agrees to clearly label search results from its own properties, like Google Plus Local or Google News, and in some cases to show links from rival search engines.

According to reports, Bing is testing variable numbers of search returns, some with as few as five.Bing






We heard that Google is to shutter it's Affiliate Network over the next few months. The announcement seemed to come out of the blue.

In our thread titled, "Twitter Advertising Introduces Keyword Targeting In Timelines" the company goes on to explain the introduction of keyword targeting. Twitter stated, "Enter the keywords you want to target, choose whether you want to use phrase match or unordered keyword match, and specify your other targeting options such as geographic location, device and gender.Twitter





We heard that Microsoft will be adding optional two-step verification to your Accounts over the next few days.Microsoft





Google's image search has resulted in a 63pct decrease in image search referrals after Google's new image search UI was released. Read more about the assessment in our thread. How has your image search traffic been impacted?

Bing's image search will feature the standard Pinterest 'Pinit' button on every photo details page. WebmasterWorld members observe that this new Bing feature appears to ignore NOPIN meta tags.



WebmasterWorld's Weekly is taking a break next week, and will be back on May 2.
In the meantime, if you've found some news that we haven't covered or discussed, drop me a message, or post it yourself and let me have the link.
Enjoy your week!

Cheers
Neil
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