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Cunning tactics at hand - not sure what though, any ideas?

Messages in little known forums packed with pop-ups and redirects

     
4:19 pm on Sep 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I'll get straight to the point - I was looking at a certain UK high-street store and seeing what links they had to them to determine how well they were performing for certain phrases - research really. Anyhow I quickly discovered a number of links coming from completely unrelated well-hidden US message forums.

If you click any of the links you are quickly redirected to a number of u-buy.net sites and other company sites, including Amazon and three large UK high-street store sites. There is also a pop-up requesting to make one of the pages your favourites.

I am very confused and suspicious, has anyone out there got an idea as to what is going on? Is it some affiliate scam - I can't believe the UK stores would put their name to this kind of thing. And how do 'whoever are doing this' load a message in a forum with all the code to redirect and pop-up when clicked on?

Lastly - what's the point? Very strange....

4:28 pm on Sept 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

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It sounds to me that you've found the handiwork of a forum or guestbook spammer. I know we have one or two artisans of that craft as members here, I've seen some VERY slick work. It can get very sophisticated --think what inline CSS can do to effect the position of a posted div, whether a link is underlined, or even if the cursor responds to an active link.

>what's the point?
>
It builds link pop.

>how do 'whoever are doing this' load a message in a forum with all the code to redirect and pop-up when clicked on?
>
If the forum or guestbook accepts html, they simply post the code.

4:37 pm on Sept 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Which further supports the justifications brought up in this post about Webmasterworld community standards...

[webmasterworld.com...]

[edited by: Quinn at 4:54 pm (utc) on Sep. 27, 2002]

4:43 pm on Sept 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Welcome to WebmasterWorld, Quinn. Yes, there have been attempts --some good ones. Let's just say that Brett is more than a whiz at analyzing referrals, both incoming and outgoing.
5:36 pm on Sept 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

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So what's the deal - surely these big companies aren't aware or approving of this kind of tactic.

Would I be right in assuming this tactic is driven by the SEO company on behalf of the client who are unaware and just see the traffic.

It seems to me like some elaborate pop-up ad delivery technique to maximise (unethically) the rate of click-throughs.

So what's the general consensus - is it ethical, what does it achieve and how do I do it? :)

I think this needs further investigating - would anyone mind if I named names?

5:43 pm on Sept 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

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>would anyone mind if I named names

No names, please.

5:46 pm on Sept 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

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<added>

>surely these big companies aren't aware or approving of this kind of tactic.

I'd say there's a 50/50 chance that the company's marketing department knows about it.

11:37 pm on Sept 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

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To my knowledge, you cannot track outgoing "referrals". Unless you precursor the links with a script to track the URL. Such as:

'http://www.webmasterworld.com/sendto.php?http://www.somesite.com/'

As far as I know, that's not the case.

9:43 am on Sept 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Is it just me or am I the only one that seems to be interested/concerned in this?

Is no one reading this thread or is everyone closing ranks?

I'd like to broaden the discussion to understand the implications of this tactic and how wide-spread it is. Does anyone know of others using this tactic or is any member using themself?

Come on let's generate some discussion...

5:39 pm on Sept 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

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>interested/concerned
>
This is an old, old gambit.

>Does anyone know of others using this tactic or is any member using themself?
>
I'd say the numbers are off the charts on the usual forms of guestbook and forum spamming. Pick just about any guestbook, look for the following: "interesting site" or "good work"

9:55 pm on Oct 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

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This [webmasterworld.com] is a good read from WebmasterWorld not too long ago.