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I'm going to guess something changed recently. Anyone else notice anything different with their Google Alerts?
I just followed 2 of 8 that were in a recent notification. Both were junk sites. One of them tried the "virus scanning" tactic on me, scared me there for a minute.
I've just gone through me last ten alerts. I'm seeing a lot more junk now than before. It is almost as if Google opened up another part of its index and now I'm seeing things that have probably been there for a while and just not picked up via Google Alerts.
Man, look at all this junk it is picking up, whew...
So either a lot more people are cloaking or google is playing tricks. I don't think all of the sites are cloaking, if any, since as far as I can tell they are reputable, and I cannot imagine that the ones I've looked at would link to our site for any reason.
Also seeing a lot of strange ones - like russian, chinese, even arabic fonts.
I'm convinced something changed, and it was a big change.
The number of Google Alerts is definitely up considerably. I have mine set to "as they happen" so I've seen the increase on a one by one level.
After following those first two links and ending up on one of those Virus Scanning malware sites, I'm gun shy about following any more of them. Now I'm just hovering over the links to see where they lead and boy oh boy, what a bunch of garbage Google is now sending me.
And yes, there are .cn, .jp, .ru and all sorts of interesting TLDs showing up. Most of it looks like scraped content. And some of it appears to be cloaked content.
I've also been getting alerts for Google searches. Yes, it is a Google URI with a query appended. Some really bizarre stuff that wasn't there with previous alerts.
a mention in a blogroll sidebar
Those repeated alerts are making me a bit crazy. Also sending me Home Page urls instead of Permalinks. By the time I check, the home page has often moved on.
I guess it's just a minor annoyance to put up with, and the trade off is seeing more deep mentions, more social media and such. There are new services popping up all the time now that promise they "deep index" social media and the like. I imagine Google feels some pressure to keep pace.