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Google Explains How You Can Effectively Use a Free Hosting Service

     
4:59 pm on Mar 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Google Explains How You Can Effectivley Use a Free Hosting Service [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com]
If a free hosting service begins to show patterns of spam, we make a strong effort to be granular and tackle only spammy pages or sites. However, in some cases, when the spammers have pretty much taken over the free web hosting service or a large fraction of the service, we may be forced to take more decisive steps to protect our users and remove the entire free web hosting service from our search results. To prevent this from happening, we would like to help owners of free web hosting services by sharing what we think may help you save valuable resources like bandwidth and processing power, and also protect your hosting service from these spammers



  • Publish a clear abuse policy and communicate it to your users

  • In your sign-up form, consider using CAPTCHAs

  • Try to monitor your free hosting service for other spam signals

  • Keep a record of signups and try to identify typical spam patterns

  • Keep an eye on your webserver log files for sudden traffic spikes
  • Try to monitor your free web hosting service for phishing and malware-infected pages.

  • Come up with a few sanity checks. For example, if you’re running a local Polish free web hosting service, what are the odds of thousands of new and legitimate sites in Japanese being created overnight on your service?
  • 11:28 pm on Mar 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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    WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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    OK, that's the site owner. What about the user? It would have been nice for g### to tell potential users how they can find out in advance if the host they're looking at is already blocked. I mean, it's not the kind of information a host is going to volunteer, is it?

    That's assuming for the sake of discussion that you have something legitimate to say but can't cough up $10/month to say it with.
    12:39 am on Mar 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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    And if you are running a free email service or a free blog hosting service ..you should make sure that your users are not creating accounts to send spam emails, or 419s or phishing emails..and that the users on your blog hosting are not listing links to files of copyright material such as movies , software and music on cyber lockers..

    Oh ...wait..
    4:15 am on Mar 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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    No legitimate company ever uses free hosting.
    4:42 am on Mar 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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    Hmmm....

    Why is it that google can only "make a strong effort to be granular and tackle only spammy pages or sites."

    Is the algo not good enough to tell a legitimate site (or legitimate page) from a spam one?
    7:30 am on Mar 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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    I think the distinction they're talking about is between site/page and host-as-a-whole.

    Or did you mean the "make a strong effort" part? There's always a gray area. You have to decide whether black starts at #010101; or #767676; *


    * Hasty edit here to change from original FEFEFE and 898989. Oops.
    10:52 am on Mar 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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    No legitimate company ever uses free hosting.

    I know plenty of legitimate community organisations that do and quite a few sole traders.
    12:03 pm on Mar 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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    No legitimate company ever uses free hosting.


    I'm reminded of the old saying: "Poverty is no disgrace, but it's no recommendation either".

    By using a free service a very negative impression can be given out. Sure there may be worthwhile organisations using them but there are a lot more unworthy ones too, so why take the risk of being classified alongside them?
    12:05 pm on Mar 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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    No legitimate company ever uses free hosting.

    blogger, blogspot, wordpress blogs etc all do very well in search results.
    12:30 pm on Mar 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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    There are some very good hobby sites out there, so this is welcome advice for those that create value online out of their interests.
    11:56 pm on Mar 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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    No legitimate company ever uses free hosting.


    You mean like Google? They offer free hosting.
    2:52 am on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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    No legitimate company ever uses free hosting.


    Incorrect.

    That's such a wide generalization it's nearly offensive ;)

    There are lots of small businesses or part time businesses that are operating on such thin margins that paying for a monthly hosting account isn't viable in their current financial situation.

    For instance I know a small daycare biz, she's licensed, it doesn't make a lot but it pays the bills. She won't pay for a hosting account because that's food on the table.

    Likewise, lots of artists and photographers on the fringe, barely making a living, often use the free hosting route.

    Lack of success or deep pockets doesn't make them any less legitimate.

    blogger, blogspot, wordpress blogs etc all do very well in search results.


    Exactly.

    Been using some blogspot blogs for years and they rank like crazy.

    It's not what you use, it's what you do with it, as the flip side is people using their own domains or paid hosting that couldn't rank to save their lives.
    6:03 am on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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    Likewise, lots of artists and photographers on the fringe, barely making a living, often use the free hosting route.


    Also, what about facebook? I am sure there are lots of organizations and small businesses that have a facebook fan page and don't have a web site. And facebook fan pages are free to set up, no?

    ~~~~~~

    But I still have to ask: Why wouldn't google be able to tell the wheat from the chaff on a server with lots of spam sites?

    Why would google block the whole server (which I am assuming they are implying) instead of just blocking the spam sites / spam pages on that server?
    7:07 am on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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    Why would google block the whole server (which I am assuming they are implying) instead of just blocking the spam sites / spam pages on that server?

    For the same reason that people hereabouts lock out entire IP ranges or whole classes of browser-- even though we know there are bona fide humans living in the Ukraine*, real people stuck with elderly computers, and so on. Just multiply it by a few orders of magnitude.


    * I once met a well-behaved Ukrainian robot. Truth.
    7:25 am on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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    I once met a well-behaved Ukrainian robot...


    Now, Lucy, that is no way to talk about Alex Trebek...
    7:34 am on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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    For the same reason that people hereabouts lock out entire IP ranges or whole classes of browser--


    yeah, but, that's google's job, isn't it? To find the good stuff amidst all the bad.

    I mean, if they weren't doing that, then they could simply stop paying all their engineers astronautical sums of money to come up with the perfect algorithm, and instead just list irrelevant amazon and wikipeida pages at the top of the SERPs all the time.

    Oh wait...
    7:53 am on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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    Also, what about facebook?


    Artists/photographers do use Facebook a lot, but then again, I did say free hosting.

    Some people think of 'hosting' literally as an FTP site when hosting is often thought of as a place just to host uploaded images and a bio, so even FLickr is technically free hosting.
    2:32 pm on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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    Lots of reasons to use free hosting, and lots of usable free hosts. Unfortunately, lots of *unusable* free hosts, too. Up unto, but not beyond some point, I've tried to persuade a couple of my pro bono clients to get off freebie sites: one, I even offered to pay for a host. His current free host (ISP) displays his pages inside an iframe: difficult to set up SEO, and lots of server-generated code. His is a 501(c)(3) org, difficult to transfer.
    9:19 pm on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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    If you can't afford $5-$20 a month on hosting, you shouldn't be running a business in the first place.
    12:49 am on Mar 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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    >> If you can't afford $5-$20 a month on hosting, you shouldn't be running a business in the first place.

    It isn't always about running a business. Enthusiasts are all over the web and they provide information about stuff that just isn't available from a business. Indeed most (>90%) of the valuable information I've come across on the web over the past 18 years wasn't from a business, but from individuals and people passionate about a topic.

    Either way, we started out on an ISP-based web site in the early days, then a free virtual avenue account back in the late 90s and when the time came, we moved to a web host (actually, a telecom sponsored us) and then shortly thereafter, we got our first dedicated server. Now, we run several servers across the globe and it would have never been possible without the possibility to grow from those first free services.

    We still aren't an 'affiliate site' and we provide useful information to our visitors. This would have never become possible without starting off as a rather small hobby site back in the day.

    Actually, without these free web hosts like ISPs and providers like Virtual Ave and Geocities back in the day, I highly doubt that anyone would have found anything useful with Google search results and thus Google would have had a lesser chance of being a success.