Google Says “Fuck It” For The Christmas Season, Removes The Ability To Report AdSense Violations

Google Cant Hear You!

It has to be tough policing a program like AdSense. It must be exceptionally difficult during the holiday season, when the payoff to running scams grows so much more. It is so tough, in fact, that this year as the holiday shopping season grows near, with Black Friday just a few short days away, that apparently Google has finally decided to say “fuck it”, make it easier on themselves, just remove the ability for anyone to report any violations of the program whatsoever, and allow the scammers to have a field day in the mean time.

While Google may want to give the impression to their stockholders and the public that they have both the search engine spam and advertising program cheaters fully under control, the truth is that they rely quite a bit on reports from the community and consumers for both spam and AdSense violations. For any spam that they find, Google asks

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Brandlink Communications, TheBloggess, PR Fails, and Fallout

Before reading the rest of this post, if you are not already an avid fan of TheBloggess, and have not read about the PR company vice president who called her a “fucking bitch” due to him being clueless who it was his company was pitching, then you should start here first: Brandlink Communications. Go ahead and read it now, I will wait.

[cue elevator music]

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Taylor Swift’s, Um, Like, YouTube Interview

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift

In which Taylor says “um”, “like”, talks like a Scotsman, laughs, and sometimes gets excited. Sure, she said lots of other stuff too… but I didn’t include any of it in this video.

Proof that Taylor can make you smile regardless of what she is saying:

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How Matt Cutts Leveraged The Stack Overflow And Hacker News Communities In Redefining The Phrase “Content Farms”

A little over a week ago, on the Friday before last, Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Web Spam Team, wrote a post on the Official Google Blog titled “Google search and search engine spam”. This post, and the upcoming changes it discussed, were most likely in response to a growing trend of dissatisfaction with Google’s results that have been cropping up around the blogosphere. In the post Matt talks about how Google feels that things are in fact not as bad as people are saying, and that “Google’s search quality is better than it has ever been in terms of relevance, freshness and comprehensiveness.” He does say that recently, due to increase in both “size and freshness” that of course some spam did get indexed, and also states that as the old, tired, run of the mill spam decreased in Google’s index that Google will now be shifting it’s focus on to content that just sucks:

As “pure webspam” has decreased over time, attention has shifted instead to “content farms,” which are sites with shallow or low-quality content. – Matt Cutts

Whoa. This, especially coming from Matt Cutts, is huge. For those who don’t know, “content farms” are

Read moreHow Matt Cutts Leveraged The Stack Overflow And Hacker News Communities In Redefining The Phrase “Content Farms”

Matt Cutts Criticizes Deceptive Ads, Doesn’t Realize Google Is The One Serving Them

Yesterday over on Daggle.com Danny Sullivan published a post titled, Of Misleading Acai Berry Ads & Fake Editorial Sites. In the article Danny discuses a rising trend of deceptive marketing practices involving fake news sites, the way they rip people off with products they are selling, and the fact that authority sites such as the LA Times are the ones carrying these ads, lending them some credibility in the public eye. Danny states in the post that the ads showing are being served by Zedo, and that he wishes the ad network should raise it’s standards and not allow such blatantly misleading advertising:

Personally, I’d like to see Zedo up its standards for the type of ads it will accept. This type of junk shouldn’t be allowed. – Danny Sullivan

He’s right, too, the ad networks should be policing this type of deception, by all means. Matt Cutts, Google’s head of the web spam team, agrees. He tweeted about the story, and also

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Google Censors Torrent Sites – Except For The Pirate Bay

Yesterday Search Engine Land reported about Google removing piracy-related terms from it’s Instant Search, which includes the word torrents, names of torrent sites, names of torrent clients, and other file sharing sites such as RapidShare and Megaupload. This does raise some concerns, seeing as how, as SELand’s Matt McGee mentions, torrents and file sharing sites in and of themselves are not inherently illegal. Of course, neither is porn, but Google seems to have seen fit to remove that genre from it’s Instant Search as well.

Does this mean that Google really hates torrent sites? Well, not all of them, apparently. The Pirate Bay, world’s largest bittorrent tracker,

Read moreGoogle Censors Torrent Sites – Except For The Pirate Bay

Breaking News: Google Borks the Earth

Want to explore the entire planet from your computer? Normally all anyone wanting to do so would have to do would be to trot on over to Google Earth, download and install their application, and off globe trotting they could go. Today, unfortunately, those who do not already have the program installed are apparently out of luck. It looks like today one of the brighter Google engineers working for one of the world’s leading tech companies has somehow broken not just one of the download links for the application, but all of them.

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zOMG! Jason Calacanis Lied Again?? Shocker!

Last Thursday, in response to Matt Cutts stating that he needed more than “arbitrary inurl searches” to sway him (which was in turn in response to a Hacker News submission about Mahalo and the plethora of keyword rich domains they were apparently building out) I wrote a post explaining in some detail how the latest Mahalo spam is in fact spam. I demonstrated in the post how Jason had developed a linkfarm which was being used as a link source back to Mahalo.com. It wasn’t just that the individual sites were all linking back to the mother site, which would in fact be normal, but also that the pages were linking back to specific pages within the main site, pages that in many cases had few, if any, links going to them aside from the ones from this linkfarm.

Each time it happens Matt’s defense of Mahalo spamming Google just gets more perplexing. In this latest round he started by saying that his job was not to have knee jerk reactions, as if Mahalo hadn’t already established a pattern of spamming over a long period of time, and that Matt is pretending he hadn’t already had a talk with Jason and told him that if he didn’t raise the bar with his site that Google would take action on Mahalo. From there it got even weirder – Matt looked at the linkfarm and basically told me that a) he didn’t care as long as it wasn’t passing link juice, and b) he’s the only one who could tell if that was the case.

I could have sworn that it was if you were caught trying to spam you were penalized, and you couldn’t get the penalty removed unless you promised not to do it again. Now, where did I get such a crazy and wild idea? Oh yeah, I remember now…

Read morezOMG! Jason Calacanis Lied Again?? Shocker!

Need Help Understanding The Latest Mahalo Spam?

On Tuesday of this week someone posted the following question to the Hacker News website: How long has Mahalo been using keyword domains like this? The link in the story points to a search in Google, [inurl:tip_guidelines mahalo]. The results of this query show a list of somewhere between 180 and 270 sites (Google doesn’t show all of them, just the first 184 or so) all belonging to Mahalo.com, all keyword rich domains, all using the Mahalo Answers platform, and all covering material that Mahalo.com already covers. I am sure most of you are familiar with that fact that Google labels sites that have little or no content and are designed to drive affiliate conversions as Thin Affiliate sites:

These sites usually have no original content and may be cookie-cutter sites or templates with no unique content. – Google Webmasters Tools Help, on sites Google does not like

These sites that Mahalo has started churning out, all that were apparently created just this year, would appear to be the AdSense version of the classic “thin affiliate” website.

I showed Matt Cutts the link to the search itself, and asked if he thought that the list of sites

Read moreNeed Help Understanding The Latest Mahalo Spam?