Apparently Jason Calacanis Knows He’s Spamming – He Just Thinks It’s No Big Deal

Last month Jason Calacanis wrote a rather sarcastic post aimed at Aaron Wall, which I am assuming was written in response to Aaron’s post, “Black Hat SEO Case Study: How Mahalo Makes Black Look White!“. In it Aaron discusses how sites that are composed largely of nothing more than auto-generated pages wrapped in adsense can get accepted and even gain authority in Google if they have enough financing and press. In Jason’s rebuttal to this was a claim about rankings that Mahalo had “earned” (and I use the term loosely) for “VIDEO GAME walkthrough”. I originally misinterpreted what he was trying to say, and thought that he meant rankings for that exact phrase. I commented how that wasn’t exactly a great accomplishment before realizing that what he actually meant was rankings for [{insert video game name} walkthrough], and that Mahalo has a couple top 10 rankings for that genre of search phrases.

Jason sent me an email to correct me on what he was talking about. We replied to each other back and forth a couple times, and a few very interesting things were revealed in that conversation:

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Why The Renewed Interest In The Linkscape Scams And Deception..?

Yesterday a friend of mine, Sebastian, wrote a post titled, “How do Majestic and LinkScape get their raw data?“. Basically it is a renewed rant about SEOmoz and their deceptions surrounding the Linkscape product that they launched back in October 2008, a little over 15 months ago. The controversy is based around the fact that moz basically lied about how it was exactly they were obtaining their data, which in part was probably motivated by wanting to make themselves look like they were more technically capable than they actually are.

Now, I covered this back when the launch actually happened, in this Linkscape post, resulting in quite a few comments, and there was more than a little heated conversation in the Sphinn thread as well. This prompted some people, both on Sebastian’s post and in the Sphinn thread on it, to ask why all of the renewed interest?

It is not extreme, its just that it isn’t new. The fact that they bought the index (partially)? That was known from the beginning. The fact that they don’t provide a satisfying way of blocking their bots (or the fact that they didn’t want to reveal their bots user agent)? Check. The fact that they make hyped statements to push Linkscape? Check. {…} I don’t get the renewed excitement. – Branko, aka SEO Scientist

Well, I guess you could say that it’s my fault. Or, you could blame it on SEOmoz themselves, or their employees, depending on how you look at it. You see, the story goes like this…

Back when SEOmoz first launched Linkscape, it would have been damn near impossible for a shop their size to have performed the feats they were claiming, all on their own. Rand was making the claim “Yes – We spidered all 30 billion pages”. He also claimed to have done it within “several weeks”. Now, even if we stretch “several” to mean something that it normally would not, say, 6 (since a 6 week update period is now what they are claiming for the tool), we’re still talking a huge amount of resources to accomplish that task. A conservative estimate of the average website, considering only html, is 25KB of text:

30,000,000,000 websites x (25 x 1024) bytes per website = 768,000,000,000,000 bytes of data (768 trillion bytes, which is 698.4TB)

(698.4TB / 45 days of crawling) x 30 days in a month = 465.6TB bandwidth per month

Now, I know that one of the reasons that Rand can get away with some of his claims is that most people just don’t grasp the sheer size

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Robert Scoble Chews Out Lisa Barone’s Ass For Taking His Name In Vain – WTF?

Tonight Robert ‘I Am Thy Lord And Thou Shalt Kneel, Bitches!’ Scoble, a blogger who has some claim to internet fame through his blog Scobleizer, decided that the title of “technical evangelist” that has been often attributed him simply wasn’t enough, and that deity is apparently more fitting.

Lisa Barone wrote a piece talking about personal brands and false idols on the web. In it she wrote the following paragraph:

Don’t support personal brands built on smoke and mirrors. Make people work for the brands they’re trying to create. Don’t let them scoble their way in. Don’t accept that someone is important just because they act like they are or someone told you they were.

Apparently Robert is the ultra sensitive type, and didn’t take too kindly

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My Blog Hacked, Yet Again – WordPress 2.6.5 Vulnerability / Exploit?

Busted WordPress security. Again, I’ve been hacked. Well, not me personally… I wear the most up to date tinfoil attire, I assure you, and no one is getting into my head… but my blog was. This time I was running WordPress 2.6.5 when it happened.

Those who know me know that I always prefer to do manual upgrades, wiping everything out and starting over completely fresh each time, whether I have been hacked or not. This way if there was an intrusion it should still clean the hack out completely, even if I don’t know it’s there. As it happens, when I upgraded to 2.6.5 from 2.6.2 I did not do this. I merely upgraded the 2 files involved in the security portion of the WP 2.6.5 upgrade (which were wp-includes/feed.php and wp-includes/version.php). However,

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How To Remove Your Website From Linkscape *Without* An SEOmoz Meta Tag

You do have rights to your content. Over the past couple of weeks, one of the biggest concerns about SEOmoz’s new Linkscape tool (which I recently blogged about in reference to the bots that Rand refuses to identify, and then again due to suspicious additions of a phantom 7 billion pages to one of his index sources) has been the complete lack of a method available for someone to remove their data from the tool. Assuming that all of the hints Rand has been so “subtly” dropping are accurate, and the one bot that they do actually have control over is in fact DotBot, then from the beginning the data was collected under false pretenses. The DotBot website clearly states

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How To Add 7 Billion Pages To Your Index Overnight

A couple of days ago I posted my assertion that Rand Fishkin had lied about the details of the new Linkscape tool on SEOmoz. During the discussion that followed, Rand continued to maintain that they owned the bots that collected the data that powered the tool, despite several points on that being very unclear, and that his bots had collected those 30 billion pages.

Right in the heat of the argument, someone decided to drop a comment on my blog that struck me as a little odd

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How To Block The Bots SEOmoz *Isn’t* Telling You About

I swear to tell the... wait, what did you say..? Ok, so, looks like Rand and gang finally decided to reveal their top-secret recipe about how they gathered all that information on everybody’s websites without anyone noticing what they were doing. There was quite a bit of hoopla over the fact that when they announced their new index of 30 billion web pages (and the new tool powered by that index), due to the fact that they never gave webmasters the chance to block them from gathering this data. In fact, they never even

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Google Allows Ads Mocking Suicide

Google jumper During the Great Depression, the suicide rate jumped over 21.4%. It was a sad time for all, and the unemployment rate skyrocketed. Many people lost their homes and farms. The shame of not being able to provide for their families was simply too much for some. Last June, “Good Morning America” did a segment titled “Recession Depression”, where reporter Chris Cuomo drew analogies between the events back then and our current financial crisis, warning that we could possibly see similar psychological impacts with todays economy:

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Write A Bad Check: Bond $1,500… Possession Of Cocaine: Bond $5 Bucks. Wtf?

Ok, so, thats $2,000 for illegally parking. Oh, and another $5 for the 3 kilos of cocaine in your trunk. Have a nice day. I live in Largo, FL, which is located in Pinellas County. People and the way things work aren’t always what you would call “normal” around here. Not sure if it’s the incessant heat, or something they put in the water, or the fact that we live within shouting distance of Scientology Central (which is located in Clearwater). Either way, for whatever the reason, sometimes things just aren’t right around these parts.

I swear, you can only find this stuff in the St. Petersburg, FL area. Someone showed me this recently on the Pinellas County Jail Inmate search:

Read moreWrite A Bad Check: Bond $1,500… Possession Of Cocaine: Bond $5 Bucks. Wtf?