For the last couple of weeks, I have been inundated with email spam from CNN. It’s called “The Daily Top 10″ which comprises some of the top stories featured at CNN. The ironic thing about this is that I did not subscribe to this. In fact, I don’t even watch or read CNN – I get my main news from Fox News.
While I did not expect much in the way of news here in the U.S. due to the Thanksgiving holiday, it appears that Google took the opportunity to update their web master guidelines regarding paid links. The changes essentially reveal that buying or selling links that pass PageRank can penalize a site not only in its Google Toolbar PageRank status, but also in Google search results. What does this mean for those that consider themselves “white hat SEOs?” Better go shopping for a new hat – a nice black one.
How do you get the search engines to recognize the content of a site when it is all Flash? That was the topic of a late night discussion some of us search marketers were having in the Hilton bar last night . I won’t disclose the exact details of the site we were discussing. I have written before on the problems that Flash sites impose as far as a site’s search visibility. Because flash is composed of highly compressed graphics and/or video, the text that is often contained within the Flash elements are invisible. Furthermore if a site is completely Flash, meaning everything is contained with the Flash object – the graphics, the navigation, the content, even the interface, then engines have a difficult time understanding the topic of the site and is some case experience difficulty in crawling pages (if they exist in the first place).
I get request for links from link builders all the time, what I refer to as “link request spam.” The content of the email is typically the same because they are using some kind of form letter. Simply fill in the blanks to somewhat personalize it even though most often the sites requesting links have absolutely nothing to do with my site (except that they are both on the Internet). It is a lazy way to build link popularity as opposed to building quality content that will attract links naturally or actually taking the effort to seek out quality links whether they are requested, purchased or both.
We have all received them, right? eCards for birthdays, anniversaries or simply as thank you notes. American Greetings, Yahoo and Blue Mountain are some of the big names but there are a large variety of sites that allow one to send personalized greeting cards via email. Typically the recipient clicks on a link in their email and they are taken to the web site where the eCard resides. They are able to view the eCard and then send one in reply if they like.
It never ceases to amaze me how stupid people are, especially those who try to spam forums. Case in point – a post I found today on Small Business Ideas Forum, which I administer. Typically I edit or move posts into a trash area that the general public cannot see. Often times I ban the user. Once in awhile, I out them as I am doing here.
Another email spammer gets slapped on the wrist! Ryan Pitylak, an individual who is know as the world’s fourth most-prolific spammer, has settled a lawsuit with Microsoft and the state of Texas which accused him of sending up to 25 million e-mails per day. The settlement cost Ryan Pitylak 1 million dollars, as well as the seizure of many of the assets he accumulated during a short-lived career as one of the world’s worst spammers. No jail time? No lifelong banning of access to the Internet?
A company called Planet Target has been email spamming me and my staff to death as of late. I’m sure we are not the only ones. Email spam is irritating enough but when the same message comes again and again, it kind of boils my pot. So why not use to power of blogging to warn others of email spammers unscrupulous and invading tactics?
What in the world is wrong with forum spammers anyway? If you are a frequent visitor to any forum you have surely seen them. They join an existing forum simply to promote themselves, drop a link or two, post an article or fill a post with a bunch of gibberish. The irony of the whole thing is that their posts never stay up long. Hardly anyone sees them and even if they do, I cannot imagine they are well received.
The San Antonio Business Journal reports today that Digital Defense, a company that provides affordable security solutions that allow executives to assess their network security condition, manage their IT risk and meet compliance and regulatory needs, has added a new weapon in its arsenal to crack down on fraudulent Web sites that are set up to take on the same look and feel as actual sites, otherwise known as “Phishing”.
From CNet News, an upcoming version of Firefox will include protection against phishing scams, using technology that might come from Google.
I didn’t even know what “phishing” was until I read in the CNet story the following analysis, “Phishing is a prevalent type of online scam that attempts to steal sensitive data such as user names, passwords and credit card details. The attacks typically combine spam e-mail and fraudulent Web pages that look like legitimate sites.”
A Midwest internet service provider was recently awarded an $11.2 billion judgment against a Florida man for sending millions of unsolicited e-mails advertising mortgage and debt consolidation services reports Wired News. That’s right – billions! The judgment was issued against James McCalla of Florida on December 23rd. He has also barred from accessing the internet for three years.