Archive for April, 2013

Title: Google Penalizes Mozilla For Web Spam

Search Engine News, Search Engine Optimization

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Google has penalized Mozilla.org, the nonprofit site of the organization that provides the Firefox browser. This doesn’t appear to be an accident like what recently happened with Digg. This was a real manual web spam penalty.

Mozilla Web Production Manager Christopher More posted about it in Google’s Webmaster Help forum (hat tip to Barry Schwartz), where he shared the message he got from Google:

Google has detected user-generated spam on your site. Typically, this kind of spam is found on forum pages, guestbook pages, or in user profiles. As a result, Google has applied a manual spam action to your site.

“I am unable to find any spam on http://www.mozilla.org,” said More. “I have tried a site:www.mozilla.org [spam terms] and nothing is showing up on the domain. I did find a spammy page on a old version of the website, but that is 301 redirected to an archive website.”

Google Webmaster Trends analyst John Mueller responded:

To some extent, we will manually remove any particularly egregious spam from our search results that we find, so some of those pages may not be directly visible in Google’s web-search anymore. Looking at the whole domain, I see some pages similar to those that Pelagic (thanks!) mentioned: https://www.google.com/search?q=site:mozilla.org+cheap+payday+seo (you’ll usually also find them with pharmaceutical brand-names among other terms).

In addition to the add-ons, there are a few blogs hosted on mozilla.org that appear to have little or no moderation on the comments, for example http://blog.mozilla.org/respindola/about/ looks particularly bad. For these kinds of sites, it may make sense to allow the community to help with comment moderation (eg. allow them to flag or vote-down spam), and to use the rel=nofollow link microformat to let search engines know that you don’t endorse the links in those unmoderated comments.

For more tips on handling UGC (and I realize you all probably have a lot of experience in this already) are at http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=81749

Also keep in mind that we work to be as granular as possible with our manual actions. Personally, I think it’s good to react to a message like that by looking into ways of catching and resolving the cases that get through your existing UGC infrastructure, but in this particular case, this message does not mean that your site on a whole is critically negatively affected in our search results.

Let this be a lesson to all webmasters and bloggers. Keep your comments cleaned up.

Mozilla still appears to be showing up in key search results like for “mozilla” and for “web browser”. It’s not as bad as when Google had to penalize its own Chrome browser for paid links.

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Title: Samsung Accused of ‘False Advertising’ By Taiwanese Authorities – It is Alleged Company Hired Students to Bach HTC Products Online

Search Engine News, Search Engine Optimization

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Samsung is the subject of a probe by the Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission after it was alleged the South Korean firm hired students to post negative online comments about Smartphones made by rival HTC, the AFP reports.

According to the United Evening News, Samsung has been accused of “false advertising” after a variety of students posted articles online that criticize HTC devices but endorse Samsung handsets. It is alleged Samsung hired the young people through its local agent.

Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission spokesman Sun Lih-chyun said the agency would investigate the false advertising claims and, if proven to be true, Samsung and its local advertising agent could face a fine of up to $835,000 U.S.

“The case was set up last week after we received complaints,” Lih-chyun told AFP.

According to the AFP report, a Samsung Taiwan spokesperson said the firm had yet to be informed of the Fair Trade Commission’s inquiry.

In a post on its Facebook page, however, Samsung Taiwan said it regretted “any inconvenience and confusion from the Internet event.”

“Samsung Taiwan has halted all Internet marketing such as posting articles on websites,” it said.

Samsung also sent the following statement to CNet:

Samsung Electronics remains committed to engaging in transparent and honest communications with consumers as outlined in the company’s Online Communications Credo. We have encouraged all Samsung Electronics employees worldwide to remain faithful to our Credo. The recent incident was unfortunate, and occurred due to insufficient understanding of these fundamental principles.

Samsung Electronics Taiwan (SET) has ceased all marketing activities that involve the posting of anonymous comments, and will ensure that all SET online marketing activities will be fully compliant with the company’s Online Communications Credo.

We regret any inconvenience this incident may have caused. We will continue to reinforce education and training for our employees to prevent any future recurrence.

This is not the first time Samsung has been the subject of a Taiwan Fair Trade Commission probe. According to AFP, the South Korean Smartphone-maker was fined roughly $10,000 earlier this year for allegedly using misleading advertising to market its Galaxy Y Duos camera.

Samsung was also slapped with a $16.2-million fine at the beginning of the year by China’s National Development and Reform Commission. The company was accused of collaborating with LG and four Taiwanese firms to fix  LCD panel prices.

Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

Samsung Accused of ‘False Advertising’ By Taiwanese Authorities

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Title: Google On Buying Spammy Domains: Don’t Be The Guy Left Holding The Bag

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In the latest Webmaster Help video from Google, Matt Cutts takes on an interesting topic. Can you buy a domain that has been penalized by Google for spam, clean it up and recover rankings?

Well, it depends, and Cutts explains why.

“This is a tricky question because on the one hand there’s algorithmic spam, and then there’s manual spam, and all manual spam does have an eventual time out, so if you were to completely clean up all the content on the domain, [and] do a reconsideration request, in theory, that domain can recover,” says Cutts. “However, on the algorithmic side, if there are a ton of spammy links that the previous owner built up, that can be a little bit hard to go through, and try to clean up and get all those links taken down, and make a list of all those links.”

He continues, “The way to think about it is, there are a lot of spammers out there that do basically what’s known as a ‘churn and burn’ tactic, where they just use as many techniques to try and make a domain rank as they can, and then as soon as that domain is awful or bad, or Google has caught it, then they sort of movie on, and they go on to some other exploit, and they try to tackle it with another domain. Now what you don’t want to do is be the guy who gets caught left holding the bag.”

Long story short: how bad do you really want this domain?

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