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Why SEO Disgusts Me Why SEO Disgusts Me
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Before my SEO friends get their panties in a wad over today’s headline, let me emphasize that I understand the practical value and wisdom of basic Search Engine Optimization practices. There are many prinicipled people in the field doing good and useful …

Blekko CEO Rich Skrenta Discusses Search Quality, Filtering, Zorro Update Blekko CEO Rich Skrenta Discusses Search Quality, Filtering, Zorro Update
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Blekko, the alternative search engine that aims to challenge Google and Bing by reducing spam and low quality content in search results via human curation, has refreshed its index and results pages in an update it refers to as “Zorro”. …

Could Botnets Inflate Search Engines’ Query Counts? Could Botnets Inflate Search Engines’ Query Counts?
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Gabriel Weinberg, the founder of the DuckDuckGo search engine had an interesting blog post over the weekend, talking about some weird traffic the site was getting. He points to a couple SERPs generated by what he deems to be queries …

Exclusive Interview with Man Who Is Suing Facebook over Customer Support Exclusive Interview with Man Who Is Suing Facebook over Customer Support
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In terms of the Internet, calling someone a spammer is about the lowest jab a person can give, especially if the accused denies the claims. David Fagin, an AOL News writer and musician, recently became very familiar with this type of scenario after Facebook accused him of being a spammer.

Royal Wedding Brings Out the Cyber Criminals Royal Wedding Brings Out the Cyber Criminals
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Cyber criminals are exploiting the world’s fascination with the British Royal Wedding, which is taking place on Friday. They’re using the attention the event is getting to bolster spam campaigns and push rogue antivirus software through black hat search tactics, …

TripAdvisor’s Email List Breached TripAdvisor’s Email List Breached
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TripAdvisor, one of the top travel review websites around, released a statement today that warns its members of a security breach that allowed the theft of a portion of their email list.  How large of a portion they don’t say, …

Blekko Flags More Than A Million Domains As Spam
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Blekko has launched a new AdSpam algorithm it says is the first of its kind created to find spam rather than rank results. The algorithm is aimed at flagging pages which are spam and zapping them before they appear in …

FTC Cracks Down On Mortgage Spammer

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said today it has asked a federal judge to shut down a company that allegedly sent people millions of spam text messages.

The text messages allegedly advertised for a deceptive mortgage modification website called “loanmod-gov.net.” The FTC is asking the court to freeze the defendant’s assets.

Spammers Hijack Google Brand to Push Online Pharmacy

Google Accredited Spam

Symantec’s MessageLabs Intelligence recently tracked a new pharmaceutical spam campaign that promotes an online pharmacy, claiming that it is "Google-accredited". 

"This is obvious brand hijacking: Google does not host or approve any pharmacy sites," a representative for the security firm tells WebProNews. 

More Link Spam Examples in Google
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The New York Times published an article near and dear to my heart over the weekend about JCPenny manipulating Google results as a result of paid links. Apparently it’s news to many people that this kind of activity is taking place. But to those of us who optimize Web sites using “white hat” tactics it is certainly no surprise as we investigate why our competitors out rank us. I thought I would share some of the other common techniques that cheating sites are effectively using to game the system.

Goodmail Comes to an End
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Goodmail Systems will shut down this month, according to Direct Marketing News, who reports that CEO Daniel Dreymann says the main reason is an acquisition attempt by an undisclosed Fortune 500 company was taken off the table. 

"We were on track to be acquired," Dreymann told the publication. "We got a terms sheet, and they left us at the altar at the last minute."

Google, Bing, and Blekko Talk Content Farms and Search Quality

Matt Cutts from Google, Harry Shum from Bing, and Rich Skrenta from Blekko spoke on a panel today at the Farsight Summit. Much of the conversation was around the Bing/Google results copying ordeal, but part of the conversation was about search quality in general, and the impact content farms are having on it. 

Is Google’s Search Quality The Best It’s Ever Been?
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In a post on the official Google Blog, Matt Cutts, head of the company’s webspam team said that Google’s search quality is the best it has ever been in terms of relevance, freshness, and comprehensiveness. 

Do you agree that Google’s search quality is the best it’s ever been? Share your thoughts.

Is Bing Growth Being Inflated By Shady Sites?
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Article updated. See below. I have also posted a new piece based on new information that has come to light.

Facebook took in an estimated $1.86 billion in advertising revenue last year, according to eMarketer, and AdvertisingAge says that the top two advertisers were AT&T and Match.com. Google was number five. 

Blekko CEO On The “Useless Garbage” Of The Web
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Late last week, Blekko launched the Spam Clock – the search engine’s illustration of how quickly the web is being flooded with spam. More specifically, it counts up the number of spam pages added to the web since January 1. What is not so clear by looking at it, however, is just what Blekko is considering spam (though the page does remind us that spammers are out to: harm users, steal publisher traffic, and defraud advertisers. 

Blekko Launches Spam Clock
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Blekko, the recently launched search engine that relies on the community to help maintain relevancy, has launched "The Spam Clock". This is essentially a counter that displays the number of spam pages created since the year started. 

Location-Based Services Too New to Know How They’ll Be Abused
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Last week, Symantec’s MessageLabs Intelligence Sr. Analyst Paul Wood shared some predictions for online threats in the coming year with us. With the increasing emergence of location-based services, we wondered what kind of threats (beyond the obvious) come with this new territory. 

Threats to Expect in Mobile, Social, Location and Email in 2011
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It’s getting late in the year, and it’s about time to start looking forward to 2011. While we can speculate about a great many topics, few trends are going to be as important to anticipate as those related to security. We asked an expert in the field about some of the things he is anticipating. WebProNews interviewed Paul Wood, MessageLabs Intelligence Sr. Analyst at Symantec Hosted Services about what businesses and consumers can expect to deal with in order to stay secure over the next year. 

Does Facebook Face A Google-Like Issue With “Like Farms” and “Like Buying”?
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Facebook may be going through some of the growing pains that Google went through earlier in its life. Google has always had to deal with link farms and link buying, polluting its search results, and has gotten better and better at keeping this under control over the years.

Facebook: Location, Auto-Suggest and Fighting Spam

Word around the Web is that Facebook will be announcing its long-awaited location feature today. While this has still not been confirmed, a mysterious account appeared on Twitter today, for @FacebookPlaces.

Facebook “Bug” Providing Names With Email Addresses: Fixed
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Update 2: The issue is reportedly resolved.

Update: Facebook is already fixing the issue. AllFacebook got a statement from the company saying: