Friday, December 5, 2008

Google SearchWiKi Comment Spam Express

It has been quite some time since I've updated this SEO blog. To be honest, I totally forgot about this one! Not good at all. I'm aiming to stick with it this time.

I suppose the latest news which has the SEO world in a bit of an uproar are the changes that Google has made regarding the comment system.

Can't see what the big deal is?

First off, you can't see the comments on a regular Google response unless you are signed into your Google account. Once signed in, you will notice a little comment icon next to the search results. This is a place for users to leave a comment about a webpage returned in the listing. Navigate to the bottom of the page and you will notice some user options such as Add a Result, See all my SearchWiki notes and others.

So far, so good.

Or is it?

I've heard this will lead to the end of SEO as we know it.

People, of all things, are leaving comments about Google listings! How could this be good? Well, to those website designers and SEO web designers that always lived by the rule of Content is King, there shouldn't be a problem. To those that didn't, well, don't worry too much just yet.

Take a look at some hardcore SEO terms such as, well "SEO" is a good one.

First a little rant:

SEO is a term fought over by most SEO specialists. They all dream of getting top listings and work their tails off in an attempt to beat out the dominant link spammers of years gone by.

Good luck trying to backlink your way ahead of spammers that got in while the getting was good. In other words, most of those guys you see at the top of such keywords got there in the early days; before Google started punishing link farms, spam bots, comment bots, etc..

Now they love pretending like they got there with current white hat SEO techniques. Those of us quiet types that have been in the SEO related businesses before "SEO" was even used, know better.

You can quickly get an idea of how they pulled this off by looking at all the cross linking they did/do with each other. A few crafty individuals were able to create a linking network around SEO and build each other into SEO gods with very little to no actual results proven besides their own.

I think this rant is done for now. Only for now, though.

So, what does this have to do with the commenting on Google listings? Sign into your google account. Search for SEO. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click "see all notes for SearchWiki." Scroll back up and start reading the comments under each listing. There you will see a very familiar old friend. Comment spamming by our favorite old link spammers. Good luck.

The hope and/or fear is that Google will incorporate this human factor into the rankings for everyone. I really don't think that will happen. The main reason being, Google knows very well that SEO specialists will be way too tempted to spam the hell out of them from various accounts from various proxies. I think the G has enough spam to worry about and really doesn't need the extra headache of filtering out comments and ratings from users. There are plenty of other engines that go the crowdsourcing route and I don't think G is too worried about them. They simply wanted to add a bit of stickiness to their website. Much like any other website owner tries to do. They didn't invest tons of money into A.I. programmers to leave it to the best spammers in the world to ruin. At least I hope not.

If you really believe that these comments and personal rankings will figure into rankings, then by all means jump on the Comment Spam Express. I'm not buying a ticket just yet.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Yahoo Performance Issues Documented

Following up on the claims regarding Yahoo being down for many users yesterday, I found more evidence for Yahoo problems.

Netcraft graphs show significant performance problems for Yahoo yesterday. reported the following regarding the problems.

Yahoo's web sites experienced brief performance problems earlier today, with users in some areas experiencing more significant problems than others. Yahoo is one of the world's busiest web sites (currently the number two Web destination for users of the Netcraft toolbar), and thus the outages have been noted by the Internet Storm Center and news outlets. The home page was inaccessible for several hours from our London monitoring station and responded more slowly than usual from several locations in the U.S. Yahoo search appears to have experienced lengthier availability problems than the home page and other Yahoo services.

I haven't found any explanation from Yahoo regarding the performance problems. If I do read any official responses, I will post them here, but I wouldn't count on any coming soon.

As for other websites, reports of problematic issues have been posted, but seem to be slowing now. I think problems being reported now are the usual hiccups noticed by us all daily. I am still curious as to whether the problems were due to widespread distribution of new trojans, or unique occurances for those involved.

I'm keeping my firewalls and scans updated, just in case.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Digg, Yahoo and Others Experiencing Unusual Problems Today

More stories are surfacing regarding Yahoo problems, but there is still no official announcement from Yahoo as far as I know.

I am being informed that major problems are hitting quite a few major websites today. is having various problems and a buzz is definitely starting to form in comments and articles from Diggers. Diggers are claiming many timeout sessions, votes not updating properly, articles not uploading properly and various other annoyances. users have also complained about CNN not performing properly today. CNN has gone through a major upgrade regarding the website design, so these may just be associated with these tweaks.

I'm still waiting for more information regarding these problems, but they are starting to seem more related. Stories regarding trojan problems in Yahoo and MSN, on top of the claims of Digg, CNN, Flickr and other website users experiencing problems are definitely creating a stir today.

If anyone out there is experiencing problems atypical of your usual web surfing experiences, feel free to leave a comment and let us know.

I'm screening all comments, but I will check often and allow relevant replies to be posted.

Yahoo Down - Users Experiencing Yahoo Problems

While combing through the latest Google Trends, I noticed a few terms related to Yahoo down. A quick visit to was successful, but there are many that have been complaining in various forums the past few hours.

It seems that some users are experiencing Yahoo problems with services such as Yahoo IM, Flickr, Yahoo news, Upcoming, and the main Yahoo home page. Reported Yahoo problems are ranging from severe lag to 12 hour outages of all services for some users. I haven't tried all of the services, but as I said, the home page is working fine for me.

User reports of Yahoo problems are indicating that servers in the U.S. are having major problems as well as major problems in China servers for over 12 hours. There is no official report from Yahoo regarding the reported problems yet.

Users are speculating about a virus that hit Yahoo and Hotmail mail services earlier, as well as even attempting to throw iPhone problems into the mix. These early responses are only the beginning of many hypotheses that are sure to surface over the next few hours and days.

I'm definitely keeping my eye on this and will try out a few other Yahoo services to see if I encounter any Yahoo problems.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Human Powered Web 2.0 Beta Fad is Bad - Send in the Machines

There was a pretty good article and ok comments in a recent Matt Cutts post located at Matt Cutts SEO Blog. It touches on a topic that has annoyed me a bit and gives me a reason to rant here for a few moments.

The post is addressing a fad I believe is rising in tech blogs lately.

I have seen the fad in tech blogs to positively cover any technology that adds "human powered", or similar adjectives, to the description of a website or new technology. An example would be "human powered directory". Despite nearly everything online having a human in control somewhere, I don't think it is necessarily better to have a predominantly human powered site these days.

I think we saw what happens when a website grows to enormous proportions and leaves the most important jobs to humans. It is called Dmoz. I think it has become the most useless, over-rated site in existence. It started out great, but when anything doesn't scale well you will have problems.

As the traffic starts to grow, the first problems are usually delays. Years ago, Dmoz could have you included fairly quickly as long as the website wasn't total junk. These days, it can take years to be listed, and doesn't seem to be dropping the junk that snuck in.

Another problem is the ability for corruption in a large human network. I think we are starting to realize this again with paid digging today. Software can of course be vulnerable, but it can also be altered. Try altering some of the corrupt editors at Dmoz that offer paid listings in freelancer sites with hard to track accounts. Good luck. Software doesn't usually have a hidden agenda contrary to the developers' desires despite what most developers may think as they pound on their keyboards trying to get their latest monster to compile. Humans usually do have a hidden agenda.

Near the last few months of 2006, Dmoz ran into issues when the humans couldn't figure out how to fix their directory. For months editors were being blamed and yet weren't at fault this time. A "human powered" directory buckled and hasn't been the same since. Lost listings were replaced with extremely old listings, many of which were no longer active and horrible, dangerous websites were polluting the listings yet again.

Why couldn't the "human powered" directory fix the problem in a timely manner? The humans screwed up. Sufficient backups weren't in place, humans couldn't act fast enough, etc. all causing the oxymoron, "human powered" website, to become as apparent as ever.

If only they had paid more attention to the scalability and better hardware and software. They were too busy trying to keep corrupt editors in line. Sound a little familar? Dig a little and you may find this happening again today.

I, for one, love technology. I love robots. I love computers and software. I dislike way more humans than I do machines. I distrust way more humans than I do machines. If I happen to distrust a machine/software, I usually find a human at fault. Sometimes it is me.

I think it is great that we are using way more machines and software to do the jobs of untrustworthy people. The good people will move on and be useful elsewhere. The bad ones will whine and whine and whine and push traffic to sites with "human powered" hovering near the "beta" logo.

I think this fad is ridiculous and I think we should be very happy that Google doesn't have millions of underpaid child laborers tucked away in bunkers connecting everyone up to "pariz hiltun neekid". Leave that to the software.

Send in the machines.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Hello SEO World

My name is Matthew, and I am an SEO professional.

This is my first venture into the world of blogging. I have spent a fair amount of time over the past few years reading other SEO blogs and forums, and thought it was about time I entered into this blogging world. I know there are many great SEO blogs out there, written and maintained by some fine SEO professionals, but I just hope I can contribute something as well.

A lot of people think that the SEO world is a cut-throat industry, and in some ways it is, but in my experience I've met extremely nice people working in the field, and hope to meet many more.

I am looking forward to sharing my thoughts with you.