Sites That Get Their Traffic by Sending Scandal Messages

Have you ever encountered an SMS or an email saying that you or a member of your family is involved in a scandal and has in fact been caught on video? Of course the natural reaction would be is to click on the accompanying to link to see what it is all about only to find out that you have been directed to a site that contains nothing of that sort. What did this site gain from you? Your precious visit of course which they wouldn’t probably get if they didn’t resort to such a fraudulent strategy.

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Counting on Human Instinct

The perpetrators of this highly irregular deed are counting on human instinct to do their work for them. Humans being naturally protective of themselves and their loved ones when it comes to potentially embarrassing situations automatically does what is expected which is to see what the message is supposed to be all about. The surprise in getting such a message, the fear for one’s reputation, and ultimately the exasperation at being gypped to do something for the benefit of an unscrupulous site is really too much. But people do it because they are humans who are capable of feeling all those emotions.

How to Prevent Being Duped

1. Do not let unscrupulous people have the upper hand by being informed of what’s going on in the online world. Most people today are fairly ready to share their bad experiences to forewarn others. This type of fraudulent effort relies on getting the numbers they want so you can be sure that the same message has been sent to many others as well.

2. Try to control emotions and conduct a quick check on the site where the message is directing you to go before actually clicking on the given link. If this site has been doing this for some time, you will surely find some feedback regarding them without going into their site. Remember that you are doing exactly what they want you to do by visiting their site.

3. Report the incident to the proper authorities. If a phone is being used to do it, report to the service provider. The same goes with email messages sent.

This strategy is probably one of the lowest forms in which a site hopes to get traffic.It will never build an audience. It will never add value to the online world.

 

Why Do Spam Comments Persist?

Generally, spam comments are pretty much obvious. They either contain a totally unrelated link to what could have otherwise been accepted as legitimate commenting. They can also come as unreadable gobbledygook that also carries an undesirable link somewhere within its confusing presentation.

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Why Are Spam Comments Sent?

Spam comments are sent for two possible reasons. One is the desire to provide greater exposure to a specific site or sites. Another is to detrimentally affect the site to which the comment was sent.

The first kind merely seeks to take advantage of the ready audience of a site through its regular readers. There is always the possibility that the interest of legitimate readers will be aroused by the comment containing the link. Thus, it is also possible that such links will be clicked on to bring readers to the intended site. For some unknown reason, some people seem to be bent on destroying some legitimate sites. They know that if such links are repeatedly allowed to be published by the site owner, there may be drastic consequences for the site itself.  Most of the time, site owners are not even aware that they are approving spam comments in their site.

The possibility that one in a hundred of spam comments sent will be approved for publication is the very reason why spam cements persist. This happens when site owners fail to monitor the comments they receive. It will only take a little more effort just to check what kind of information is being accepted into the site.

Forms of Spam Comments

1. Link Url

Seeing merely the link url in the comment box is really very spammy-looking. At the onset, it is not even a comment but actually an invitation to go to a particular site. Legitimate sites rarely choose this type of site promotion.

2. Apparently Valid Comment with Link Url

There are actually two versions of this. One comes through a legitimate comment that contains an obvious link. The other will hide the link within the words of what looks like a valid comment.

3. Unreadable Text

Comments of this kind are like some alien language consisting of numbers, letters, and other marks joined together which fail to make sense. Of course, the link is contained in it.

4. Totally Unrelated Comments

Comments that seem to be commenting on another post other than that where it has been left are totally spammy. This is especially so when you see at the end the invitation to visit a site dealing with topics that are typically frowned upon by search engines such as gambling and sex. It is obvious that the same comment has been sent to probably a thousand others thus the generic tone of the comment.

5. A Whole Site

There are spam comments that can take excessive space when allowed. Imagine receiving a comment which is basically the homepage of a site. That is certainly spammy.

Undesirable Hosting Service

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Not all hosting services will prove beneficial to a site.  Being associated with one that is known to host suspicious sites can actually work against a site.  Sites may find themselves being considered threats for reasons they have no part in doing.

It is possible that a particular hosting service may not be the appropriate one for the following reasons:

1.  If the hosting service provided is characterized by slow loading and unstable up-time

Slow loading and unstable up-time can kill a blog slowly but surely.  It can also make new blogs unable to lift off if it is being hindered from the very start by such obstacles.  With the wide range of choices in the sheer number of sites and blogs in the online world, readers can take their pick. Very,very few will have the patience to go back and check if the site is up after a couple of failed tries.  Excruciatingly slow loading of site pages is another major turn-off.

2. If the hosting service does not provide for back-up protection

It can be very insecure for sites to be using the services of a hosting service that does not provide reliable back-up protection.  The headache of losing important digital data  is indescribable.  It can put down the drain considerable worth of work which can be very devastating.

3.  If the hosting service is not able to provide required support

It is inevitable that sites will come across technical problems in relation to the hosting service provided. It is important that the service provider is able to give the needed support and solution, whenever applicable.  The worst web host is one which leaves site owners in the dark and helpless when problems are encountered.

4. If the hosting service is providing its services to malicious sites

Being associated with malicious sites even only through the use of the same hosting service may prove counter-productive to legitimate sites.  It is best that hosting services have strict rules against the malicious use of sites.  The fact that a web hosting service is providing its services to a known malicious site speaks clearly of its working principles.

5. If the hosting service is requiring payment not equivalent to the quality of their service

Site owners have certain expectations even in the use of free hosting services.  It is even more so if the service is being paid for.  When the hosting expense appears unreasonable in relation to the quality of service provided, then it is time to find another.

Teresa is a researcher-writer who covers a wide range of topics in search of useful information.

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The Phishing Technique

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Phishing is one of the threats presented by communicating electronically.  The main purpose of this illegal activity is to obtain personal information , typically of financial in nature, which the phishers will use to steal money from the owner of the information.  This is carried out either by email spoofing or sending deceitful instant messages.

Phishing is exactly what it name sounds like – fishing for personal information.  It is the act of hackers to maliciously acquire critical information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details.  These three are usually the main target because once they are obtained, the hacker literally gets the key to all entry points of a computer user’s life.  What separates phishing from regular fraud is that it is done through electronic means rather than face to face.

Electronic communication posing as legitimate and authentic ones usually do the job by encouraging the recipients of the message to do a certain action such as clicking on a link or visiting a website.  The communication serves as the bait since it will usually contain messages that will make them act before they think, typically citing urgency of the matter.  Before a person realizes he or she has been falsely led, information has already been stolen.

The most common targets of the phishing scam are those that use bank and online payment services because of the need to provide financial information.  While general phishing is more or less random, another more targeted form that focuses on specific individuals and companies is the so-called spear phishing.  Whale phishing targets senior executives probably in reference to their expected larger financial resources.

About the author:

Teresa is a researcher-writer who covers a wide range of topics in search of useful information.

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Reporting Spam Blogs

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There are a number of reasons why a blog can get reported for being spam blogs.  The primary reason of course is the existence of spam content which are usually contents for mature audience, abusive, and promotes self-harm or harm to others.  A blog can also be reported as a spam blog if it infringes on the copyright and trademark of an existing blog.

Why is it important to report spam blogs when Google can easily bring them down?  Google can do just that but it has to discover first which blogs are doing it.  This is not an easy thing to do considering the very big number of blogs involved.  Tracking blogs that violate rules on duplicate content is a complicated matter.  Some of these spam blogs even manage to confuse search engines into ranking them better than the real owners of the copied content.

When web masters and users take the time to report when they spot a spam blog, they are in effect making it easier for Google to cleanse the search system of undesirables.  Web masters and users are in the advantageous position of identifying outright, contents copied from their respective sites.  Reporting a spam blog is easy to do and can be done with a few clicks and entry of the url of the blog being reported.  A short description of the specific violation made by the blog or site in question must be within the report.  By being proactive in reporting online violations, web masters and users can have access to better protection from copycats.

 
About the author:

Teresa maintains multiple blogs

Why Plagiarists Get Away with High Ranking

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For an original content writer, nothing can be more heart-breaking than seeing his original work in a plagiarist’s site with higher ranking.  One thinks, where is the justice in that?  Where indeed?

The truth is, there is nothing that can be done at this time to prevent such from happening.  As long as the ranking is automated, there is no way to prevent plagiarists from benefitting from their copying activities.  The more ideal option which is manual assessment of sites is not practical either due to the large number of sites involved.

Plagiarists are usually adept as well in optimizing their sites that is why they are able to achieve high ranking even if they have nothing to offer but copied content.  It seems that the one option which original content writers can do is to request the plagiarist to take down the copied content.  Whether this request is heeded is another thing altogether.  Sending a report to Google is also an option in the hope that its crawlers will stop indexing the plagiarists’ blog so that traffic will be directed to the blog of the original writer.  Google usually responds to issues like this by giving a low rank to the plagiarist’s blog or completely de-indexing it.

Writers of original content should and must protect their work from being used for other’s selfish reasons of making money out of somebody else’s work.  Preventing the furtherance of plagiarism is necessary if an original content writer wishes to avoid being bypassed in favor of the plagiarist.  Google puts much emphasis on originality and quality but it needs some assistance from legitimate content owners themselves.

Removing Splogs

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Since splogs are counterproductive to blogs whose content are being copied , their removal is of primary importance to bloggers.  This is easier said than done.  The works of sploggers are so rampant and purposeful that it is almost impossible to believe that they will stop if told to do so.

Legitimate bloggers will be highly interested to know how to avoid being victimized by sploggers.  A legitimate author of any stolen work cannot begin to describe the feeling of seeing his/her work printed verbatim in another blog without any attribution whatsoever.  What’s worse is that the work is now under another author’s name who is earning from the various ads surrounding it.

Bloggers victimized by sploggers are bound to encounter problems when they submit their copied work such as stories, poems, and other literary works to publishers since they would appear to have been previously published, and in another name yet.  The burden of proving ownership to third parties can be a very difficult process to go through.  Pleas and requests to sploggers to take down copied content often fall on deaf ears and may sometimes feel like a useless exercise.

As of this time, there is no clear procedure to follow in accomplishing a desire to remove splogs.  The best bet is to practice preventive measures such as placing links on all post which will lead readers to the author page or the “about me” page as is commonly used in blogs.  Another way is to watermark photographs used so they will also link back to the original site.  Bloggers are likewise encouraged to do online  plagiarism checks regularly.

Anti-Splog

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WordPress offers anti-splog plug-ins and services for the purpose of eliminating spam blogs or splogs from the platform.  It offers protection against bots and is able to identify human spammers.  Splogs are essentially spam blogs or fake blogs which has for its one and only purpose to promote an affiliated website.

The intended result is the highly skewed search results favouring these affiliated sites.  Because of the devastating effect of a splog attack, Google introduced the CAPTCHA to make sure that every entity that seeks to open a blog are actually humans.  The use of CAPTCHA is still very common today but is more often seen as a protection against spam comments.

Sploggers fool crawlers by using large numbers of links to a website.  Their methods      are becoming sophisticated and are therefore causing much harm even with the standard protection in place.  Splogs seek to gain positive page rankings.

Because a splog has never been intended to be an authentic blog, it does not contain information that is original and usual.  The most that can be found are scraped materials or excerpts from valid blog contents.  Scraping is done without obtaining permission from original content owners.

Splog sites actually eyes recently expired domains to take advantage of existing page rank.  Others choose names that are very similar to popular blog names counting on the carelessness of blogger who will link.  Splogs can affect legitimate blogs when a domain is blocked because of suspicions.

Empty SEO Promises

In a site’s bid to rank favorably in the reader’s view, site owners would definitely find ways to make it work for their site.  While in the process of doing so, they will encounter many unsolicited offers that would magically raise a site’s ranking in a matter of days.  Offers would vary from guaranteed Page 1 Google Ranking, listing in thousands of search engines, and submission to hundreds of directories, with the use of some secret methodology known only to them.

These offers are just too good to be true and yet many fall for it just the same especially the novice.  The more experienced ones tend to know better and just ignore these offers.  For those who are tempted to try, it would help to pause for a while and think if the offers being made make sense at all.

No one can guarantee Page 1 Google Ranking except of course Google itself which we all know will never make such an offer.  Google algorithms have been purposely made to be complex enough so that no person can second-guess the outcome of results.  Even SEO practitioners who religiously abide by the guidelines of Google cannot be assured of this since there will always be unknown factors to consider.

Being listed in a thousand search engines and hundreds of directories is not actually needed.  A site just needs to be listed in the relevant ones.  What site owners should be looking for are listings and submissions that could actually help the site.  Unnecessary listings and submissions are just a waste of time and money which the person making the offer expects to get.  Some would even say that they have an insider from Google working for them who is in the know of its algorithms.  Judging by how Google goes about its task, it would be highly improbable for them to allow a single person to be in the know to get pass the restrictions that can affect results.

Defending Stolen Content

Legitimate content owners have long been battling with content thieves over the defense of their stolen content.  Many have found it a useless exercise believing that nothing can be done about it.  Fortunately, something can still be done and all need not be surrendered to these heartless offending parties.

Since it is impossible for anyone to detect whether an original article  or excerpts of it have been copied due to the sheer number of sites online, site owners can use an online tool such as Copyscape to check for possible online plagiarism by identifying sites that have similar content including those that quote your site for the content they publish in theirs.  This tool does not make any judgment as to which is original but merely provides the results of the search conducted based on the submitted material.

Most blogs display a  plagiarism warning banner on the pages of their blog.  Although it is not a fool-proof way of preventing  online plagiarism ,it sends a message that you are vigilant and active in ensuring that your contents are not copied. This may serve to discourage potential plagiarists from pursuing their intentions.  Additional protection can be obtained by signing up with a reliable site that automatically monitors the web for copy of the site materials and alerts the owner through email as soon as they are detected.

It is necessary to take immediate action once plagiarism of one’s work is known.  The main action to be taken is to seek taking down of the copy/ies made of the material.  The first step is to send a message to the offending site to ask for the same.  In lieu of contact details of the offending site, the message can be sent to the web hosting company.  These information are usually obtained by conducting a Whois search.   The Internet archive can provide ample proof to settle the issue of where the material appeared first.  For unproductive requests, a notice of copyright infringement can be sent to search engines for the possible removal of the offending site from their search results.