Splash Marketing Technology

Forensic Blog


Some of them are bad, some are outrageous, but here is a list (hopefully not too technical) of the most annoying SEO Behaviour on the Web today ... 12/6/2017 post.


Having been in the industry since it virtually began - in the early days we could run our internet servers on our own home or office computers, changing our PC IP Address to our hearts content, which was often necessary because DNS kept hanging...  but as the internet progressed and Black Hat SEO and Hackers evolved, it became necessary to identify computers. Initially this was a registered IP Address, but when that became spoofable, it became a Mac (machine) Address.  Then as the crims evolved further, it became necessary to hide the addresses from attackers, thus the evolvement of VPNs ... Unfortunately if you go back to basics, our savvy offenders can still mask and change their ips in lightning strikes, so their dirty work is hard to track.

"Moriarty" (my name for him) is my hacker/SEO person who's been on my tail for 25 years and this group has expanded to a covert team of liquid tekkies, all fascinated to shoot any mad cows out of the search engines ... they just love using their Russian and Porn Sites to Spam Splash,  because it's fun for them, (just like the other covert perversions they likely have) ... gives a whole new meaning to Psycho!!!

Anyway ... off the soap box.

Round Robinsons

18th July 16 Post I posted about the Round Robinsons ... because they used a more recent Black Hat nuisance of rotating the website across a variety of IP Addresses ...

The legitimate purpose for this technique was once (when we were all on Dial Up - likely before you were born) to assist a heavy bandwidth issue for a website,  it was permitted to spread itself across a number of addresses to cope with the visitation ... but nowadays we deal in gigs and terras of bandwidth and the only sites that now need this technique are emergency news sites or local disaster announcement sites (cyclones, hurricanes, earthquakes, war etc) ...   it's not necessary to use this to dodge Bots either, because we have Brut Force and IP Blocking Tools (which work fine ...  if no spoofing).

So what's wrong with this?   Well the most important way of handling a Bot or Spammer is to block their IP ... but this becomes difficult if the website is flying across a range of IP addresses and Domain names every few weeks, days or even seconds.

Website Control Panels record visitors, so you should be able to see who is linking to your website, but you know you are dealing with prize creeps when they name their visit "The Worlds Best Hack Team" and stuff like that. 

The most recent method to accomplish these type of Round Robinson strikes is using XML Sitemaps which grab bits and pieces out of a website, e.g. Favicons, Images, Tags, Action and JS Code to hang off  (like a skiier pulling a boat).  This technique not only creates Phantom Web Pages and listings data, but takes control of an entire keyword index. Legitimate pages can show up as late as the 13th page.  You have to keep a vigil on your visitors and what they are linking to, and block every XML Sitemap provider you can find (except yours!) so they can't scrape your site in the first place ...

Gang Spammers

Pirates still exist in the modern world ...  only they now wear suits and drive a mouse ... and steal your website traffic!  They have really embraced the internet as a scam tool and have a wide network of gang spamming their competition out of the search engines. 

Some have developed or employed link heavy classified ad and news sites to assist them in their control of the search engines.

I am up against a few Gang Spammers that operate from a franchise or product group that have many private businesses involved and the central source has developed individual websites and works them together to produce Gang Links ...

Doing this within themselves is sort of White Hat,  and not so evil if, they only take their fair share of the web, but it's the action of using their ganging to push other company websites out of the index when the pirating occurs.  Some of my competition think it's fine to take all the Adwords and top 5-7 index listings in the first page.  They of course have to be reported and hopefully blacklisted.

Gang Spamming has totally destroyed Google and Bing as marketing tools, and it is a tragic shame ...

Classified Ad Spammers 

I had reported this regularly in recent years, but was unable to stop it, and did a bit of blame act against the media organisations to fix it, until I realised that the classified ad sites like Ebay, Gumtree, Wikipedia, Yellow Pages, White Pages etc were likely being pushed up in the same manner spoken of in the last section.  I still think there are some insiders in these large media groups driving some of these spam fests ... particularly the newspaper groups ... probably an old boy system to help a local client ...

There are clearly benefactors of this behaviour,  which is pretty obvious by who is leading. The only way to deal with this is to track it ... e.g. look for sitemap.xml providers in a close ip range of the offenders, trust me, they're just a little thick ... like all dishonest folk. Unfortunately technology only protects us from the honest.

The Enquiry Spammers

They group together to send hundreds of bogus emails and social media enquiries, this just creates a nuisance and denial of service attack against a server ...  or it can be very targetted making the enquiries appear real with genuine company names and telephone calls (SEO firms usually have privileges to create a special email for the company they represent)  and sure they are complicated and time consuming. 

The real purpose however is to send images with code that reports back to them, that can be used for dozens of evil purposes:  e.g. to clone your ip address ... and use to it to evade detection when they visit;  or they can set up email attacks that are so vicious they create a denial of service to visitors and users.   In the worst possible scenario they are developing a man in the middle attack on your modem source ... and they're going to create a little back door to pop into your device when they choose ... next thing you'll be assisting with free internet or spam emails.

Ignorance is Bliss I have two office locations, Sydney and Hervey Bay ... Hervey Bay is a mecca for people over the age of 60 who never really got involved in technology, even my mother frets to use her new smart phone .... These areas are being attacked by technically savvy criminals, she has been assisted by support phone calls from American support personnel (heavennnn forbidddd) because it's easy pickings to infiltrate people like her who know NOTHING of technology.

Google Adwords Gang Spammers

I calculated that up to 2013, I once spent $40K a year on Google Adwords, because it was very effective, but I won't touch it now, due to the issue of Adword Gang Spammers.

If you have 20 companies selling the same product and you are related by church, family or franchise ... isn't it ok to put them all in the index, and a bunch of Adwords?  No .. it's not, particularly if you are deliberately cross linking to push up the prices of the links to push others out of the game and snatching the full index portion of adwords.  This is mafia behaviour dudes ...

In our case our Adwords began at 50 cents a click and in just a few months they soared to $12 a click ...  I reported, and reported then gave up, because we realised the Adwords were outsourced to "trusted" partners who were failing in their duties of Googles Honesty policy.

Even now Adwords are being used to advertise Dynamic websites which are used to drive more XML Sitemaps Gang Spam, and just call up the same results again from Google and Bing,  plus the favoured Adsense listings which they get paid for too.  Why isn't it stopped? Well it is if you "Dob The Bastards In".   If it wasn't for Google's unwaivering policy on honesty, I don't think I would still be on the web at all ....

Maybe it's because the Adwords system is outsourced, and likely to the same Trillion Dollar marketing organisation that gang spams through classified ads and news media.  These floated organisations have investors ... and is there any privilege in this?  You can bet your sweet bippy baby ...

The Solution ... Dob them in, all search engines have a place to report Spam. There isn't really a solution until Google and Bing find one - so get on the phone and send snail mail, go visit your clients and take them out to lunch ... at least it gets you off the computer, into the world and helps the economy to boot.

Well ... Think about it!

MadamSplash


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