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September 19, 2005

Called out for being a blackhat spammer?

A noted an interesting trackback this morning going to my YPN case study about one of the first sites showing Yahoo's Publisher Network ads, Womens-Finance. Primarily, he is accusing womens-finance as being nothing but a black hat spam site.

I find this amusing on a few levels.

First, he claims that it is scraped content, based solely on the usage of such tags in the HTML as:

<!– #BeginEditable “content” –>
and
<!– #EndTemplate –>
notes.

He claims that is the use of a program such as Traffic Equalizer and on his site, you will note the fact he actually links to Traffic Equalizer using an affiliate link... perhaps hoping those who want to copy what I have done will believe that is what I used and then use his affiliate link to buy it?

But anyone who uses Dreamweaver will recognize those kinds of tags as being simply Dreamweaver template tags. The "content" tag denotes an editible region where I can change the content from one page to the next, while stll using the same template. I could have named that particular region "bananas" if I wanted to. But some templates I use on other sites can have up to five or six editible regions, so I usually name the region where the main page content goes something easy like "content" "article" or "main". And the end template tag simply denotes where the template content ends.

Next, he claims the pages indexed are only the result of the link from JenSense when I did the case study, as well as site maps:

She’s done a good job getting this spam site index (1490 in G, 493 in Y ). Most likely site map submissions followed a link from her high page rank Jensense site. But with only 66 backlinks in yahoo, it appears that she has not yet fully embraced Black Hat SEO techniques.

Well, he obviously didn't look to closely... that site has been well indexed by the engines since 2002... with it launched with nearly all the same articles in place. Here's the archive.org link to Womens-Finance. And as for the "only" 66 backlinks, the site initially had many more backlinks in the first couple of years it was online, but many of those sites are now non-existant. No site map submissions used here, sorry to disappoint.

As for the "advice" he gives to turn Womens-Finance into a full-on blackhat SEO site, you can rightly assume I won't be following it. If I wanted to go blackhat, I wouldn't be taking advice from an anonymous blog. I am sure some of my friends would be more than happy to indulge me on helping me with a blackhat campaign, and I would bet what they suggest is a lot more cutting edge that the older techniques the SEOBlackHat blog advises me to do.

But I find the fact I am being accused of being a blackhat SEO pretty amusing, because I am endlessly teased about being too straight-up with my various websites by many of my friends who lean slightly more to the dark side ;)

Added: Discussion at Threadwatch.

Update:He has retracted his original story, apologized, and donated $100 to the Run for the Cure I am participating in on October 2nd.

Posted by Jenstar at September 19, 2005 06:48 AM

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It appears I jumped the gun on today’s post. As has been pointed out, the tags: <!– #BeginEditable “content” –> and <!– #EndTemplate –> are from Dreamweaver templates. It’s true: I have never used Dream... [Read More]

Tracked on September 19, 2005 02:45 PM

Comments

>But I find the fact I am being accused of being a blackhat SEO pretty amusing, because I am endlessly teased about being too straight-up with my various websites by many of my friends who lean slightly more to the dark side ;)

I always suspected you had a black heart. Now those dreamweaver tags prove it :)

Of course - if you did use traffic equalizer or some other program - you should delete any fingerprints to such a program.

That is the problem with many of them.

However - it appears to me he just got a good link from your site - so maybe he is smarter than I think.

If it is a he. Maybe it is you...

Posted by: Chris Raimondi at September 19, 2005 08:30 AM

Really... slap that link with a rel="nofollow". They badmouth your site and point out that you have a high PR, why let them benefit from that PR?

Posted by: Doug at September 19, 2005 10:07 AM

>> rel="nofollow"

Already does ;) He's got a trackback on the original entry though.

Posted by: Jenstar at September 19, 2005 10:14 AM

Ah, didn't seem to when I viewed source earlier...

Posted by: Doug at September 19, 2005 11:12 AM

Wow, that's pathetic. Apparently when you're a black hat, everyone looks like a black hat...

Posted by: Michael Moncur at September 19, 2005 01:38 PM

After a good phone conversation with SEOBH I believe a public apology will be forthcoming very soon.

Posted by: JasonD at September 19, 2005 01:58 PM

I'm glad to see that there are still nice people on the web who can admit when they are wrong. Mad props to Black Hat for his apology. And perhaps a warning to the rest of us who have blogs. Never under estimate the power of the 'published' word! Hopefully this incident will encourage us all to be careful in what we post.

A friend of mine once had 100+ people who read his blog believing in a plane crash that didn't happen. He saw a parachute stunt at night that looked like a plane crash :D We're only human ;)

Posted by: NullVariable at September 19, 2005 03:35 PM

Another example of blogging without checking facts - when will they learn :-)

Posted by: Darren at September 19, 2005 05:32 PM

I really hate the asshats that feel like publicly calling out "search engine spammers". Posting personal information and asking anyone to call them, email, stop by and beat them up is criminal. I wish these uptights yocals would focus on stopping rape or cancer at least something worthwhile.

Posted by: Christine at September 20, 2005 06:25 AM

This must be a newbie who has no clue who you are. It's like saying that Bill Gates uses a rogue license of MS Word when in fact it's a company perk that he get the software for free.

Maybe not so good analogy, but hopefully you catch my drift.

Posted by: Nikki at September 20, 2005 01:29 PM

--->Really... slap that link with a rel="nofollow". They badmouth your site and point out that you have a high PR, why let them benefit from that PR?

I completly agree dont let the PR pass. However at least he donated $ 100 for a cause :-)

Posted by: Dhiram at September 26, 2005 03:48 AM

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