Second Web Spam Summit Announced - No Spammers!

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Technorati announces second web spam summit
Story Text:

The idiots geniuses that bought us er.. nothing last year, have announced the 2nd Web Spam Summit taking place next week at Google HQ. The summit is an annual opportunity for the Search engines to pay lip service to hand wringing blog vendors on issues of "splogs" and comment spam whilst carefully avoiding taking any significant action at all.

This years main attraction is rumoured to be a demonstration of the fabled "nuke button", and an explanation of the term "collateral damage".

Last years event (held at Yahoo!) caused some controversy amongst the Search community when offers were made to send a delegation of the worlds best spammers to participate in the summit. In the groups infinite wisdom, they were shunned as the unwashed heathens they truly are.

It's clear to Threadwatch that the very last people on earth that would know anything about web spam would be the people that make hundreds of thousands of $$$'s on it a year...

>>make hundreds of thousands of $$$'s on it a year...

Silly me, Google are hosting the talks! Well, that's that covered then...


But c'mon, this part...

...has got to make you laugh:

"The summit will not be broadcast. This privacy allows the best possible technical members directly involved in the fight against web spam to attend the summit with full candor."

And the participants?

"Key industry players such as Ask Jeeves, Feedster, Google, Microsoft, Six Apart, Tucows, WordPress, and Yahoo!"

That's WordPress as in WordPress that was banned briefly on Google for spamming Google, right? I mean, outright ban for web spam. Yes, it's best this is done in secrecy, because that way WordPress in good candor can explain the issues with low quality doorway pages and the problems of hidden links that lead to them.

If you're feeling left out, Nick, don't. Got something I'll be posting on Monday as a contribution to the fight against blog spam.

First summit was in February

First Spam Summit was on February 24, not last year.

Not rebroadcast

If the summit was rebroadcast it would restrict the quality of participants, especially from publicly traded companies. Big companies have persons who are designated by the company to speak on its behalf, and it's usually the marketing department and not engineering. Keeping things private means getting the best people in the room regardless of media clearance.


Niall -- I mean, you're going to have plenty of vocal bloggers who talk about whatever they want from public companies taking part. Seriously, of course, I understand why you don't want to have an open discussion. If you're wanting to fight back in certain ways, you don't want to advertise what you're doing. Just make sure that everyone in the room really stays mum on that. And to Nick's poing, what he's saying is that if you want to fight spam, you might want to involve some people from the marketing community to understand that side of the coin. MSN, Google, Yahoo all already tap into that audience already. Perhaps and idea for a future spam summit :)

Yep. Niall that bollocks


Niall that bollocks should be well beneath you. Never had you down as a corporate bullshitter, but that's what you sound like above. Not like you at all.

I said this last time, and i'll say it again now. You'd be very surprised just how many blog spammers would be quite happy to see it stop. They all have blogs too, it would not actually take anything away from them, they'd just fight it out on another battlefield is all.

You're missing 50% of the equation.

The last one was good.

There's several good places for search engine reps to mingle with SEOs and even spammers. I think it's also good to have a place where search engines can talk to software makers, esp. blog software makers but also CMS software folks. The meeting at Yahoo was productive last time, and I expect next week to be helpful too. No need to call people idiots, Nick--at the least, it's a good way for different companies to establish ways to contact each other.

>>No need to call people

>>No need to call people idiots

In this instance, i beg to differ. You should have seen this post before i watered it down :)

Niall. I'll be frank and say


I'll be frank and say I know I still have an answer but as I don't want to keep my diary clear too long and last time you rejected me on the day of the meeting I just wondered if it worth me (and my fellow colleagues) applying to come this time or would I be wasting my, your and everyone else's time?

Matt and Niall and everyone else at SpamCon2,

You, I and thousands upon thousands of others all make our living from search. I love my job and I am pretty sure you love yours. In fact I have yet to meet one search pro who doesn't think themselves lucky to be involved in such a great industry.

The industry invokes enthusiasm because we love our work and to be fair to Nick, especially knowing the extremely passionate guy he is, I can't say I blame him for his emotive view on this topic.

Now let me let everyone in on a *not so secret* secret. I've been known to link spam!

I know there is shock and horror at that thought but whilst algorithms are able to be manipulated they will be. Whilst the bandaid on a bad (link based) algo is newer versions of blogging and other CMS (BTW I'm glad you used the term CMS and not just blog, Matt) software it aint gonna work.

What is needed? Well I know I could eliminate the problem for now, but I suppose the question should be will the algo be harder to spam when links are taken out of the equation in weighting factors inside it, as I don't believe that there is yet a possibility of an algorithm that can deliver quality SERPs across all areas that isn't spammable.

I'd love for you to prove me wrong though as I do love a challenge and if you fancy the same contingent as before to pop over the Plex then I know we'd all be happy to pop along. The only difference is this time DaveN will have a little less stuff to chat to Larry, Sergei and Matt about.

Personally I think the price of watches is horrendous nowadays :)

Glad to see Six Apart

Glad to see Six Apart represented again. After all, how long did it take for them to even add basic anti-spam tools to their default MovableType install?

Um...until 2 weeks ago.

Not bad for one of the largest blog platforms, heavily targeted by automated scripts, that it couldn't even take responsibilty to empower webmasters with basic anti-spam tools even in paid licence versions.

And you need a second spam summit to work that one out?

There's no point thinking about how to develop a great burglar alarm, when some fool keeps leaving the downstairs windows open.

I have about 30 Wordpress installs* and 2 MovableType installs (paid licences). I get more spam in a single day on the MT blogs than I have *ever* had on the combined sum of my Wordpress blogs over the past 6 months. Why? Wordpress have a set of anti-spam tools installed by default. Go work that one out, blog spam summit.



* I use Wordpress as a general content management solution for real content - so far as I can tell, nobody automatically pings my servers looking for Wordpress files to write to, but they do routinely for MT trackback and comments files on MT installs.

beyond belief

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