More Public Spam Reporting at SearchEngineWatch Forums

34 comments
Thread Title:
[ thread removed - link goes to TW homepage ]
Thread Description:

That idiot Doug Heil is at it again naming two sites he has found using sloppy techniques and gleefully informing everyone about his super discovery as if he's saving the damn planet.

Sheeeesh, now i've got a picture of him in large red underpants and a cape, it just doesn't bear thinking about ...ugh!

SEW - An unsafe place for search marketers?
Worse than Dougs silly games though is the fact that board admin Elisabeth is allowing this. As a member of that site im just glad it's not one of my websites put up in the forums for a public execution. Lord knows what that girls thinking of..

I wrote a long post on why I think public outings of websites on search marketing forums are bad for all members a while back and at the time the admins nodded and made all the right noises but made no firm decision on policy.

As it stands SEW, despite frequent debate, arguments and pleas on both side of the "should we report spam at SEW" contraversy, have still not anchored a firm policy on such posts.

It makes me very, very edgy about posting there at all.

Comments

I agree Nick...

That's one of the reasons I won't get involved in the SEW forums.

Better to lurk in safety.

It's possible to have valuable discussions without URLs. WebmasterWorld does a pretty good job of this. Danny should really implement some measures to prevent outings like this.

WG

Right on...

Sure:

view-source:www.ihelpyou.com ... total shite.

Copy and paste that into your address bar to view the source code of the actual url Google shows in the index. Note that the designer who claims to do accessible sites actually just shovels everything in tables to hold it all together. It's a silly way to build a site. I discover many of these type things.

ihelpyouservices.com/forums/ employs this kind of tactic. It's how they do things. They can't even bother with a doctype and their choice of color scheme would make a blind man vomit. The client who buys this stuff is getting shafted.

PS. What's the betting he runs a Lycos screensaver?

anchor text problems

>That idiot Doug Heil

please change your anchor text on that one Nick. would hate to see him outrank your site for his name.

I actually like...

...the occasional flaming of a site (for whatever reason: blackhat, bad taste, unusability). I can't resist it myself from time to time. I feel it's just about as much fun as flaming people ;-) ;-)

larger implications

There are much larger implications at play, IMO they far outweigh the fun of having a pop at some dumb site - read my post linked from the threadstarter above - more detail there.

This thread just got sooo much worse, i really cant understand how SEW can expect to run a forum when they all appear to take the weekend off. It's bad enough that their administrators condone public spam reports but, to let that thread spiral out of control as Doug froths and foams at the mouth over his favorite topic is just negligent. It does them no favors at all.

At this rate SEW will hit the downslope of the Bell Shaped Curve in world beating time...

NFFC posted here a while back that Doug should be banned, I agree. Whenever that loon enters a thread it almost always results in the thread being closed, except for SEW of course because it takes them a week to notice what's happening lol!

Kick that raving nutter out of there for gods sake SEW!

I don’t see the point in reporting spam

Its good that spam reporters don’t want to see people get ripped off, i don’t know anyone who does. However, forums like SEW are not the place to make them.

I don’t see the point in reporting spam in a forum mostly made-up of SEO/SEM professionals. Anyone who checks the serps can find results like that including the search engine employees. If people must report spam stick to using the search engines spam report tools or setup a forum dedicated to anti-spam then call it something cheesy like iannoyyou

Should Doug be banned? Anyone who continually takes threads off topic to talk about their favourite hobby should be banned.

You're a sick man

Quote:
a picture of him in large red underpants and a cape, it just doesn't bear thinking about ...ugh!

You are a sick man, Nick! How could you inflict such mental imagery on others?

previously Doug Heil -- mental image = big cheesy-smile face. Not pretty but I've seen worse.

Now Doug Heil -- ew ... shudder!

Cheers mate!

Father, son and Holy Google.

I pretty much think of Doug as a religious evangalist - I've absolutely no problem with him having his beliefs, I sometimes even respect him for arguing his case against all scientific evidence, and in his own IHU Church he can preach what he likes, but when he starts wandering into other denominations (or pubs if that's what you prefer on a Sunday morning) and taking over the pulpit/seat in corner reserved for local old nutter then he has to expect a few arguments.

Question of fairness

It appears that Mr. Heil has a strange idea of fairness. Is it fair for Nick to call him an idiot? Is it fair that I criticised his site? Not really - because he's not stupid, and his site's fine - just that we consider his approach to be wrong.

Mr. Heil is making a qualitative judgement on a third-party's site and labelling it as "spam" or "scam" - he's effectively accusing the site's owner of being a fraudster. But how many laws is that site breaking? Is there criminal activity going on? I can see no evidence whatsoever of that. The site might be using tactics which Mr. Heil or Google or Yahoo don't approve of, but SE guidelines or Mr. Heil's personal views are not law.

Accusing that site of being a fraud (a word with strong legal consequences, but carefully avoided by Mr. Heil - I wonder why?) is not just wrong, it is libellous. It is not a question of ethics, it's a case of making serious and unfounded allegations of criminal activity. Mr. Heil equates "spam" to "scam", and "scam" is another word for "fraud". The forum which accepts to host such conversations (and even facilitates them) is participating in that libel.

thread yanked...

but it helped bring on a spam reporting policy.

conflict

It was pulled? Good, should never have been there in the first place.. sheesh!

I think there must be some conflict of opinion between danny and co-admin elisabeth, what she deems ok he appears not to. One reason to get that damn policy nailed down fast.

The first thing I saw rcjordan post at SEW was a note telling them they needed to get some rules in place quickly, maybe they're finally realizing the point now, i hope so.

Pre Ban

Rules, policies or TOS should be in place to address these issues BUT

There are at least 5 retired SEO Forum Admins here at TW.

Even with rules, they have had to deal with and eventually ban the same people over and over.
There is no dealing with some people that will not follow what we all would think of as common sense.

PRE-BANNING is an option.

Note: anyone remember netesq ???

Anyone Remember Netesq?

I give up. Why would someone bring up my byline in the context of a pre-ban?

Netesq!

Now there is a name to conjure with, a real blast from the past.

Is he still around, posting under a different name perhaps, or gone back to the law?

Actually now I come to think of it I still get emails from Ex-ODP newsgroup and he is alive and well there.

Can't let the inmates run the asylum

While in theory, I stand behind the free-speech, we-are-all-adults-I'm-not-your-mommy concept, the truth is that you do have to have some guidelines and enforce them. Otherwise, a forum sinks to the lowest common denominator and becomes a free-for-all, a tool for anyone to wield for their own purposes.

The toads like to run around and cry censorship and whine about being mistreated, but eventually the very forums they are using to whine kick them out for the same behavior. It's in the best interest of the community to remove the toads and trolls so that your good members aren't driven away by them.

It's not a rule thing

I really think it's more of a problem that there's no one or two people who "live" at the forum, as I've said in other posts here. That would solve these types of problems in a minute, as long as those people were not wimpy and had the gumption to slice and dice as necessary.

That's easier said than done, however. I am the one that does a lot of that at my forum, although most of the mods do it as well. However, I'm the most hard-lined, and I do find that if I'm away for a day or two, I have some work ahead of me to remove stuff that the others may have missed or may have not been sure if they should remove. For the most part though, they catch a good 90% or more of it. I think many don't even realize how much needs to be removed because it's just done quietly in the background without any fanfare.

You gonna ban doug jill?

I saw that thread he had closed (actually, i was in it wasnt i?), you going to ban him at some point?

If we take Doug as an example of what is not entirely unique to him: Folks that Troll forums for attention to their cause and generally having threads closed, nuked or radically edited *every time* they post: Shouldnt we/you just ban them and get on with the business of running a good forum?

I've thought about pre-banning a couple of folks here but have decided to take danny's line and call that one on how they behave here should they show up rather than on what they're doing elsewhere but when it comes to the fact that every time you see a certain member post you *know* the thread is going to suffer, shouldnt something more drastic and final be done about it?

Pre banning isn't good imho

Thinking of one very specific troll who I think started off at SG and worked his way through pretty much every forum around, now he's found a home of sorts at DigitalPoint and although he still has an agenda he's actually almost normal now. lol.

Kudos to DigitalPoint for whatever they did to tame him (far more patience than we had) but that case does prove even the most trolliest troll can turn over a new leaf.

Pre-banning will surely just result in people signing up as a different user from a different IP and starting in a bad mood?

Takes a lot to get banned

I wouldn't just out and out ban Doug at this point. However, if he started coming often and started causing problems every time, then sure I'd ban him.

I wonder if Gurtie is talking about one particular troll who started out at HR? If so, I have a hard time believing he's turned over a new leaf as the one I'm thinking about was rotten to the core!

AC

>I wonder if Gurtie is talking about

AC are the initials

You mean Anthony? He's an odd

You mean Anthony? He's an odd one for sure but i kinda like him over at dp :)

Nope

Not the same toad...

Not the one starting with C?

By any chance?

And SEWF Responds :)

Nick, you've seen the new thread on our spam reporting policy that we've started, but I'll recap a couple of things for those who haven't.

As that thread explains, we've not had a lot of public outings contrary to the impression this thread suggests. We've not formalized a policy until now because it hasn't been one of the top concerns or problems of most of our members.

We have discussed it before, of course, both among members and moderators. The consensus is so far not to allow public spam reporting, though we do want some flexibility on citing real-life examples if the moderators feel it is useful. That's one of the things being discussed now.

The last time this came up was probably about a month ago. I told the community then that we were operating under generally not allowing this and that we'd look to formalize a policy. I apologize that we didn't get moving faster to finally get that into place. We should have, and this thread has definitely helped get that back on track. We deserve the flak on this. As the new thread states, we'll do that this week.

A few other clarifications. No -- we don't take the weekend off. We do have moderators active -- and in fact, a number of them were very active this weekend. As always with any forum, there's a lot of stuff that does get nipped in the bud. In fact, there are spam reports we've caught and killed before you've seen them or had a chance to complain that we let them through -- we didn't :)

As for the "conflict" you suggest between me and Elisabeth, there isn't one. She is a great forums editor. To give you some background on why I pulled the thread she'd started...

1) She appears to have split the thread along with a number of edits to deal what seemed to be either a public spam report or perhaps what was a real-life situation to illustrate the hijacking discusson. I think she wanted some more time to check on what exactly was being cited further. I know she PM'd at least one person to get that.

So whereas you're dinging her for allowing a publc execution, you're sort of doing the same to her without getting all the facts from her, unless you've had some PM conversation with Elisabeth I don't know about.

2) When I came along later, that thread had developed into a fight between two people. The question of whether it was just a spam report still lurked, but the intended value of the thread had been completely lost. It was time to go -- so I pulled it.

A spam report is a spam report is a spam report...

so, now we know what it takes to finally get you over here and say hi to us eh mate? :) welcome to Threadwatch danny, do introduce yourself...

Quote:
The consensus is so far not to allow public spam reporting, though we do want some flexibility on citing real-life examples if the moderators feel it is useful.

If that flexibility extends just to high profile cases like the M$ doorway pages row then im all for it.

If however, as you've suggested in the the thread about policy that came as a result of all this, that you do indeed intend to allow the pointing of urls at ordinary websites for "educational purposes" then all of this is just a lot of hot air is it not? It doesnt appear to change anything.

As far as I, as a member of SEW and someone who would like to participate in SEW discussions am concerned you either allow it or you don't. The fact that at any time, one of my webistes, or that of another SEW member could be hauled up in front of some of the best SEO's in the world for their scrutiny makes me very nervous indeed.

Not only would I not want any of my websites led to the gallows for the "education" of my peers, should my site pass muster and be stayed the final verdict by the SEO jury of Spammer! I would be devastated that something i've worked hard on, should be thrown into the SEO community eye. I work hard on my sites and to have some low-life copy them word for word or simply think "hey, that's a great niche! I'll do that too" would effect my income right?

You cant please everyone danny, you really do need to stop trying so hard to be all things to all people. Go one way or the other mate, dont sit on the damn fence..

>>elisabeth

Sorry, i just cant buy into that danny. She put the thread out in public and it was hours and hours before it was pulled by you. There really is no excuse for allowing a public spam report to remain on the system by your own design unless the boards policy is to allow outings of websites.

I really do hope you can see the point, untill last night i've resisted being to critical of SEW for a number of reasons.

  • You're a new board and are defining your policies as you go
  • You have the highest concentration of pro grade seo information within the seo community already
  • I like you, and, contrary to popular beleif Elisabeth and have great faith in you both with regards to continuing to provide what is, bar some policy problems, a fantasitc board.

That thread last night, in light of previous problems of this nature as I see it, was simply the last straw, and if it takes a little public criticism outside of the SEW walls to speed the decision making process then so be it. It's very important to me as a member and i am not the only one.

Now, try to stop being so bloody NICE danny! and accept the fact that you just cant please everybody and you'll be on a winner :)

One last thing: When one member causes disruption, trouble, serious extra work for admins and mods every time they particiapte in a thread it is time they were shown the door. Please kick that dumb MF out of there already, it's annoying, distracting and a waste of everybody's time to listen to him bleat on about his pet obsession at every given opportunity. thanks..

Nick

In SEW's defence

Nick, the problem with that thread, was that there was a call for hijacked domains, now whether or not Doug decided

A) to take the mick and just use it as a spam report
B) he was clueless to what the thread was about
C) he really thought that those where Hijacked domains

The problem for the mods over there is to identify whether or not they where hijacked Domains or not... my guess is someone said hey they are not !!

and it was pulled, just my guess

DId you see the thread?

Did you see it Dave?

From what i saw it was just doug pointing out general spam...

Anyway, im all pooped out from debatng this for the day (well, maybe an hour or two :-) so im going to have a cup of tea and do some work heh!

thanks dave..

Oh, it's a pain thinking of a new subject each time

Nick, so we're talking about this in both places, and I'm going to keep most of my comments in the SEW thread. I think you've posted more recently there, and I just replied to all that. It covers the distinction between naming pages versus searches and stresses again the idea that it would be very, very rare.

By the way, we just had an example of where someone wanted to name a particular site and that was held. I'm getting permission to pass this example on to you -- because to me, it is one of those innocent cases where you really need the site to understand what's happening. So I'm curious to put you on the spot, at least privately, to see what you think. It also makes me think that a further line of defense as I talk about in the SEW thread might be some peer review by a committee of members, as well.

She put the thread out in public and it was hours and hours before it was pulled by you. There really is no excuse for allowing a public spam report to remain on the system by your own design unless the boards policy is to allow outings of websites.

What I was saying is you painted some picture of me and Elisabeth at odds with each other of what should be allowed. What I was telling you is that she made some edits and also had some questions going out behind the scenes. When I came online, that thread devolved enough that regardless of the resolution of whether it was a public spam report, it needed to go because of the unhelpful debate that was happening. I didn't have to jump in and wonder if it was a real hijacking example, a spam report or what -- other reasons emerged to just make yanking the entire thing justified.

I can tell you that if we had a firm policy in place, then we certainly would have reacted differently. We might have seen about holding that post until we could get several mods to review it and decide if the example made sense to show.

That thread last night, in light of previous problems of this nature as I see it, was simply the last straw, and if it takes a little public criticism outside of the SEW walls to speed the decision making process then so be it.

I've got no problem with your concern. We should have got the policy finalized last month, when this last came up. If we had, you and others with this concern hopefully would have been more relaxed. I can only apologize again on that front.

Why be high profile?

I'm curious as to why you would push yourself to be such a high profile character if you are worried about your sites being outed, Nick. As any of us in the public eye (even slighly) know, it only takes a single disagreement for people to start dissecting your code line by line in an effort to discredit you.

Sooner or later, especially with a forum like this, you are bound to have someone hunt down and expose your sites.

So... why do it?

Ok, fine....

Quote:
What I was saying is you painted some picture of me and Elisabeth at odds with each other of what should be allowed. What I was telling you is that she made some edits and also had some questions going out behind the scenes. When I came online, that thread devolved enough that regardless of the resolution of whether it was a public spam report, it needed to go because of the unhelpful debate that was happening. I didn't have to jump in and wonder if it was a real hijacking example, a spam report or what -- other reasons emerged to just make yanking the entire thing justified.

I have to reiterate that Danny & I are NOT at odds with each other on the general policies and the ongoing formation of them. I'm sorry I didn't pull some specifics out of the new thread I created, but that is not the reason it got pulled - it went to hell in a handbasket quickly, had I been around, yea, I would have pulled it altogether too.

But geez, I'm not gonna apologize for leaving the board alone on a Saturday night in favor of a sushi date. I'd like a life, you know. I'm not going to ask my mods to make personal sacrifices to monitor the board either. Sure, we may need a few more, and will add them as we see fit, but I don't expect anyone to live and die by the Forums.

Quote:
I like you, and, contrary to popular beleif Elisabeth and have great faith in you both with regards to continuing to provide what is, bar some policy problems, a fantasitc board.

thank you for that, and as Danny said, we're taking your input (and others) very seriously, and in the end, we'll come up with polices that WE'RE satisfied with.
but no, we can't please everyone, but what if it's not you Nick, would you accept that and still respect our decision? :)

Sure

Quote:
and in the end, we'll come up with polices that WE'RE satisfied with.
but no, we can't please everyone, but what if it's not you Nick, would you accept that and still respect our decision? :)

That really wouldnt be an issue for me. I'd like it if the decision went in favor of what i think is right but im far more concerned that a decision is actually reached and that there is no ambiguity.

Im sure you will indeed make the right decision for you. It's your board, that's your call and im glad you think that way. If things are clear, then im happy either way.

Scottie

Quote:
I'm curious as to why you would push yourself to be such a high profile character if you are worried about your sites being outed, Nick. As any of us in the public eye (even slighly) know, it only takes a single disagreement for people to start dissecting your code line by line in an effort to discredit you.

I dont think it would really bother me very much Scottie, I dont really try to put on an image as such, everybody knows i like to mess with the darker side of SEO - it doesnt mean im good at it, but i do like to mess with it :)

Im a programmer at heart, and i love to mess with search engines. Trouble is, i tend to get bored once the programming is done and rarely put that programming to any large scale use. There are plenty of cloaked or otherwise dodgy pages out there with my stamp on them, but it's not a big part of what I do. I've dropped almost all existing projects to run with TW and one or two white hat ideas i have along similar lines - i find publishing/blogging to be as much fun as programming and see the fruits of my labor blossom whilst im doing what i love, which is posting.

If anyone wants to go dig the dirt on Nick W it would be somewhat wasted as it's not a secret in the first place :)

Not supporting spam outings

Just to be clear, I wasn't posting in support of spam outings because I don't think they are necessary and typically, the poster has an agenda of their own. If you want to report spam, report it to the engines, IMO.

When I read this though:
_________________________________________________________
"Not only would I not want any of my websites led to the gallows for the "education" of my peers, should my site pass muster and be stayed the final verdict by the SEO jury of Spammer! I would be devastated that something i've worked hard on, should be thrown into the SEO community eye. I work hard on my sites and to have some low-life copy them word for word or simply think "hey, that's a great niche! I'll do that too" would effect my income right?"
_________________________________________________________

I wanted to be sure that you are aware that anyone who draws attention in this business becomes a target, no matter how good their intentions are. If there is something you didn't want exposed, you can be certain sooner or later someone will find it and drag it out for public scrutiny. It kind of comes with the territory.

Threadwatch.org

The usual suspects are chiming in on all sorts of topics, including
. . . me!?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.