Profile spamming, the act of signing up usernames at forums for the sole purpose of gaining the benefit of a link to your website from the profile your new account generates can be a big problem. Anyone that's run even a small forum for some time will tell you it can be a real pain in the arse.
Over at wmw they're discussing ways to thwart the spammers in phpBB - Some outstandign links to mods for the phpBB system and advice from Threadwatch members encyclo and Jenstar - this from Jenstar:
There is a phpbb mod which temporarily disables the website URL field, and if a bot tries to enter something into that form field, it bans the IP and username. The bot doesn't "view" the page and assumes the website url field must be there when it sends the registration information to the server. However, a real visitor would see no form field for website, and instead a note about it becoming active after registration is confirmed.
Another Agency Promising Top Positions, How do they plan to achieve this?
Doug Heil has shown up in a thread over at HR to out do himself in the whiney white knight role he loves to parade around the forums. It's just another of those "this company is promising no.1 spots" threads but the fun is in the debate between Doug and Threadwatch member Jill.
She's currently slapping him about whilst allowing him all the rope he requires to hang himself. He does a fine job without to much rope usually but this is exceptional form from the zealot like Doug.
He's upset becuase jill wont allow the posting ("outing") of specific companies on her forum - damn good policy if you ask me.
Doug enters the thread:
hmm. I come in here to read the "spam" threads just ever so often, and see that "another" traffic power type company is blatantly misleading the industry and ALL people new to the internet, but only to see that this said company cannot be shown to the world?
a couple of posts later
Yes, I know what your rules are. Thanks!
So you would rather wait until this company rips off as many webmasters as they can? And then get banned by Google, and only then will you "post" the company name?
Followed by a bitch slap
You are welcome not to like our rules here, Doug. I didn't like your rules of outing spammers, which is one reason I left your forum.
Feel free to post only in forums where you agree with the rules, that's pretty much what I do.
Eeeeeeow! I didnt know she had it in her! :-)
Get on over their and have a peek, it's killer funny on a dreary wednesday afternoon...
I want to give them content but they wont have it.
Threadwatch member ukgimp raises some interesting debate over at SEW:
Here is my reasoning. I have spent good amounts of cash on decent content and pretty pictures but Google dont want it!
What do they want, well to me is seems like useless API scraped cack mixed in with paid results. Plus other argy bargey that a handfull of serious people know about
Sandbox discussion aside there are people out there that can create monsters than rank for lots. They may only last a month, but they do OK out of it the unleash another beast.
The thread centers around the fact that it seems, at least to some, that to get good listings you have to break "the rules" and worse, produce sub-standard websites.
I think it makes sense for Google and other SE's to slowly push new sites into a corner - just look at the sandbox fiasco. Some webmasters forget that the business of a search engine, is to make money - They do that by selling adwords and premium listings so are we fighting a losing battle by producing clean, easy to use, information rich websites or what?
The right price for cyberspace
Every now and again you hear rumbles of "the free web cannot last" and the like from somewhere or another, it's become a regular part of the underlying debate on the internet itself.
The struggle to fleece consumers continues though despite seriously shite figures from the first half of this year. This FT report comes in via PC and makes for a good read. The upside of paid content is the emergence and almost certain boom in mobile content delivery - subscribers are used to paying for starters and carriers are adept at sneaking costs and profit margins in as "usage costs".
Working With Google Scholar -- And More Approved Cloaking
Danny Sullivan has a great piece on a pet topic of his, "google and approved cloaking" - it's pet topic of mine too :)
This was lifted from this Google Scholar piece over at the new G Scholar blog.
The second issue was to ensure that the crawler got the full text so they could work their on the full content rather than just the titles and abstracts. A bit of sleight-of-hand at our end ensured that the crawler got what it needed but with the URLs in the Google index being a suitable entry point for an end user.
Sleight of hand indeed...
Danny goes into all the detail you need, get on over there and check it out...
Video on Demand on 3G Launch
MXTelecom are to provide a Video Gateway for 3G phone services in the UK - Russell over at the mobile weblog linked above has some interesting thoughts regarding video delivery and what it might mean to adult content providers.
Essentially, what if the phone sex you call for has a great voice but looks like a bag of sick? or vice versa - quite funny but a damn good point too.
Campaign of criticism on Web Design from Scratch
Scenario: You set up your business site listing services you offer and you enable user comments - Along comes either a competitor or someone with an axe to grind with you and starts trashing you, your company and your services using your own website.
Some would say it's a stupid move to enable comments at all, Kim Krause certainly doesnt think it wise:
Ben, isn't allowing comments (uncensored) on a services page a little like shooting yourself in the foot?
For myself, I've come to regard comments as an excuse to trash people and spread hatred. It's a free pass and it's just too easy for people to use them to get away with things they might not say to people in person - face to face. When comments become weapons, they lose their worth in my eyes.
Having had a fun time with this particular member of cre8asiteforums when i dared critisize his website in a "review my site" thread I'd say he's being a little over-dramatic but it does pose some interesting questions:
Does opening up your products or services to public debate help or hinder?
Is it adding value or creating a PR nightmare?
Personally im all in favor but with the caveat of "with moderation" - you can't stop people from criticizing if you open yourself up to it and invite it of course but you can weed out the obvious trolls.
Commenting on products/services - What do you think?
Slashdot bring word of the now infamous Lycos DDos Attack Site being hacked.
Attempting to download the screen saver from lycos results in this message 'Yes, attacking spammers is wrong, you know this, you shouldn't be doing it. Your ip address and request have been logged and will be reported to your ISP for further action.'
Made my morning, i cant seem to reach the site so maybe they're being DDoS attacked aswell? LMFAO! Of course it may be that there server just isnt up to being slashdotted but either way it's a killer funny story - thankyou SD
venue A/Razorfish uses blogs & social networks for internal collaboration
Forresters Charlene Li has an interesting post about how AA/Razorfish use blogs and social media for knowledge management, peer review and team collaboration.
"Forrester envisions a day when new employees on their first day will be handed a sheet of paper with their phone number, email address — and a URL for their blog. The company would give all of its employees a personal internal blog where they could provide project updates, trip reports, and market intelligence — anything that they think others should know about the work that they are doing. This information could then be tied into the company's VoIP phone system — for internal calls, the caller's photo, title, bio, and a link to his blog would appear on the computer screen. The blog content would give context and background for the call, making it unnecessary to send extra emails or to have extensive discussions about a project."
MSN Readies New Blogging Service
Yahoo are reporting that MSN will launch their rival to blogger, blogspot, livejournal and typepad this week by taking the dust sheets off of MSN Spaces which has been in beta since August.
My oh my, the blog market just gets hotter by the minute doesnt it? - Put this together with the recent beta launch of the new MSN Search and I'd say M$ are starting to look like contenders rather than clowns in this space.
Blogs: Fad or Marketing Medium of the Future?
Linked above is a piece over at adage via stece rubel on blogging. It's really only telling us, threadwatchers, what we know already: That we dont know for sure, but for now, blogging works well (both in seo and general marketing online).
It's a good excuse to talk about it a little bit though if you're so inclined :)
What do you think? - Are blogs here to stay or will they quickly be replaced with other communications media?
Webmaster Radio - Yahoo Hand Manipulation
Webmasterradio.fm are talking about the Yahoo! Hand Manipulating Results
You cant prove it scientifically, but you can say that hey, im an SEO, i've been doing this for years and I can tell you that that SERP should not be showing up all .orgs!
Talking about the h1, h2 and h0's on certain SERPS in particular areas like spyware removal - A VERY clean result with h=1 parameters in the urls near the top and moving down to h=2 and h=0's
The debate continues on the sense of this hand tweaking and how it's quite understandable in a SERP like the above and for example medications etc - traditionally the haunt of hard core scum affiliates.
Good stuff, first time i've tuned in and im enjoying it immensly - shit, i dont even know who's speaking but one of them sounds remarkably like Todd Friesen (oilman) and im reasonably certain that when i stop waffling on and go check out the playlist i'll find him billed tonight.
If you're not listening, tune in now: http://www.webmasterradio.fm
If you're wondering why Threadwatch has recently opened this section: Mobile Marketing this little article over at Commpiled may well give you the answer. It'll also tickle you a bit im sure as there are some striking parallels to be spotted between the way agencies (read clients) view MM and the way we all know many of our clients (and the public in general) view web marketing. Enjoy...
Mobile marketing in 2004 suffers from being understood mainly by technical people. Instead of presenting mobile marketing as an additional conduit between brands and consumers, industry experts still talk in telecommunications jargon. Even the relatively straightforward acronym SMS (short message service) is not something consumers or brand managers relate to. When SMS is presented as "a way for a brand to develop a one to one interactive dialog with consumers via their mobile phones," that is put in a language understood by marketers, suddenly it is not a technology but a solution.
Are you local?
Facinating read over at netimperitive about the failure of LBS (Location Based Services) and where the way forward might be. In essense: Social Networking mixed with LBS mixed with higher ticket items.
Mobile marketing for higher value items, on the other hand, can make a lot of sense. This is especially applicable for entertainment venues (such cinema, theatres and sports events), restaurants, fashion and music.
So, what might work? As usual, the true innovation in this sector is happening outside the operators’ influence and that’s where the clues to future successes might be.
The key seems to be less obvious applications that bring the real world and the digital one closer together to form the seamless new reality.
Loren over at sejournal has the scoop on the latest in a long line of new search engines that are only used by search geeks and have very little chance of a real future. NuSearch does have some very interesting ideas but then dont they all?
What else marks out NuSearch as revolutionary? According to Giles Chanot, Chief Software Architect at NuSearch “Well, that Applet that sits in the web page is really the key to the whole show. Every time you perform a search and it downloads some web pages, it compares these with the copies on the NuSearch server. If they’re new or have been updated, this information is sent back to the server (in a highly compressed form). This enables NuSearch to keep its index much more up to date than would otherwise be possible: the more people use NuSearch, the better it gets.”
On the basis that it requires a java applet and im terminally paranoid i'll give it a swerve but you might like to go play with it. If you do, please tell us what you think...
10 Technologies That Are Reinventing the CRM Industry
Nice article over at destinationCRM.com with good write ups on each of the following tech.
Web Services and Services Oriented Architecture
Outsourced Application Delivery
Wireless Connectivity and Applications
Presence Technologies (RFID, POS)
Open Source CRM
Embedded Analytics and Business Intelligence
The Wall Street Journal Mobile
WSJ have teamed up with Summus to knock out content to your mobile in 2005 - $4 a month subscriptions will get you a whole bunch of WSJ content direct to your phone. You can try a demo on the summus homepage
"The Wall Street Journal Mobile" will be available widely via most major U.S. wireless carriers beginning in early 2005 for a monthly subscription price of $3.99, billed by the carrier.
very few more details but pamela parker now has some words on this also
Slowly but surely the admen and prguys are moving in on Search. Time to start circling the wagons has probably been and gone...
Join these leading experts in the public relations and search engine marketing industries to learn how you can gain better visibility for your brand, increase traffic to your Web site, stand out against the competition and further your sales strategies through search engine visibility techniques:
MarketingSherpa have an interesting article with JCPenny's Richard Last on convertion stats and techniques. Last year they did about $600M - within 2 more years they want 1BN
Tactic #1. Expand your metrics
If you're going to think outside the shoppers-to-conversions box, you need a new way to measure success. "It's a challenge going forward," notes Last. For example, "What are the levers that truly point to multi-channel success? We should understand the impact of conversions online vs. shop online and buy in-store, especially when she is buying other products in addition when she gets there."
Last's team has begun to focus not only on immediate conversions, but more on how to measure "if we helped her with her buying decision" with the ultimate purchase to follow in any channel. Currently they use the following tools prior to the launch of any major site change:
An in-house usability testing
An outside usability lab
A/B real-time testing on the site
Monitoring trends in fashion and style relevance
Talking with customers and with top selling associates in brick and mortar stores