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Google Ad Link Farm = Saskatchawan Based Trackback Spammer

I’ve had a number of months of quiet resignation of the ever constant flow of email spam (now unreadable PDFs of stock offers, still sweet deals to enlarge body parts I am not equipped with, great sounding mortgage offers for homes I don’t own in Florida), not to mention the torrent of blog spam that I watch over the 10 or so blogs and wikis I touch.

But a trackback I got today to a link farm, a place designed to only generate internal links to itself (via spam insertion to innocent blogs) is just the kind of smelly roach that fired me up. Al pages on the infernal site are self linking, each one laced with Google AdSense links, in the marginal hopes some fool might click and generate some nano revenue for the roach-a-teers.

So a blog post I posted today contained a NMC presentation that had a medical term in the title, and right as rain (not in the desert) a spam trackback came into the WordPress Spam Karma 2 containment zone linking tyo a subpage at this site purporting to be giving “university updates”. That’s curious though, the domain looks somewhat legit, it is “universityupdate dot com” (I am not adding any more linkages to their pile. It ain’t there , brothers and sisters.

The site is right away an obvious link farm. It’s just full of category link pages, mostly void of content. Most of the hyperlinks that have real sounding titles are not linked to legit URLs.

And it sure as *#&#^ has nothing to do with universities. It’s hundreds of pages of google AdSense pages.

And if I can find info on these roaches, they are not all that hidden. Using domaintools for some research on the roaches, the fetid site has 355 internal links and zero external.

What kind fo web site has nary a link anywhere else?

A link farm does.

And they are hosted by in Saskatchewan, Regina -by roach providers, Loose Foot Computing Limited.

Again, for all of their bright colored banners of Doing No Evil- Google, who’s tools, services I love, adore, and give sloppvery kisses to — provides financial reward, incentive to link farms and blog comment spammers, and with all that immense Googly Brainpower — why are they not actively stomping out the roaches?

If I believed in conspiracy and evil profiteers I might have a theory, but I’m just not that sharp.

I just hate spammers. I hate evil, greedy, farts who waste my time. And I hate them even more for giving Canada a bad name.

Grrrrrrr.

Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.

Comments

  1. I was wondering… though they are really just the hosts for the roaches, still in a way supporting their behavior.

    Am ready to fax you a 100 lbs of fresh dog poop to lob at their door…. ;-)

  2. Yikes! Half a dozen University Update Saskatchewspams got through on mine. I’d seen them as they came in, but didn’t bother to follow the link to see what the site was. I mean, it’s “University Update” – it couldn’t be spam, could it?

    Those troublesome Saskatchewanonians… Saskatchewites? Saskwatches?

  3. Hi, I am the “roach” who created UniversityUpdate.com, and I wanted to let you know that I’ve been making changes to my site, because the site’s goal is NOT to be a link farm, and I have no intention of stealing content. To that end, I’ve made some of the following changes:

    I’ve included an email address on the page, so that people such as yourself can contact me. I search the page’s HTML for the word “Copyright,” and if found, I don’t put ANY text from the linked page on my site. (BTW, I DO link to the source page, and always have. I can’t say why domaintools says otherwise, but a quick visit to my site clearly proves that I do link to the original sites.)

    I have used Adsense up until recently, but my intention was never to hope that “some fool might click and generate some nano revenue.” If an ad generated interest in the visitor, then I hope they do click, but it wasn’t about getting “accidental clicks.” However, Google apparently saw it more like you do, so they’ve shut off my ad serving, so for the moment, the point is moot. However, you will note that I am still developing the site, and will continue to do so whether I have ads on it or not.

    Why? Because I do believe the site is a useful idea, the concept is that for a given subject, you can keep up with news and opinions from blogs. Soon, I hope to build RSS feeds for each subject, and those links will be to the original content, not to the page on my site.

    As for the name of the site, yeah, UniversityUpdate is a bad choice. The site did start out as being about updating news and blogs on Universities (I really started the whole thing so I could keep up with my own Alma Mater), and I admit it, as I saw traffic increasing, and hopefully legitimate ad clicks increasing, I got excited and added more and more subjects. The goal is to have a new domain and new site built shortly. The revamped site will be more community-focused, including forums, visitor submitted links and anecdotes, the afore-mentioned RSS feeds, and various media related to the subject at hand. I truly believe the idea I had to start is a good one, I just needed to have things behaving a bit better at the start.

    So, I’ve added cogdogblog and darcynorman to a blacklist on my article gathering tool, so neither will be used on my site in the future. But I hope you can take a second look at my site, and see that it’s not what you protrayed it to be in the post above. Hopefully, the changes I’ve made already will help my site to distinguish itself from the true “Link Farms” out there, and eventually will prove itself to be truly useful.

    Thanks, and sorry for the trouble I’ve caused you.

  4. That’s nice. Thanks for giving the background.

    You could have easily avoided this witha very complex, but effective web tool.

    it is called an “About Page” where you let the public know just what your site is.

    As far as a site that aggregates content from blogs? that’s what people use RSS readers for. But go ahead, and it is appreciated that you made the effort to expalin.

    Best of luck

  5. I hear you, and that’s a change I’m including in the next revision as well. This will be different from RSS readers, in that it includes content about a specific subject from across the Internet, not just content from a specific source about whatever. I think it will be a good site when it’s done, it just would appear that my first attempt had some pretty major flaws (or outright gaps) in thinking.

    What’s most important to me is that the site is not perceived by content authors as being in the same league as splog/link farm sites, and hopefully the changes I’m making as a result of comments like yours will help that happen.

    Thanks, and good luck with your site as well!

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