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  == Community ban of spammer ==
This was discovered because of the research skills of Nposs. Since 6 May 2005 contributions conists of self promotion by adding links to related sites. Many adsense publishers have several accounts, seems this is one of them. On the surface all of this activity seems like it might be good faith... however, every one of website he's linked to uses the same AdSense accounts and registrar.
  • thisdaythatyear.com pub-6158899834265448 Registrant:VIJAY TECHNOLOGIEShttp://www.whois.net/whois_new.cgi?d=thisdaythatyear&tld=com.
  • *
  • vizaginfo.com, pub-4636414695604775, Registrant:VIJAY TECHNOLOGIEShttp://www.whois.net/whois_new.cgi?d=vizaginfo&tld=com.
  • *
  • andhranews.net pub-4636414695604775, (Registration Service Provided By: VIZAGINFO.COM) Registrant:VIJAY TECHNOLOGIES http://who.godaddy.com/WhoIsVerify.aspx?domain=andhranews.net&prog_id=godaddy.
  • *
  • electionsinfo.com pub-6158899834265448, http://whois.domaintools.com/electionsinfo.com VIJAY TEHNOLOGIES.
  • *
    It is our suspicion that this user owns every one of those sites and has engaged in a campaign to increase his websites traffic and advertising revenue though the use of wikipedia.--Hu12 (talk) 21:41, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
    Have these websites been blacklisted yet? To this type of spammer, that is a stronger disincentive than mere banning. - Jehochman Talk 21:44, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

    Ive added them.--Hu12 (talk) 21:56, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

    There are over 950 external link references to andhranews.net alone :O -
    spryde talk 17:55, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    More sites

  • Adsense pub-3396956829763394
    Whois: http://www.whois.net/whois_new.cgi?d=pincodesindia.com&tld=com. No cross-wiki links for this one. I've removed everything on en and reverted couple of andhranews.net links added by these IPs. Note the TLD of the contact email address...
  • ...is registered to Vijay Technologies. There doesn't seem to be an adsense for this one, but someone else should double check. Removed the only spamlink (on all wikis), which was at Nag Panchami.
    It's the same adsense pub: 4636414695604775. Just mouse over the Ads by Google links and it pops up in the url. Nposs (talk) 05:03, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    ;Spammers (for these sites)
    I'll go post these at meta. MER-C 03:35, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    Superb research, great work. Supporting ban and reaching for a barnstar for this labor.
    T
    C
    08:16, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    All sites so far are now blacklisted globally. User:MER-CMER-C 08:35, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    I'm going to start with the removal of the blacklisted links above. — Save_Us_229 09:04, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    Everything except andhranews.net has already been removed. MER-C 10:15, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    :That's what I'm working on :) — Save_Us_229 11:21, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    ::There are hundreds of andhranews.net links on this Wikipedia. To minimize disruption, I recommend temporarily removing that one domain from the blacklist until the deletions are complete. See MediaWiki talk:Spam-whitelist#andhranews.com frustrations. --A. B. (talk) 13:10, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    ::Thanks for the suggestion, A. B. I got caught with this earlier today while editing an article, and it was a major pain scrolling through the entire article until I found the link (which led to a 404, by the way). Jeffpw (talk) 13:44, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    Cleanup help needed: still hundreds of andhranews.net links

    The other spam domains have either been cleaned up or are being cleaned up. That still leaves the biggest problem, andhranews.net.
    We still have, as of this writing, 493 links on this Wikipedia and hundreds more on other Wikipedias:
    1. :de:Special:Linksearch/*.andhranews.net
    2. Cleaned up. --A. B. (talk) 17:06, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    3. :fr:Special:Linksearch/*.andhranews.net
    4. Cleaned up except for user pages. --A. B. (talk) 17:06, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    5. :nl:Special:Linksearch/*.andhranews.net
    6. Cleaned up. --A. B. (talk) 17:06, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    7. :it:Special:Linksearch/*.andhranews.net
    8. Cleaned up. --A. B. (talk) 17:06, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    9. :pt:Special:Linksearch/*.andhranews.net
    10. Cleaned up. --A. B. (talk) 17:06, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    11. :sv:Special:Linksearch/*.andhranews.net
    12. Cleaned up. --A. B. (talk) 17:27, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    13. :es:Special:Linksearch/*.andhranews.net
    14. Cleaned up. --A. B. (talk) 17:27, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    15. :zh:Special:Linksearch/*.andhranews.net
    16. Cleaned up. --A. B. (talk) 17:27, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    17. :eo:Special:Linksearch/*.andhranews.net
    18. Cleaned up. --A. B. (talk) 17:27, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    19. :sk:Special:Linksearch/*.andhranews.net
    20. Cleaned up. --A. B. (talk) 17:27, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    21. :da:Special:Linksearch/*.andhranews.net
    22. Cleaned up. --A. B. (talk) 18:14, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    23. :ro:Special:Linksearch/*.andhranews.net
    24. Cleaned up. --A. B. (talk) 18:14, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    25. :hu:Special:Linksearch/*.andhranews.net
    26. Cleaned up. --A. B. (talk) 18:14, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    27. :id:Special:Linksearch/*.andhranews.net
    28. Cleaned up. --A. B. (talk) 18:14, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    29. :bg:Special:Linksearch/*.andhranews.net
    30. Cleaned up. --A. B. (talk) 18:14, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    31. :ko:Special:Linksearch/*.andhranews.net
    32. Cleaned up. --A. B. (talk) 19:22, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    33. :hr:Special:Linksearch/*.andhranews.net
    34. Cleaned up. --A. B. (talk) 19:22, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    35. :ar:Special:Linksearch/*.andhranews.net
    36. Cleaned up. --A. B. (talk) 19:22, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    37. :te:Special:Linksearch/*.andhranews.net
    38. Cleaned up. --A. B. (talk) 19:22, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    39. :el:Special:Linksearch/*.andhranews.net
    40. :fa:Special:Linksearch/*.andhranews.net
    41. :vi:Special:Linksearch/*.andhranews.net
    42. :bn:Special:Linksearch/*.andhranews.net
    43. :simple:Special:Linksearch/*.andhranews.net
    44. :ka:Special:Linksearch/*.andhranews.net
    45. :bpy:Special:Linksearch/*.andhranews.net
    46. :new:Special:Linksearch/*.andhranews.net
    These should all really be deleted or disabled before we blacklist this domain. The andhranews.net domain was initially blacklisted but then that was reversed temporarily to avoid widespread editing disruption until all the links were cleaned up.
    Once these links are all cleaned up, we can then globally blacklist andhranews.net using Meta's blacklist across all 700+ Wikimedia Foundation wikis -- Wikipedias, Wiktionaries, etc. (The Meta blacklist also covers all 3000+ Wikia wikis plus a substantial percentage of the 25,000+ unrelated wikis that run on our MediaWiki software and have chosen to incorporate this blacklist in their own spam filtering.)
    I have spam cleanup accounts on all the other projects and can handle cleanup on the other Wikipedias. Can some other folks work on cleaning up the links here on the English Wikipedia while I work on the cross-wiki spam? Thanks! --A. B. (talk) 16:49, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    Could you please provide a list of the users who were major contributors to this research so I can hand them all barnstars? Fantastic work! Thank you all.
    spryde talk 17:18, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    Well, yes... people aren't simply removing the links, are they? They are news reports mostly that can be found on a not-so-spammy site with little searching at all. If it's linking to a news story, shouldn't the "purgers" just swap the link for one that links to the same news story on a more appropriate site? --Ali'i 17:31, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    there are almost 500 of these links on the English Wikipedia. Are you suggesting that before the links are removed we search for a replacement ref for each one? Jeffpw (talk) 17:36, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    Addend: This is much more helpful to the encyclopedia than http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Idea_cellular&diff=prev&oldid=176182545 this. --User:Ali'iAli'i 17:37, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    :Well, seeing as I just got a full page Intel Centrino Ad on Yahoo and static ads on Andhra, I will leave the implied question alone. Both have the exact same content as both are press releases released on the same wire. What is worse about the second link? spryde talk 17:52, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    Sorry, but it's going to take some time to add a replacement references to take the place of the ones under the andhranews.net domain. I'd rather remove them now and add references later than sit down and remove 1 reference at a time and add a replacement for that single piece of news. There was over 700 to begin with and we have to remove them now to get them on the spam blacklist, not wait around for more links to be added to the site to be spammed. If were going to have this blacklisted globally it has to be removed now, not later, otherwise were going to have spam-lock on an awful lot of articles. — Save_Us_229 17:39, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    :Well then I hope all of you are keeping track of all the links you have removed, because currently all you are doing is removing sources from who-knows-what kind of statements. Are you replacing the links with tags? Or are you all just leaving hundreds and hundreds of unsourced statements in the articles? For me, having a couple of spammy refs in place while replacement with un-spammy refs is taking place is much less harmful to the encyclopedia than uncritically removing the spammy refs and leaving unsourced statements (who knows in what kind of nature they are: are the spammy sites sourcing material that would be deleted under BLP policy if not sourced?). I just want people to think a bit rather than insert hundreds of unsourced statements with no critical thought involved. Mahalo. --Ali'i 17:46, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    ::My contributions with the appropriate edit summary tell me which article is one I removed a link from. No, I didn't replace them with fact tags because either the entire reference section consisted of the spam links, the entire article didn't have a whole lot of refs or the entire section it was added in was unsourced for the most part anyways. If it violated WP:BLP, I removed it. And I hope you seriously aren't suggesting spam is more valued than a single statement (per article) that is without a reference, cause if you do, I would suggest you hit the random button in the left toolbar and see how many statements are unreferenced. I would also like for you to stop criticizing me for 'not thinking' and for not inserting 700 references when you have inserted a grand total of 1 reference to help. — Save_Us_229 17:57, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    :::Well, it's actually 2, not 1, but who's counting? ;-) I just think that removing a reference attached to a statement = inserting an unsourced statement. So I think that it is better to have swapped one reference link (and have the spam on-site for a tiny bit longer) than to have inserted a hundred unsourced statements throughout the encyclopedia. And other statements are unsourced on random pages? Well, saying other crappy articles exist elsewhere does not make a good argument. I do appreciate the work you are doing, please understand that. We don't want spam on Wikipedia... duh. But we also need to have verifiable content and sourcing where appropriate. I am requesting that we have both (no spam and references), and you are arguing that we have only one. retracted... we just want them in a different order. My apologies. Mahalo, Save Us. --Ali'i 18:30, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    Attention: Isn't andhranews.com a news site that reports news primarily from South India? Are we doing a disservice to Wikipedia by removing links/references to genuine news stories from WP articles? I only discovered this after an andhranews reference was removed from an article on my watchlist, and which the editor has proceeded to remove andhranews references from other articles. Please clarify the situation with regards to the use of andhranews.com as a reference for genuine news stories related with that particular WP article. Thanks, Ekantik talk 17:55, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    That's something you should probably ask to the editors who started this thread and who started the investigation on the spamming to begin with, not me (as the editor removing them). All I know is that is going to be blacklisted globally and all the above websites other than andhranews.com have already been blacklisted and removed. These websites appear to be connected to an AdSense account according to the opening section here and that appears to be the main problem with them. — Save_Us_229 18:02, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    if people would stop squawking and start deleting the spamlinks, this would be over a lot sooner. Then we can worry about collateral issues. If necessary every change can be reversed with the push of one button. Much easier than what Save Us and myself are doing now. Jeffpw (talk) 18:12, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    : (ec) We seem to be going off half cocked about a great spammer in our midst. Seeing as there is no deadline for WP and the links have existed for a long while, we can talk a bit about this. Do we have definitive proof that the people adding the sites have connection to the adsense account? At one place of work before, I had access to Yahoo and the Washington Post sites. No other. User:Webgeek claims to only have limited access to a certain set of sites. I want to make sure all the ducks are in a row before a purge that can harm the content of our articles. spryde talk 18:14, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    ::Again, something you should probably ask User:Hu12, who is probably more technically inclined to know about this than me. Looking at the beginning of this thread and the links, it appears he is right about the AdSense account linking to these string of sites. — Save_Us_229 18:23, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    :::Being a webmaster myself, he is correct about the adsense accounts being linked across domains, not about the link between the domains and webgeek. However, that still does not mean that andhranews.net as a spammy link. Yahoo itself could be considered a spammy link as well based on these criteria given above (ads provider, added by numerous IPs). spryde talk 18:31, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    ::::I'm replacing the blacklisted references with equivalent, and have noticed that they are the same article found on any aggregated news site ie. No loss to Wikipedia.--Hu12 (User talk:Hu12talk) 18:37, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    :::::Understood. However what is wrong with that source? That is my question. Have we proven that people are putting that site in for spamming purposes? I feel we might be cutting off a reliable source for people in a region of the world to use in their contributions to WP. Also, others who are removing the links do not appear to be replacing them. This could cause further issues. I feel I am starting to belabor the point so I am going to back off now. I sincerely hope you consider what I have pointed out. spryde talk 18:42, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    ::::::See the above evidence which has been unhidden for improved usability. All the facts are there.--Hu12 (talk) 18:44, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    Here's what I've observed studying this and cleaning it up over the course of 5 to 10 hours:
    • Yes, that IP block belongs to the big Indian telco. If someone were spamming these links from Canada, they'd probably be using IPs in a big block from BellCanada or Shaw Cable. I'm not sure I understand the relevance.
    • Is the spammer limited to access to just that web site?
      • Answer: no. He appears to be limited to that site plus the other sites owned by Vijay Technologies, an SEO firm. Those are the links he's adding. What a coincidence: it's an interesting set of domains to be limited to!
    • Yes, andhranews.net is a portal for the Andra Pradesh area. Is it official? Nope. I can "scrape" together a "portal" for your area in a week or two -- where do you live?
      • That's a silly remark. What constitutes an "official" portal? Cause Wikipedia certainly uses sites as authorities that are community-originated. 131.191.41.218 (talk) 02:44, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
    • Yes, andhranews.net has some decent content on some of its pages. That's because it appears to be scraped from services such as Asian News International. It's unclear whether it is infringing others' copyrights or not; if we were to keep these links, we'd need to make sure we were properly observing the requirements of Wikipedia:Copyrights#Linking to copyrighted works.
      • We know they've had a lax attitude towards content from our experience with the two Vijay Technologies sites, greatpersonalities.com and knowledgeisfun.com, that scraped Wikipedia's content. They didn't bother observing even the simple requirements of our GFDL license until someone at the Foundation sent them a legal notice.
    • Half-cocked? I can't speak for the others but I know I've been working very hard to figure this all out and separate the sheep from the goats without doing collateral damage. That's why others and I laid out all the documentation with links to domain registrars, traceroutes, etc. It's all above (in the little collapse box labeled "Lengthy evidence and discussion of evidence") for others to double check. I invite critics to go through that record IP by IP, diff by diff as several of us have. Where we've made mistakes, please let us know but please use specifics, not generalities. If there are specific questions about any of this, let me know and I will try to address them. I'd rather get it right than win some sort of argument.
    • From the standpoint of reliable sources and encyclopedic quality: I know it's important to have citations in our articles but just how desirable is it to rely on links added primarily by the site-owner? When he's been warned (some of his IPs) about adding these links and gone ahead and kept adding them?
    --A. B. (talk) 18:47, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    ::::Ugh, I keep getting sucked back in. I could do a point by point rebuttal but I don't think it will do any good. I will say I tried to point out some of the flaws and they have been addressed to somewhat my satisfaction. I still don't see a clear link between Webgeek, the IP addresses, and him being the site owner (has anyone CU'ed them?). But as to your last point regarding reliable sources, seeing as Yahoo is an aggregator and not a content originator, should Yahoo be linked from WP? spryde talk 19:02, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    As I noted above, I'm open to a point-by-point rebuttal; I don't see why you write "I don't think it will do any good". As for your "ugh", there's not a lot I can do about that. I feel a bit on the defensive by the some of what you write but I also want to make sure we do this right. There are many hours of work going into this on the part of a number of volunteers and we don't want to waste them screwing up articles on some sort of link-nazi spree.

    I got into this late after a lot of work had already been done by others and the first sets of domains were blacklisted. Others looked at Webgeek's edits and I did not; I have not interacted with him but rather have been involved in looking at:
    *The IPs' editing patterns
    *The sites themselves

    *Looking for other related domains that have been spammed
    *All these sites' ownership and registration data
    *Links on other projects
    *The extent to which these links were added by "innocent" editors (that is, editors who were doing something in addition to promoting these sites)
    **"innocent" in this context is a loaded word: my goal was not to ferret out "good" and "evil" editors or IPs -- just to make sure we weren't rushing off to blacklist domains that were being used by a number of other editors beyond those with a vested interest in the site. As far as I can tell, 90+% but not all of these links were added by the IPs and accounts identified above.
    *Whether or not the site-owner got much warning before folks started blacklisting domains. Even if someone is the worst sort of low-down, dirty-dog spammer and a baby-hater to boot, I'm still squeamish about seeing their domains blacklisted at Meta if nobody's explained our standards to them.

    --A. B. (talk) 19:44, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    :Finished (with the English Wikipedia). A lot of work, but on the bright side, I got a thorough education as to South Asian culture, politics and technology. But I wouldn't want to do this again anytime soon. Jeffpw (talk) 19:56, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    ::Ditto, I just learned more about India, Pakistan, cricket and politics I needed to know for one day :) — Save_Us_229 20:09, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    :::Thank you so very much Jeffpw and SaveUs -- you are saints! There are still a few links on some smaller Wikipedias to cleanup; I'm out of time today but I left a request at :meta:Talk:Spam blacklist‎ for someone there to help with the remaining Wikipedias. --A. B. (talk) 20:11, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    ::::P.S., I know the feeling plus I got the wonderful chance to study the subjects through Chinese, Arabic, French, etc filters. My eyes were totally glazed over by the time I got to Greek. --A. B. (talk) 20:14, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    :::::good lord! English was bad enough! I'd be hanging from the rafters if I had to go through non-Latin alphabets! Jeffpw (talk) 20:16, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    Please replace references

    I understand that you have reason to do what you are doing, but you deleted also lot of valid and correct references. By criteria of Wikipedia it accounts as vandalism. May I ask you not to remove references before replacing these with new ones with same content. Thank you. Beagel (talk) 21:31, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    Beagel, you may look through my contribution list and add refs that you think should be replaced. I have no plans to do this myself. As to your statement that it was vandalism, the links themselves were vandalism of a subtle form. With that webserver being on the blacklist, it was impossible to edit those articles without removing the links. Jeffpw (talk) 21:34, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    Absolutely agree with Jeffpw.
    Durova
    Charge! 07:37, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

    :Agree as well. Once the sites are blacklisted per community consensus, they need to be removed from all articles as quickly as possible. Simply replacing them with a tag is perfectly acceptable, and certainly not vandalism. —
    Satori Son
    15:49, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

    ::My two cents:
    ::#No it's not really vandalism by any definition -- it was a good faith effort at improving the encyclopedia, whether we agree with it or not.
    ::#I fall into the camp that says these links had been spammed in most cases and that they needed to come out.
    ::#As I've said elsewhere, I think these were low quality links in some places and scraped content in others.
    ::#Jeffpw and Save Us 229 were doing the right thing in removing these links, even if some might disagree with their blacklisting. Reason: once these links are blacklisted, the articles are gridlocked until someone removes or disables the link. I appreciate their work on getting this turned around so quickly. I've done this sort of tedious cleanup before where I didn't even agree with a domain's blacklisting. So if anyone is at fault, it's those of us that advocated blacklisting, not the two editors that went along cleaning up after us by purging blacklisted links.

    ::# I hate citation spam -- it's so much more more insidious than just sticking links at the end of an article. Nobody's likely to ever double-check the link, so it's very "sticky" in link-spammer parlance. Then, if someone goes to remove these links, they may take up to 10 minutes to find them on just one heavily footnoted page. (I cleaned up this spam on the other Wikipedias until I was finally defeated by this Greek page). Finally, once the link's out, you now have a citation hole. If I ever become a spammer, count on me to take the citation-spamming route.

    ::#Having said all this, Beagel (one of our top editors) is right in stating that we now have a big problem. What's the most sensible approach we can take to begin dealing with this that does not involve our two Good Samaritans spending their weekend filling these holes?

    ::--A. B. (talk) 16:45, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

    Thank you. I think I should apology in case if somebody understood my note as accusation of vandalism. If removing of valid references is considered as vandalism in general, this is not the case here. I agree that Jeffpw and Save Us 229 have done excellent work. Beagel (talk) 07:00, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

    Follow up Question

    so, did webgeek get a ban/block also? or just the spam domains and spammy ip's? The resolution of that point is unclear to me. --Rocksanddirt (talk) 21:19, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    FYI, Webgeek has not even been blocked: BlockLog. No opinion at this time as to whether he or she should be. --User:Ali'iAli'i 21:27, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

    Hi, A little thing i would like to say and update you. I have no association with Vijay Technologies or any other websites (or even their advertising partners) directly or indirectly. I guess the firewalls at my work location aren't blocking their websites and hence i was able to access their news stories and update Wikipedia articles accordingly. AndhraNews.net is a decent site from what i know since it is in existence for a long time (over 5 years now?) and are carrying news stories from various media outlets (ANI being one of them). Further they seem to have multiple advertising partners (apart from AdSense). I do not see the site to be designed with an intention to spam or so called Made-For-AdSense kinds considering they are giving a decent presentation since a long time now. Please do not mistake me that i am supporting this website but i am presenting my case about this whole thing. Webgeek (talk)

    :Then how do you explain edits like http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=June_16&diff=prev&oldid=13550144 these, when you add links to other Vijay Technologies sites? What about the IP edits above, exemplified by the ones made by 59.93.116.108 and 59.93.102.37, which have very similar edit summaries and are most probably you? I find it almost impossible to believe that your employer would filter all sites except those belonging to Vijay Technologies and Wikipedia. (Heck, if you can edit Wikipedia at work, it isn't that much of a stretch to be able use Google/Yahoo/M$N/whatever to find other sources. Not to mention open proxies.) User:MER-CMER-C 13:20, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

    Credit where credit is due

    I want to hand a barnstar to everyone who played a significant role in this major undertaking. Excellent work! Please list the usernames of people who deserve that thanks.
    Durova
    Charge! 22:05, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
    Off hand, Jeffpw and Save_Us did an excellent job doing a large chunk of the cleanup, couldn't have been easy. I'm sure many more were involved in the cleanup portion of this, as there were ton of links. Hope they come forward. Others, of course, MER-C A. B. Mr.Z-man.. "mee toos", im sure are welcome. --Hu12 (talk) 22:40, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

    Search Engine Optimization

    I was concerned that perhaps we were removing well-intentioned links to the Indian equivalent of a Yahoo news aggregator, so I looked into it a bit and found that the company involved, Vijay Technologies, is a privately held firm that, among other things, sells Search Engine Optimization services:
    "Our SEO experts are constantly engaged in the study of behavior of web search engines. Our proven experience in this field helps us to identify and target for specific keywords for websites across various sections of the industry and ensure that your website comes up at the top positions in leading search engines." at h t t p : / / w w w . v i j a y t e c h n o l o g i e s . c o m / s e r v i c e s / i n d e x . p h p WAS 4.250 (talk) 12:19, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

    Rather ironically, this page is now eighth, or fifth depending where you are from, in a Google search for Vijay Technologies. If and when Google nukes them from their index due to the above spamdexing it could be #1. Serves them right. User:MER-CMER-C 12:39, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

    Google's use of Wikimedia's blacklists

    Following up on Jehochman's comments about Google's use of our blacklists:
    There have been rumours in the blackhat SEO community for many months that search engines like Google are or aren't using our lists. There was even a threat on WikiProject Spam's talk page where Jimbo Wales mentioned a casual conversation he'd had with Google's Matt Cutts and Larry Page:
  • Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Spam/2006 Archive Oct#Google and Wikipedia share a common interest in combatting link-spam
  • As that talk page thread developed, it became apparent that there were many reasons for both Wikipedia and Google that any closely coupled linkage of our linkspam mitigation efforts was a bad idea. Just a few reasons:
    1. Our susceptibility to Joe jobs
    2. The inconsistency of our blacklistings depending on which editors and admins handle a spam case: one site-owner gets 10 warnings and no blacklisting while another gets blacklisted with no warning
    3. Our blacklist includes more than just spam, notwithstanding its name. This includes "attack sites", copyright infringers, etc.
    4. Siteowners may spam Wikipedia but no other sites; Google may want to keep those sites in their index.
    5. It's a really bad idea for us to try to "play God" with others' property (i.e., sites). There are issues for us involving ethics, mission creep and legal responsibility. To expand a little on the legal part, when the world's largest search engine colludes with one of the world's largest, most important websites in ways that diminish a site-owner's property value, you've got a potentially expensive antitrust case under U.S. law. We may often be foolish and uncoordinated in what we do and say here at Wikipedia, but you can count on Google to act very cautiously in any situation where the word "antitrust" might come up.
    I could go on with more reasons, but I'll just end this list with a standing offer to wager this one against 10:1 odds that there's no close coupled linkage here. My bottom line: any search engine that blindly factors in our blacklist in some sort of link-spamming penalty system is making a big mistake.
    I will say, however, that it would make a lot of sense for search engines to consider our listings when humans, not servers, are reviewing spamdexing cases. Our blacklisting decisions may or may not be correct, but our blacklisting requests, when properly written up, provide a valuable compilation and distillation of publicly available information in the form of edit histories, IP patterns, etc.
    So I think it's very likely that when someone at Yahoo or Google wants to know more about a link-spamming domain, they read our blacklisting entries with interest ... and a grain of salt.
    I think we just continue doing what's right for our projects, blacklist-wise, and let other entities draw their own conclusions. I think we should also understand, however, that blacklisting a site is "big deal" for someone and that we must be extra careful in making blacklisting decisions. Not shy, but careful. I think that's our best approach, ethically and legally, and consistent with our core mission (the dissemination of knowledge, not the punishment of spammers). --A. B. (talk) 14:42, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
     
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