February 16, 2011
Guess what? This is the 300th issue of the High Rankings Advisor Newsletter! The very first issue was nearly 9 years ago, on March 6, 2002 . The main article was "Inktomi's Search Submit Pay for Inclusion." ROFL...we've come a long way, baby!
In more up-to-date news, did you see the NYT article on webspam?
They did what I didn't dare to do -- they called out JC Penney by name for their blatant spamming tactics to rank highly for nearly any keyword phrase they tried for. Now that the mainstream media have named names, I can tell you that it was a page on the JC Penney website that I was talking about in my article "Google (and Bing) Love Anchor Text Link Spam." That was the brand that was ranking #1 for "baby furniture" in Google.
What I didn't notice when doing my quick check of why they might be ranking so highly was that they were not only anchor-text link spamming, they were doing a whole lot of on-page spamming as well. Which surely helped make it an easy decision for Google to nuke them into oblivion!
I'm happy that Google is trying to do something about this type of spam, but less happy that it took the New York Times to clearly spell out the problem before they would, apparently, react. We all know that spam is way too prevalent in the search engines – we see every day how sites are rising to the top. We can't wait for the mass media to publicize webspam.
With that in mind, I have created a small website where you can report the webspam you've seen in your online travels, called Rat Out Your Competitor. The name is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but don't let that scare you away. You're welcome to report your spammy competitors or any other sites you see getting to the top through webspam. Your information goes straight to me, but I have been in touch with Matt Cutts from Google, who is interested in passing it along to the right people at Google who might be able to do something about it.
My plan is to first review whatever gets submitted, to make sure it's really the spammy tactics that seem to be helping the site rank, and then to pass on the bad stuff to Matt. Even if you've sent spam reports directly to Google in the past and seen nothing happen, you might want to try sending it to me. I might be able to provide you with some feedback as to why Google may not have felt it was spam. If nothing else, I'm doing this as an experiment to see if Google will or even *can* take action when they get good information. So gather up your facts and send 'em on over!
Okay, 'nuff said about webspam today. Let's get to the good stuff! – Jill