Spam awareness 101

I’ve already mentioned PrefBar. PrefBar lets you toggle things like JavaScript, Java, Flash, Images, and Referrers on and off with a single click. You can also switch between different User Agents. And you can customize the toolbar to add new functionality. If you want to see what a page looks like with JavaScript off (or even just to disable Flash or Java easily), I highly recommend it. I’m sure I’ll have a chance to talk about sneaky JavaScript redirects sometime in the future.

13 Responses to Spam awareness 101 (Leave a comment)

  1. I always use the webdeveloper toolbar to do this:

  2. I tried the Prefbar, but I don’t like it that it takes so much space away of my screen. I use “Noscript” and the “User Agent Switcher”, both worked away in the vavigation and status bar. I have the Noscript on by default, I allow sites that I trust, so it works now only for new sites that i am visiting. The user agent is also interesting with the googlebot as a user agent to visit websites (newspapers and some forums) who allow the spiders to crawl “subscription only” content.

  3. Text browsers like Sam Spade and wannabrowser can also be used for checking out redirects. But I agree with you about the word sneaky. Spammers especially…

  4. No I hate browsers which have javascript disabled. You shouldn’t promote this toolbar here, just trun the js off and ask your gmail guys to visit the site.

  5. what you need is greasemonkey and build your tool set thats what I did..


  6. Hi Matt –

    RE: sneaky javascripting. Please also mention if there are NON sneaky alternatives that are acceptable. I think a lot of sites (ours for example) have things like java popunder from Casale and/or Fastclick and I’m wondering if these redirections could be identified as sneaky or problematic.

    Any other advice on whether “popunders” are considered annoying enough to downrank pages would be helpful to many sites/users.

  7. I like Opera better than FF or IE. You may miss some goodies, but loads of neat stuff is built-in.

    So, Matt… “sneaky redirects” is language right from gg’s webmaster’s page. Keep up the fun! Have you seen the spammy pages that have a JS redirect with a mouseover event on the image sized to fit the whole browser window? Shut down JS and reload the page to see the thing. These pages are usually loaded with spam text and links below the image. Purely potted meat product, that is.


  8. Another useful feature

    Thank you for the informational post.
    You are doing a very good job by starting to maintain this blog.
    Ironically enough, I yesterday installed the prefbar to protect myself against Google’s sneaky rwt function when using Firefox (You know what I’m talking about).

    Just wanted to point out another useful function of Prefbar.

    I don’t ever expect this to be published on your blog but wanted to bring your attention to the fact that the sneaky redirect really concerns some people.

    After all, when all ethical websites are doing redirect openly (like Yahoo), why does Google feel the need to implement such a sneaky redirect by utilizing an onmousedown event?


  9. Google at the moment isn’t sophisticated enough to pick up hidden text.why bother with redirects.
    The latest craze is to get expired domains and place “sorry we are moving server” on the site and load the source with hidden links to the money sites..Its dominating adult serps at the moment.
    Its getting back to pre florida when the spamming of google was an embarassement.

  10. Why not these features in the google bar?

  11. Ha,

    Web Developer Extension by Chris Pederick blows prefbar out of the water.


  12. I’ll just stick with my google toolbar 🙂

  13. I use both google toolbar and webdeveloper based firefox.