Hmm. My spam-o-meter is picking up a high density of potential spam peaking around the San Diego area this weekend. Any thoughts on why the spam-o-meter is measuring such high readings?


Looks like by the end of the weekend, the density will be going back down though. Very strange.

Note: this is not the real spam-o-meter; I’m not going to show that. This is actually a McDonald’s Happy Meal toy. ๐Ÿ™‚

108 Responses to Spam-o-meter (Leave a comment)

  1. Wow even Google doesn’t know what an SGM-005 is…It looks impressive ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Should this really be filed under ‘Google/SEO’ ?

  2. Walter

    Hi Matt,

    A whole bunch of people over on WebmastersWorld have noticed that there seems to be a major Googlebot problem at the moment. Basically, the crawlers have ground to a halt for a lot of people, including my site.

    As of a few days ago the bot ( comes every half hour or so and takes just one page. Normally, it would take around 20-30 pages every half hour and most days of the week.

    Are Google aware that this is happening? Looks like someone changed something and now the crawlers (or a subset of the crawlers) are basically broken.

    At this rate it would take a year and a day to crawl my site.

  3. Ben

    Note: this is not the real spam-o-meter; Iโ€™m not going to show that. This is actually a McDonaldโ€™s Happy Meal toy.

    Matt must feel bad about his April Fool’s Day joke and now is leaving no ambiguity about his postings… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. I just want to know why there’s a lack of food in the San Diego area that would necessitate Matt having to subject himself to McPuke’s.

  5. Maybe because SEO Inc in located in San Diego??

  6. Harith

    Hi Matt

    Allow me to decode this one for the friends here:

    “Looks like by the end of the weekend, the density will be going back down though. Very strange.”

    WebSpam Team gonna attack specific spam type within this weekend..
    Spammers you can run but you can’t hide from WebSPam Team ๐Ÿ™‚

    Right Matt?

  7. Gotta love Happy Meals. I mean, none of the food is large enough to make you feel guity. Bite bite, that’s the cheeseburger done. Bite bite, there go the fries. And a Diet Coke and a toy! But Matt, Jack-In-The-Box. Find one near the beach, get a basic cheeseburger. Simple but heaven. Wait, wait. Just go find a Ruby’s Diner. I think there are some south of the OC border.

  8. nuevojefe

    What? Who’s spamming in my hood?

    [quote]Maybe because SEO Inc in located in San Diego?? [/quote]

    Careful GGrant doesn’t fire a cease and desist your way! lol

  9. Thank God my company’s not in San Diego.

  10. I don’t know why San Diego of all places is so highly spammed and will soon be de-spammed, but congratulations to the city. Perhaps there’s a black hat convention this weekend.

    While they’re at it, I’d like to formally request that the Webspam team remove all pages from Google’s index, as they are merely cyberweeds, providing very little relevant information and loaded down with pop-ups and ads.

  11. Speaking of spam, Matt, I’d be curious to hear what you have to say about my latest blog post about link spam on Wikipedia.

  12. stugahtz

    I am assuming that Michael and Frank have secured thier legal counsel.

    Let the Witch Hunt Begin.

  13. Harith


    “EXTREMELY Super Bright innovators” ????? ๐Ÿ˜€

  14. Here in Hawaii, you canโ€™t get Spam in your happy meal yet but Spam is a choice with all the breakfast items like the Spam Mc Griddles, Spam Mc Muffins, Hotcakes and Spam, Spam eggs & Rice, etc. Iโ€™m getting hungry just thinking about it. Yum! :^)


  15. Here in Holland, you can spam all you want, and eat all the burgers you want after that, because nobody will notice :(.

    Seriously though, Matt, will you be looking at foreign language spamreports somewhere in the near future?

    Kind Regards,

  16. What a Maroon

    Now what would make you think that SPAM would thrive in the sun, Matt? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    The cutletts would seem to think it would do better in dark, damp places, or under slimy rocks.

  17. You mean you’re going to limit Adsense use? or turn it off altogether? Wow. That’s radical.

  18. On second though, how about having the Adsense javascript just spit out the “Related Links” code? ha ha!!

  19. Gotta love Happy Meals. I mean, none of the food is large enough to make you feel guity. Bite bite, thatโ€™s the cheeseburger done. Bite bite, there go the fries. And a Diet Coke and a toy!

    You forgot a step, Danny.

    1..2..3..4..and the Happy Meal becomes the world’s most powerful and effective laxative.

  20. By the way, since no one has asked yet…what is that toy supposed to do, anyway? Is it a plane, or a video game, or what is it?

  21. Speaking of spam, I think you might get better spam detection with these tools:

    The mini Spam flashlight, for deteing those small spam offenders,

    The Spam Notebook and Pen for keeping track of your Spam offenders,

    The Spam calculator for those big calculations on how much Spam is in the Google index,

    And a stack of theSpam postcards for sending friendly “we’re removing you from our index” messages.


    And who coudn’t use a Spamy Mini Pal Pig

  22. Happy meal yes, but isn’t that one from the new “Spam Fighter” series?

    Danny’s right on – viva Chez McDoo!

  23. I must say I agree with JohnMu here. Cut adsense for spammers and there will be much less spam. Less spam means better search results and you indexing the worlds information better. I can’t see how shutting of adsense for spammers conflicts with any of googles mantras…

  24. Chris_D

    Webmasters in the Sun 5

    Didn’t anyone vouch for you?

  25. Thats funny….nobody here gets it yet. I’ll tell the guys in San Diego you said ‘Hi’ Matt.

    Wait! Who’s that guy with a moustache in the bushes with binoculars…looks an awful lot like Inoga Montoya….

  26. Chris_D, someone was very kind with an offer to vouch for me. But my parents were visiting, so I couldn’t make it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Looks like a prop from the original battlestar galactica series, or maybe Buck Rogers in the 25th century.

  28. Wondering if maybe you could cover this in one of your Q&As:

    I use gmail and I love it. But sometimes when i want to search gmail, i want it to look for a string. For example, lets say I want to find all the all the instances of “truck” including the word “firetruck” and “5truckfire” in my inbox. By just typing in truck, those other two would not be found. Is there a way to search for all instance of a string in my Gmail inbox?

  29. I like the gadget. I wonder how it work. Matt, I’ll be very greatful to you if you please explain how it work.

    Thanks in advance.

  30. I am very happy with the changes and algo updates of google. Now it makes some sense. I was always keep on convincing myself that google like reciprocal links….but failed…because it is not genuine. After Jagger ….. yah…I is going to be with my thinking. I see there are lot many area are still left to work on like– measurement of quality of content, measurement of worth of content etc.

    Any way…nice gadget. Best wishes.

  31. Tune it fine Matt tune it fine – it might just explode with all the spammy sites that are popping up everywhere.

    As for gmail search quadzilla – I think there is no way to search using wildcards

  32. Surprised you are able to pick up any individual blips west of the Rockies. I would have figured that the radiant spam signal from Las Vegas would have made anything else nearly undetectable.

  33. Matt is one crazy mofo isnt he!

    he tooks his prents to Mcdonalds! shocking! after all those good places he recommended

    shame Matt.. shame on you!

  34. What if I just like eating spam? Does that make me a spammer? Cause that’s wouldn’t really be fair.

  35. Hey Stuart don’t knock MacD. I worked there for ~6 years and loved it. I still injoy a Big B for breakfast from time to time.
    6 6 turn lay please.

  36. Ironic that a great deal of spam is for the benefit of Adsense revenue. With all those bright minds, I I wonder if G thought of that consequence before rolling it out?

  37. >>>>spam san diego

    Keep your “WITS” about you Matt, its not like anyone is plotting to flood the index or anything like that. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  38. I agree with this comment:

    “What? Whoโ€™s spamming in my hood?

    [quote]Maybe because SEO Inc in located in San Diego?? [/quote]

    Careful GGrant doesnโ€™t fire a cease and desist your way! lol”

    YOU Dont want to get them angry again about people posting and talking about them!!

    Also, I recently got back from Hawaii and was blown away that there IS a Breakfast with spam in it!!! Hes not lying!!!

  39. nuevojefe

    “Webmasters in the Sun 5”

    Jeez, this bunch is back already? Weren’t they here for wits3?

  40. WITS 3 was eactly one year ago. Time flies eh?

    Rumour has it that several of the attendees came in via a chartered private jet from Las Vegas…

    A few of us had a little pre-show in Vegas before hand ๐Ÿ˜‰

  41. McDonalds would like to clarify that we are in no way associated with SPAM.

    Oh, uh, really?

    I appologize. I have just been handed a note that we serve two slices of SPAM the style japanese noodles that we serve in Hawaii and Guam.

  42. At WITS right now. Lots of fun – however – I am on mmy Treo right now. Will put up pics when I get back. The Jet rumor is true – I saw the pics.

  43. Awesome time down here. You have to love it! Food is fantastic, so is the weather and most importantly: Orange juice ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Matt, not everybody made it this year, so there’s plenty of people out there who keep you busy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  44. Matt,

    Thanks for the great blog. I normally wouldn’t bother you with this (especially via a blog comment) but you understandably don’t have a contact form and I’ve not been able to get any kind of answer any other way.

    CoffeeCup Software ( at one time had great search rank across a myriad of search terms. Now it’s seems obvious that is on some sort of penalty or black list at Google. I’ve sent requests through all the usual channels, read your posts on the subject, and talked with a lot of Google outsiders/experts about it; all to no avail.

    Would you be kind enough to let me know what it is that is holding us back and the best way to correct it? It would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks and best regards.

  45. As for gmail search quadzilla – I think there is no way to search using wildcards

    If that’s true, can you maybe pass that on to the product group as a wanted improvement?

  46. Back in teh day a Happy Meal cost 35 cents and you could feed a family of four with 4 dollars and the toys were made from cardboard, lol, my my things have changed and oh yea gas was under 50 cents a gallon!

  47. Your secret Spam-o-meter (the one you won’t show) is useless against my Mom (Matt-o-meter). She temporarily Cutts the spam out of my sites when she detects you doing a drive-by check – and she’s exceptionally good at detecting you ๐Ÿ˜‰

  48. David


    That’s not spam that you are mesuring.

    It is a ldl/hdl imbalance, looks like San Diego needs to see the doctor or eat a lot more oatmeal ;-).

  49. What a Maroon

    Its not spam or ldl/hdl. Its blood alcohol level.

  50. Harith

    Good evening Matt

    By now the density of spam at the San Diego area should be back down to normal.

    However there is so much heavy activities on the DCs that might call for a weather report at your convenience ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Thanks a bunch.

  51. You gotta love the Happy meal over the other (seeing links in newspapers, and stuffed keywords in certain articles).

  52. Happy Meals – who needs ’em

    I used to feed kids for 1/2 the price @ White Castles with burger, fries and drink, and no toy for them to choke on or cry about when it breaks.

    The trick is to get ’em excited about going to White Castles and then only take a path that avoids all Golden Arches on your way or you’re doomed.

  53. Incredibill – If you are a White Castle fan be sure to see “Harold and Kumar go to White Castle”.

    Matt – is the PR update complete or still in progress?

  54. CoffeeCup Software ( at one time had great search rank across a myriad of search terms. Now itโ€™s seems obvious that is on some sort of penalty or black list at Google. Iโ€™ve sent requests through all the usual channels, read your posts on the subject, and talked with a lot of Google outsiders/experts about it; all to no avail.

    Would you be kind enough to let me know what it is that is holding us back and the best way to correct it? It would be greatly appreciated.

    Maybe you should include the Google Prayer Meta Tag in your code (I wish I were making this up, folks.)

    Hey Matt, can we do that? I want the keyword “XXX” if we can, since I asked first. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  55. That is a very good question Quadzilla, it seems almost broken eh?

    LOL @ Matt! ๐Ÿ™‚

  56. Joseph, saw Harold and Kumar, almost died laughing in a few places.

  57. Ian

    Regex search in GMail would be awesome :)]]

    Though my main pet peeve is still not being able to attach labels to draft messages. Says something about the quality of GMail though that I can’t think of any other seriously broken things about it other than that..

    Oh yeah! – when I change from English-US to English-UK, I lose GMail chat! ๐Ÿ™ Which is even more silly as it actually gives you the intro to GMail chat if you’ve got EN-UK, but then you can’t use it. There’s a whole load of miffed/confused people here in the UK ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’d love GMail to handle mail for my personal domain too ๐Ÿ™‚

  58. That plastic toy looks a lot like a handheld version of the old game “battleships”.

    Maybe you choose a square and if it lands on a spammer, you get points ?

  59. Matt – is the PR update complete or still in progress?

    If it is there’s something badly wrong with the results!
    It seems as though most new sites have been given PR5 and most existing ones have been left untouched!
    It’s beginning to look as though the toolbar PR is going the same way as the toolbar backlinks figure (and – eg: meaningless ๐Ÿ™
    Speaking of the toolbar backlinks figure, just when it seemed it couldn’t get any less meaningful, it’s taken another leap in the wrong direction!
    I’m curious to know if this is all a deliberate attempt to make PR so difficult to ascertain that it no longer plays a part in link propogation (ie discouraging link exchanges based on PR)!

    (Incase anybody is curious, these comments aren’t based on my own personal results but on comments received from hundreds of SEO’s at the forums I frequent).

  60. i thought it was an led wireless version of battleship.

  61. lots0

    Looks like SPAM is spreading….

    Lots and lots of SPAM comming out of Oklahoma…. And google has just given the SPAM King from search slut a PR7…

    Can you make the message even more mixed than this?

    You say you fight SPAM, but then you help the SPAMMERS by giving a known spammer a PR7 on his main page…

    I gotta say, this really blows, one step foward, three steps back…

  62. That was my thought too, Keith and Ian, except that it isn’t square and doesn’t have a 1 or a 2.

  63. Mike

    Hey J Cornelius,

    Strange you are not ranking with a PR8. Any chance that your Submit Fire service is holding you back?

    (sorry if this was off-topic Matt)

    and shame on you for promoting McD’s


  64. Harith

    Happy Backlinks

    I know that Matt discourage webmasters to pay for backlinks. However, I haven’t heard him mentioning that he has any objections against “bartered” backlinks (without rel=nofollow) ๐Ÿ™‚

    Accordingly, backlinks can be bartered as follows:

    PR5 = 4 Happy Meals a month

    PR6 = 10 Happy Meals a month

    PR7 = 20 Happy Meals a month

    PR8 = 50 Happy Meals a month

    PR9 = 80 Happy Meals a month

    PR10 = 120 Happy Meals a month

    Maybe I must hurry and purchase ๐Ÿ™‚

  65. Bob

    How come the big boys don’t get punished for link spamming?

    Here is the link spam at the bottom of

    partner sites:
    Citysearch Cottonblend Evite Expedia Hotwire HSN LendingTree ReserveAmerica Ticketmaster TicketWeb TripAdvisor

    These are all owned by the same company. Tell me how LendingTree relates to Evite or HSN or Hotwire?

    Seems like if Google doesn’t enforce the rules with the big boys, it is being very evil.

  66. hey, half of the folks you talk about will be on a panel with you in 2 weeks in boston, watch your tongue :-). Maybe I should change my hat back to black, at least then you are on sunny beaches instead in rainy east coast cities! Bob: Matt is not talking about specific link spamming, rather about a strange group of people with large black hats, sitting in San Diego on the beach and talking about (P)ills, (P)*rn and (P)oker…

  67. Bob that’s not reasonably called “link spam”. Companies are reasonably going to link to other companies in their realm whether or not those are relevant links. Of course “relevance” and “spam” are extremely subjective determinations and the algorithm is notoriously mystical in how it calls the shot.

  68. Bob

    It is link spam because they are owned by the same company, the same entity, the same billionare. Those links are in the prime spot that Google looks for legit links and they are not there for any user, only the Googlebot.

    If you do a those companies all appear in the serps and all those links are counted by Google.

    It just seems more and more the little guys get the shaft, the big boys do as they please and reap the benefits.

    Matt, give them the BMW treatment. I am sure the extortion would get well publicized all over the net and maybe the big boys won’t do those evil things.

    One man’s spam is another man’s ad.

  69. Bob

    Hi Matt,

    I don’t suppose there’s much chance you’ll see this, but just in case:

    A lot of people over on the WebmasterWorld forum are reporting a big reduction in Google’s crawl rate for the last two weeks or so.

    Couple this with BD’s supplemental problems and thousands of temporarily discarded pages and you have a bit of a nightmare scenario. Any chance you could make some enquiries on behalf of us beleagured Webmasters?

    Many, many thanks,


  70. Michael S.

    So what are you saing Bob? Webmasters can’t even link to their own sites anymore? Thats the first thing I do when I create a new site, to help give it exposure.

  71. I got a serious question:

    If I change my “permalinks” in wordpress (currently end in .html) to end in “/” will Google recrawl and have no issue with this change?

    (That was few words, how about an answer Matt? Thanks)

  72. Looks like a spam-o-meter to me ๐Ÿ˜‰

  73. >>One manโ€™s spam is another manโ€™s ad.

    …. and yet another man’s sad, troubled destiny!

    Bob BMW was using deceptive stuff in clear violation. A site doing the type of linking you note above was reviewed by Matt in Las Vegas last year and he said it was OK because, if I recall correctly, it was a logical thing for them to do and not deceptive.

    I think a lot of what people think “Matt or his team did to me” are algorithmic filters and adjustments rather than spam penalties which are not all that common. Just my wildly uninformed opinion.

  74. Matt,

    I really need your help on something that is quite concerning.

    My site is and I had over 10,000 pages on Google just 4 days ago. Now I have been reduced to a couple hundred pages. Why is this happening? I haven’t changed anything on my site. If it helps two weeks ago I only had 50 pages indexed.

    When I had the 10,000+ pages indexed I saw my traffic increasing by 50% a day. Could you please help me?


    Brent D. Payne

  75. And they all kept their eyes to heaven in the scorching heat, and waited for the few drops of water that never came…

  76. Quadszilla, sadly there’s no way to do a substring search in Gmail (or Google) that I know of.

    Bob, I actually covered that exactly situation in a conference session recently. It was the “tell me about your backlinks” session and I know Barry Schwartz did a write-up on that session.

    Harith, I would not recommend bartering Happy Meals for links. ๐Ÿ™‚

    lots0, I mentioned that for someone to check out. It might take a few weeks though.

  77. If I change my โ€œpermalinksโ€ in wordpress (currently end in .html) to end in โ€œ/โ€ will Google recrawl and have no issue with this change?

  78. Eli

    No spam in New Brunswick, NJ?

    Saw AdvertiseU got banned in Google and was wondering if it was becuase of selling text links or something more?

  79. Ronald R

    You’re still not answering the question about lost pages, and how googlebot seems to be in hiding.

    Most of us want google to conquer spam, but on just checking the serps, I see even more spam entires than before. Bizarre!

  80. To clarify a little about; We are a PR8 and have been for years, we have a lot of good quality backlinks, we get lots of traffic, our site is clean markup with no spamming techniques. It seems to me that someone or something at Google decided that our site needed a penalty. We had top search results until October 2002 when it all went away. Searches for terms found only on our site still only show us on page 3 or 4. Search for ‘coffeecup software j cornelius’ to see what I mean. You would think that would be in the top results, but nothing from the domain appears until page 5.

    It’s odd though that ever since that happened we’ve been forced to pay a lot more to AdWords to maintain the traffic. Could there be a tie between sites that rank well and have AdWords accounts being penalized so they are forced to spend more therefore padding the bottom line? Hopefully not. It certainly doesn’t fit with the “Don’t be evil” mantra.

  81. kirby


    I would love to see Coffeecup’s issue addressed. How does a site with a PR8 and links from kickass authority sites not rank for the term “coffeecup”?

    Do they need to sell BMWs?

  82. Jay

    I seldom post but have to jump in on this one regarding Jeremy and Coffeecup. I remember when this happened and this is one that needs to be addressed.

  83. Matt, please forgive me for what I’m about to do, and please also understand that I’m attempting to do you and CoffeeCup a favour simultaneously.

    First off, J Cornelius, I don’t know if you’ve read one of Matt’s prior posts on the subject of site-specific questions but it is on the site and it is pretty clear. In fact, it’s right here.

    The first sentence after the point form notes should be pretty clear.

    Second, your claim of your site not using a spammy technique is a false one.

    CoffeeCup – HTML, FTP, Flash & Web Design Software

    In and of itself, this isn’t a problem, but in your espresso.css file this is:

    #brand h1 span {
    #brand h1 a {
    background:url(‘/images/coffeecup-brand.gif’) no-repeat;

    That means that you’re hiding text. And not for the purposes of navigation or a submenu, either. That’s fairly blatant. If you’re looking for an answer, that might be a good place to start.

    By the way, you may want to look into the legality of that whole fan-with-Lindsay-Lohan pic. That’s an issue you probably don’t want to put your foot into.

  84. Stephen

    And just like Magic CoffeeCup seems to get its rankings back ?

    Do they look back to you J Cornelius ? Did a few searches and the rankings seem pretty good now.

    Matt – One thing I did notice for coffeecup was that if you did a search, or a search the site did not appear first.

    EG. The same penalty that has been placed on sites with Canonical url problems!!!!

    It is great that a site can come back in this manner – but it looks like the engineers need to do the alteration – is there anyway we can all get in touch with an engineer like this ? Or is there going to be a sweep to correct this problem?

  85. Stephen

    Sorry Matt bit peeved by this. (Obv. not that the site in question is back in – it is a good site and deserves to be ranked)

    But as you are now fixing sites manually that have Canonical and related ranking problems is there an email address we can send them too ?

  86. can somebody explain what this coffeecup fiasco is? he’s #1 for coffeecup and #10 for “html editor”

    seems like he’s ranking ok to me.

  87. Hey Matt, if only there were a real “SPAM-O-Meter”. I love San Diego since I met my wife there in 1974. Rather than just complain about SPAM, here is a suggestion for the “suggestion box”:

    Why not at least have a conspicuous “FOR SEARCH USERS” section in Google’s “About Google” Index that educates online search users to the details of ALL THE REASONS WHY it is bad for users to have the top search listing results agressively manipulated! For me, just the possible potential that the listing results at the top of the SERP’s may NOT BE AS RELEVANT TO MY INTENT is sufficient.

    I think you’ll find this SPAM analogy post by Scottie entitled “McDonalds is The Root of All Evil” interesting =

  88. Brent D. Payne


    Even sent an email to Google last night regarding a reinclusion request and got a response back already (yes, I am impressed). They site to URLs that more or less said there are no problems with my site.

    So why the drastic swing? Why 50 pages one week, the next week 10,000 pages, and now only 200 pages? Traffic is nill to the site now.

    Please, help me out on this one before I require a padded room.


    Brent D. Payne
    Lyric Vault

  89. Ryan,

    It wasn’t until after my post that the site started appearing in the results again. I guess the Google Gods figured it out (thanks Matt).

  90. The answer may not be quite that simple.

    I’ve noticed quite a few queries with shakeups in the search results (some good, some not so good). Anyone else noticed that?

    This might be the “post-cursor” (is that a word?) to the backlink/PR update.

  91. Stephen

    The only reason that site came back is because it was picked up by a Google engineer.

    It is a complete fiasco – Google know there are problems – have a manul fix for it – yet dont make a call for all sites with the same problem so that a general fix can be applied.

  92. Ralf

    Just curious, does the real spam-o-meter also detect spam like this?

  93. Adrian Hudson

    I think Search Engine providers are on very dangerous ground, and they know it.

    I bet thereโ€™s many sleepless nights in web crawl land.

    A world where search becomes direct, change, manipulate and confuse.

    The confines are sort, compare, calculate and conclude

    But what happens in reality?

    How can you program the un-programmable?

  94. Roxana

    Talking about spam what do you think about a certain model of sites that are proliferating lately around the Internet. I’ve received an alert of a client’s website link to have been detected by the Google Alerts in websites such as this one: and I’d like to know first hand what is Google Policy towards this kind of linksgarden, let’s call it. There are people that consider such website a sort of link forest and others desagree with that idea. From Google Regulations the matter isn’t very clear either. Not to mention that these guys do not even display a general email adress for those people who would want their websites to be removed from there.

    Best regards and I love the way Big Daddy works. The results are much better and quite accurate.

    P.S. By the way, I laught my tears out with your post on the 1st of April,…. that was after I thought I was having a heart attack…. he, he, he.

    Bye now,


  95. The only reason that site came back is because it was picked up by a Google engineer.

    It is a complete fiasco – Google know there are problems – have a manul fix for it – yet dont make a call for all sites with the same problem so that a general fix can be applied.

    Exactly what are you basing this on? I don’t have a problem with the statement, and it might well be true, but there’s nothing of substance to back it up.

  96. Stephen

    Site out of the index for 2-3 years.

    Mentioned on here.

    Back in the Index after 2 days.

    Hmmmmz – Ok, could be coincidence. And the site deserves to be back, and I dont really mind that it is back possibly because it was mentioned here – it should never have been out of the index.

    But it does show that Google have a fix for the ranking issues that Canonical url problems caused – so if this is the way it needs to be fixed then there should be a general call for sites with this problem – IMO of course.

  97. I noticed a curious thing recently regarding BIG Daddy changes and Spam. My competitor had used hidden CSS text to spam the keywords “sacramento” and “acura” and had a very high proximity ranking for those terms(over 1000!). I increased my keyword proximity legitamately in my text and beat him outright on the term “sacramento acura”

    Then, my competitor removed all of his SPAM and he is now beating me! He has a lower density, prominence, and proximity ranking now than me and is now #1.

    I have now come to this conclusion…He has a higher prominence for the word “Sacramento” than me but a lower prominence on the term “Sacramento Acura” Perhaps the prominence on the first term of the search word is not more important than the cumlative term. Just a thought.

  98. No, it shows that a site was gone and then came back.

    Code could have changed.

    Additional backlinks could have been found.

    The server may not have been reachable.

    Maybe there was an IP block at either end, or possibly a C-class or higher block.

    Google has been updating things as of late en masse (most notably, PR and backlinks as many of us have seen). It could have come from that.

    There could have been a robots.txt file or a noindex, nofollow tag blocking it.

    And those are just four things I pulled off the top of my head. As anyone who has had any experience fixing a computer will tell you, there are many ways to connect two events and just because one way establishes a connection, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the case.

    That’s like:

    Barry Bonds hits 73 HR in a season.
    Steroids is a problem in baseball causing artificially increased HR totals.
    Therefore, Barry Bonds uses steroids.

    (Note: I don’t believe nor do I disbelieve that he does. I don’t know. And that’s the point here. You don’t know that this is the case, and you don’t seem to have isolated other possibilities.)

  99. Stephen

    Uh ?

    I said in my second post could be coincidence and used the word possibly!

    I personally think that the most likely reason (OK probably best not to use only as I did before) is that an engineer picked it up – however, I have not ruled out the other possibilities.

    And great if it is one of the other ones as perhaps a fix is near and it will be applied to more sites as time goes on – but my *hunch* says manual intervention.

    And also *if* we have got to the stage where Google are identifying sites and manually correcting then surely a call with sites with that problem would be fair, and like the supplemental issue it would hopefully identify a common theme that Google may be able to fix in the algo.

  100. Stephen

    Anyway – I feel like I have been trolling now.

    Some of my posts were made when I was a bit wound up as a general fix for the issues I have been talking about have not been applied. ๐Ÿ™

  101. Okay, that makes a little more sense then, Stephen.

    But…and I don’t intend for this to be anything other than advice…

    The last portion of the one post implies that the solution to your specific problem (what’s your site, by the way?) was the one that you posted, rather than what could be other things.

    If you make a statement like that, people are not always going to accept it as fact. There are those (me, for example, character flaw as it is) who will try to determine if it is fact for our own knowledge bases, and on rare occasions to play devil’s advocate (the latter was not my intention here).

    Anyway, I’m just saying that, before you make a statement like that, make sure all your ducks are in a row, that’s all.

    But you deserve credit for at least making your viewpoint public, and you didn’t back down from it. That takes some guts, and that should be respected. So straight up on that. I don’t necessarily agree with it, but I’ll give you respect Ali G-style.

    To the person who sent me an unsolicited email: you’ll find my answer in here.

  102. Stephen


    Your comment earlier of:-

    >>>This might be the โ€œpost-cursorโ€ (is that a word?) to the backlink/PR update.

    Is intresting – as I still dont believe that the PR update of a week or so ago (which was pretty much Mozilla Googlebot generated from my obversations) has really effected the serps yet.

    Perhaps we are still in a cross over period from the normal Googlebot crawl/index and ranking and the Mozilla Googlebot crawl/index and ranking and all will become clear shortly.

  103. I don’t necessarily think it has in and of itself either (then again, I don’t think it has in quite some time…I tend to think of it as a bit of a red herring that way).

    But what is apparent from the PR/backlink update is that something is going on. I don’t know what, we don’t know what, and we probably never fully will know what. But something is up.

    As far as the SERPs go, I’ve seen a pretty significant change in some SERPs and none in others. I’ve also seen others repor the same.

    And yeah, I’d agree with you that there may be some datacenter mixing and matching and shaking and stirring going on.

  104. Mo

    more about that water? (NONE in the foreseeable future?) not even for the good guys?

    I have a friend (no really a friend) not myself who lives off his site and he is suffering greatly from the recent winds of change / and just plain reduced Google Presence (and its not spam-my)

    its informational and unique content .. yeah its there to make a buck but so are all the other sites in his category (online shopping coupon type stuff) but with content that is unique

  105. Bob

    Partner Sites: Alsto’s Ballard Designs Citysearch Evite Expedia Frontgate Garnet Hill HomeFocus Hotwire HSN Isabella Bird LendingTree liveDaily LiveItUp ReserveAmerica Smith+Noble The Territory Ahead TicketWeb Travel Smith

    Above is all the linkspam at the bottom of, None of these links should pass PR

  106. Oh man, Bob just planted a ticking timebomb right in the middle of the blog.

    Good job, dude! That’s impressive.’s what’s going to happen (the two scenarios):

    1) The site won’t be removed. Webmasters will be pissed off and harass Matt and Google for hours on end because of the technique and the way an authority site is allowed to get away with it.

    2) The site will be removed. Webmasters will be pissed off and harass Matt and Google for hours on end because of the removal of what appears to be an authority site.

    This, right here, is why I wouldn’t want to be in Matt’s shoes for all the gold in the Rockies. That is a bitch of a call to have to make.

    Although I have to say I agree with you on this one, Bob. I’ve seen quite a few sites pulling this off (n forty-nine spelled with a number interactive dawt com) and getting rewarded for it.

    It’s also a big problem in the web design community because customers lose link juice to greedy designers. But I digress.

    I’d like to see this sort of thing dealt with the way HEDir deals with it (by the way, this isn’t my site but I am a mod on it, so some bias). If we see what I call network link farms, the umpire calls strike three on the inside corner and out they go. But I’m just one man, and I don’t expect anything to happen just because I said something about it. (That’s not a rag, by the way…that’s just the reality of the situation.)

  107. stuu

    It just seems funny how McDonaldโ€™s can find spam so easially yet when you report it to Google they see nothing.

    Is reporting a site to Google over 20 times then seeing it removed spamimg spam? I can’t help but think if Google took it seriously it wouldn’t take 20 times (of my time). Rather than just blowing big names out once in a while, why dosen’t Google spam report listen. I have now found my second competitor now using YAAAAWWWNNNN and if it takes 20 times again Google can keep it.

    Shouting out BMW once in a while is all fud…sorting out spam report =:)

  108. Looks like the old battleship games B9 you sank my battleship