Traffic Power case dismissed

According to SEW, one of the Traffic Power cases has been dismissed, and it appears the time limit for appeals has already passed. We discussed this situation previously.

27 Responses to Traffic Power case dismissed (Leave a comment)

  1. I just have one thing to say: it’s nice to see someone get their just due.

  2. For folks who haven’t seen it, HIGHLY recommend they click through on your “previously” post where your intro is: “For this post, I am speaking in my official capacity as head of the webspam group at Google, and Iโ€™ve had this post reviewed by Googleโ€™s lawyers.”

    I’m not witty enough, but maybe someone can come up with a Mastercard commercial about this whole saga as your words were … PRICELESS!

  3. Excellent news! And I hope it cost them a bomb to even get that far.

  4. Just noticed this, but looks like Google figured out that http://mattcutts.com/blog/ is the same as http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/ as they are both now showing PR7 *and* same number (5,190) backlinks … so Google’s canonalization efforts are now working on your blog as it realizes the www and non-www are the same … despite what appears to be no redirect (?)

    Or maybe it’s all those backlinks you got for the V-E SEO contest! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. By the way, this message is for George on a completely unrelated topic. George, your message has been received and this is your confirmation.

    Matt

  6. Give me a break SEW. Tell it to SEO Book.

    (IMO) Itโ€™s unjust and unethical to sue someone for telling the truth about a serious problem.

  7. Aaron seems well able to fight his own propaganda battles, but it appears that the real victims were the companies who paid for a service that got them banned.

    Personally, I think that if Google can detect hidden text, it can elect not to index the hidden text (while indexing the visible text), and therefore simply render the whole issue of hidden text moot.

    And Google could also do itself and everyone else a huge favor by making the appending of link anchor text to target documents OPTIONAL AT SEARCH.

    Those two changes won’t end spam forever, but they’ll clean up a lot of flaky results that have plagued Google users for years.

  8. SEW, do you ever read what you post?

    are you arguing that because somebody needs their business to survive.. that it doesn’t matter if they do something wrong, or harm other people… we have no right to talk about it?

    What if my business involved selling cigarettes to 8 year olds, harvesting babies for food, and turning dolphins into catfood?

    would you be so quick to defend me against people trying to shut me down or talk bad about me?

  9. Oh poor spammers, right SEW? get over it pal, we’re all in teh same boat.

  10. Hey Matt, weren’t you going to shut Search Engines Web up and thereby keep the sewing down? This has to be the dumbest thing he has said yet, and that’s a pretty significant feat on his part.

    But, since it’s unfair of me to make that statement without backing it up, here goes:

    SEW, the problem with your statement is that, if Traffic-Power were allowed to continue on the same path they were on, other businesses would have suffered, and quite a lot of them. Every ranking they gain through their methods is a ranking lost for some business that didn’t scam their way in.

    What about THOSE businesses?
    What about THEIR customers?
    What about the black mark that their tactics put on the face of an industry that needs negative publicity like Warren Buffett needs another $5?

    And before you mention (as someone else has) the companies that employed Traffic-Power (some of which were probably naive about the process) as potential victims in all of this, big G and others are obviously aware of the problem and will likely allow sites who clean up their acts to get back in.

    The problem with the whole concept of search engine marketing and optimization in general is that, in a lot of ways, it’s gotten completely out of hand. So many people and websites are going for so few terms and, let’s face it, the odds are slim. And the ones that do make it quite often do so by accident (including myself for certain phrases, I must confess) and end up rendering said phrases irrelevant. That’s a flaw in all three engines, although one that is going to be extremely difficult to correct.

    I like Michael Martinez’ suggestion for starters. That’s not bad. It might eliminate crawling of Javascript-based menu systems that require user interaction to reveal the submenus, but 99% of those are not indexable anyway since the links are embedded within the JScripts themselves and the savvy webmaster will put in a site map anyhow.

    The other thing I’d like to see done personally, and I’ll probably get a lot of flak for this one, is to see search engines base part of their results on user behaviour within the site on a strictly opt-in basis. Yes, there’s that silly happy/sad face thing in the Google toolbar (which is probably just dรฉcor), but tracking unique visitors and page views (probably on a 24-hour basis) would provide some level of quality control to the engines.

    To avoid further manipulation, you may even want to go one step further and track behaviour by C/B/A classes and say “okay, this site is popular in Canada, so let’s boost it in the .ca engine, but it really doesn’t apply elsewhere, so let’s kick it down a few notches in the .com and others.”

    If things like this are done, it would help minimize the effect a Traffic-Power would have and this whole thread/lawsuit may not even be necessary in the first place. That’s not intended as second-guessing: it’s intended as using hindsight as foresight for the future and avoiding another lawsuit-type situation.

    Anyway, I’m done for now. Let’s see what dust I kicked up this time. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. What if my business involved selling cigarettes to 8 year olds, harvesting babies for food, and turning dolphins into catfood?

    Ryan, I’m very disappointed in you. Everyone knows you’re supposed to turn dolphins into animal slurry. Haven’t you learned anything from C. Montgomery Burns? We must sweep the sea clean! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. SEW, I’ve deleted your post. If I get the energy, I’ll root around in the mysql to see how to delete all your posts and/or make each of your comments moderated. But I played hockey today and I happen not to have an ssh window open, so it may wait.

  13. Harith

    Hi All

    Regarding Your Comments SEW Posts

    Would you all be kind not to comment on any future posts of SEW, and just leave it to Matt to moderate them or leave them as he wish.

    By that way, we don’t end discussing SEW posts instead of the subject of Matts posts ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Thanks a bunch.

  14. Matt,

    This is not related to traffic power, but I had a question about having a regular website and also having a blog. Let’s say the blog was created for the sole purpose of being an adjunct to your site. That is, while blogging about your content area of interest you continually reference things on your main site and even use the blog to promote new and older content that exists on your main site. As a function of this, of course, you are posting a lot of links to your own site. Is this, or could this, be considered spamming? Sounds ridiculous to me, but these days I am forced to wonder how google might view it. Should I use the “nofollow” attribute when I post links from my blog to my regular website?

  15. Wit

    I’ve always loved SEW (in a manly way – ahem). But then again I’m not a blogger, just an innocent bystander LOL. You guyz crack me up.

    Anyway: I just wanted to say cheers, since I care (in a manly way again…!) about Aaron and his “issues”

  16. Good news indeed.

    To Matt: maybe you could leave one comment by SEW intact cause the other day I’ve mentioned your relationship and wanted to link to something as an example and couldn’t find shite…. LOL

  17. Spam Reporter

    I totally agree with what Michael Martinez mentioned above.

    Google employs a great deal of smart people, and I’m sure they have a way to figure out if hidden text appears on a page. When Googlebot finds such text, why not remove the offending URL from the index?

    Seems simple to me. I’d think you’d want to warn the webmaster, and give them a few days to remove the hidden text, but if it’s still there after the grace period, C-YA!

    That would certainly seem to reduce the amount of work/spam reports that the Spam Team has to deal with.

  18. Lori Eldridg

    Adam Senor said:
    “The other thing Iโ€™d like to see done personally, and Iโ€™ll probably get a lot of flak for this one, is to see search engines base part of their results on user behaviour within the site on a strictly opt-in basis.”

    This will probably only happen when the Google tool bar is available on all browsers and platforms. It’s only available on Firefox for the Mac and I prefer using Safari.

  19. That’s a good point, Lori.

    Although, and my bad on this, I should have clarified that my thinking was about 2 steps down the road (although it would be nice to see it implemented sooner.)

    IrishWonder:

    http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:lhjKlo8v51IJ:www.mattcutts.com/blog/seo-advice-clean-house-before-press-releases/+%22Search+Engines+Web%22+site:mattcutts.com&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=30

    The Google cache is a wonderful thing sometimes, isn’t it? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Seriously, if you want to get more examples, just punch in “Search Engines Web”–including quotes–and site:mattcutts.com. As much as I hate to give that guy any more attention than he deserves, this is a great way to relive all of the classic Search Engines Web moments. Maybe Matt will do a “clip show” post one day. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Bob

    Matt, you cannot violate guidelines. You can violate rules. Why not change the Google Webmaster Guidelines to Google Webmaster Rules?

  21. Don’t you mean that the other way around, Bob?

  22. Harith

    Bob & Adam

    Maybe Matt wish to suggest the folks at Google to change

    Google Webmaster Guidelines

    to

    Google Webmaster Commandments ๐Ÿ˜€

  23. Matt just want to say again it is big of you to take your time and set the record on the TP issue. I almost feel like you are one of us : )

  24. Dave

    RE: When Googlebot finds such text, why not remove the offending URL from the index?

    IMO Google are putting their SE users first and hence NOT removing what otherwise maybe good content. Perhaps Google have already built in the ability to NOT credit most types of spam and simple ignore it.

  25. How about this Alek?

    Having a bogus seo company create a bunch of doorway pages?

    $5000.00

    On – going link campaing at the risk (threat) your rankings will drop?

    $7500.00 per year

    Loss of revenue when your site is banned from the google index for employing a bogus seo company.

    $300 000.00+ per year

    Lawyers to defend you after warning others about the impending doom to hire these jerks!

    $a lot!

    Having Matt Cutts speak in his official role as Head of spam department of Google after reviewing his post with Google lawyers and admitting you company has been removed from the index fro breeching the guidelings?

    Priceless!

  26. i dont see why you keep erase my posts

css.php