As Spam Evolves...

May 27th

Today my girlfriend checked her mail at the office and had an official notice / final notice piece of mail. She opened it up and inside it had a cheesy contest form. In the mailbox it is hard to tell the difference between information and spam. As the rules of the web change I think it will be even harder to know the difference between real websites and fake ones. AdSense Advisor said in a WebmasterWorld thread that

This decision was a long time in the making, and your thoughts and feedback are quite valuable to us.

Yet the policy change came without warning, and Google gave out no information as to what specifically changed. The one thing they did is cause many spammers to make their spam look more legitimate:

MFA2.0 is already underway. What seemed odd to me when I got banned was why they gave me until the end of the month – and not just cut me off in 48 hours. I could have stopped my Adwords campaign in under a few hours. Two weeks give you enough time to test out your new model get your ducks in a row and begin MFA2.0. The thing about lazy arbitragers is that they made money – enough money to hire people to do the hard work and still make dough. You can hire a freelance editor a good freelance content writer and a part time project manager for under 50K a year. If you can get back to making 50K a month clear it is worth while doing as you diversify your portfolio.

As the lines between real and spam blur it is going to be harder to have a stable income without adding extras to your website. So now I am going to start making my spam look more legitimate as well too, perhaps by doing the some or all of the following:

  • unique designs that look much more expensive than their price

  • author profile pages
  • better domain names
  • stock photography on many articles, and perhaps a few videos too
  • more socially oriented linkbait
  • more ad buys for anchor content articles
  • longer articles with more in content links
  • blogs, software / tools, or other community aspects
Published: May 27, 2007

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Comments

May 27, 2007 - 5:54am

The Spam I *really* hate is the letters from my bank that say "account information enclosed". They know you have to open it, and then it's just another credit card offer. Abuse of the trust I have placed in them as my bank, imho.

Tyler Dewitt
May 27, 2007 - 12:55pm

Nasty spam :(

Marc
May 27, 2007 - 3:32pm

I truly believe that spam and those so called joke emails will clog the Internet sooner or later. Looking at the amount of “junk” that is send now a days over the Internet it’s terrible. And I believe it will get worsen as much more “n00bs” are connected to the Internet distributing emails to each other saying nothing useful expect for the fact they have a 5 megabyte file attached to is.

Never the less, I wonder how success full spam is in comparison with direct advertisement, would be worth checking this out.

Wes
May 28, 2007 - 12:36am

Google Adsense started the web on the road to ruin, and these latest changes for MFA will not stop it. As you referenced, those with the earnings will find ways around the latest changes (and Google probably forecasted this), and so I think the Google changes are just smoke-and-mirrors (let’s appear like we’re a good guy, but clearly this will increase our earnings). As an Adwords advertiser I’ve already received their e-mail encouraging me to rejoin the content network.

And even though Google may be able to restrain their adsense program, the problem is beyond Google now. I recently noticed a number of referrals coming to my retail site from one of the major network news sites. In checking the links the page contained nothing but advertisements from one of the shopping comparison sites. When even reputable sites are resorting to spam pages to ‘monetize’ their traffic, then this advertising/publishing model will clearly mean the web will only worsen as the alternatives to Google Adsense expand.

Matt Siltala
May 28, 2007 - 6:26am

I know of alll these tricks and yet I still see some notices from paypal or whatnot that look so freaking real its crazy. I always just log onto my account (not by clicking on the link they provide) and make sure everything is ok. Tip - If it says to log into your account and verify don't click on the link they give you (the first clue should be a domain name that is about as far from paypal as possible)

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