Mahalo Autogenerating Spam Pages Targeting Google

Jan 24th

Does Google like auto-generated websites wrapped in Google AdSense ads?

The short answer is no.

The long answer is a bit more convoluted. But so long as they are...

  • well branded
  • well funded
  • operating at scale
  • good at public relations

...the answer is yes, autogenerated websites full of scraped content are fine.*

*based on Mahalo.com

Mahalo SEO Spam Case Study

The Sales Pitch & Launch

Originally when launching Mahalo, Jason Calacanis claimed that it would be spam free and that SEOs would have hell to pay.

He had a multi-month sales pitch leading up to the launch of his site where he kept stating that Squidoo is spam and kept calling SEOs scumbags so he could pull in attention and links. This was well received by SEO conference organizers because people would talk about how outrageous Jason's speech was online, so (seeking marketing for their conferences) the SEO conference organizers acted like lap dogs standing in line waiting for their turn to have Jason call their paying attendees scumbags.

The publicity strategy worked great as it helped land Jason some mainstream press coverage and a lot of ditto head bloggers (who lacked either the experience or the mental faculty needed to see the bigger picture) got behind Jason.

The Wikpedia page about Mahalo reflects the public relations driven misinformed pitch

Search results quality

Mahalo's goal is to improve search results by eliminating search spam from low-quality websites, such as those that have excessive advertising, distribute malware, or engage in phishing scams. Webmasters have a vested interest in seeing their sites listed. Calacanis has said that algorithmic search engines, like Google and Yahoo, suffer from manipulation by search engine optimization practitioners. Mahalo's reliance on human editors is intended to avoid this problem, producing search results that are more relevant to the user.

When people steal/borrow/syndicate content without any editorial value add or original content, and then wrap it in ads that is generally considered spam. We will come back to that topic later, I promise! ;)

Early Media Success

Around the above conversation flowed a bunch of links, which helped Mahalo get off to a fast start. At first Jason claimed he wanted to create "the best" content for the most popular search queries. Many members of the media were duped by Jason's misinformation, as well reflected in the cNet article titled Jason Calacanis' Mahalo: Screw the long tail:

Instead of a server farm that crawls through the entire known Web so it can automatically match Web pages to the queries you type, Mahalo's search results are created by humans, in anticipation of the queries its users will type in.

How can this possibly work? Because, Calacanis says, the top 10,000 search terms account for 24 percent of all searches. If you can create great results for the top results, users will learn to appreciate the difference between machine search results--which are often thrown off by spam and poor-quality links--and human-powered search pages, lovingly created by caring search editors. For the obscure "long tail" queries that make up the 76 percent of search terms, Mahalo will serve up Google results.

Their first x articles were typically thin link lists, but hand generated. But since the pages were just link lists they were not remarkable enough to be linkworthy and the service was not sticky enough to keep people coming back. So Mahalo also decided to ramp up link building & awareness using 4 strategies:

A person who claims to have worked for Mahalo named Matthew Wayne Selznick wrote:

Regarding the Mahalo Blog Network: I don't know how recent that screenshot is, but it's amusing to see the blogs of several people who have either left the company or were laid off last October, when half the in-house editorial staff (including myself) was purged.
...
When I was working for Mahalo, staff were strongly encouraged to get blogs if we didn't have them and blog about Mahalo whenever there was a high-traffic opportunity like an awards show, sports or political event.
...
I unsubscribe from the blogs of my former co-workers when the majority of their posts are Mahalo link parades, just as I unsubscribe from any blog when it becomes a mouthpiece.

Their content was not Pulitzer prize level, but the strategy paid off and they started pulling in search traffic.

Strategy Shift

In spite of claiming that he just wanted to dominate the short head of search volume, that is not how Mahalo started gaining search traffic. Even if they poured hundreds of Dollars into a piece of content the generalist content with little to no topical expertise could not compete for the most competitive and highest traffic search keywords.

You need to have something useful or original to add to the conversation if you want to compete for the most competitive keywords, and penny pinching outsourced content doesn't get the job done there.

Instead what happened was that they ranked almost instantly for keywords like "best computer speakers" even with low quality scraped content.

Around the time I highlighted the emergence of that strategy, Google's Matt Cutts was interviewed about it and claimed that it was fine because Jason Calacanis was using MediaWiki to create his site. Jason also did a bit of damage control in a Sphinn comment where he claimed the spam pages were "experimental pages" that "we are no indexing"

In his own words:

That was 671 days ago. What has happened since?

A Prediction

Around the time of the above incident John Andrews (who gets the SEO field as well as anyone does) stated:

Everyone just copy Jason Calcanis and Mahaloo, ok? That sounds like a GREAT idea. Jason dissed SEOs in public, at a keynote, on purpose, and then learned a bit so he wasn’t quite so ignorant of SEO any more, and is now working the SERPs as a black hat SEO. Jason dissed affiliates in public, at a keynore, on purpose, and then learned a bit so he’s not as ignorant of affiliate marketing as he was before, and now Mahaoloo has embedded (inline) affiliate links (take a look.. added since Affiliate Summit). I think every "Learn how to Make Money Fast on the Internets" web site should simply point to Mahaoulo and say "copy them.. they are riding the black edge of gray hat SEO" and be done with it. So simple... just copy them. As they add pages, add splogs on those same topics because those are money terms. Every time they link to some resource, link to it from that blog. Scan technorati for Jason’s comments, and add one of your own right into that thread.. every time. Let Jason pave the way to profits.... each time he justifies his spam, he’s justified YOUR spam as well. Every time he explains how he’s not a spammer, he’s explaining why YOUR not a spammer either. Best of all, he’s being your spokesperson for FREE!

Was John Andrews once again correct? Lets take a look behind the curtains :D

What Happened?

Well the above computer speakers page that was highlighted still ranks in the top 5 search results in Google.

And the site has been growing quickly, with traffic increasing at least 3-fold over the past couple years.

Jason used the economic downturn as a convenient excuse to fire most of their editorial staff. But a big piece of that traffic growth is that they have got more sophisticated in their content scraping strategy.

To appreciate how reliant their model is on scraping content, I want you to see how a new page starts off.

Once you strip the ads and scraped content from that page there is nothing left but branding & navigation.

Two other noteworthy things about that page are that it was generated by a robot (see below) and that it is already indexed in Google. Once you have enough domain authority you can publish automated scraped garbage and rank well in Google. It is the Mahalo strategy.

That page (which was automatically generated in under a minute by a fake user robot named searchclick) is already ranking well in Google! How do you know searchclick is a fake user? Well look through all the different pages they created in under a minute over the course of the last year...likely 10,000's of them.

Understanding the Insidious Nature of Mahalo's Scraping

Search engines like Google scrape content so that they may provide a service of value to end users *and* publishers. When they make your snippets they are used to help promote your website.

What Mahalo does is take snippets, and publish them as content on their site. So they use your page titles and your content snippet to rank their site using your content, without your permission.

If you optimize your page titles on a new blog post you are helping to feed relevant optimized content into the Mahalo machine. They will scrape it, and if you are less authoritative than they are, they will likely outrank you!

To add further insult to injury, they put nofollow on links back to the content source which they are scraping content from, so while they are "borrowing" your content you are not getting any link credit for it.

And It Gets Worse!!!

As abusive and as extreme as the above sounds, it is actually only the first step in the process.

What happens next is that if your content (published on Mahalo without permission) causes the Mahalo page to rank for new valuable keywords then they may feed those keywords into their page generation tool and keep making more auto-generated pages in that area, leveraging their domain authority and YOUR content to compete against you while building an automated spam empire.

Some of the top earning pages might have freelancers thicken them out, but the only reason humans are involved at that stage is to legitimize the mass content scraping farm that is the base of the operation. If a company has 200,000+ automated pages with 0 overhead that make 5 cents/day each that is real cashflow - $10,000+ per day of profit!

Still not convinced of the profit potential? Mahalo.com has ~ 300,000 pages indexed in Google. On auto-generated pages it is far easier to get people to click an AdSense ad than it is to get them to buy something from Amazon.com (and you profit on 100% of the ad clicks vs only 1% of the Amazon.com clicks that convert). While there are 4 AdSense blocks *above* the Amazon.com affiliate links, Jason did $250,000 on Amazon's affiliate program last year "without trying" (again, his own stats in his own words...see Flickr.com/photos/jasoncalacanis/4234615626/ ).

Putting it All Together

If you build link equity and are good at public relations you can get away with murder in Google. Scale it big enough and the guidelines simply do NOT apply to you.

Most people who try to "pull a Mahalo" and spam up Google will likely fail because they lack

  • the public relations & affiliations needed to attempt to legitimize such a strategy
  • the willingness to lie just to get a bit of media ink
  • the public relations & media savvy to pull such a major bait and switch without getting caught
  • the domain authority to make it work algorithmically

Originally when launching Mahalo, Jason Calacanis claimed that it would be spam free and that SEOs would have hell to pay. Now that he is scraping your content (and adding nofollow to the links to your content) I think he is right. You are losing out on your search traffic because an authority site is "borrowing" your content and outranking you with your own content.

Jason got Squidoo penalized by calling it spam, and under the same level of scrutiny, how is Mahalo which scrapes millions of 3rd party content listings *without any editorial filter* not spam? Squidoo at least donates $10,000 a month to charity. Mahalo just steals your content without permission and keeps all the cash.

Are the search results going to start filling up with Twitter recycling start ups? What happens when the media gets in on this "what the bloggers have to say" scraping game? Does it even matter who created the content so long as someone wraps it in ads & ranks it?

I don't think we can stop people from being greedy or stealing, but I am surprised Google has turned a blind eye to this process. Is this what they want the web to become?

Published: January 24, 2010

New to the site? Join for Free and get over $300 of free SEO software.

Once you set up your free account you can comment on our blog, and you are eligible to receive our search engine success SEO newsletter.

Already have an account? Login to share your opinions.

Comments

January 24, 2010 - 5:20pm

Nothing left but ads and navigation, LMFAO. Scraping content, not giving any link love back to the original authors, using the same title, and most if not all of the content they scrape, they are the authoritative site so outranking is a non issue.

And Google doesn't give a shit about anybody but Google, it's not a turning a blind eye, it's a hand wave that says who gives a shit.

How are the mom and pops supposed to survive???? Answer, who gives a shit!

I do cause I'm part of the mom and pops percentage, but hey, who gives a shit??!

Glad SEO Book does, way to put'em on blast, might accomplish something, might not, at least it's out there.

Way to give a shit Aaron!

January 24, 2010 - 7:10pm

Funny that Jason is trying to get people to Boycott Comscore and this post is trying to Boycott Jason's site. I know Jason is loving the attention.

January 24, 2010 - 7:24pm

I'm not sure any of these sites are as pure as they want you to believe. I would imagine any site that makes money for Google somehow has an advantage in their SERP.

January 24, 2010 - 7:53pm

Great insight into the scraping issues. The other thing which I believe factors into this is when Mahalo moved to a revenue share strategy in June 2009.

Like Demand Media, they provide people with an incentive to build links to these pages. More links = better SERP rank = more money in your pocket.

Given the current state of the Google algorithm, this incentive can move mountains, particularly if the root domain has accumulated enough trust and authority.

Mahalo gets to sit back and let others build niche specific links for pennies on the dollar. There's a sick beauty to that!

I think Jason's right on the comScore issue, but I'd also like to see Google do something about scraping abuse and link inflation.

P.S. - Mahalo has always pushed the spam envelope. In February 2009 you could see them generating Twitter spam through various accounts (@MAtips, @MAsports) essentially grabbing hot trends and creating matching Tweets so they'd show up in Twitter search.

January 24, 2010 - 9:02pm

"What happens when the media gets in on this "what the bloggers have to say" scraping game?"

This is underway already. I'll be posting an example on http://johnon.com very soon.

January 24, 2010 - 10:31pm

Watch Jason's Twitter stream as well. Jason and Mahalo are also targeting trending topics. When Jimmy Kimmel did his Jay Leno impression it popped up on trends, Mahalo published a page, and minutes later Jason posted a message on Twitter to his 60,000 followers that pointed to the brand new page and how funny it was.

Pretty interesting methodology... see a trend, pop up a page, and use your mass following to generate buzz and backlinks so that you can cash in by pushing ads and showing up on trending topics. He's able to totally manipulate the system and put more $ in his pocket. Can't say I blame him, though.

Don't hold your breath on Adsense cutting him loose, though. As long as he's providing a farm for them to cash in, they're not going to cut him.

January 25, 2010 - 12:04am

blogburst.com has been helping major publishers accomplish this "what bloggers have to say" effect for years. They pay the independent bloggers next to nothing while posting their content on sites like the USA Today with no link attribution.

There's nothing new under the internet, I mean sun...

January 25, 2010 - 1:47am

Some of the top earning pages might have freelancers thicken them out, but the only reason humans are involved at that stage is to legitimize the mass content scraping farm that is the base of the operation. If a company has 200,000+ automated pages with 0 overhead that make 5 cents/day each that is real cashflow - $10,000+ per day of profit!

Shit to me that sounds like a hell of a business model ..only a few employees and damn near pure profit and automated...winner winner chicken dinner is what I say...

the only thing I see wrong with that is not putting a follow link back to the source.. which if you can get away with it fuck it..

it might not be right.. but as a cut throat, content generating, autocash pilot machine they can do it and do it well..if they did link back to the source then they might not outrank the source..

yes this business model can pollute the web, but either get in or get out... and if you can make a brand out of it then do it.. nothing better than autopilot cash generating websites that have almost zero overhead...

Shit just look at some of the other branded, ad wrapped sites that have been around for years .. ezinearticles.com what value do they add?.. hell they're just text, adsense and a couple of links to an affiliate or adsense site? They haven't changed anything in years and they've grown year after year and continue to do well in Google.. and what do they give they're users? No revenue share, you get 2 links buried below the fold, so they make damn sure they get their adsense clicks.. but people continue to build their user generated empire and even link to the pages... to get a referral click here and their.. lol I could go on and on.. but simple thing is, if it works why not do it.. but have some ethics as well..

January 25, 2010 - 1:51am

There is a big difference between people opting to submit content in exchange for exposure and links AND someone just taking your stuff (without permission) and blocking off the link flow.

The first is a legitimate business model...just like publishers of books who want most of the profits from the project. A known exchange that was agreed to in advance.

The second is not far removed from just stealing money. (Sure there are a few intermediary steps, but there is no consent and the attribution is filtered).

January 25, 2010 - 4:28am

The problem, Aaron, is that "stealing money" online in this sense is legal.

I'm certainly not one to justify tactics like this, but we're somewhat stuck when we try to bring it into the realm of ethics.

If we're not willing/able to drum up legislation against these methods the ethical debate is dead in the water.

Unless the anticipation is that we're going to convince Google to shut this kind of operation down. But as a profit-driven entity I can't see how we'd expect Google to do that...

I do applaud you for pointing this out - it does, in every sense, fly in the face of everything Google deems "evil." But it's an evil that hurts so good when it comes to Google's bottom line, and we can safely bet that at this point they're way off the idealist tract.

January 25, 2010 - 10:21am

Hey at least you didnt link to his site.. Lets see if we can get this Mahalo page ranking on page one for 'Mahalo'..

Im sure Jason Calacanis will chime in at some point and jusitfy all this spam that hes churning out... 'Sure we may auto generate some pages, but the majority of our content is awesome.. etc etc..

Just goes to show, if you have good authority and generate a shed load of adsense clicks, you can get away with murder (spam)....

Scott

February 1, 2010 - 4:32pm

I'll gladly drop a few backlinks to this SEO Book article for the word "mahalo", please do the same. Digg/Mixx/Delicious/SU/Diigo/Faves.com

January 25, 2010 - 1:37pm

Isn't there a way to block Mahalo, and others, from even accessing your site? I doubt using robots.txt will stop them but couldn't you block the originating ip? This isn't my area of expertise so any input would be appreciated!

January 25, 2010 - 3:30pm

Not really. In most cases you can't block Mahalo stealing your content and using it against you. Since they scrape from Google's scrape of the web (but then add nofollow), you can't really block Mahalo without blocking Google.

And if you do block Google, then likely someone else will still steal your content and wrap it in Google ads.

The system is rigged to where either you carry Google ads and share your content, or SOMEONE ELSE WILL DO IT FOR YOU (see Mahalo, for instance).

January 25, 2010 - 4:43pm

It is unfortunately true that the greater a domain strength, the more, the greater you can push the limits.

The strange thing to me though Aaron is that I have always seen complaints against Calacanis and Mahalo as not worth the time of day since all he is doing is basically the same thing we all want to do which is make money from the internet.

Do I think Mahalo goes about it the right way? No.
Do I think Mahalo will last in the SERPs? Not forever, but I think he will make a great deal of money from it.
Do I think he is the greatest guy in the world? No.

However, he is doing what we all do using the same cycle that is universal to anyone trying to make a buck off the web...

Create content - promote content - monetize content

Everything you have laid out above is absolutely true (great article btw) in fact the first conversation I ever had with Matt Cutts was about the weirdness of how superior content pages on weaker domains are ignored for subpar content pages on strong domains.

It is now three years later and Google often still has the same problem, although it better than it was back then.

Whatever the case is, the bottom line I see is that if someone wants to rank for "best computer speakers" then the best way to do so is to have a great page about "best computer speakers" and since the term is somewhat competitive it likely needs to be on a domain with some strength too.

Any search term will have competitors who are using crappy methods, any search term will have some schmuck doing nasty things that aren't very kind or very nice. But I say...

"Damn the torpedos. Full speed ahead!"

I get that he isn't doing stuff nicely. I get that he is doing stuff sneakily and lying about things. IMHO I hope Google does something about it not because I don't like him, but I hope Google does something about it because if they do not then they are teaching the next wave of webmasters to be schmucks.

He has been successful online so others will mimic this and try to replicate this.

January 25, 2010 - 4:52pm

It is not the same thing thing. Not even close.

I don't go into the automotive industry, state that all car dealers are shitbags, and then use that as a platform to sell cars from.

That was *exactly* what he did to the SEO industry, and most of the (lame) "leaders" in our industry were stupid enough to give him a soap box to yell from. And so someone needs to do a follow up about what a lying piece of trash Jason is.

He is a liar and his site uses content without permission (and not a little bit either...in bulk...as in it is the foundation of the site).

He is worse than the people he spewed hate about, and so long as his recycled garbage is ranking I may as well help brand it for being what it is.

Why is he worse?

Well he is not trying to make a Dollar like anyone else. No. He is jacking people's content wholesale and PREVENTING OTHERS WHO PUT IN THE EFFORT AND WORK FROM GETTING CREDIT FOR THEIR WORK.

You can call it something other than theft, but the functionality of it is 1:1. His gain is ill gotten and driven off of stealing from others.

I understand if a person who is just staring out does whatever they have to do in order to pay the bills, but when you are already well-to-do it is slimy to steal money from the poor.

Some people try to play Robin Hood.

Jason Calacanis goes hood robbing.

January 25, 2010 - 6:43pm

I just do not the practical upside of concentrating time and effort on others who are doing things badly.

What does Google recommend?

"If you've found a particular site that's spamming our index, we'd like to hear about it."

Report it as spam.

January 25, 2010 - 7:59pm

your figures or about 10k daily are spot on, thats about what I was making in the my scraper sites heyday before Google killed off my 15 accounts and keep my $190,000 just because they could:). Am I bitter, naaaaa, that was moons ago but its very interesting to know that they scraper game is still alive and well.

January 25, 2010 - 8:30pm

Like I said earlier the only thing I see wrong with it is not putting a link back to the source... if he wants to talk shit about SEO's/Affiliate marketers let him.. I dont care.. if people let him speak and link to the bait on their blogs thats their problem.. what else can we do? Report his site as spam.. not gonna work hes a brand and breaks alot of bread for Google... what else can we do? rant about him on our blogs? that only gives him more press and publicity.. the only entity that can change this is Google.. and their not gonna..

Unless their is a way to pressure him to link back to the source then it's a waste of time.. who cares about the shit talking.. go on about your business and let him choose the long tail keywords that make money and model after that.. same with Demand.. let them choose the money long tail and then copy their ass..

January 26, 2010 - 2:04am
January 26, 2010 - 9:03am

Hello Aaron,

you are right, but why you are surprised?
At the end Google is a big player in the system called "capitalism". In that system the rules are not applied to everyone equal, it is called in other terms "corruption". A strong brand or domain not means fair play.

Seo Networker
Doing SEO in Hamburg since 98
http://www.suchmaschinen-experte.de

January 27, 2010 - 4:15pm

I've been reading your site for a long time, and I have to say you are right on the money with your advice. This article really struck a nerve, hence the comment.

I find it to be positively criminal that Google repeatedly rewards this type of behavior, while punishing innocent sites. The fact that Google continuously has chosen to define the way in which webmasters behave makes it even more frustrating that they continue to allow this type of thing to continue.

It is not limited to Mahalo either. There are zillions of sites that do nothing more than aggregate content from other sources. These range from places like NewsTin - which uses your RSS feed to identify new content and then actually culls material directly from your site, while adding only a nofollow link - to Blogger blogs that host nothing original and are loaded with AdSense.

Everything that I publish on my site is 100% original. I have been publishing online for over 12 years. The links to our site that we have received are all organic. We have NEVER bought links back to our site. We follow all of Google's guidelines. When things are going fine, my content ranks very well in Google for relevant searches. I don't have to do anything except write new content and publish it. This is the way it should be. Create quality content and be rewarded.

Increasingly, however, I am having a hard time maintaining a Google presence because other people just keep swiping my content. Our reward? Google punishes our site when other people steal our content. It does not matter whether they link back or not. A few things here and there don't seem to matter. But when people take a lot of content in a short period of time or when they take our content and publish it (WITHOUT PERMISSION) on sites that are much bigger than ours, Google decides to completely eradicate our site from its rankings. Google tosses out the articles that have been copied AS WELL AS the ones that HAVE NOT been copied.

I have been studying this issue for several years now. It never fails. My content ranks well until it is stolen. Then Google throws out my site. The pattern is so predictable that I can see it happening. There is nothing I can do about it except try as hard as I can to get the stolen content removed as quickly as possible. Sometimes, I am able to salvage my site from ruin. Other times, I can't, and I'm left to clean up the mess made by someone else.

You have to just love it too when someone takes your content and uses it to promote the infringement of other copyright protected content. The fact that Google promotes these by suggesting the words "torrent" and "rapidshare" and other similar phrases is criminal.

You also have to just love it when someone takes your content and uses it to sell the same products on their site (or some other big affiliate site). This happens all the time. People steal. The anonymity of the internet makes it even easier.

This alone is annoying beyond belief. However, when Google decides the sites featuring the stolen content are more relevant than yours -- even though you wrote and published the content a month, a year, or 5 years ago -- it becomes maddening.

This is absurd. I file spam reports. I file reconsideration requests. Nothing changes. The only thing I am left to do is try to get the content removed. If I am successful -- which is not always possible -- my site eventually comes back. This takes time, though. Between getting the content removed and waiting for Google to realize that the content has been removed, success can take a month or two. In the meantime, the fresh, new, original content I publish fails to rank and often it never achieves PageRank. Nice job, Google!

Yep, that's right. People steal my content, Google gets confused, and Google reduces my site's authority and refuses to give me credit for anything.

Google's algorithm is horribly corrupt. Yahoo and Bing do not have this problem. My ranking does not change on other search engines when people steal my content. The article that is stolen ranks in the exact same place. It isn't bumped down a few spots, and it certainly isn't removed completely. The articles that haven't been stolen also rank in the exact same place. They are not bumped down a few spots, and they certainly aren't removed completely.

Why can't Google get this right? Is this intentional? Their lack of responsiveness to spam reports and reconsideration requests and their very very slow response to DMCA complaints certainly suggests so.

The idea that out-of-print but copyright-protected books could be made available is a wonderful idea on paper. There's a lot of good stuff that you just can't find anymore, and it's a shame. It would be great if these things could be made available in a way that both protects the rights of the people who created them AND provides them with an income stream for their hard work, dedication, and creativity.

However, I would certainly not trust Google with the responsibility for protecting the rights of the people who produced this content. Lord knows, Google's own employees were responsible for uploading copyright-protected content to YouTube. Google as a corporation has a very serious culture problem with preserving intellectual property rights.

In fact, Google has shown time and again that the only intellectual property rights they are willing to defend are the ones pertaining to their own patents. Everything else is fair game, and if they can make money off your content by getting it listed on some other site, you can bet they will do just that.

February 1, 2010 - 4:25pm

I've heard of this Mahalo site, visited it awhile ago and never came back because I thought it was a Yahoo Answers clone. I was pretty shocked to see this SEO Book article pop up in my RSS. I gave Mahalo another visit and typed in a few queries and was BLOWN AWAY to see 5 or MORE Google AdSense blocks listed on a single page (any AdSense user knows that 3 is the limit):

(From Adsense TOS)
"How many Google ads can I display per page?
Print

Currently, AdSense publishers may place up to three AdSense for content units on one webpage. You may also place a maximum of three link units and two search boxes on each webpage."

Actually, I've found it to be down right confusing to tell what's an ad and what's a link since there are so many ads on that site.

If Google refuses to do anything about this, then we have a huge problem here. The only resolve is if social networking search truly does overtake search engines. As webmasters, it's pertinent to get the word out about this scraper.

February 11, 2010 - 4:17pm

Is it just me or Jason is trying to "polish Aaron's shoes" by saying "great SEO guy"!

http://calacanis.com/2010/01/25/my-thank-you-email-to-aaronwall-for-the-...

Not long ago he claimed that all SEO are scammers, it appears that he changed his speech now, maybe hoping that people will go easy on him.

This is a plea to the SEO community: Never go easy on him!
He called all SEO spammers for his own profit and out of greed, so he could get some publicity. That's not good.

It's a shame that some people think that the only way to success is stepping, crushing others and taking advantage of everyone in their way. It's very sad...

I can't feel anything but sorrowful for him, people behave like this out of greed and insecurity.
When feelings like this dominate a person's mind no fortune or power will make them feel rich.
He'll always be a poor soul no matter the size of his bank account.

February 9, 2010 - 8:33am

Spot on tinotriste.

Once a person is willing to stamp their name and face on a series of lies to make a Dollar then there is no cash pile large enough to make them happy. And over the years the lies just get bigger and bigger until everything collapses.

February 11, 2010 - 4:22pm

That's precisely what's happening with him Aaron.
He failed to realise that would have taken him the same amount of effort to get publicity through collaboration.
IMO this is controversial PR gone wrong. :)

February 8, 2011 - 11:42pm

...in fact the first conversation I ever had with Matt Cutts was about the weirdness of how superior content pages on weaker domains are ignored for subpar content pages on strong domains.

Will google ever fix this? If broken = lots of money, probably not?

New to the site? Join for Free and get over $300 of free SEO software.

Once you set up your free account you can comment on our blog, and you are eligible to receive our search engine success SEO newsletter.

Already have an account? Login to share your opinions.

  • Over 100 training modules, covering topics like: keyword research, link building, site architecture, website monetization, pay per click ads, tracking results, and more.
  • An exclusive interactive community forum
  • Members only videos and tools
  • Additional bonuses - like data spreadsheets, and money saving tips
We love our customers, but more importantly

Our customers love us!






    Email Address
    Pick a Username
    Yes, please send me "7 Days to SEO Success" mini-course (a $57 value) for free.

    Learn More

    We value your privacy. We will not rent or sell your email address.