3rd March 2008

Why Spam Google Groups?

posted in GWHG, Google |

The Google Webmaster Help Group which I participate in has been inundated with spam lately from a certain spammer looking to push the 2008 Peking Olympic Games Souvenirs.

As seen below”

Olympics Spam

You will notice that the group’s CMS nofollows all links in a post which would make you wonder, “why would someone go to so much effort to bother spamming the groups?”

The answer is: Because it works. Well. Very well.

More and more people have been complaining lately that after discussing their site in GWHG that the thread will outrank their own site. Of course some of the sites discussed in the group are indeed penalized and just about anything will outrank it, but it has been noted the groups are getting more visible in the SERPS lately. The fact is that Groups material is indexed quickly and ranks quite well, irregardless regardless of content or value. Another aspect working for the Google Groups Spammer is the fact that Google has the groups in many languages all on their own TLD, in essence replicating their spam on many more URLs than just the one they planted it on.

The spammer may not be getting any link love from the Google Groups spam pointing to 200836.com but for his keyword phrase, “Peking 2008 Olympic Games”, he’s doing remarkably well in Google.

In the first 100 results Google Groups spam occupies 23 positions (screenshot). To be fair to Google, they aren’t the only target of this spammer as some Yahoo! groups and other forums are also spammed, for a total of 40 of the top results (screenshot). By any standard 40% of a search result being spam drops is not good.

With this Minty Fresh Spamdexing the spammers no longer have to worry about the links they generate but rather use the forums themselves as doorways to their spam site, which by the way is indexed.

This entry was posted on Monday, March 3rd, 2008 at 2:33 am and is filed under GWHG, Google. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. All comments are subject to my NoFollow policy. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

There are currently 8 responses to “Why Spam Google Groups?”

Why not let me know what you think by adding your own comment! All the cool kids are doing it.

  1. 1 MyAvatars 0.2 On March 4th, 2008, rishil said:

    Thats an extremely good spot - its kind of reverse utilising the “manage your online identity” type of activities.

    I think point I note is that the domination of serps by that URL is almost like a display ad for the keyword - there is a strong temptation to actually check it out once you see it.

  2. 2 MyAvatars 0.2 On March 4th, 2008, Will said:

    Yes, and I imagine if these spammers pointed links at the Google groups pages that they would climb even higher. Looks like Google groups may have the highest domain authority in Google’s algo.

  3. 3 MyAvatars 0.2 On March 5th, 2008, Gab Goldenberg said:

    Sphunn that! Awesome find John, and I’m really enjoying your blogging. BTW, if you offer landing page design with a turnover time of 3 days or less, please write me an email asap.

  4. 4 MyAvatars 0.2 On March 5th, 2008, Word Nerd said:

    Can I just put on my grammar cop hat and point out that “irregardless” isn’t a real word? (The ir- and the -less create a double negative). Good article otherwise, but I got hung up on that ;)

  5. 5 MyAvatars 0.2 On March 5th, 2008, Mercy said:

    These spammers point their links at the Google groups pages, believing that they would climb even higher. And of course it works too… Because for some searches, Google group results dominates the serp page and everyone eventually get a feel of clicking and leading inside inside the link.

  6. 6 MyAvatars 0.2 On March 5th, 2008, John Honeck "JLH" said:

    @Will - interesting observation there, I have been doing a bit of research on that domain authority and may publish the findings, and may also just keep it to myself as I often do, but we’ll see. It may make a good follow up story if I can identify some patterns and since I won’t be forum spamming any time soon it’s info I could share.

    @Gab - Thanks for the offer, but I rarely do work like that for a fee, at this point in the game I prefer to come up with the ideas and let others implement them.

    @Word Nerd - “irregardless” changed just for you, however anchor text rich (intentional or not) names are nofollowed however, feel free to use a real name or handle in the future. Sorry, but I just don’t want to set a precedence and have “Best Dog Naming Service in New York” polluting the blog.

  7. 7 MyAvatars 0.2 On March 5th, 2008, Geld Lenen said:

    I guess there will be a lot more spam on the Google Groups after this post. It will be profitable for those spammers, because the don’t have to pay for those links + free traffic.

    It would be a good thing if Google had some kind of filter, blocking every word that looks spammy. But that wouldn’t work though. If you look at this Google Group you see spam already :(

  8. 8 MyAvatars 0.2 On March 6th, 2008, Melanie Phung said:

    Don’t worry, I’m not trying to get ranked for the term “word nerd” :) I know better than to comment spam Wordpress blogs ;)

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