police

This One Is Full of Keywords: SEO, RSS Aggregators, Dissertation Writing Services


Happy Noodle Boy, by Jhonen Vasquez and Slave Labor Graphics

Happy Noodle Boy is not pleased with you. (by Jhonen Vasquez of Slave Labor Graphics)

SEO spam is a cancer on the internet, and those who engage in it shouldn’t be trusted. People who use RSS aggregators to scrape topical content and repost it verbatim for their SEO spamming purposes are just the worst sort of people. And don’t get me started on dissertation writing services. If you’re reading this on a website other than LMGMBlog, report the site to Google as SEO spam, close the window, and notify me at my Gmail address (theluisgarcia).

See what I did there? According to Internet Wisdom, websites such as the one that copied an entire blog article of mine yesterday use underhanded SEO (Search Engine Optimization) methods to game the search-engine system and give them high page rankings. If they manage to appear on the first page of Google results for a topic like “dissertation writing services,” for example, they’ll get tons of traffic to their page, which will drive up the numbers of “eyeballs” and “clickthroughs” on their ads, while perhaps also allowing them to sell some snake oil to the more gullible visitors.

To build content and generate incoming links to the site, the administrators of these sites often use programs that aggregate RSS feeds (from blogs, newspapers, etc) and scan them for particular keywords and/or other characteristics. When the desired conditions are met, this program “scrapes” the entire post from the RSS feed and reproduces on their own site. They’ll often include a link (hidden at the bottom of the page) which points to the original article. This will usually create a “pingback” or “trackback” on the original blog, which creates a link from the original source to the copied article on the new spam site. Now, they’ve got many pages, a lot of content, and a growing set of both outgoing and incoming links. All of these are things that Google’s search engine measures when it creates its page rankings, and thus this mostly useless and ad-smeared website crawls up to the top of Google’s search results.

So, all of my first paragraph is going to appear in the RSS summary of this article, with several keywords that will hopefully trigger RSS aggregators for “SEO”, “RSS Aggregators,” and “Dissertation Writing Services.” My hope is that, since many of them seem to have automated content-scraping, this’ll result in a post that undermines some of their own purposes.

In any case, I’ve adjusted my RSS feed to only post summaries instead of full articles, and I’ll be back to writing about my dissertation soon!

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That Blog Be Yankin’: Plagiarism-y Developments Halt Dissertation Series


UPDATE: See comments for details. Short version: the offending page is down, it seems.

Hey folks, just to let you know that this “dissertation writing service” (Google Cache of the page)website has reposted the entirety of my last post in the series that I have been writing on my dissertation. This looks to be a form of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) spam, and it’s a problem for a number of reasons: 1) I was never contacted to ask permission (and I certainly wouldn’t have given any to this site); 2) it quotes the entirety of the original work, which is in violation of “fair use” (US IP law) and most other legal guidelines for acceptable use of intellectual property without permission; and 3) since it’s a “dissertation writing service“ website, the framing of this post (me writing about the preparation of my dissertation) in this context gives the impression that either I paid for their services to prepare my dissertation or I’m trying to sell my dissertation to them—either interpretation could harm my future career as an academic and could thus be a form of libel.

In any case, this means I’m going to be putting a halt to the dissertation-in-blog-post series, until I can figure out what to do about this. In the meanwhile, I’ll add occasional updates in the comments below; sometime later, I might write a whole blog post on this experience. If you have any expertise or advice to share about this sort of situation, you’re welcome to contact me through the comments below or by e-mail. Sorry for the interruption, folks!

May 1: Field Test 01, with Jason Fine and others


Unlike my old blog, where I back-dated my reviews of EDM events so that they appeared to be posted on the same day as the party itself, on this blog I plan to leave the post date as-is, and instead include the date of the party in the post title. To those of you who used to read my old blog: whaddaya think? Is this better?

Anyway.

Field Test 01 Flyer

Field Test 01 Flyer

E-flyer on Resident Advisor
E-flyer on NBFC forums

So this was my first night out to a substantial party after several weeks of hiding and nearly two months of working under a fair bit of pressure. (more…)