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Google Businesses Spam The Internet Your Rights Online

WhenU Spams, Breaks Google's 'No Cloaking' Rule 12

Posted by timothy
from the nelson-laughs-as-ben-smacks dept.
stev_mccrev writes "Harvard Student Ben Edelman released this report documenting at least thirteen web sites operated by WhenU (the spyware company who recently sued Utah) that use cloaking to fool search engines into higher rankings. WhenU was dropped by Google and Yahoo! on May 12; on May 13, WhenU CEO Avi Naider confirmed the accusations, but added that the questionable practices were the work of its heretofore undisclosed search engine optimization (SEO) firm--which, he said, was promptly fired following the news." (Here's a link to Edelman's previous reports on WhenU's activities.)
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WhenU Spams, Breaks Google's 'No Cloaking' Rule

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  • by justkarl (775856) on Monday May 24, 2004 @10:25AM (#9237566) Homepage
    Especially with the threat of legislation against "marketing firms", these companies have little else to do but cheat the system. If you're going down, might as well do it in flames, right?

    Or, think of it this way...these companies have built themselves on the principle of putting software on your computer without you knowing...They're in the buisness of cheating.
  • Spam i can handle (Score:4, Insightful)

    by huber (723453) on Monday May 24, 2004 @10:40AM (#9237708)
    With proper instruction and configuration spam can be delt with. However i depise spyware to the point that it has cpmpletly driven me away from windows. When i work on peoples machines i have to explain to them the concept of spyware and they always ask: "Is that legal?" My reply is always that it shouldnt be. it is a buisness model that needs to go away. If i came to your home to fix your sink for instance, should i be alowed to install a camera to gather what kind of dish soap that you use to clean your dishes so i can sell that information to essy & johnson? NO.
    • Re:Spam i can handle (Score:3, Interesting)

      by base3 (539820)
      It's not legal. The proof of this is that if you or I wrote an application to do the same thing, we would be thrown in prison. But corporations can push this crap with impunity for some (cough, bribes, cough) reason.
  • Interesting (Score:4, Insightful)

    by molnarcs (675885) <molnarcs @ g m ail.com> on Monday May 24, 2004 @12:26PM (#9238827) Homepage Journal
    This is one of the most interesting news I read today on ./ - its a pity it received so little attention. Not only because the info proper, but also because the way in which it is presented: to the point, explanatory/informative and most importantly - devastating.

    What really amazes me is that this kind of research doesn't require much (well, it does in a way: you have to be clever and motivated) - ctrl+PrintScrn, archive.org, google, whois/dig, etc, yet it does have a significant impact.

  • The April 21 strip for UserFriendly [userfriendly.org] had an apt thing to say about spam.

    Basically the time will probably come when we will treat spam like bacteria - it's there, but that doesnt mean we have to like it or care.

    No filter is perfect, not even this one.

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