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Generator Blog in Spam Trap  (View post)

Niraj Sanghvi [PersonRank 10]

Monday, February 25, 2008
11 years ago4,620 views

It's unfortunate that such support stories regarding Google seem to be the norm rather than the exception. Giving the number of people they've got working on stuff, why can't they provide helpful and timely (or even any) kind of support?

It seems like too many Google services have any request for support get dropped into a void. Or get answered by non-employees in Google Groups if you're lucky.

Niraj Sanghvi [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

By the way, I don't doubt that in many instances they do see requests and take them seriously, turn them into bug reports, etc. But if you don't show your users any of that process or communicate back that you're doing something with their specific request, they're not going to be very happy no matter how hard you're working on stuff behind the scenes.

Clyde Pritchard [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

The first two comments are absolutely correct. Even though the support process and end result of a problem report to Microsoft is often frustrating, at least they do have a defined process and they do acknowlege user problem reports. Google does not seem to have a good method for users to report problems. Although many problems reported by users are individual user errors, some problems can be actual Google application errors that need attention and correction. Some users can be of great assistance to vendors in the identification and resolution of such problems. The vendor should ensure that a method is provided to allow users to participate in the process in a satisfactory manner. In addition to improving the application, it often builds a strong community of users with a very positive attitude toward the vendor and its applications.

Derek Wong [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Just my personal opinion on this, but Generator blog, with its typical subject name of "[YADA YADA] Generator" as well as the "Previous Posted Generators" sidebar, it actually looks very much like a spam site.

And the term Generator appears 1051 times on the page itself.

I'm not surprised their algorithm ranked it as a spamblog.

Marc Savoy [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

In the meantime I am "loosing" my readers by the hundreds a day.......
..
...Losing readers by the hundreds is the stuff of every blogger's nightmare,
but "loosing" them in such large numbers, now, that's quite a serious matter. :-)

Kyle Wegner [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Other than the bit Derek mentioned above, is there any indication of WHY this was labeled as spam? I'm glad the bots can cover as much ground as they do, but I would hate to see my personal blog or any of my favorite reads be shut down incorrectly. So what can we do to avoid these issues?

drtimofey [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I think that he will gain even more readers as this story circles the web.

HQ [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Add to this the ridiculous "your pc is hijacked...." that becomes more and more frequent when you re sending queries to their search engine. It's really frustating, and often they don't even give you the opportunity to pass the captcha(human image recognition) test!!

Today I managed trigged it with the query of simple word:"Okpara" just because he was in the news and possibly this query had a lot traffic. Their antispam system sure has brains!!!

Rohit Srivastwa [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I faced a similar issue nearly an year back

^ blogoscoped.com/forum/103138.h ...

Iain Purdie [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

I had a similar problem with AdSense a year or so ago. I was on the cusp of getting my first kickback from it when I received a "our software reckons you're a cheating liar who's trying to rip us off" email. It included an address where I could write to and appeal. I think it's the same one that the author of GB mailed to – it just forwards to the big, round filing cabinet in the corner of their office.

Blogger also started to be a bit of a pain and queries about it were never replied to, so I shifted two of my blogs over to WordPress (third one's a lot more work but I'll get there). At least they – like MS mentioned above – have a clear and open procedure regarding bugfixes, going so far as to let you view the reports and process of patches being created.

fangio [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

i did have problem with my blogs suddenly flagued as spam in february

but since blogger has upgraded its review system

and things are going much better and faster

in case you have the same problem again, just go in google group in the blogger group and post a desperate message over there: a blogger employee would answer within 6 hours.

;-)

natude [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

that's the cost of relying on google (or on any other party for that matter).
i think on long term you would want to build your stuff on your own domain ;)

Andy Wong [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I did have positive experience with the support guys of Google regarding to false alarm of spamblog. The matter was resolved within 3 days for webandlife.blogspot.com. I was basically satisfied.

However, I do think Google needs to learn more from Microsoft and other IT giants for constructing support teams of services, because more and more Google's uses/customers are not computer geeks and teens.

Google at the moment is just too powerful and too attractive, so we showed a bit more tolerance to its below-standard support services.

drtimofey [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

The site is back online! Thanks to blogoscope:)

Gerard Vlemmings [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Yes, the site is back online. Just one day after Philipp published about my problems with Google, all of a sudden, I am able to post again.

Thank you Philipp for paying attention to this. Very much appreciated.

Matt Cutts [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I'm glad the blog is back.

Niraj, the only thing I'd say is that [site:blogspot.com] shows an estimated 100M+ blogs, and being able to stop autogenerated/spam blogs while supporting millions of real users can be a tough task at times. At any rate, I'm glad that the blog is back now.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> Niraj, the only thing I'd say is that [site:blogspot.com] shows
> an estimated 100M+ blogs, and being able to stop

If I understand the site operator right then it doesn't show 100M+ blogs but 100M+ blog posts. However, there are of course still many Blogspot blogs. The real important number in this discussion however I think is not the number of blogs, but the number of emails where bloggers who've been flagged as spammers ask Google for re-inclusion. How many emails of those kind does Google get every day?

Niraj Sanghvi [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> Niraj, the only thing I'd say is that [site:blogspot.com] shows
> an estimated 100M+ blogs, and being able to stop

Fair enough and it's an understandable problem. But that problem isn't helped by the fact that Joe User doesn't have any transparency into the process, be it through a direct answer to his own request for support or through metrics saying "We get 15,000 re-inclusion requests a day and we're working as fast as we can." In either case the person is at least aware that somebody has really seen their request and something will be done about it, even if not "right now."

Obviously you can't give everyone a personal answer or push them ahead of the line, but even making them aware that there is a line (even it is an automated response saying so) is more helpful than zero response even after repeated support requests.

That said at such a large scale maybe none of this is as easy as it sounds.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Google's Matt Cutts mentions that it might have been Google's automatic keyword stuffing defense that got the Generator Blog into trouble. "It is organic, somebody makes it by hand, and yet if you read the page... they use the word 'generator' like a thousand times on one page." See around minute 22 of the video – perhaps a lesson to niche blogs (including Google Blogoscoped?) which naturally repeat the same words in every other post:
seomoz.org/blog/whiteboard-fri ...

Derek Wong [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

So I was right.

I suppose an easy way to avoid this would be limiting the amount of posts appearing on a single page.

I think Generator Blog itself tries and fails in some SEO by stuffing every single post into the sidebar under Previous Posts as well as throwing lengths of posts into a single page.

And lets not forget the bandwidth it would take just to load that page up =)

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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