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  1. #1
    newcustomeroffer is offline Public Member
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    Default Google Spam Update

    Another week, another algorithm update: https://developers.google.com/search/updates/ranking
    For the latest bookmaker new customer offers visit https://www.newcustomeroffer.co.uk/

  2. #2
    bpmee is offline Public Member
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    Some of the obvious risky SEO stuff will get hit.

    Also, some of the obvious sponsored posts. Think random casino links in a travel guide for senior citizens.

  3. #3
    econfox is offline Private Member
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    Well, just checked and hxxps://www.collegian.psu.edu/ is still ranking high for casino keywords.

    I emailed the site a couple of times and asked for a quote to see how much it would be for a sponsored post. If Google won't stop them then I have to adjust. The strange thing is they never responded.

    I think this is not something approved by the University so they are trying to keep it quiet.

  4. #4
    econfox is offline Private Member
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    Just did a little research.

    Get ready for a lot more "sponsored content". To the point that it may take up the top 10 results in Google.
    It isn't just PSU. I also found some from Harvard. Forget about trying to get an EDU backlink when you can have the site.

    The same generic content on PSU is now on Yahoo as "news".

    This is Yahoo financial news on October 14th.

    Best Online Casinos in 2022: Top 17 Real Money Casino Sites for Online Casino Games & Bonuses


    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/best-...a2XhhkGBwaxa4F

    The company behind it is https://www.newsdirect.com/

    It looks like they can spam top sites for $650 an "article".

  5. #5
    bpmee is offline Public Member
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    I saw something like that a few months ago. FTR, I'm not in the casino space but I was a bit alarmed. I saw something similar for a sports betting KW banging around recently but it looks like it dropped off.

    It's a new twist on an old trick

    The .edu spam is from students and staff "selling" their personal blog, or school newspaper articles to link brokers. In other cases, brokers find an old WP subdomain or folder on the .edu domain that's collecting dust. They obtain login credentials (with or without permission) and then it's off to the races. Imagine what you could do with a gambling.uscollege.edu site?

    Google naturally trusts content from those sites so they immediately get top rankings. They can also use PBNs and ScrapeBox to point many hundreds or thousands of links at these pages to boost them higher.

    I suspect that inbound links to high authority sites -- even if pure spam -- are either politely ignored or occasionally trusted vs the same links to a startup affiliate site. Being an authority means your inbound and outbound links are treated with deference most of the time.

    Google could could weed this stuff out if it wanted to. Evaluate these sites with two standards:

    1. Is the domain trustworthy? - Pass - Yahoo, NyPost, Random Newspaper are legitimate sites. They are generally regarded as good sources of information subject to journalistic standards.

    2. Is the domain an existing subject matter authority? - Fail - No, putting up an article 3 days ago doesn't make you an expert.

    Analogy: A recognized math professor who starts writing history books shouldn't be considered an authority until they have demonstrated the same grasp on history as all other experts. Being trustworthy in one area doesn't make you trustworthy in all others.

    Personally, I think the days are numbered for the Yahoo! article you found. Give it another 2-3 months tops. That sort of chicanery is really clever, but it's as obvious as blog comment spam. They're making a quick buck with boilerplate nonsense.

  6. #6
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    universal4 is offline Forum Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpmee View Post
    Imagine what you could do with a gambling.uscollege.edu site?.
    That would require DIRECT involvement from staff or person paid to manage dns, and could (but not necessarily) lead to extreme controversy of education staff.

    IMO, whether students or staff are behind the paid articles, it should be exposed, it could be debated if it is a private funded school, but a state or federally funded school, not so sure that is cool.

    Rick
    Universal4

  7. #7
    bpmee is offline Public Member
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    Agreed. In some cases, the brokers post on a compromised WP site.

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    econfox is offline Private Member
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    Just took a look at 20 KW.
    The SERP for "bovada bonus codes " had 3 of the top 4 sponsored content. Including a snippet from PSU.
    What gets me is I have now contacted 3 of the newspaper/ EDU and not one has responded with a price for me to do this.

  9. #9
    bpmee is offline Public Member
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    Yeah and some of those articles could pass as legitimate. Have a look at: hxxps://augustafreepress.com/betting/bovada-bonus-code/

    That's a half decent article. It's not thin, it's comprehensive, though it's a basic rehash of commonsense advise and obvious knowledge most online gamblers already know. They stretch it out using the "content vomit" strategy and add in some screenshots.

    Honestly, I think that particular article would standup on most affiliate sites. But the domain itself, AugustFreePress_ com, is a former newspaper now operating as a high DR content farm. The rest of the site is filled with the usual "news and variety" nonsense.

    What? I can learn about CBD and blackjack bonuses, right next to Oil Change coupons? WOW!

    If you have Ahrefs, have a look at that exact URL's backlinks. Whoever bought the post linked about 2 dozen former newspaper sites to that page using "Bovada bonus code" as anchor text. The former newspaper sites are also content farms in their own right.

    It's clever because the content itself is decent and would probably pass human review. But the backlinks and relevance to AugustaFreePress_ com itself are questionable.

    Newspaper spam sucks!

  10. #10
    Malikbhai is online now Public Member
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    Collegian.psu.edu along with Denver Post and Mercury News making big casino bucks by spamming Google.

  11. #11
    bpmee is offline Public Member
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    I think a high-end offshore affiliate cut exclusive advertising deals with them. The content on those sites is similar to what I've read on some big affiliate sites. I doubt they opened new affiliate accounts recently.

    OTOH, if they're affiliates and not content publishers, they have to tread carefully as the US slowly goes legal. Notice from any state gaming enforcement authorities might make them think twice.

    They're on thinner ice than an offshore affiliate marketing offshore brands. The offshore affiliate can ignore the notices at their own peril. The state newspapers have to be more careful.

    If they ever decide to get licensed in the future, the process would be lengthened, complicated, and potentially impossible due to promoting what some states regard as illegal betting sites.

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    Joshstewart is offline Brand New Member
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    Going by the previous update this could be welcomed by a lot of affiliates who aren't churning out thin to no content pages providing the shift moves back the other way. May be optimistic there!

  13. #13
    MJM
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    The blatant "sponsored content' spam all over the place is rampant, and working. It's an interesting situation because the people paying for the spot don't have anything to risk long term if it gets nuked, the host site does. I suspect eventually Google will have to take more steps towards relevancy and tone this down, but I imagine it's pretty difficult to do on sites that have built a lot of authority on a lot of subjects like major MSM.

    The flooding of google news with promo code spam, even by some of the biggest affiliate companies in the world via major regional newspaper sites, something has to give there. If i was a stakeholder in any of these companies I would not be popping the champagne bottles just yet, there is some high risk tactics being used by publicly traded companies.

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    bpmee is offline Public Member
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    Agree wholeheartedly. And the ones stateside advertising offshores have legal risk. If the newspaper was in the Bahamas they could do what they want. But major papers of record are a different story.

    The affiliates advertising legal sites essentially endow, or sponsor, a paper's sports or "gambling" section. They provide content in some cases, making the life of the newspaper staff much easier. The text is peppered with links and the usual rank-ordered ad tables. It's not a bad deal.

    I return to what I said upthread. "Yes" the sites are trustworthy, but "No" they're not recognized subject matter experts. I think there's something to be said for specializing in casino or sports content for some number of years before earning one's authority status.

    Google needs to apply the same scrutiny and delay to newspapers as it does to a startup affiliate site. The trick would be distinguishing between pure gambling-related news and "Best 5 sportsbooks" or "How to signup at an online casino in Michigan" type of content.

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    These sponsoired posts are also taking $ fro googles topend, perhaps cheaper (with better conversions) to buy a sponsored media site post than adwords, also get around many of the adwords restricitons and usually the quality is garbage. not just for casino but pretty much any affiliate industry that would require adwords, I expect in time it will get taken care of.. hopefully, perhaps lowering the wieght of posts marked sponsored?


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    JKgamble is offline Public Member
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    Thats some weird stuff, so you just try to take it down or get a backlink ?

  18. #17
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    $650 for an article on yahoo finance, that's actually a good deal. I do wonder though whether it will be taken down eventually or will stay there?

    Quote Originally Posted by econfox View Post
    Just did a little research.

    Get ready for a lot more "sponsored content". To the point that it may take up the top 10 results in Google.
    It isn't just PSU. I also found some from Harvard. Forget about trying to get an EDU backlink when you can have the site.

    The same generic content on PSU is now on Yahoo as "news".

    This is Yahoo financial news on October 14th.

    Best Online Casinos in 2022: Top 17 Real Money Casino Sites for Online Casino Games & Bonuses


    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/best-...a2XhhkGBwaxa4F

    The company behind it is https://www.newsdirect.com/

    It looks like they can spam top sites for $650 an "article".

  19. #18
    econfox is offline Private Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulEchere View Post
    $650 for an article on yahoo finance, that's actually a good deal. I do wonder though whether it will be taken down eventually or will stay there?
    Yes, that is what I was thinking. I took a look at newsdirect and they are branching out to all kinds of affiliate areas. I can see several grey hat SEO corps getting into this. If Google allows it then it will be a very profitable niche for them.

    There have been two Google updates since this took off and Google has not done anything about it yet. If Google continues to do nothing then in a year almost all of the page one SERP results will be "sponsored content" by newspapers and traditional media corps. Google already has a relationship with them so Google might be OK with letting them dominate organic results.

    For newspapers that are struggling & for Google it might be a "win" "win" situation. Newspapers get money and Google makes sure they know that the only reasons they make money is because of Google.

    Don't bite the hand that feeds you.

  20. #19
    bpmee is offline Public Member
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    Your analysis is pretty spot on.

    One thought: $650 for High Rankings won't last long. Any relatively cheap shortcuts eventually get overused, overrun, and overdone.

    I give it a year tops before all but the very top newspapers (Forbes, NyTimes, etc) get hit.

  21. #20
    Malikbhai is online now Public Member
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    Collegian _.psu _.edu has been consistently gaining ranks over the past two years now. Google is well aware of them, but they can't do anything about it.

    It's just the way their core algorithm works. The sitewide points of universities will make positive impact on individual pages.

    Without a "manual action" these sites will keep moving up. And Google will not sanction Penn State.

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