[Talk-us] Help fight advertising

Paul Norman penorman at mac.com
Sat Mar 3 00:45:46 UTC 2018

On 3/2/2018 9:40 AM, Clifford Snow wrote:
> Sorry for the late posting - I've been working on another project for 
> the past few days.
> Frederik wrote "You will be surprised about the breadth of marketing 
> blurb that has already crept into OSM."
> Unfortunately no, I'm not surprised. Marketing is a very competitive 
> world. SEO firms are using every trick in the dictionary to improve 
> their page ranking.

True, those experienced with SEO firms are probably not surprised.

> One of my beliefs from looking at SEO spam is that I believe the work 
> is likely being outsourced. Two many similarities exist that to me 
> suggest these are coming from a common source.  The user name, the 
> changeset comments, etc. I did ask Margaret Seksinski with Brandity if 
> she could help us learn who might be behind this spam. I have yet to 
> hear from her. Unfortunately, it appears Brandify doesn't want to be a 
> part of the community, just use us for their gains.

With my DWG hat on I've seen some investigations into some cases. Much 
of what I've seen comes from a number of overseas sources, and there's 
probably a disconnect between the firms people pay and who spams the data.

> Frederik suggested we contact the user. I've sent numerous message and 
> have not only not had any response, but have yet to see any change in 
> their behavior. Frankly it's a waste of my time anymore to attempt to 
> contact them.
> As much as I hate the spam in the description tag (should rename it 
> spam=*) it is helpful in attempting to determine the correct tags. 
> After which, it's no longer useful and can be deleted.

At this point I generally don't do that, I end up deleting the spam. 
With the location frequently sourced from Google's geocoder, it's 
unusable, many of the businesses don't have physical locations and don't 
belong in OSM, and the users are consistently uncommunicative.

> Finally let's not lump all SEO firms together. The Laua Group is doing 
> a great job for Hilton Hotels. We should encourage more firms to be 
> good community members.

There are some reputable SEO firms. Unfortunately, the industry tends to 
attract disreputable ones. The disreputable ones are unlikely to follow 
rules. Remember, this is an industry where disreputable companies still 
flood comments sections, user profiles, and anything else they can 
imagine with spam. If they're fine with breaking anti-spam laws, terms 
of service, and other rules, I can't see them following either OSMF 
policies or community expectations, so we shouldn't gear our work around 
them doing that.

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