Spam by far is the biggest problem we have on the Internet today. I recieve over 1,000 emails daily and two thirds of it is spam. A lot of organizations spend large sums of money and manpower on filters to handle spam. One of my email accounts is on Yahoo and the spammers have figured out how to send email to the future. Today is Monday November 13th 2006 and I already have mail in my inbox for Friday November 17th 2037. This email will stay at the top of my email list until that day comes and passes. See the screenshot below
Does anyone buy the stuff being advertised in these spam emails. Viagra, home refinancing and of course porn. I guess they are because they keep sending more and more everyday. This only makes it harder for legitimate marketers to reach their customers.
Anyone who has a blog or a forum knows about comment spam. Gambling and porn sites and people selling Vicodin and Viagra are notorious for this. In forums they contribute nothing substantial to the community. Some of them don't even try to hide it, others do a poor job of it.
When I first started to learn about SEO I bought this program that was billed as the "Secret to Search Engine Optimization". The program was called Blog Blaster. I used to sit and blast comments all day long and thought this SEO thing was easy... needless to say it was a waste of money and I cringe when I thought about all the harm I did to bloggers. I did learn my lesson after a few more black hat techniques and my sites got kicked out of Google and Yahoo - quite a feat. The development of the rel="nofollow" tag should really go along way to curb this problem when it is implemented properly. SERPS or Search Engine Results Pages are also littered with spam. I get frustrated every time a do a search and I click through to a Made for Adsense Page. This page has nothing but links to other pages and or adsense and other advertising. These pages can sometimes be found in the coveted top 20 positions for keywords such as birthday gift. Even though the Google and most recently Yahoo have gotten better at fighting this kind of spam, there is still a long way to go. MSN still has a lot of work to do and it seems like every result in ASk.com is spammy.
What was really funny was that one of the largest Spammers, E360 Insight, sued the SPAMHAUS Project because the listed them as one of the internet's largest spammers. Spamhaus, which is based in the UK, didn't show for court and E360 Insight won the case by default and were awarded 11.7 million dollars. They can't collect because the UK doesn't recognize default judgements. Spamhause didn't show because if they did, every spammer in the world would be lining up to sue them. E360 insight even went as far as trying to get the court to shut down the Spamhause domain name. Once again they lost because the US Courts have no jurisdiction over ICANN, which oversees domain names. Wikipedia, a popular online encyclopedia, is having problems with link spam as users try to promote their own sites by posting links in wikipedia articles. Wikipedia has fought this by "locking" certain articles so only administrators can edit them.
I have a tell a friend form on one of my websites and someone was even using that for spamming. Go figure