I believe someone misuses instructables.com for his own agenda

Hi, i believe there is someone using instructables.com for some kind of SEO scam. I believe it goes like this:

- Post a mediocre/repeating guide
- Add links to different websites, for example to www.american-home-loan.net as seen in http://www.instructables.com/id/How_to_Convert_AVI_WMV_RM_VOB_to_iPod_PSP_Cell_/
- Have a highly valued site (instructables.com) link to cheap sites
- ???
- Profit

I believe the ??? would eventually be remove the guide and point to some site that seels some crap. This is called a SEO scam if i remember correctly.

So far i have catched 5 different usernames using that scheme (i believe the same person is behind all of them):


Check out the guides, they are basically all the same with a link in the first part at least repeated twice. It all points to the same server and even CMS, however, different hostnames are used.

I would like to hear a second opinion.

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tecneeq (author) 7 years ago
So, did i earn a cookie, then? A simple well spotted doesn't do it for me ;).

BTW, i flagged a bunch of them as spam before i started this thread, but i doubt i got them all.
. Great job! It looks like you went to a lot of work to track all that down. Thanks for making Ibles a little better. . Sorry, but no cookie. :( All I can offer is my heart-felt thanks. . . How about posting some info on what tipped you off and what you did to investigate? It should be of help to the rest of us SPAM hunters.
Eated my cookie.jpg
As you wish.....

as i wish? now get me a new computer
Here you be....
what is that?
Tomorrow's computer ;-) pet powered....
Not NICE to call kitteh BAD kitteh:
Thats it,no more dry cereal for you Instead,YOU WILL HAVE TO EAT TUNA FISH!
I don't think that is a good idea....animal cruelty and all......besides... ;-)
oh no im way too skinny you wont like eating me Recreate-CLONE:HOW DARE YOU EAT YOUR OWNER!!! MMMMMMMM!(means no in cat language)
and "burp" is the answer to the question and means tasty ;-)
my dog will protect me from that owner-eating cat
GRRRRR!(means go away in dog)
MMMMMMM(Means no in cat)
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM (means "Beat it,cat" in cat)
warning !
you must enjoy animal doodo!
Oh, wow. Bumped topic from the very distant past.

Lemme get my TARDIS.
FALSE! Only timelords can pilot a Tardis, and there is only one timelord left. The Doctor!
Um, not accurate: River Song (i.e. Amy's Daughter) could pilot the Tardis....
Oh yes. Forgot about that. *cough*
And we forget that, after Rose looked into the Heart of the Tardis she too could pilot it.....she took it back to where the Doctor was.
Now, I can't recall. Did Rose pilot it, or did the tardis pilot itself (which it has been known to do whenever she's angry) while blowing up Rose's head with info?
It was kind of a combo I think: the tardis wasn't going back by itself that time, so it and Rose as a team (as BAD WOLF actually), piloted it back....
*real name* Melody Pond (Williams?)

I just watched that episode (Let's Kill Hitler).

I fell behind on my Doctor Who time.
Yes.....the only "time slot" I have to actually watch any tv when it first airs is Sat night, so I at least keep up with them (for now).
I have lured the dog away with a big juicy stake now AHHA!!!
Umm...whew...you have some bad breath its weird how this little cat turned into a fat cat a dog in a box three different coloured kittens and then some sort of tiger
He/we is/are schizophrenic ;-)
Rephrase that please...also is that person in your avatar you? is that very recent?
He is (or) we are schizophrenic.... ;-) and yes, that is fairly recent. I need to clean up my neck of some of the beard yet to make it look more presentable....
rephrase schizophrenic
ok, let's make is a lesser disorder then, MPD (multiple personality disorder). ;-)
oh i get it! <_-*wink*
Catz Rulz
Is this an instructable ?
Nope, it'd need more steps....
i like cats,in fact i have 2
Water gun
tecneeq (author)  Goodhart7 years ago
Too cute ;)
tecneeq (author)  NachoMahma7 years ago
From every instructible i read the title, the first few sentences and the first picture in my RSS Feed reader. Then, if something interests me, i read it all. That way i never miss anything ;). So, there was this one ible that starts like www.american-home-loan.net and i am like WAIT A MINUTE!, my spider sense tingles! Then i saw in my Reader that there is a whole bunch of ibles starting with URLs that more or less look the same. Then my spider senses tingled again, this time even harder ;). So i searched a bit and found what i found.
search for american-home-lawn
"No instructables found! Take this opportunity to Submit one!" L
so make it ! cmon its like materials : home lawn dodge step 1 : park the dodge in the lawn
I knew a house where there were 3 Minis parked on the lawn, it was like the 'kin Italian Job... L
The cookie. It wants you. You want it. And that's what's up.
tecneeq (author)  Spl1nt3rC3ll7 years ago
Thanks a lot!

nom nom nom
lemonie tecneeq7 years ago
I flagged all of them anyway L
Flag 'em.
sharlston6 years ago
email eric and tell him about it
DJ Radio7 years ago
I wonder why they do it? and you are on to something, best bet is to report the scam to the admins.
Probably because they're paid too. There are legions of people sitting in internet cafes in Asia getting paid pennies an hour to spam.
tecneeq (author)  Tool Using Animal7 years ago
In fact, most spam comes from the US and is fully automated. It's a war. It's their scripts, that send spam, versus our scripts, that catch spam.
If it's a war, I have a feeling it's not going so well with the antispammers... I get ±15 advertisements in my mailbox every day, I don't even check my mail anymore!
yeah spammers need to stop. The worst ones are the ones where it says like click exit to exit and you click it and yoou get led to there website
Well, I find the ones that post about 30 comments on a random instructible with THECAKEISALIETHECAKEISALIETHECAKEISALIE a hundered times repeated.
You see thought.... The cake is a lie. So those comments are not a lie. And I have yet to run into one of those on ibles.
You don't see it very often on instructibles, on Kongregate and Youtube it happens alot.
I have never seen it on youtube. And hey atleast we here at instructables dont use rick rollibles
And you haven't yet learned to follow links blindly? Close the window using the controls provided by your OS (the icons in the frame corner), rather than trusting that the anonymous spammer is being honest with you.
?? Explain in teenage terms?
Bigev Matt214977 years ago
Look before you leap.
Matt21497 Bigev7 years ago
That phrase makes sense but if you think about it. Saying look before you leap implies to look at what's in front of you before jumping. This does not however state that the person leaping has common sense or not. Therefore he can look all he wants and still jump into his impending doom.
Bigev Matt214977 years ago
And I call that, Natural Selection.
Matt21497 Bigev7 years ago
I call it lacking common sense.
If you already know someone is doing something to lie to you (pop up a window to sell you something fake, for example), why would you think they would not lie to you about what happens when you want to turn them down?
tecneeq (author)  DJ Radio7 years ago
It's a so called SEO scam. SEO means search engine optimisation and is in fact a serious busines. However, the art to get traffic without having earned it with content/service is called SEO scamming. It goes like this:

- write a site that sells some crap (useless stuff mostly, like software that hasn't any advantages over free software, maybe they sell scams themselfs, think send 10 bucks to learn how to make millions)

- post countless howtos that say basically the same and sneak in the URL to the site selling crap. This is the annoying part. I wouldn't even have bothered to look twice if it where not for the www.free-loans.com URLs. There simply are no free loans. Ever.

A search engine, like for example google, gives every page a rating. This site has a high rating. So does my homepage or a site like boingboing.net. They deliver original content. The higher the rating, the higher the site in Googles search result.

If a site with a high rating has a link to site with low rating, the low rating get's a bit higher, even tho the site itself is crap. The better you do the SEO scam game, the higher you get in Google. Until you are a master SEO scammer and your worthless crap site gets the first hit when someone searches for a loan.

And then: Profit!
Complicated... But just so smart... Stupid spammers.
They are probably spreading very wide in the hope of catching something. Looking at where they're spamming and how long the stuff stays up is possibly wasted time.

Bigev7 years ago
Maybe we could post, on the homepage, a list of recent SPAM topics. that way our cunning ranks of faithful -iblers could work for us and be wary.
Matt214977 years ago
Interesting. Theres five acounts created in a span of five days. I don't know about you but they are obviously all the same person with just one email acount who could only create one Ibles acount per day and they all have Ibles about the same things
knexsniper17 years ago
I think you are right. some people use other very popular sites to advertise their own businesses and things like that, i think you should report it to the admin.
And you bumped this because...?
NachoMahma7 years ago
. You freakin' ALPHABETIZED them?
So if these are spam, why are they still up?
. I think many of these have been removed from general circulation, but are still in the system. Ie, can only be found on the member's personal page.
NachoMahma7 years ago
. I just started a SPAM Hunters group. Feel free to join in.
tecneeq (author)  NachoMahma7 years ago
Great idea, i don't have much time to contribute, but searching for spam is surely a good way to be friendly to others :)
ewilhelm7 years ago
Thanks for your help, we've got these under control (and have been watching them as they come in). We notice them shortly after they are flagged, so, after you flag something, there's nothing more you need to do. Despite how it may appear, flagging works! More on that later...
tecneeq (author)  ewilhelm7 years ago
Glad to hear that, keep up the good work :).
kelseymh7 years ago
More this morning, half filling the RECENT page :-( Flagged 'em all as spam; I'm sure Staff will delete them when they come in this moring. Hey, Zach. Can you think of a halfway decent way Staff could implement a filter to catch these sorts of essentially identical I'bles in an automated way?
How about comparing the last 10-20 ibles' titles(or text), both phrases and words, and if a match of two or more is found automatically unpublishing and flagging the offenders for review? To ensure it doesn't cause problems with contests and common themes, either a list of exceptions could be used or else just turning off the whole feature (for example, during burning questions). Human review of the filtered ibles would be necessary, but at least this would catch and hold spam attacks like this recent one. Yeah, I know, you didn't ask me. Just call me Zach. ;-)
This is an excellent idea; it doesn't interfere with normal users, and false positives can be dealt with quickly and easily. I put my vote behind this!
Thank you!
I've suggested a 'gatekeeper' function

It's not an automated function, but since you and me (at least) were flagging these today, we could have been blocking them from being posted in the first place instead?

tecneeq (author)  lemonie7 years ago
Exactly. A team of voluntary moderators would be quick at removing spam. Three or four high activity members. And the spam needs to be gone completely. My guess is that this spammer will never know that his stuff is flagged as spam.
lemonie tecneeq7 years ago
Well I see the value in this and I think you do too. To reiterate: all Instructables are waved through by a group, or rejected (by the group). If the group fail to act it gets published anyway (after a period). L
. IMNSHO, it would be better to make all posts that make it through the filters immediately public (as now) and have a group "superflag" offenders as needed. YMMV. I don't like the idea of a time lag if it's not absolutely necessary. . Of course, without Robot behind the idea, all of this is just mental masturbation.
With reference to time-lag: if there are people online looking at stuff, they can be checking stuff. If the content is waiting to be checked then few people are wanting to look at it. L
ry259207 years ago
Yeah, I realize the admins have a pretty big job, but please. STOP THE ADS!!
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