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Search Keyword Spamming Has Begun!

Phil Deakins
Prim Savers = low prims
Join date: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 9,537
12-17-2007 08:15
Btw, Oryx. Search isn't intelligent. It has no concept of quality. All it has is raw data such as how many IBLs a place has, what it's name is, etc., and even those are only individual strings of characters (words) - they are not understood. That's why your friend's place is ahead of yours for 'sari'. Her place has more raw data that is counting for rankings than yours has.
Lindal Kidd
Dances With Noobs
Join date: 26 Jun 2007
Posts: 8,371
12-17-2007 10:28
From: Phil Deakins
Yes - profile Picks, and LMs that people have. SL said that they come from groups too but I haven't seen how that can be done, unless it's group owned land and group members count as IBLs.

SL searches have been gamed for ages - Places - so this isn't any different. But since it's Google technology, it provides more ways to game it :)


How many Picks are we allowed? There are an awful lot of SL merchants I'd be happy to help out, including Oryx.
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Okiphia Rayna
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12-17-2007 10:29
From: Lindal Kidd
How many Picks are we allowed? There are an awful lot of SL merchants I'd be happy to help out, including Oryx.

10 per av
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Maggie McArdle
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Join date: 8 May 2006
Posts: 2,855
12-17-2007 11:00
From: Sally Silvera
Okay, dumb question maybe, but I'm desperately trying to understand how this works.
If a store for instance, sells 100 dresses and labels every dress as a dress would that come up higher than someone selling 50 dresses and doing the same thing? Just trying to make sense of it really.


no, if someone wanted to boost their traffic, even if they dont sell clothing of any sort, but are NEAR a place that does, they can and have put in thier descriptions, that they have clothing. i cannot tel you how many times i have tp'd to a place looking for one thing, and the area i end up in has nothing to do with it.
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Phil Deakins
Prim Savers = low prims
Join date: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 9,537
12-17-2007 14:06
How it works, in a nutshell - I hope:

There are a number of ranking factors, and each of them can be given a different weight. For instance, a single IBL could count for more than the searchterm (the words you searched on) in the page, and it probably does. A score is calculated for each matching page, and they are listed according to that score.

A simplistic way of looking at the page score calculation is something like this. For every link that points to the page, add 1. For every instance of the searchterm in the page, add 0.75. If the full searchterm is in the page's Title, add 5. And then list the pages in score order.

That should give you an idea of what's going when a search query is being processed but, in reality, it's not as simplistic as that :)

This is Google technology, and Google weighs page Titles (the parcel name) heavily, so the chances are that SL does too, and it's likely to be a default weighting. Also, pages will match if they have only 1 of the words from the searchterm in them, and if they have more of the words but not continuous, and so on. The proximity of the words in the page is calculated and pages that have the exact phrase, for instance, will score better than those that don't.

In Google, the weight of a word or phrase is decreased with each instance of it in the page, until any more instances of it won't add anything to the score. I.e. the score for the page increases by a smaller and smaller amount with each instance of the word, until any more instances add nothing to the score. Imo, that's likely to be in the SL system, so adding hundreds of prims with the same phrase in them is likely to be a gross waste of prims. Adding some for various phrases - yes.

So the way to improve rankings is:-

1.Craft the parcel's name and description carfeully, with the most important searchterm(s) in the name, and *the* most important one at the front, because that's what is put into the page's important Title tag.

2. Get people to add the place to their Picks, and to LM it. That increases the IBLs, which probably weigh heavier than the words on the page, simply because they can be seen as votes for the place - that's something that Google's whole system is based on. I've tested the words in people's Picks, and they aren't used, so getting them to change the place name to suitable target phrases is no good. IBLs are merely counted, as was stated in the blog.

3. Add various searchterms in the names and descriptions of the objects on the land, and make sure that the objects are set to show in search. That gets those phrases onto the page where they will improve the page's score, so add at least several instances of each phrase. Existing objects can have the names and descriptions modified for the purpose. It doesn't necessarily need a load of extra prims.

Keep on with 2 and 3 until you move up the rankings. Don't forget that there may be quite a gap before you catch the ones ahead of you, and they may be doing the same things too :)

The All search is updated every 12 hours, so it never takes long for changes to show any effect.
Day Oh
Registered User
Join date: 3 Feb 2007
Posts: 1,257
12-17-2007 14:40
If it works much like Google, inbound links from pages with the same keywords would increase your ranking for those keywords, and having repetitive or stolen content would devalue a page. You also have to be careful about how quickly you gain links with Google, and buying links is disallowed, which opens up ways for your competitors to sabotage your rank. Dunno whether SL's search will be like that.
Kitty Barnett
Registered User
Join date: 10 May 2006
Posts: 5,586
12-17-2007 15:00
From: Phil Deakins
I've tested the words in people's Picks, and they aren't used, so getting them to change the place name to suitable target phrases is no good. IBLs are merely counted, as was stated in the blog.
At the risk of exposing yet another way to keyword spam: that doesn't seem to be true. You can "Google bomb" the new SL search.

Consider this search for "future perfect" (exact):
http://secondlife.com/app/search/search.php?hl=en&q=%22future+perfect%22&s=All

If you look at the two places matches (Bliss Gardens and HooterVille Saloon), you'll notice that neither has "future perfect" in their title, description or objects.

The reason it turns up is because two people have a pick named "Future Perfect" that links to "Bliss Gardens".

The reason it's associated with HooterVille is because someone else has a pick named "Future Perfect" that links to "HooterVille Saloon".

If you're selling skins, you'll want people to name their pick "skins" rather than your store name to increase your ranking for that keyword.
Har Fairweather
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Join date: 24 Jan 2007
Posts: 2,320
12-17-2007 15:16
From: Rhaorth Antonelli
it was rhetorical because I see so many ppl saying SL is not a game

SL is whatever each person chooses to make it for themselves

for me it is a game at times and not at others


Agree. It's a platform. A game platform for some, a socializing platform for some, a game for some.

Main thing to remember, Sl has this in common with RL: It is Darwinian, and what survives and prospers may not be what you - or LL - like.
Rene Erlanger
Scuderia Shapes & Skins G
Join date: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 2,008
12-17-2007 15:46
well from what i can see with this New Search

- the big and well known creators will remain unaffected by New Search and probably don't require to game the system it any way. Places like the Quad sims or Naughty Designs or others are already well established via word of mouth & reputation and have strong Customer Groups.

- Does not favour small land owners with small shops because of prim limitations

- For whatever reason it does not favour Shopping Malls.....the majority of them. I also think using an army of camper of bots has less weight in the rankings. Might as well cut back on the camping and save a few bucks or get rid of them....unless you think that the majority of people use PLACES search for shopping Malls...........they don't!

- A creator with a large shop, large land with lots of different products should do ok under the new system.....but still require to work the system. (IBL's, descriptions, classified ads & customer groups)

- Small creators that don't have land with low content and that soley rely on Shopping Malls or Markets (like Gorean Markets) will lose out, as the walk through traffic will likely decrease.

- Creators using a Vending machine to sell products are also penalised, as the current New ALL Search systems only reads the description of the Vending Machine and not the products delivered from a server. So prim display boards are the way forward.


How rankings could be manipulated and probably are.

- Increasing parcels or land holding and use the Titles effectively
- Producing sh@t load of dummy or duplicate prims. Setting them all for seach and sale utilising Keywords in their descriptions.
- Increasing AV's to include your business in their Picks. There's aready a system developed and being sold that pays people to place your business in their Picks, It might be something that will replace camping.....thats if 1 Pick is valued more than camping units for that Land in terms of relevancies. You can also do this by creating a multitude of ALTS and have them include your business in Picks.
- Groups. We have seen some Groups on a campaign in increasing membership numbers, although i haven't quite figured how it works in terms of relevancies.


The bottom line is that creators will have to spend more time worrying and trying to manipulate Search than actually do what they love best.......creating!
Phil Deakins
Prim Savers = low prims
Join date: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 9,537
12-17-2007 15:48
You're right Kitty. At least I assume you are - I can't find where 'future perfect' comes from, and I'm not going looking through all the group members' profiles, even though only 1 of those 2 places is now being listed.

I think where my test was wrong was that it too brief. I changed the name of a pick to something that produced no results, waited for the All search to be updated, it wasn't listed, so I assumed that 'link text' isn't incorporated, and that what they said in the blog (that links are simply counted), was wholly true.

What I've since noticed is that different things are updated at different times. For instance, right now the Popular search webpages show different numbers than the Places search. I probably stopped the test too soon.

And TY! for that information :)
Phil Deakins
Prim Savers = low prims
Join date: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 9,537
12-17-2007 15:50
From: Kitty Barnett
If you're selling skins, you'll want people to name their pick "skins" rather than your store name to increase your ranking for that keyword.

If you're selling skins, you want the word "skins" in the land's name, and preferably at or near the front ;)
Cristalle Karami
Lady of the House
Join date: 4 Dec 2006
Posts: 6,222
12-17-2007 15:58
From: Kitty Barnett
At the risk of exposing yet another way to keyword spam: that doesn't seem to be true. You can "Google bomb" the new SL search.

Consider this search for "future perfect" (exact):
http://secondlife.com/app/search/search.php?hl=en&q=%22future+perfect%22&s=All

If you look at the two places matches (Bliss Gardens and HooterVille Saloon), you'll notice that neither has "future perfect" in their title, description or objects.

The reason it turns up is because two people have a pick named "Future Perfect" that links to "Bliss Gardens".

The reason it's associated with HooterVille is because someone else has a pick named "Future Perfect" that links to "HooterVille Saloon".

If you're selling skins, you'll want people to name their pick "skins" rather than your store name to increase your ranking for that keyword.

This is precisely why there either needs to be a friends tab, or elimination of picks as an inbound link. People put their friends and family in picks without thought of where they are doing it. A separate friend tab would be useful to reduce the number of these friends showing up in picks when the person has no intention of promoting that parcel as a place to go. I bet the picture associated with the pick is something out of left field in relation to the actual activity on the plot.
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Kitty Barnett
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Join date: 10 May 2006
Posts: 5,586
12-17-2007 16:09
From: Phil Deakins
If you're selling skins, you want the word "skins" in the land's name, and preferably at or near the front ;)
Anyone could "Google bomb" though and be the top result for any keyword just by gaming picks. You can probably even use the wiki to generate incoming links since it indexes that as well.

Using web site indexing for SL really doesn't make any sense, instead of one obvious way to game search we'll end up with half a dozen ways and worse results than before because the new gaming isn't as noticable as it is with traffic :(.
Bradley Bracken
Goodbye, Farewell, Amen
Join date: 2 Apr 2007
Posts: 3,856
12-17-2007 16:21
From: Rene Erlanger
- Increasing AV's to include your business in their Picks. There's aready a system developed and being sold that pays people to place your business in their Picks, It might be something that will replace camping


I remember being in a store that offered monthly cash drawings for all those that had their store listed in "My Picks". I thought this was odd because I didn't know of any way to track this. If there is it wouldn't be a bad idea. Is there a way that I'm not aware of?
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Nimue Jewell
Unabashedly Leggy
Join date: 20 Mar 2007
Posts: 1,745
12-17-2007 16:36
From: Bradley Bracken
I remember being in a store that offered monthly cash drawings for all those that had their store listed in "My Picks". I thought this was odd because I didn't know of any way to track this. If there is it wouldn't be a bad idea. Is there a way that I'm not aware of?


I remember a store that did this for group members. They awarded a prize once a month or so for a random group member, but to win you had to have them in your picks. I assume that the store owner has to manually check the profile after they draw a name to see if the store is currently in the person's picks. If not, I guess they draw again until they find someone.
Phil Deakins
Prim Savers = low prims
Join date: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 9,537
12-17-2007 16:38
From: Kitty Barnett
Anyone could "Google bomb" though and be the top result for any keyword just by gaming picks. You can probably even use the wiki to generate incoming links since it indexes that as well.

Using web site indexing for SL really doesn't make any sense, instead of one obvious way to game search we'll end up with half a dozen ways and worse results than before because the new gaming isn't as noticable as it is with traffic :(.

GoogleBombing is getting webpages to the top that don't contain the words in the searchterm, by the use of link and their link text. The most well known example is a search for "miserable failure", which brings a George Bush page up at the top. It's only a bit of fun, and there's no point in doing it in SL, because people search for places and things, and not for miscellaneous stuff like that. But it would still be just a bit of fun if they did.

Using links and link text, and doing other such things to achieve the same top rankings, is normal search engine optimisation, and now that SL is using a Google search engine, it will happen here much more than it did before. But let's not lose sight of the fact that the people who did it before, with traffic, are the same people will do it now, so nothing much will change in that respect. The top ones in Places are likely to be at or near the top in the new All. However, there are now more ways for people to do things, without resorting to the traffic method, and more people will have a reasonable chance to make some headway in the search results. That can't be bad :)

Incidentally - about the posts that stated what SL is - a game, etc. Imo, it's not a game because it doesn't have any gameplay. It's a place to be, and everyone makes of it what they will. For some it's a business, and significant real money is made - even livelihoods. So, for those for whom it is a business, performing search engine optimisation is just business, and a perfectly valid thing to do.
Rene Erlanger
Scuderia Shapes & Skins G
Join date: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 2,008
12-17-2007 16:40
Yep-it's being sold on SLEX for 1500 L. You can set the parameters of the device.

Here is the desciption from the Creator.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This device allows you to pay residents a fixed amount each month that they continue to list your location in their "Profile Picks"
SecondLife Search System uses resident's Picks as part of the ranking system for search results.

The more people who list you in their picks, the closer to the top of any search results for your parcel keywords you will be!

It is also an advantage to appear in people's profile Picks as a form of advertising for your location.

This works in a similar way to other camping systems or traffic aids. It is designed to increase traffic to your parcel by improving your search results and by you appearing in other resident's Profile Picks.

Residents who add you to their picks will have to wait between 12-24 hours before they can receive their first payment. After that, they must wait 30 days before clicking the Picks Camping System again to receive their next payment.

Each resident can only receive one payout per parcel you use the Picks Camping System on, per-month.

If they remove you from their Picks during the following month they cannot receive another payment at the end of the month even if they add you back in to their Picks.

The JVA Picks Camping System uses menu and notecard configuration.

Configuration Options:

- Payment Rate per resident per month.
- Maximum payout per day (to limit your max spend)

- Anti-Bot 'captcha' security option
- Reject "no payment info on file" security option
- Networked Ban List global security option


The prim is modifiable and so you can customize it with your own texture and change the size etc.

The system is copyable so you can rez as many as you like on various parcels and the system will not pay out double, even if you have more than one on the same parcel.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I haven't actually bought one myself, because i have wondered what if the AV removes the Pick after he or she is paid. I think the creator is trying to produce an updated version or has produced one that has countered this..

EDIT - I have bought one now and am testing it out, to see if it makes any difference over a month. I guess this is just another form of camping.
Phil Deakins
Prim Savers = low prims
Join date: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 9,537
12-17-2007 16:45
From: Bradley Bracken
I remember being in a store that offered monthly cash drawings for all those that had their store listed in "My Picks". I thought this was odd because I didn't know of any way to track this. If there is it wouldn't be a bad idea. Is there a way that I'm not aware of?
Now there is a way. The Profiles are now published as webpages, and it's easy enough for a programmer to write a little programme to check people's Picks - probably on a daily basis. Which means that offering incentives for Picks can be monitored. It's worth considering, but we'd need to have some idea of how effective a Pick actually is. The very basis of Google's search engine system is links, as I mentioned earlier, so it's reasonable to assume that SL links have a very similar effect, and are worth a *lot* more than words on the page, which was the topic of this thread :)
SuezanneC Baskerville
Forums Rock!
Join date: 22 Dec 2003
Posts: 14,229
12-17-2007 19:16
Can we expect wiki camping paying people to add links in the wiki?

Fill your user page in the wiki with popular keywords and links to parcels ?

The links count as in bound links and the keywords make your wiki page show up the search results? Is that how this works? What parts of the wiki count? Just secondlife:// urls or what?
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Malik Bode
Registered User
Join date: 27 Dec 2006
Posts: 23
This is peoples money the lindens are playin with
12-17-2007 20:19
I've read lots of comments on the new search functions. However i think it is irresponsible of the lindens to take monies from customers and then not provide the service paid for.

My own business has dropped by 90% since the introduction of the new search and my ad was taken offline and deleted from the system. All while i was on holiday and could not check.

We deserve better from the lindens than to have our monies used to test beta software.

For many of us it's our livelyhoods that they play god with and its not ethical.
Rene Erlanger
Scuderia Shapes & Skins G
Join date: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 2,008
12-17-2007 22:06
From: Malik Bode
I've read lots of comments on the new search functions. However i think it is irresponsible of the lindens to take monies from customers and then not provide the service paid for.

My own business has dropped by 90% since the introduction of the new search and my ad was taken offline and deleted from the system. All while i was on holiday and could not check.

We deserve better from the lindens than to have our monies used to test beta software.

For many of us it's our livelyhoods that they play god with and its not ethical.


i agree - its going to be a real challenge keeping your business visible......not to mention time consuming!
Day Oh
Registered User
Join date: 3 Feb 2007
Posts: 1,257
12-18-2007 00:07
From: Bradley Bracken
I remember being in a store that offered monthly cash drawings for all those that had their store listed in "My Picks". I thought this was odd because I didn't know of any way to track this. If there is it wouldn't be a bad idea. Is there a way that I'm not aware of?


Kinda... this is all I know...

1. Grab the link for your land's page
Example: http://world.secondlife.com/place/2d63388e-659c-7c87-8609-8be12dd4eede
2. Search for link:<url>
Example:
3. Refresh a few times, if you don't see results
Haravikk Mistral
Registered User
Join date: 8 Oct 2005
Posts: 2,482
12-18-2007 04:09
This is why it's a mistake to use this style of search. Search should work by only indexing descriptions for people/places/classifieds, and doing so based on informational content (i.e. - if it looks like a keyword spam page then it gets ignored, Google does do this to some extent). There should be no indexing of objects, no weighting given to links (in picks) and no traffic. The little classifieds listing to the side is fine I suppose.
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Phil Deakins
Prim Savers = low prims
Join date: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 9,537
12-18-2007 05:59
From: Malik Bode
I've read lots of comments on the new search functions. However i think it is irresponsible of the lindens to take monies from customers and then not provide the service paid for.

My own business has dropped by 90% since the introduction of the new search and my ad was taken offline and deleted from the system. All while i was on holiday and could not check.

We deserve better from the lindens than to have our monies used to test beta software.

For many of us it's our livelyhoods that they play god with and its not ethical.
Welcome to the world of real search engines :)

It happens all the time with RL search engines, and it's perfectly ethical. Whenever they change something to try and improve their results, many people's rankings suffer, and many other people's rankings improve. Those who suffer cry "foul". But that's the way it is, and crying foul may help to get it off your chest, but it won't change it.

It is not the responsibility of a search engine, or of SL, to do things that ensure the continuation of people's livelihoods - that's for the people to do. What search engines and SL do is try to improve the search results for users. It is up to businesses to adapt to each change, and business owners should accept that they don't have any instrinsic right to be ranked at or near the top, just because they were ranked there yesterday.

Business owners should consider themselves very fortunate that, at the moment, SL provides guaranteed ways of being at the top of the rankings - that's something that RL search engines don't provide. The top spots in Classifieds can be bought - simple as that. And there are many ways to improve the Places rankings - top rankings there are not difficult. We are very fortunate.

But don't think that's it's alright for me to talk like this, because I haven't suffered from it. I've been wiped out by Google more than once - losing many tens of thousands of $, and killing off very luctrative incomes for me. So I do know how it feels.
Day Oh
Registered User
Join date: 3 Feb 2007
Posts: 1,257
12-18-2007 07:21
When someone cried about Google screwing their company/product website, they were lucky to get the traffic for free in the first place... but in SL you're paying a little bit :-S
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