Two illustrious Internet audiences, the Web’s leading authorities on online security and the leading practitioners of advanced search engine marketing, descended on Seattle last week. What the two groups had in common was a bright line between White Hat “best practices” and stealthy Black Hat maneuvers, although which tactics were being censured and which advocated was sometimes in question.
The AOTA Summit 2008 attracted the chief security advocates for Microsoft, Avenue A | Razorfish, eBay, PayPal,. the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the FBI and the White House, along with Wash.-state attorney general Rob McKenna and Craig’sList founder Craig Newmark. The theme, “”Reaching the Tipping Point: The Future of Online Trust” was based on instilling consumer confidence.
Craig Spiezle, director of the Authentication and Online Trust Alliance which organized the event explained that spam is a tactic of choice for many criminals working online.
“There’s a big proportion of mail today that is spam,” he said. “Just by opening up a mail, there’s a potential your unprotected user or unprotected PC could have malware loaded on their machine.”
“There’s another whole area of corrupting and comprising ad servers today …You see an ad, you click on a link and you actually are taken to site that tries to get malware on you,” he said.
That illicit tactic overlaps with a concept analyzed at SMX Advanced and known in the search engine world as “cloaking,” where a link you clicked on to reach a particular goal did not lead to the destination you had in mind. In the search example, the content of the destination site was withheld or misdirected by the search engine spider. Advanced search marketers are conflicted about the relative degree of risk that a search engine like Google will allow or find acceptable. Some to try and eke out an extra advantage for their Website’s visbility.
In a lively discussion post about the relative value of “dark side” tactics at a search conference, organizer Danny Sullivan was apologetic, “The conference had content that was far more blackhat that I would have liked to have seen. It had content I was embarrassed to see presented, because it is not about the type of SEO I’d like people to learn or know about.”
Having said that, many conference goers appreciated learning more about the black arts of search. They learned what to look out for from competitors, while being amused by the pure entertainment value of the aggressive, and sometimes brutally effective, “overnight sensation” power of the black hat tactics being discussed.
SEO pundit Michael Gray was outspoken, “If Google were Hostess Twinkies, they would take up 90% of the shelf space in your local super market. Sure you could always stop by the bakery and pick up yestedays day old Yahoo bagels or the produce department and pick up that crazy [MSN] fruit that they keep changing the name of, but you’d still be tripping over pop up displays of Twinkies in every aisle.
“Corporations shouldn’t make the rules in any industry, but in our world they do, and it’s even worse that it’s not even multiple companies but just one. It’s not about right or wrong, it’s about Google’s way or everything else. “ .[24×7]
AskMe Corp. Merges with Japan’s REALCOM
AskMe Corporation has been acquired by REALCOM Inc., a leading provider of content and knowledge management services and solutions. Based in Japan, REALCOM is listed and publicly traded on the Tokyo Mothers stock exchange. Under the terms of the agreement AskMe will remain based in Seattle, WA as a subsidiary of REALCOM Inc.
AskMe Enterprise has been deployed by a robust list of blue chip companies that include Procter & Gamble, Novartis, Timken, Pratt & Whitney, Gerber, PTC, and others.
The two companies have begun executing integrating operations, technologies and development teams to ensure a smooth transition and immediate value for customers, partners and investors. AskMe will soon integrate their product roadmap along with increased product investments to build upon the success of the AskMe Enterprise “Azo” release to innovate further in the Enterprise 2.0 marketplace. Udai Shekawat will assume the role of chief operating officer of REALCOM’s US operation and Anil Kumar remains as Vice President of Field Operations. “You keep one foot in front of the other,” Shekawat said. “If you had talked to me in 1999, I never could have told you it would have worked out this way. But you keep plugging away.” [24×7]