Sorry this site requires JavaScript to be enabled in your browser. See the following guide on How to enable JavaScript in Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox and Safari. Alternatively you may be blocking JavaScript with an advert-related or developer plugin. Please check your browser plugins.

Search Engine Land - There is a cautionary tale for Yahoo, Google or any company that allows user generated content in their local product. These affiliate spammers are deceptively providing a "service" that is unneeded and unwanted. Whatever they are making is too much. Milton Friedman may view this as the "efficiency of the market" but I view it as theft. The victim is the Marriott and ultimately the consumer. Previous types of mapspam seemed to skirt the edges of the law. Affiliate mapspam seems to break the law.
Comments10 Comments  

Comments

Avatar
from mblumenthal 2462 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Spam’s new frontier seems to be local. Always amazing what lengths folks will go to for a few dollars.Thanks for the Sphinn.Mike Blumenthal

Avatar
from MiriamEllis 2462 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Geez, Mike, that is seriously disturbing. Marriott needs to get with it and claim their listings or claim that back, to begin with, and then they need to get in touch with the spammer.The trouble is, there’s nothing in place to prevent the spammer from going in and changing it back to their own redirect URL the minute Marriott’s back is turned. This uncovers a very real problem and I think your legal questions deserve answers.Really good article!Miriam

Avatar
from mblumenthal 2462 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Hi MiriamI initially uncovered only 49 out of the 8500 records but as I uncover more of their domains, the number may be much higher and the problem even bigger than I initially tallied.If a business has claimed the record, do you think that they would allow it to be changed back?Mike

Avatar
from MiriamEllis 2462 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Well, I’m assuming they would. Wouldn’t they? I hadn’t thought that they wouldn’t....Hmm....Miriam

Avatar
from CavanMoon 2462 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Hi Mike and Miriam,It appears that you can go back and change a business listing on Yahoo even after it’s been claimed.  Unless we’re missing something, simply claiming a business isn’t enough to give you "Merchant verified" status.  We’re speculating that you must be an advertiser to acheive this, probably through Yahoo Local or the Yellow Pages.  Also, while Yahoo does require you to sign in if you wish to add or edit info as the business owner or employee, they do not require any sign-in to add or edit as a customer.CavaneClick Performance

Avatar
from MiriamEllis 2462 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Cavan -Thank you for coming to comment on this.So, in the Marriott scenario, would this mean that Marriott would need to assume the role of customer in order to edit the listing back to the proper url? Is that what it comes down to or am I misunderstanding.One thing about this...it’s happening on Yahoo! and they have an actual phone number you can call to speak to a local rep (unlike Google). Has anyone alerted Marriott to this? They obviously need to know about it, and maybe their first step should be to call Yahoo and show them the problem. Miriam

Avatar
from Gab 2462 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Mike, great find. You’re constantly discovering these affiliate moves, eh?While normally I would defend an affiliate’s right to use local, I agree with you here that it’s quite undeserved.

Avatar
from TheMadHat 2462 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Good post. And thanks for the idea ;)

Avatar
from LindaBuquet 2462 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I wrote a big long blog about about Mike’s SEL article today and lots of people from CJ as well as some pretty connected affiliate managers read the 5 Star Affiliate Blog. So I’m pretty sure someone will get word to CJ or the Marriott.

Avatar
from CavanMoon 2461 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Miriam, I think it would be more appropriate for Marriott, Hilton and other hotels to assume the role of the business owner for making edits.  We’ve been able to successfully change one of these affiliate spam listings that way, although it did take a few days to go through.  We’ve also attempted to change another affiliate link by editing as a customer, but are still waiting to see a result.  Also, our client is a member of the Marriott family and we immediately alerted them to this issue.

Upcoming Conferences

Search Marketing ExpoSearch Engine Land produces SMX, the Search Marketing Expo conference series. SMX events deliver the most comprehensive educational and networking experiences - whether you're just starting in search marketing or you're a seasoned expert.



Join us at an upcoming SMX event: