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Discussing about DirBull.com

Discussion in 'Directories' started by suwandichen13, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #101
    snowbird, If your press release was not self-promotional, why then does it mention VMOptions 6 times within the release and the bio? Why did you not mention David, Dan or Bruce by name? It seems all three of them have certainly earned at least a mention. Based on Dan's comments here, it would seem you didn't at least ask them if they wanted to be included before you posted the release.

    The whole release implies that VMOptions is somehow spearheading the effort. From what I've seen posting the list in a public forum only served to prod the hackers into action. I looked at several whois records for sites involved and they all were no longer showing the ownership details and all had been modified less than 24 hours after you went public with the list.

    A series of crimes have been committed here, at least in the countries that consider hacking a crime, and it should have been handled in a more circumspect fashion. This project should have been organized via an email ring or through a special private/invitation only section on someone's forum. Going public was a mistake. Everyone here knows the primary players. It wouldn't have been too hard to set something up.

    It's done now and hopefully those taking an active role have kept good records.

    There's a part of me that doesn't feel sorry for the submitters who were snookered. They were buying page rank. They've been told not to do it and they continue to do it anyway. They're buying snake oil and now are unhappy it didn't work out. tsk tsk If they had educated themselves on what makes a good directory before spending $70 or more on a listing, they might have realized that a site with around 60 listings for Indian florists was a bad deal. Flower test anyone?
    SEMrush
    Google's desire to hang onto a system of grading sites that they have obviously lost control of has led to this. I have little doubt that this type of thing is happening in every sector on the web. Too much money is at stake. As long as Google continues to state that PR is an evaluation of a site's quality, this crap is going to continue.

    The true victims here are the sites that have been hacked by sites operating within our industry. That is what should have directory owners angry.
     
    YMC, Feb 8, 2013 IP
    SEMrush
  2. silencer

    silencer Well-Known Member

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    #102
    @snowbird you need to stop taking things personally and getting your knickers in a knot. You can call me pathetic, arrogant, running my mouth or whatever abuse you like. You won't ruffle my feathers, because quite frankly, this is far bigger than you or me.

    However, why should I sit here whilst you pretend that you've somehow been involved or instigated action? You haven't. Whilst I don't expect you to stand around doing nothing, I also don't expect you to claim that you are somehow getting results.

    You posted two lists of largely duplicated URLs which are available from just about anywhere. The majority of the network is/was available from DirCut. Clearly your idea of involvement is different to mine.

    Running my mouth? Or giving the credit where it is due. Your initial response at v7n was to call the exercise a waste of time. Now you have jumped on the bandwagon and are pretending you initiated the activity.

    You didn't. It's been going on for weeks before you even knew about it. If you want to get involved great. If you want to kick and scream and whinge, don't get up me because I'm cutting through the crap and telling people the truth.

    Your press release was a joke. It's grandstanding. It's not serious. It doesn't say who is involved. It sure does talk about your own interests a lot though. If you were concerned about the community, your post would be about the community not yourself.

    To make matters worse, you use language that implies people are "anxiously awaiting action". We aren't awaiting anything. We've been knee deep in the action. We are creating the action. Whilst you still stand around on your soap box whingeing.

    I'm running from forum to forum? I'm on here and v7n - probably more often than you are. I'm not running anywhere. I'm not trying to impress anyone. Your the one who wrote 2 full paragraphs about your own self interests in a press release. I didn't do that. I didn't initiate any public threads on this. I've been busy actually doing something.

    I haven't claimed any rights to anything. What I will note though, and which I want you to remember, is you said that whilst going after Hackers was noble it was a complete waste of time. Suddenly you've changed your tune and your trying to hold me accountable for my involvement. I'm not beholden to you, and I don't need to share anything with you. Quite frankly, you haven't given me any reason to trust you and the fact that you were totally against this to begin with and are suddenly now all for it --- well that just seems mighty fishy to me.

    I won't get off your case whilst you pretend you are somehow the action man, when you've done nothing of note. Your press release is a failure for the community, though it is a good marketing and link bait opportunity for your own interests, so kudos to you on that. You certainly can take advantage.

    I haven't dictated anything to anyone.

    You entered the thread on v7n and said it was a waste of time going after the hackers. You entered that directory industry discussion and put down the activity of everyone already involved.

    You're angry at me because I turned around and showed you that this is not a joke. It's serious, and I made a call to action to get others involved.

    You can sit there and fake offence all you like. Just remember you said it was a waste of time.

    I'm one of many whose dedicated days and weeks of my time on this, and you called it a waste of time.

    When you have more respect for the industry, I'll have more respect for you. Remember you have to earn it. It's folks like YOU that fracture it and weaken it.

    Having said all of that, and in a vein in which you *should* take not personally but constructively, I would urge you to actually get involved and beginning helping the cause. I'm not interested in being personal, but I'm also against people trying to taking advantage of a negative situation. Promoting yourself in press releases under the guise of pro active behaviour isn't helping. Sorry. It just isn't.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
    silencer, Feb 8, 2013 IP
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  3. snowbird

    snowbird Notable Member

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    #103
    A press release has to be "newsworthy." Unlike an article, it can't randomly name an event otherwise editors reject it. Therefore, VMOptions had to be named in it. It's wrong to imply that it sounds like VMOptions spearheaded such an effort when the release opens with "As the result of many webmaster forum discussions involving high pagerank web directories, an analysis has been conducted and concluded that a large web directory network is hacking websites to hide their links to artificially inflate their pagerank." Additionally, the release also states in closing "As a member of this industry, where high quality web directories are distinguished by their content and features, VMOptions has joined with other respected community members to minimize the security threats posed by those that seek to manipulate Google’s pagerank by hacking into websites." The "newsworthy" part of the release is that VMOptions joined with others to minimize the security threat, even if such efforts are solo (common cause). If the release were truly self-promotional, I would not have linked to this thread and the one at V7N and instead created a thread/page on vmoptions.com to link to. A bio is required at most press release sites, which must include some limited contact information otherwise they won't accept it. The structure of a press release is better explained by visiting http://www.webwire.com/FormatGuidelines.asp or another website that offers such services.

    I feel that I have done nothing to defend in the press release, and won't discuss the issue much more. Future press releases will be similar as they must conform to ordinary press release guidelines (newsworthy).

    YMC, have you read the thread over at V7N? Have you viewed how I was trashed for simply offering some ideas? I got the "it's my way or the highway" impression real quick even though I offered my opinion/help on the project. When that failed, I took action for the victims, our industry and for those that contacted me after I saw the scope of this network. Keep in mind that I know people that pay their mortgages with their directory income, car payments and even those that just make some spare money to take their kids to a movie. Also, I have ties to the military. When I saw the American Legion website hacked, it kind of got under my skin.

    While many people don't feel bad for those that get snookered by these directories, the fact remains that those who spend money at such directories won't have that money to spend at other directories, on Adwords, etc. The person operating this network is using a low-handed technique that does directly deplete the marketing budgets of those who are prone to submit to directories. This creates a significant industry-wide problem for other directories and for those submitting to such directories. For example, I looked at the top ten directories in this network earlier. These are the submissions they received today:

    February 8, 2013 Submissions (Today)
    BzDir 1 x 44.95 = 44.95
    MedRanks 4 x 69.95 = 279.80
    DirNext 2 x 65.95 = 131.90
    DirectoryTribe 2 x 52.99 = 105.98
    DirectoryShine 7 x 49.99 =349.93
    DirBull 1 x 66.98 = 66.98

    The daily total on just ten directories is: 979.54
    (assumes no discounts/owner added submissions)

    Keep in mind I looked at only ten directories out of the 167 I posted. Assuming this network produces very little additional income from the other 157 directories, which is unlikely, each month it produces $30,000.00 a month in income at a minimum. This network is far more sophisticated and financially sound then any other network I've seen, and I've seen a few over the years. This network is too well funded to be addressed by notifying owners of websites, one by one, to remove the hacked backlinks. If Google does not take a manual action against this network, by seeing it in its current state, they will have a harder time developing an algorithmic solution that prevents this from happening in the future. And being so well funded, I doubt this network operator is going to disappear. From what he/she makes in just a few days, he/she can be up and running with hundreds of new domains hosted on entirely different hosts and still have money left to to find/use new security vulnerabilities.

    Some have said that they have been working on taking this network down for a couple weeks. At the rate of income this network is generating, during such time it earned around $14,000 at a minimum. This is an extraordinary situation, if left unchecked, that could further drive more business owners to lose trust in directories and their value. Unfortunately PR is what most of these people look at to gauge the value of a directory instead of content. Even Matt Cutts stated in his video a couple days ago that some ordinary people use pagerank to judge the reputation of a website. Watch the video as he did reference this.

    As I noted previously, the scope of this particular network and the revenue it generates is too big for one, two or three people to tackle. The only reason why the network thrives is because a Google employee has not physically looked at it yet. The faster we encourage Google to do so, the better it is for the victims and our industry.

    I can understand why some may disagree with my approach. However, everyone needs to understand this is a very well funded network that has apparently been operating for years. Because of their length of time running this network, and the fact that they have so many directories, dealing with this issue is not a task best left to a handful of people (including myself). Everyone has limits on time, money, etc. Google created the pagerank monster, and they are the ones that can put this network back in its cage. My efforts in the past and in the future are only to see that it happens sooner rather than later.
     
    snowbird, Feb 8, 2013 IP
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  4. swedal

    swedal Notable Member

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    #104
    Guys it is time to focus on what needs to be done.

    Rather than bicker link profiles might have been done on a dozen of the hackers sites, with notices sent to the sites hacked and reported all of them to Google.

    Legion.org response shows they don't like being hacked and are now taking action to prevent it. I talked with their unix administrator on the phone and he was not pleased.

    Dan's earned the right to be critical of actions being taken if he wants. Because he is neck deep in working this. Anyone not taking active action has not earned the right to criticize those who are in my opinion. Personally I care a he#& of a lot less about credit than I do results and I am pretty sure that those actually working this feel the same way.

    The only way anything will change is if people actually do something other than grandstand or wait around for others to do it for them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
    swedal, Feb 8, 2013 IP
  5. silencer

    silencer Well-Known Member

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    #105
    @Snowbird - anyone that reads the press release will assume you spearheaded the initiative. Play with semantics all you want, the line "an analysis has been conducted and concluded that a large web directory network is hacking websites to hide their links to artificially inflate their pagerank." --- Who did that analysis? Don't newsworthy items quote sources? (those are rhetorical questions. I don't wish to debate them ad infiniteum - just think about it eh).

    The press release, for all intents and purposes, does nothing but spruik your interests for 2 paragraphs. I'm sure in future you'll look back and smile at the genius of it as you are remembered as the great altruistic directory saviour. I couldn't care less how many of them you do, but if you think they are activity or helping you are kidding yourself.

    You weren't lambasted at v7n for your ideas. You were lambasted for suggesting activity was a waste of time. THEN turning around and saying "we should be doing this, and this and that". Ummm we were already knee deep in the thing, all we wanted you to do was say "How can I help" and we would've told you what we were doing. Nope you were only interested in putting it down, and then when you got interested you wanted to implement all your own strategies. Cool, go off and do those strategies, if you weren't looking for approval from anyone why make suggestions?

    Somebody (not me) told you that we were already doing most of the stuff you suggested. It's not anyones way.

    Don't come on here and whine about it getting under your skin, and that you feel hard done by because I'm blunt and am not interested sitting around debating this for a week whilst you catch up. I've told you already we are KNEE DEEP IN THIS ALREADY. We don't need suggestions, we need activity. If you are so damn clever just start doing something already. SHEESH!

    You can crap on all you want about being victimised, and you can point your finger of blame at me if you feel better but quite frankly, the customers are gonna be thanking the people who got rid of these idiots. To put it in perspective for you I've personally reported more than 220 URLs (some repeats now up to 6 times) and that's just me. David is a machine. I couldn't tell you how prolific his work has been because i haven't caught up yet. I've got about 12 emails worth of stuff I need to go through.

    New URLs are being uncovered every time we dig. Do you really want me to come back here and keep you up to date every 5 minutes so you don't feel victimised? Sorry if I'm blunt, but I told you that my passion is stronger than your feelings mate. It's much bigger than you or me. It's massive. I can't believe how many sites are hacked and the nature of those sites just makes it worse.

    We know it's making money. We know its a travesty. When are you going to start getting involved?

    Your approach is to stand here discussing it. You've mentioned its making money. Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words. Get your crew to start reporting. You have a list of URLs, you know the score, why aren't you just hammering them???

    Contact Google employers, contact owners of the links on the directories, contact owners of the hacked websites. Contact whoever you can. But puhhhlllleeeease don't stand there and act all high and mighty because u issued a generalised press release that self serves your own interests. That IS NOT HELPING!
     
    silencer, Feb 8, 2013 IP
  6. snowbird

    snowbird Notable Member

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    #106
    A large chunk of the network list I posted on V7N, so myself and others could immediately begin to submit reports, was not getting involved? The people I personally asked to use my list to submit reports to Google was not getting involved? The press release I paid for, in hopes that someone from Google will see it, was not getting involved? Contacting someone I know that is paying for listings in this network (I saw their listing when doing research), and probably losing a customer for life, is not getting involved?

    I've done quite a bit silencer, yet still find the time to rebuke your personal disdain for me. Now that we both understand that we both have a "passion" for an industry, albeit from different angles, let's get back on topic. It's an unneeded distraction that simply gives this network operator more time to rebuild.
     
    snowbird, Feb 9, 2013 IP
  7. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #107
    Perhaps, just perhaps we should all take a big breath. Myself included. We all have a lot of history with each other. We've all done and said things that have made each other mad. We all don't agree on how this industry should be run. Heck, some days we can't even agree on what makes a good directory. We've never been able to develop a unified front and organize ourselves. Perhaps this is the push we all need to put on our big girl and boy pants and stop squabbling and work together.

    Three people here have gone all in to fight these folks. No joke, they have put themselves in the line of fire and have risked these folks coming after them and their sites.

    No matter what personal differences anyone has with any of the three, they should be "in charge" of the brigade. By "in charge", I mean coordinating the efforts of any volunteers. They started the project and unless they agree otherwise, they should be the ones calling the shots.

    At least one of them, Dan, has publicly made it clear that he feels ownership over this project. I think he's earned the right to feel that way.

    We should be asking them what they need and how we can help them. We should be thanking them for jumping in with both feet. We all knew about these hackers for several years. They finally decided to do something and now people are wanting a piece of the action. That's great but it has turned into yet another clusterf..k.

    Can't we just work together for once? Can't we just put our egos aside and allow someone else to take the lead? Can't we just, for once, do something positive without flaying each other?

    I'll be quiet now. I've jumped in where perhaps I didn't belong, left a suggestion for a way for us to get out of the morass we have once again sunk into and will now leave this issue for the three heroes in this story to hopefully get back on track.
     
    YMC, Feb 9, 2013 IP
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  8. snowbird

    snowbird Notable Member

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    #108
    YMC, that is probably the most sensible post I've seen in a long time. Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts on the impact of such personal differences. The situation is stressful/time consuming enough for anyone that cares about the directory industry including silencer, swedal, dvdduval. I certainly don't want to add to that burden.

    Have a good weekend.
     
    snowbird, Feb 9, 2013 IP
  9. Mia

    Mia R.I.P. STEVE JOBS

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    #109
    Ditto on everything. Am involved and thanks Duval! I was just as naive, assuming all the while that Google could actually ban the entire network and figure this out for themselves. Hell, they seem to easily discount the legitimate directories to no end, so why would the not notice this massive linking scheme and hammer the sites themselves?

    I guess its up to us now.
     
    Mia, Feb 11, 2013 IP
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  10. CanadianEh

    CanadianEh Notable Member

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    #110
    I agree. I too believed that it was so obvious that Google would take care of it. Research as shown that the network in question is much bigger than I would have ever guessed. David deserves the credit for sticking his neck out the furthest and the earliest.

    Now lets hope G does something about it.
     
    CanadianEh, Feb 11, 2013 IP
  11. Mia

    Mia R.I.P. STEVE JOBS

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    #111
    Agreed. At this point all I can do is keep reporting the sites and notifying admins of their hacked pages. Thus far I have seen no response from either end of that spectrum.
     
    Mia, Feb 11, 2013 IP
  12. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #112
    I've been playing with words for several days. Trying to figure out a good subject line to suggest everyone try. Think about all the spam and fake virus alerts that we all see. I could see a lot of the victims deleting the emails under the assumption it's a bogus message rather than risk infecting their machines by opening them.
     
    YMC, Feb 11, 2013 IP
  13. discover

    discover Notable Member

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    #113
    You do realise you advertise some of those same directories on your http://www.web-directories.ws site?
     
    discover, Feb 13, 2013 IP
  14. dvduval

    dvduval Notable Member

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    #114
    I don't think many knew the extent of this until recently. We also don't know who is involved yet. I do hope that people will learn from this and maybe start to flag directories that have been identified as part of networks built on hacked or paid pagerank foundations. That way people can better judge the value of what they are buying. Big difference if a directory is PR 7 since 2004 versus being a new site and already a PR 7. It might be worth tracking registration dates, recent high PR links etc. I find majesticseo.com a great way to quickly find the hacked or paid links as well as see the history of their links including removed links.
     
    dvduval, Feb 13, 2013 IP
  15. kopek

    kopek Greenhorn

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    #115
    Discussing dirbull.com's PR techniques is like beating a dead bull..
     
    kopek, Feb 13, 2013 IP
  16. dvduval

    dvduval Notable Member

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    #116
    The bull is not so strong now. Dozens of high PR links are now destroyed thanks to people like Dan who have worked hard to do reports to both google and the hacked sites.
     
    dvduval, Feb 15, 2013 IP
  17. silencer

    silencer Well-Known Member

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    #117
    T-bone anyone? Sirloin? Any "cut" you like, best prices ;)
     
    silencer, Feb 15, 2013 IP
  18. swedal

    swedal Notable Member

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    #118
    Maybe if you rang the DirBell?
     
    swedal, Feb 16, 2013 IP
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  19. CanadianEh

    CanadianEh Notable Member

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    #119
    Actually, you can dirPull the dirBell. Then they can use the dirFlame to cook the dirBull, using some dirFresh dirSpice. If you are lucky you can get some dirSurf and turf.

    P.S. Before slaughtering the dirBull, make sure they check the dirBrand. You do not want them to break the dirLaw.
     
    CanadianEh, Feb 16, 2013 IP
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  20. snakeair

    snakeair Notable Member

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    #120
    If you buy the t-bone, I'll slap that on the grill for ya.
     
    snakeair, Feb 16, 2013 IP
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