View Full Version : [Techniques to fight Scum!] Hijack Advertisers
08-20-2001, 02:41 PM
Hey, folks ...
I wanted to suggest that we keep a list going of advertisers that we find using Gator, TopText and other "ad overlay" technologies. Perhaps we could keep the discussion to a minimum, but list those companies we encounter? I know some people started messages like that, but they've been lost (from my eye) by the mountain of threads.
Steve seems to pretty active in the fight against these techniques. Perhaps it would be easiest if he were to put a little page with a list. Could even put a little form that would add new ones to it pretty easily.
Another one you didn't mention is Microsofts Smart Tags. They may have not put it yet, but they have the technology, and could start doing it whenever they wanted really. Imagine if they put it all their programs like TopText did with Kaaza. Scary huh. Then they would also be able to do it outside of IE.
08-20-2001, 03:22 PM
Great idea Brian.
You would have to add NBCi quickclick to the list of ad overlay companies.
You may also want to take a look at what HotBar is doing. I received an email from them in which they were promoting a service which provides a way for companies to add popups to their competitor's websites. These popups will then take the visitor to the advertisers website and away from the original website they were visiting. This service only affects people which have Hotbar installed on their browser, but according to their numbers that is a staggering 12 million users.
This may not be as bad as the ad overlays but it is still a pretty shady practice which attempts to steal visitors from websites by bombarding them with the competition's popup ads.
Hotbar information is located at: http://hotbar.com/services/presentpopopen.htm
08-20-2001, 04:37 PM
www.ihelpyouservices.com and www.gethighforums.com on Surf+ (visit these sites, read the full details and participate there too!)
It appears according to them that for this program the links come out of Kanoodle.com's search engine advertisers, i.e. any search engine advertiser. Although there may be other sources as well, such as 7search (it's unclear if they 7search knows or not)
It also appears that at least some, maybe most or even all, Kanoodle advertisers are not aware of this:
See this thread for info on the Kanoodle involvement (ihelpyou's post) and the fact that at least some, Kanoodle advertisers are not aware of it (dhemming's post)
According to those forums, Kanoodle have said:
(a) Kanoodle ARE aware of it and are partners with filemix.net
(b) They will stop on the porn
(c) They don't intend to stop on the rest.
I am uncertain where this leaves advertising on non-profits, government sites, etc., and casinos. presumably Kanoodle/Filemix will continue with this (??)
Kanoodle's contact details are here:
Their phone number is 1-877-526-6635
Kanoodle advertisers need to review the above, it seems you could potentially be advertising on Surf+ without your knowledge.
Based on what Filemix does, it seems also possible that Kanoodle advertisers might be being sent "blind" traffic when they thought they were getting targetted clicks. I haven't seen any confirmation of this.
I think it would be helpful if somebody who is up to on partnerships between various search engines, could let us know
- whether kanoodle and/or 7search is mixed up in any of the others (Goto, FindWhat Sprinks, etc.), both in-bound and out-bound.
- whether advrtisers on Goto, FindWhat, Sprinks, etc., are likely to get dragged into this too, or not
08-20-2001, 06:25 PM
Surf+ now links to FindWhat
08-22-2001, 09:54 PM
I hope cj, clickxchange, and other networks don't start using these things. I know SI will never use them.
08-23-2001, 03:06 PM
It sounds like, from this article, that CJ is already involved with eZula. Although it is still a bit vague as to how the two are linked:
EDIT: Errr, looks like I was a bit hasty with this post ..... the follow-up story is here:
Looks like CJ is still okay. :bonk:
08-24-2001, 03:00 AM
Firstly, I like the new posting enviroment (long time since I hadn't posted here).
Talking about the Ezula issue, I think that we can ally with the BIG ad companies, search engines and general e-commerce sites since they are strongly affected by Ezula practices...
If you visit a webpage that depends on e-commerce a lot (I mean a sales orientated webpage) you can drop a little e-mail to the webmaster informing about Ezula's Toptext and inviting him/her to join the movement againt it.
All together, the BIG companies and the general webmaster community can press on Ezula much better...
Anyone knows what do Yahoo or the big companies think about this issue?.
08-24-2001, 07:21 AM
I contacted yahoo's copyright department and sent them a screen shot yesterday, haven't heard anything yet.
This is the news i've picked up:
Some Cj forum members are mobilised and sending out press releases to their subscribers.
A anti scumware activist from cj received this reply from Looksmart
"As regards your question about eZula.com, I'm afraid I have never heard of stolen links and don't fully understand what this means. Sites in the LookSmart directory can not be removed or changed by anyone outside the LookSmart staff.
Thank you for your interest in LookSmart.
Can you believe it!!!
Whats going on!!! are they being honest?
or do they like the idea???
more scum on the horizon...
08-25-2001, 02:44 PM
After sending Findwhat a friendly message protesting their relationship with Surf+, here is the response I got:
Dear Mr. Campbell,
Thanks for your inquiry.
First let me state that our policy at FindWhat.com is to work only with
distribution partners which comply fully with the law and which provide
qualified traffic for the advertisers which bid for position among our
search results. While we typically do not comment on specific
contractual relationships that we have not disclosed publicly, we
realize that there has been a lot of discussion recently regarding the
We currently do have a contract with Surf+ to link to our search
results. While many of the allegations regarding Surf+ are false, out
of respect for the feedback we have received from advertisers such as
yourself, we have put our relationship with Surf+ on hold. As of August
24th, Surf+ no longer links to FindWhat.com search results or
advertisers in any way, and our contract with Surf+ is under review.
We continue to believe that Surf+ is in compliance with all laws. Surf+
is an application which Internet users agree to download, and one which
they can choose to use or not use, and which they can remove at any
time. In order to correct incorrect information posted on the Internet,
we also want to reiterate that the Surf+ application never highlighted
words which linked directly to our advertisers' sites, especially
adult-oriented sites. That would be against our policies.
Please rest assured that we always try hard at FindWhat.com to ensure
that our advertisers receive the quality traffic and service that they
have come to expect, while allowing Internet users to find the products
and services that is of interest to them among our search results.
Thanks again for your feedback, and please do not hesitate to contact us
in the future regarding any aspect of our service.
Director of Customer Service
Chalk one up for the good guys?
08-25-2001, 06:08 PM
I got what looks like the same message (different name of course :) )
I would have preferred if they didn't get involved with Surf+ in the first place - but I think you have to give them credit for addressing it when raised.
I reactivated my FindWhat a/c, which I had previously taken offline, after receiving this message.
09-02-2001, 01:52 AM
There is a list on ThiefWare.com of some advertisers using predatory advertising.
09-07-2001, 09:37 AM
Interesting article on C|NET (http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1014-201-7054709-0.html)
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