Web spam is epidemic. The problem is the natural consquence of content networks like AdSense. The advertising budgets of paid search advertisers who (unwittingly? foolishly? bravely? appropriately? -- your choice of adverb) advertise on the content networks create the incentive for spammers to cheat. Microsoft has released Strider Search Ranger, a free tool which which helps advertisers determine the IPs of the MFA "publishers" grabbing their cash. Strider Search Ranger is proxy sniffer like Achilles, but easier to use. Micosoft Research recommend Strider Search Ranger to
* blog owners being spammed by cyber-scammers who serve ads, * legitimate companies like Orbitz and who don’t want to have the bad reputation of funding the search-spam industry * legitimate ISPs like ISPrime, Inc. and who don’t want to have the bad reputation of making money from search spam * legitimate advertising syndicators who are considering doing business with IP addresses that are known to be involved in search spam (or you don’t want to do due diligence in stopping your partners/affiliates from doing that) * search engine users troubled by seeing a list of ads AFTER you click on a search result * legitimate website ownersThe tool doesn't stop spam -- it just identifies the IP addresses of the bad guys. Next steps are left up to you. We'll do a full review this proxy later, but initial inspection looks interesting. Kudos to MSFT for acknowleding this issue, and providing tools to increase visibility of the problem.
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