Shoemoney Nofollow Plugin

This plugin retroactively places the rel=”nofollow” tag on all links to Shoemoney.com – you don’t have to modify any links manually, and it is easy to switch off should you feel in the future that the site no longer contains offensive material.

Why Nofollow Shoemoney.com?

Here is what is written in the Google webmaster guidelines:-

Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or “bad neighborhoods” on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.

Shoemoney recently has been been creating lots of controversial link baiting and hackbaiting content. This includes how to hack MyBlogLog, and encouraging other people to try it out for themselves.
Whilst the Google Webmaster Guidelines don’t mention hacking sites as being a bad neighbourhood, their Adsense guidelines certainly do not allow Adsense to be displayed on sites containing hacking content.

Taken from the Google Adsense Policy:-

Sites displaying Google ads may not include:
* Violent content, racial intolerance, or advocacy against any individual, group, or organization
[snip] * Hacking/cracking content
* Deceptive or manipulative content or construction to improve your site’s search engine ranking, e.g., your site’s PageRank
[snip] * Any other content that is illegal, promotes illegal activity, or infringes on the legal rights of others

I tend to look on the criteria for sites eligible to display Adsense as a good indication of what a “good neighbourhood” is as the webmaster guidelines are not very specific, and leave this up to the judgement of the webmaster.

I should also note that hacking material also contravenes Yahoos policies as well as I mentioned in my previous MyBlogLog post, so there is very little room for doubt.

My personal opinion (from a business standpoint, and not based upon differences in opinion) is that Shoemoney.com now contains objectionable content including information on how to hack and manipulate the data on 3rd party websites. In some ways what he has also been promoting could have been looked on as identity theft.

As such Shoemoney.com has become a “bad neighbourhood” to which I personally don’t want to link, and so I modified a plugin to save me time in deleting links from previous content and comments.

As I have the plugin, I though others should have the option of using it as well.

Plugin Name: Shoemoney nofollow
Plugin URI: http://andybeard.eu/2007/02/shoemoney-nofollow/
Description: Searches for links to shoemoney.com, and adds a rel=”nofollow” tag if necessary (based on Wikipedia Nofollow by Ken Yasumoto-Nicolson and Identify External Links by Mark Jaquith)
Author: Andy Beard
Version: 1.0
Author URI: http://andybeard.eu/
License: GPL

Download Shoemoney Nofollow for WordPress

I should note this plugin has nothing to do with disagreements with Shoemoney in the past and his invitation tactics as previously discussed. Previously I had left all links intact from my domain to his, but as he is now encouraging hacking on an almost daily basis, I had to take action.

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Comments

  1. says

    Hi Andy,

    This has the making of some serious linkbait. Are you really that peeved or just “seizing the day”.

    That may sound a bit sarcastic but really it’s not. Shoe has a habit of randomly calling people out and making more fuss over it than they ever deserved. It’s time he got some of his own medicine.

    Thumbs up.

  2. says

    Whoa .. Andy. Didn’t expect to see this coming.. this is probably going to stir up a lot more controversy. :)

    I’m pretty ambivalent about the whole Shoemoney issue but I see where you’re coming from on this.

  3. says

    I just posted this on the BUMPzee comment thread, but I suppose I should include it here as well.

    I read the rules, and have given my interpretation. I moderate my comments to bad neighbourhoods all the time.

    Quite recently I was asked to do a paid review of a poker supplies site. The aim was for me to review the SEO of the site, and what could be improved. There were things that could have been improved, I could have made it a very legitimate review, as a review of a Yahoo store and how it was being SEOed – a lot of it was very good.

    I declined the review because I didn’t want to link to a poker site.

    The site in question was totally legitimate, and almost certainly doing thousands of dollars worth of business… daily.

    I actually checked the site out for a few hours anyway, because some of the things they were doing were interesting. They had lots of no.1 positions in the serps for poker related products.

    I legitimately created the plugin for my own use, it was an easy solution, it took me 5 minutes to modify the plugin I already had. I leave it to others to interpret the Google rules how they see fit, and if they see a need to use this plugin, it is now available to them.

    Would you believe Shoemoney has actually said exactly the same in a comment on BUMPzee?

    http://www.bumpzee.com/affiliatemarketing/entries/view/5954/

  4. says

    You know I think a lot of you Andy, but i got to call you on this one. Why make a plug in specific to Shoemoney when you’ve already made one specific to wikipedia. At this point you know there will be others, and you would get more bang from your buck with a plug in that let people add URIs in the dashboard rather than having to install a new plug in for every site you want to black box.

    I think maybe there is a -little- of your distaste for Shoemoney behind this plug in, but I also don’t think that’s automatically a bad thing.

    I’m not as concerned as you with the Shoemoney issue, but then I’m not as invested in MBL either, and for a couple years there I made a career of linking to bad neighborhoods… Ones that make Shoemoney look like a Sunday School Picnic.

    I’d love to see you develop your plug in into something that people can adapt to their own linking philosophies, rather than a string of one offs. Heck if you mixed in some code to let people define other relationships, and targets and whatnot, there would be a killer bit of linkbait.

  5. says

    It was literally a 5 minute solution – change one URL and rename the functions and variables. It wasn’t my plugin but Kens.

    To create a plugin that handles everything ideally there would need to be an interface. I wasn’t going to spend the time doing that. I have other stuff I am working on.

    I know some of your background, and I am sure you weren’t running Adsense on many of those sites, certainly wouldn’t have been as lucrative.

    At the time it was created, it looked like there was going to become a flow of hacks and the sole purpose was linkbait or hackbait as I have now termed it.

    I am pretty sure most people running Adsense weren’t even aware that hacking information was against the Adsense Policies.

    I can’t predict the future with certainty, but if information on hacking can generate so many front page Diggs in a week, I don’t expect the tactic to disappear.

    I already wasn’t linking through, and disabling existing links rather than deleting them seemed like a suitable solution.

    Many people over the last week have removed their only form of tracking from their sites.

  6. says

    Cool. But you have to know that naming it the way you did attaches an idea is some peoples thoughts that you probably don’t intend if it’s just a clinical TOS issue for you.

    Look at how many people still read these nofollow posts and really don’t even know what the issues are. And now you’ve attached nofollow, which is getting a lot of bad publicity to Shoemoney’s name.

    Some people who aren’t as savvy (I hate that word…) are going to take conclusions from that that aren’t justified. I’m not sure he cares, since he seems to think it’s humorous. But you are usually more careful than that. I mean this is different that the wikipedia thing. That was fire on fire. Action for action.

    Maybe I’m reading more into it than it is too, since as I said Shoemoney doesn’t seem concerned at all.

    As for people removing their tracking abilities with the MBL plugin, I’m not sure I see that as a bad thing. There are other solutions for tracking, and I’m convincing myself more and more that we need to keep our tracking tools separate from our community building tools.

    Community building tools shouldn’t collect any more information from our readers than our readers choose to offer, and tracking tools should be in house, or contracted to a trusted provider who has a vested interest in keeping that data safe for our use only, through contractual obligations.

    I realize there are implications in that statement for people who can’t afford to pay for it, or don’t have the skills to install it, but as of now, that’s where I’m at.

  7. says

    There are 2 alternatives for tracking I can think of which might be secure.

    1. Have a company that guarantees not to sell out to anyone else… ever, and which guarantees that none of their employees run other websites carrying advertising (potential competitors)

    2. I am not even sure if this is possible but host tracking on a secure box, with all data encrypted and have tracking code on pages that also uses SSL

    Otherwise to hell with it, there are so many conflicts out there and large companies buying up tracking companies left and right, or people who have financial connections, some are liked, others not and that is the primary consideration other than linkbait worthy as far as the spin many.

    If you separate things, they will only get acquired anyway… or go out of business because they weren’t acquired.

    Google has Analytics rolled out everywhere, why did they buy Measuremap ?

    So far I haven’t pulled anyone up on the conflicts of interest yet, either with their reporting, or their services, but it I am sure will come out (probably not from me), as everyone likes a controversial story

  8. says

    At least a good first step would be to look for a company who’s stated purpose isn’t demographics and marketing. Another good first or second step would be a fiduciary relationship between the company providing the tracking and the webmasters needing it, though that already exists with MBL, so it may not be that effective, since they miss the first criteria.

    There isn’t necessarily an on / off switch here, but at least an awareness of the potential and a movement away from trading our readers privacy for our statistics.

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