Facebook Fake Users

The article below appeared on ZeroHedge.com, one of my favorite sites for real information on what is really happening in the world. This article had to do with Facebook, it’s “users” and ads, very enlightening indeed. Beware of what you’re doing with Facebook ads!

Submitted by Tyler Durden, ZeroHedge.com on 02/13/2014 20:24 -0400

A month ago we explained in gory detail the growth of “click farms” where nothing is what it seems, and where social networking participants spend millions of dollars to appear more important, followed, prestigious, cool, or generally “liked” than they really are. The following excellent walk-through of just how the fraud works is concerning when the entire US stock market appears propped up by an ever-shrinking layer of “social media” and “cloud” faith that this time it’s different and no Friendster or MySpace.

As we noted previously,

Social networking has been the “it” thing for a while: for the networks it makes perfect sense because they are merely the aggregators and distributors of terrabytes of free, third party created content affording them multi-billion dollar valuations without generating a cent in profits (just think of the upside potential in having 10 times the world’s population on any given publicly-traded network), while for users it provides the opportunity to be seen, to be evaluated or “liked” on one’s objective, impartial merits and to maybe go “viral”, potentially making money in the process.

Of course, the biggest draws of social networks also quickly became their biggest weaknesses, and it didn’t take long to game the weakest link: that apparent popularity based on the size of one’s following or the number of likes, which usually translates into power and/or money, is artificial and can be purchased for a price.

And once the prevailing users of social networks grasp that one of the main driving features of the current social networking fad du jour is nothing but a big cash scam operating out of a basement in the far east, expect both Facebook and shortly thereafter, Twitter, to go the way of 6 Degrees, Friendster and MySpace, only this time the bagholders will be the public. Because “it is never different this time.” The only certain thing: someone will promptly step in to replace any social network that quietly fades into the sunset.

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Google Panda Penalizes Low Quality Content

On February 24, 2011 Google’s Farmer/Panda algorithm update was implemented.

The purpose of Panda (Google’s internal name) was to penalize two categories of websites that Google saw polluting search results with spam or “low quality” content.

Immediately before Panda was unleashed, Google explained its objective in a January 21 blog post:

“We’re evaluating multiple changes that should help drive spam levels even lower, including one change that primarily affects sites that copy others’ content and sites with low levels of original content. We’ll continue to explore ways to reduce spam, including new ways for users to give more explicit feedback about spammy and low-quality sites.”

“As “pure webspam” has decreased over time, attention has shifted instead to “content farms,” which are sites with shallow or low-quality content.”

Finding more high-quality sites in search
2/24/2011 06:50:00 PM

“Our goal is simple: to give people the most relevant answers to their queries as quickly as possible. This requires constant tuning of our algorithms, as new content—both good and bad—comes online all the time.

Many of the changes we make are so subtle that very few people notice them. But in the last day or so we launched a pretty big algorithmic improvement to our ranking—a change that noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries—and we wanted to let people know what’s going on. This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.

We can’t make a major improvement without affecting rankings for many sites. It has to be that some sites will go up and some will go down. Google depends on the high-quality content created by wonderful websites around the world, and we do have a responsibility to encourage a healthy web ecosystem. Therefore, it is important for high-quality sites to be rewarded, and that’s exactly what this change does.

It’s worth noting that this update does not rely on the feedback we’ve received from the Personal Blocklist Chrome extension, which we launched last week. However, we did compare the Blocklist data we gathered with the sites identified by our algorithm, and we were very pleased that the preferences our users expressed by using the extension are well represented. If you take the top several dozen or so most-blocked domains from the Chrome extension, then this algorithmic change addresses 84% of them, which is strong independent confirmation of the user benefits.

So, we’re very excited about this new ranking improvement because we believe it’s a big step in the right direction of helping people find ever higher quality in our results. We’ve been tackling these issues for more than a year, and working on this specific change for the past few months. And we’re working on many more updates that we believe will substantially improve the quality of the pages in our results.

To start with, we’re launching this change in the U.S. only; we plan to roll it out elsewhere over time. We’ll keep you posted as we roll this and other changes out, and as always please keep giving us feedback about the quality of our results because it really helps us to improve Google Search.”

Posted by Amit Singhal, Google Fellow, and Matt Cutts, Principal Engineer

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iPad 2 Launches

iPad 2 OFFICIAL: Price, Release Date, Details From Apple Event
Updated: 03- 2-11 02:35 PM

Apple officially announced the iPad 2 at a press conference today in San Francisco, California.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs appeared at the event and announced it will include front and rear-facing cameras for video, a much faster processor and it will be “dramatically thinner.”

The price will be the same, starting at $499, and it begins shipping in the U.S. on March 11 and March 25 internationally. The iPad 2 comes in both white or black versions, and both AT&T and Verizon will support it.

You can find complete specs for the iPad 2 at Apple.com.

For a recap of the event, check out our Apple announcement live blog here.

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