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Go and buy your very own FlightProSim scam (flippa.com)

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Go and buy your very own FlightProSim scam (flippa.com)

Postby Hooray » Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:41 am

Last edited by Hooray on Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Go and buy your very own FlightGear scam (flippa.com)

Postby curt » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:45 pm

If nothing else, good insight on how to push a scam forward on the internet ... fairly sophisticated stuff.
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Re: Go and buy your very own FlightGear scam (flippa.com)

Postby Hooray » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:28 pm

The sad truth is that there's LOTS of money to be made using such scams, and they are even very marketable if they happen to take place in a "grey area" that is at most morally questionable but certainly not legally, as in the case of rebranding and reselling FlightGear for huge amounts of money using affiliate programs.

If you know anything about SEO, online marketing and blackhat techniques, you could make thousands of dollars each reselling stuff like FlightGear. For example, a while ago there were people charging money for free downloads like Mozilla/Firefox, too.

Personally, I would suggest to directly report the FG scammers to the Mozilla project - Mozilla is today the de facto browser, used by most people. And there is built-in support to protect people from certain websites, and there certain addons that specifically focus "safe surfing".

If we could get the FG Pro scammers into their DB, MANY people would probably stop buying FG.

http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/ph ... rotection/
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Re: Go and buy your very own FlightProSim scam (flippa.com)

Postby Hooray » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:13 am

Next episode, buy it now for $1200 US: https://flippa.com/2671110-average-114- ... e-with-bin

To anybody wondering why I am doing this: Just do a google search for "flightgear scam" - by using the domain authority of flightgear.org, the keywords "flightgear" and "scam" - google's algorithms determine that anything related to flightgear and scam posted here, is posted with a certain authority - so if we continue posting here, using important keywords - people will be pointed to threads like this one (we are currently in position #3).

Some more keywords content for the search engines:

Scammers are selling a rebranded version of FlightGear using CPA programs. Websites are getting sold on flippa for hundreds of dollars each month.

Some deep linking: http://wiki.flightgear.org/Pro_Flight_Simulator
http://www.scamfeed.com/2011/11/08/flig ... -and-scam/
http://www.mycockpit.org/forums/showthr ... -your-help!
http://shinkirou.org/blog/tag/flightgear/

@curt: you should consider backlinking to websites that discuss this scam - because that would give those websites high authority links from your URL (pagerank!) so that they would go up in the SERPS. Also, you would end up with a so called "link wheel" because most of them will link back to your website.

It's just a matter of using the right keywords. Given the domain authority of flightgear.org, you could even rank for keywords like "FlightPro Sim".
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Re: Go and buy your very own FlightProSim scam (flippa.com)

Postby Hooray » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:10 am

Just as an update: I spent today another 5 minutes clicking on every piece of adsense I could find on the flightgear.org website, and I noticed there are still a bunch of FlightSimPro affiliates advertising.

I know we used to suggest that these should be blocked, but actually I think we can do better: click their ads! This will cost them money, money which will go directly to Curt's AdSense account.

Also, I noticed that FlightGear.org itself is being advertised via AdWords, too?
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Re: Go and buy your very own FlightProSim scam (flippa.com)

Postby curt » Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:45 pm

Hooray: as a test I did setup a small adwords account and run a limited number of ads per month. At some point I need to go dig in the stats pages and try to see if it does any good. Probably being on the front page of a google search is much more effective.
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Re: Go and buy your very own FlightProSim scam (flippa.com)

Postby Gijs » Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:37 pm

Hooray wrote in Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:13 am:Given the domain authority of flightgear.org, you could even rank for keywords like "FlightPro Sim".

For what's worth it, I added some keywords to the forum (and livery database) long ago:
Code: Select all
<meta name="keywords" content="FlightGear, Flight, Gear, Forum, Aircraft, Airplane, Plane, Flight, Sim, Simulator, FlightSimulator, GPL, FG, FGFS, MSFS, X-Plane, FlightSimPro, FlightProSim, ProFlightSimulator, EarthFlightSimulator, Earth, Free, Opensource, YASim, JSBSim, Help, Support" />
Airports: EHAM, EHLE, KSFO
Aircraft: 747-400
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Re: Go and buy your very own FlightProSim scam (flippa.com)

Postby Icecode GL » Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:48 pm

It is maybe a bit off-topic, but... I found a "nice" comment in YouTube about FlightProSim: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6dh0Fo8Z3Y&feature=related (see 2nd comment). I see people think that FlightGear "moved" to FlightProSim, that FlightGear disappeared.

For a strange reason, FlightProSim gets in 1st place to people's search engines, much faster than FlightGear... The most angry thing is that they think we started to sell FlightGear by $50. :x If we could just put our site in 1st place before FlightProSim does...
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Re: Go and buy your very own FlightProSim scam (flippa.com)

Postby Hooray » Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:24 am

This is because of fairly aggressive link building using blackhat SEO techniques, like article spinning and link wheels/link pyramids. This is done in an automated fashion, using tools like "XRUMER" or "scrapebox".

To fight this, you would need to use the same techniques and tools - or outsource everything using services like fiverr.

On the other hand, you could obviously go and visit some blackhat forums and ask for some help there - it really is just a matter of pasting a URL and a bunch of keywords into a program and keep it running for 1-2 hours. That would then create massive backlinks and increase the competition for the FPS guys.
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Re: Go and buy your very own FlightProSim scam (flippa.com)

Postby AndersG » Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:37 pm

Hooray wrote in Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:24 am:On the other hand, you could obviously go and visit some blackhat forums and ask for some help there - it really is just a matter of pasting a URL and a bunch of keywords into a program and keep it running for 1-2 hours. That would then create massive backlinks and increase the competition for the FPS guys.


Please, don't even jokingly suggest that we or anyone else should use dishonest SEO techniques. These are firmly off limits as far as I'm concerned. Any such usage would also be devastating to the credibility of the FG project.

/Anders
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fighting fire with fire

Postby Hooray » Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:17 pm

Any such usage would also be devastating to the credibility of the FG project.


I think you are misunderstanding-It really depends on the scope and on the foucs of link building to be done, FlightGear quite obviously doesn't have the financial resources the FPS guys have, so the effects are unlikely to be even noticeable actually - yet, the FPS guys have been doing TRULY blackhat SEO for YEARS without any penalty whatsoever, from a SERPS point of view.

99% of the backlinks created for FPS affiliated pages are simply spun directory submissions.

So, just speaking theoretically: Even if I were to go ahead and create dozens of link wheels to fight the FPS link wheel campaigns, none of this could obviously be linked to flightgear.org - in addition, there's the benefit of the flightgear.org PR, too. Doing that would just be pointless, fighting wind mills.

The bottom line being, anybody truly interested in using blackhat/dishonest SEO to fight FPS/FG scams, would obviously be clever enough not to do link building for flightgear.org, but rather do massive link building FOR the FPS guys instead, that would fire back at them fairly quickly, so that they'd end up in the google sandbox.


fighting fire with fire
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Re: Go and buy your very own FlightProSim scam (flippa.com)

Postby curt » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:00 pm

For what it's worth, I got an email recently from a new "pro flight sim" affiliate who was very distraught that google had cancelled his adsense account and was wondering what he needed to do to get his "credibility" back. I didn't stick around to learn all the details, but was left with an impression that you can really shoot yourself in the foot if google catches you running blackhat techniques. If we go to google purgatory in search engine ranking for instance, we would lose a lot of exposure.

We have a big enough user base and enough web traffic already that we can move forward legitimately.
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Re: Go and buy your very own FlightProSim scam (flippa.com)

Postby Johan G » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:14 pm

curt wrote in Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:00 pm:If we go to google purgatory in search engine ranking for instance, we would lose a lot of exposure.

We have a big enough user base and enough web traffic already that we can move forward legitimately.


I think you are quite right.
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Re: Go and buy your very own FlightProSim scam (flippa.com)

Postby Hooray » Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:39 pm

curt wrote in Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:00 pm:I didn't stick around to learn all the details, but was left with an impression that you can really shoot yourself in the foot if google catches you running blackhat techniques. If we go to google purgatory in search engine ranking for instance, we would lose a lot of exposure.
We have a big enough user base and enough web traffic already that we can move forward legitimately.


Agreed, but there is a difference between running blackhat stuff to promote your own website (which really is risky), or running blackhat stuff to "promote" someone else's website so that it ends up in the so called "Google sandbox" after a while and gets removed from the index.

Like I clarified previously in response to AndersG: Anybody truly interested in dealing with the FPS guys, would obviously not promote FlightGear, but instead FPS itself - so that the corresponding Google heuristics are triggered and FPS ends up getting de-indexed due to their increasingly heavy use of blackhat techniques.

The truth is, there really is nothing we can do about FPS - but neither is there anything that they could do about people (FG users or not) running blackhat tools to get them delisted eventually. None of this would be related to FlightGear, its domain or the project as a whole. And none of this could fire back at FlightGear, FlightGear is not a commercial project - it doesn't have the same weaknesses as FPS does.
Please don't send support requests by PM, instead post your questions on the forum so that all users can contribute and benefit
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Re: Go and buy your very own FlightProSim scam (flippa.com)

Postby curt » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:09 pm

Hooray, I certainly would not encourage or condone the approach you have described. If they think that we are escalating the battle, they could escalate too. An open all-out slug fest could hurt us even worse. Again, we are dealing with "affiliates" that are completely uncontrolled and unmonitored. They can literally say and do anything they want to route a potential buyer to the pro-flight-sim page and get their payoff. These guys are setting up fake accounts and all kinds of nonesense. If we escalate things with them, we can never get the upper hand, but they could seriously harm us ... again, many of these guys are willing to say or do absolutely anything and spread any kind of viscious lies they feel like ...
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