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LinkedIn Hacked Again, Google Offer a Spam Tool and There’s a Cat with Two Faces

by Dave Langdale on June 21, 2013

It’s been a while since a newsletter was even thought about, let alone committed to type. That’s not to say there hasn’t been news. In the last three months we’ve seen Penguin 2.0 – a huge update aimed at spammy links – changes to Analytics and Google Image search, as well as a host of minor updates and algorithm changes. I’d love to say the reason for the lack of a newsletter was for something other than a sun cream wheelie bin related suspension, but I can’t for legal reasons.

Enjoy this latest edition which features everything from a LinkedIn hack to a cat with two faces.

Blow the Whistle on Spam

There’s nothing worse than working tirelessly on the right kind of inbound marketing, only to see sites with the moral integrity of sociopathic parking attendant ranking above you in the SERPs.

Previously there was nothing you could do about it besides storming around the office in stolen high heels, crying into your tea and covering yourself in pancake batter. Now, however, the helpful folk at Google have given us a way to blow the whistle on spam sites with page titles like: “FREE CAMELS 10% DISCOUNT ALL YOU CAN EAT | CHEAP VIAGRA”.

While it might be tempting to drop your competition into this tool, we can be fairly certain that Google are going to take all submissions to this with a very tiny pinch of salt. If you work in an industry that is filled with spam sites that perform well, this might be great for you. Otherwise it’s back to the trenches.

LinkedIn Hacked Again

It hasn’t been a good 12 months for LinkedIn. Last June they had around six million user passwords stolen and published online. Now they’ve just had their DNS hijacked, with those users who logged on during the down period inadvertently sending their whole session cookie file to a site registered in Queensland, Australia.

“What can you do about it? Ensure that your password is secure.”

This incident is a drop in the ocean of sites who’ve been the victim of cyber-attacks recently, such as DDoS and password leaks, whose counterparts include Amazon, Twitter and Evernote. As the battle for internet security becomes increasingly sophisticated, it puts those less savvy users at a constant risk of data and identity theft.

What can you do about it? Ensure that your password is secure. If these password leaks have taught us anything, it’s that the average internet user has the security awareness of a satsuma. When 123456 is the most common password, it’s time to seriously think about life.

Or why not let this level of apathy extend to the offline world and staple your credit card PIN number to your forehead?

France Give Google Three Month Data Protection Deadline

Data is fast becoming a precious commodity. Like oil, gold and a full set of Pokémon cards, data is something people are willing to fight for. And it seems in this battlefield of lawyers, letters and sanctions, it’s France that is leading the charge.

In an atypical display of bravery, France have given Google exactly three months to make a number of changes to policies centred around the usage and collection of user data.

They’re not the only ones either. The respective watchdogs in Spain, the UK and Germany are all busily preparing sanction procedures or reporting on continuing investigations into Google’s privacy policy.

Keep an eye on the outcome of this three month period, as it will almost certainly define the future of data protection cases. Who knows, maybe in two years the internet will be filled with people on their knees digging through river beds with a sifter and a tin can, hoping to be the one that finds out how you arrived at the checkout for cinnamon coated dungarees.

A Cat With Two Faces

The internet is famed for cats. A Google data mining exercise using their human-inspired neural network even came to develop a liking for cats due to the volume of videos on the website.

There are few things that keep me entertained as much as making my cat wear an extra face I’ve drawn onto half a tennis ball. Sometimes the face is angry, other times it’s blissfully baffled at being a mammal with two heads. I even once drew a dog’s face to make the world’s first artificial catdog.

Thankfully a US family has saved my cat from any further experiments because their new-born kitten actually has two faces. Simply order a pizza, hit repeat and your weekend is sorted.

Image Source: Barmala on Flickr

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