Fred, you've got to turn on the radio right now ... Limbaugh is at it again, and this time he's taking out advertisers on Google -- just like you wrote about for spammers!
Hmmmmm, this is something I need to hear. So I went to the trusty web radio and found the in-progress Rush Limbaugh talk radio show. Sure enough it was happening.
An anonymous listener had called in to explain about Google searches, and how certain search results appear at the top of the list. Of course, a few years back there was a consumer uprising which forced Google to stop their dishonest search engine padding and begin marking the ads "sponsored."
By now everyone knows that advertisers bid on keywords in a real-time, online auction, with the highest bidder getting the top position at that moment. The caller pointed out that certain keywords would betray who had paid the most. In this case, the key phrase was "Goldman Sachs SEC".
In short, what the caller and Limbaugh were getting at was the ability to utilize Rush's huge listening audience to deplete the advertisers budget in just a few moments. The advertiser pays an amount per click -- 50-cents, or in some cases as much as $25! They also have a daily budget and threshold. After so many clicks, the budget is depleted and the ad goes away.
We don't know what that number is without looking up the keyword auction -- but that 's not important in this scenario. The idea was to have this paid advertisers' links disappear immediately from a multitude of clicks generated by Rush's listeners. Low and behold it worked. After explaining exactly what to do, and doing it, everyone witnessed the ad link disappear after a few moments. Gone.
The sad part is Google makes all that money, and the advertiser loses all that money because the advertising budget did not do what it was supposed to do. Which is to bring all those listeners to the advertisers site where hopefully they would become sympathetic to the advertisers' wishes. Instead, presto, the ad was gone.
Why was this important to me?
It reinforced my premise that utilizing such a force in society can accomplish things on the web very quickly. And, that if channeled in the right way, it can accomplish more than all the governments in the world couldn't. Of course I'm talking about squashing cyber crime web sites.
You see, back in 2003, I published a 60 Second Window as a series of articles on stopping spam. Each time we came up with a new and simple idea -- that we were convinced would work -- I put it in 60-Seconds.com. This particular technique I labeled the Talk Show Host Scenario.
What Rush Limbaugh did in Thursday's broadcast is living proof that my scenario would have worked, and would still work today.
In a spam minute on Rush's show, he would spell out the IP address of the world's most prolific spammer or cyber crook of the day. Maybe 10-million people (in his 30-million audience) would click at the same moment. Then click again, just for good measure. Presto, spam / phishing / criminal, servers gone. Poof. Then, he would do another the next day. Then maybe two, the next day, and so forth. After a couple of weeks of this, do you think that there's an internet host with any brains, who whould continue to host a spam site?
Thank you, Rush! Wow! Isn't it nice to have your concepts valadated and proven in such a dramatic, nationally recognized way. I sent the article (again) to Rush's web site and perhaps maybe NOW he'll get the message he didn't get when I sent the article in 2003. Maybe.
You can take my word for it, and you can read the original 2003 article The Talk Show Host Scenario, and then go to Rush's site and listen to the podcast of the event as it unfolded.
And, the moral of today's 60-Second window is :
You can do it if you would
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