onsdag 7. september 2011

Important information to all foodbloggers

Short summary of this document 

       This document affect all foodblogger around the world, but we use the situation in Scandinavia as an example.
       How 203WebGroup with their web site in the Nordic region www.alleoppskrifter.no , www.findeopskrifter.dk and www.hittarecept.se affect Google's search results and how their websites using methods that are at the edge legal and ethical.
       Information about who is behind this document and their history.

Techniques 203WebGroup using: 

       1. How links both ways prioritize 203WebGroup and their websites.
       2. 203WebGroup doubtful use of iFrames, to increase their strength in social media at the expense of you bloggers. While they keep the readers within 203WebGroup websites.
       3. Using our images and text to promote 203WebGroup.
       4. How they destroy our strong reputation and brand
       5. Use of a doubtful method of indexing by search result.

What we can do about this? What are we doing now?

What implications might be if we do nothing!

This section contains the following and Technical document for more details on these methods and the possible result of this.

Important information

Here is an overview of how we as owners of foodpages and you who own foodblogs, are used to increase the earnings of a Swedish search engine company. www.203webgroup.com who is behind pages www.alleoppskrifter.no www.findeopskrifter.dk and www.hittarecept.se in Scandinavia and similar pages all over the world. www.mytaste.com is the main page.

Take the time to read this carefully, then it most likely will affect you directly. And I would encourage you to read the white paper provided, which gives a detailed explanation of what is happening and that also gives you an insight into the world behind the search results in Google. Here can you learn about what's happening in this world.

All these statements and facts, I have concluded after thorough research. Some of them is rejected by 203WebGroup. All info I tell in these documents is my review of these methods, and my analysis of this procedure after near 30 years of experience in IT. It may be I am wrong in some areas, so if you are in doubt, so please consult other experts on this.
But as long 203WebGroup in my opinion violates Google's guidelines so clearly, and also good manners, I feel it is right to go out with this. If they had follow the written and unwritten rules, this would not be posted.

Myself and my story with 203webgroup.

I own and work with the recipe webpage www.matoppskrift.no in Norway.

In 2011, I was asked if www.alleoppskrifter.no could index my recipes to a search engine for recipes, I said yes and since then don't think much more about this, as I thought this was only positive for me. Before I last summer really took hold of this again to check whats really happens. I have had some communication with 203WebGroup lately, and some occasional before.

Then I first discovered that in Denmark there was a campaign against 203webgroup in 2012 (http://kasperbergholt.org/findeopskrifter-2/ ) http://kasperbergholt.org/foodbloggers/ , and at the same time (2012) a discussion in Sweden and Norway about this recipe search system. Example here: http://www.matbloggsentralen.no/vare-danske-matblogg-kollegaer-boikotter/ (read the comments!)
And now, after careful check of what is happening, I realized that if we don't do something now, this company will create problems for all of us and foodblogs about their earnings, reputation and their own intellectual property such as photos, recipes ++ and in the ultimate consequence could expose us to exclusion from the Google SERP.

Because of my size and amount of recipes I've been one of those who helped to build up this system here in Norway. I have not seen the consequences until now and feel that I must take a share of responsibility and educate you about what is going on. As a programmer and above average knowledge skills in the Internet, I am embarrassed and sorry that I did not see what happened.

Who is 203webgroup? 

This is a Swedish media company that specializes in making auto-generated solutions and websites.
They are now rolling out websites all over the world with the same strategy:

Norway: www.alleoppskrifter.no 
Sweden: www.hittarecept.se 
Denmark: www.findeopskrifter.dk
UK: www.alldishes.co.uk/ 
US: www.mytaste.com/ 
France: www.mytaste.fr/
Spain: www.todareceta.es/
Brazil: www.tuasreceitas.com.br/
South Africa: http://www.mytaste.co.za/ 
Polska: http://www.mytaste.pl/
Australia: http://www.everyrecipe.com.au/
New Zealand:  http://www.everyrecipe.co.nz/

++++ There is a long list in the bottom of their main page: www.mytaste.com
And! From here I use the name Mytaste in the rest of document.

Their strategy with websites like Mytaste as I see it.

Using high technical knowledge about adaptation to Google, create a website that collects all foodbloggers recipe in a database and ensures that mytaste.com dominate search results in Google's organic search (the usual Google search that everyone uses). This procedure creates many page views for mytaste.com thus huge income for them through Google Adsense which is correspondingly less for you.

But here's the quick details for you bloggers about what happens.

Positive consequences:

a. When you participate in the system to 203webgroup, you will experience a rapid increase of readers who come through these. I did this too with up to 1000 extra pr day, but then after a while came a reduction of 90%. Refer to illustration further down showing this from my stats.
b. For your foobloggers who are very small and do not care about this, Then you will get more readers through this system than you will be alone.
       Then you may want to remain in the system. This applies particularly to those who get almost all readers from mytaste

Negative consequences (and how this is done).

a.  Linking from you to Mytaste.
          You who have the small badget on your blog and participate in the top foodblogs list, provides Mytaste a full and high quality link where you tell the search engines and google that 203WebGroup is quality and you trust them.
b.  But link from Mytasteto you.
          Mytaste sets a NoFollow tag / label on their link to the recipe on your blog More info here.  But this tag tells google not to index or follow their blog because they do not trust it.
c. Mytaste shows your blog in an iframe.
          This is negative for the following reasons.
             1. Those of you who use ads from google adsense are according to the guidelines not allowed to do so and can be banned by Google. Just a big risk to take. More info here.
            2. Once your page is displayed, you also give Mytaste a pageview and not just one, but for each page a reader browsing your blog retains Mytaste framework around. Mytaste also receive and benefit sharing in social media. You give away all your page views!
           3. This can be avoided for those who wish to remain in the system until 203WebGroup. Read more here. 
           4. Positive for those who want that readers can store their favorite recipes, although there are saved on Mytaste webpage not your blog.
d. Dilution of your brand name and your blog's reputation.
         A reader who first have to go through several pages of advertising on Mytaste before he gets to you causes more negative things. Read more here: And if Mytaste are deleted from google's index, this can have serious consequences for your blog too
e. Copying and viewing images etc..
         Mytaste copy images from your blog and show on their pages not always with source and photographer. This is problematic if you have pictures taken by others who are just meant for you. This is a serious thing for us in the media, not the most appropriate for you, but can get very expensive follows if you are unlucky.
f. Indexing of search result
         Mytaste use another smart way to get placement in search results, namely indexing of internal search results. Technical explanation here: 
                   ii. This is certainly a "No, No" in search engine optimization.

And I will then eventually encourage all of you to do the following:

  1.  Share this with other foodblogs you know. This is extremely important! Do it immediately.
And try to find one focal point for bloggers like in Norway, because together you are strong and can simultaneously help and encourage each other. I think there is some kind of foodblog community in most country, but I have no record of these.
  2.  Remove the badget you have on your blog. (if you have)
  3.  Send an email to info@mytaste.com or equivalent national address, and ask them to delete all the info, recipes, pictures from you immediately. And get a written confirmation. If they do not, report them to Google.
  4.  And as an extra help notify Google's spam team about this. Let google know how  Mytaste  possibly abusing your recipes, spamming search result, index search, autogenerate content etc.. This could be  reported here: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/93713?hl=en You must have a google account to do this.
  5.  Note: This can take time so as for me, it took 2 weeks before Mytaste accepted my request to delete all my recipes.


No one, neither of you bloggers, us foodpages nor google depends on 203webgroup and Mytaste but they must depend on us to exist.
And (and if you do not want to pull yourself out of this system) maybe give it a thought that you support one system that draws millions of dollars out of a market where this money otherwise had been distributed among all bloggers with adsense or other ads.
And perhaps this may cause a better cooperation between us and you foodbloggers, and better collaboration between you bloggers.

But be also aware of the following:

When you go out of the system, you will in the short term loosing readers, and it can be negative for small blogs. But it is better to lose some readers now, and build your own solid readership. But it should rather have built up associations of bloggers who can help you, such as Matbloggsentralen in Norway.

Diagram showing how my readers increased in the period following the indexing of my recipes (summer 2011), ie 29.500 recipes. And so we see that as I lost those readers with a peak in winter 2012-2013, the absolute bottom in this summer. But I am now completely out of this.

Read my technical document thoroughly!

Best Regards
Knut Pettersen
CEO www.matoppskrift.no and www.matvareguiden.no
PO Box 1638
4688 Kristiansand

Mail: knut@matoppskrift.no.