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theEweekly Wrap

Google Private Blog Penalties – Bendgate – Emma Watson Hoax

Google goes after privates

This week, Google has targeted private blog networks in its continued campaign against web spam and dodgy practices.

A report over on Search Engine Land shows a webmaster called Spencer Haws hit with a manual penalty for "thin content with little or no added value".

Private blog networks, which you might see as PBNs, are a collection of blogs and/or sites often in the hands of just one publisher. They are technically not 'private' as both Google and the public can see them. However, there would be little wish to do so as the content is poor and often a site's sole purpose is for building links.

In its guidelines, Google says thin content is spam.


Apple #bendgate

Next up, Apple has gotten involved its very own scandal: #bendgate.

The problem started when rumours of a fault in the new iPhone appeared online.

It wasn't a fault, but some ofthe new phones sustained damage if people sat down while the handsets were in their pockets.

The Guardian reports that potentially hundreds of people have bent their brand new iPhone 6 or 6 Pluses in such a way.

Unbox Therapy, a group that tests the latest gadgets, has shown that the iPhone 6 can be bent by force of hand. But testers at the Guardian report that no damage happens when the user takes "normal care" of the device.

While some of the conversation has been quite measured, others have taken to social media to express their concern and jump on the wagon that is #bendgate.

Even Samsung, which mutually ended its legal disputes with Apple outside the US, got in on the fun: tweeting that its Galaxy Note Edge is "Curved. Not bent."


Emma Watson Hoax

And finally, a website called posted a countdown to what it claimed would be private images of the star. Seeming to connect with the morally dubious leaks that hit the net in August.

After the countdown ended, the website redirected to page, allegedly set up by "Rantic Marketing", calling for a shutdown for the shutdown of 4chan -- the website on which the celebrity leaks began.

But this hoax itself was a hoax. It turns out that Rantic Marketing is a front for an invisible internet company -- one which capitalises of public interest by creating hyped websites that rake in money from dodgy backend techniques.

Rantic Marketing was previously known as SocialVevo. And under this name it likely used the same techniques to capitalise on the hype of NASA 'discoveries' and Family Guy 'deaths'.

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