Jan 2

Rigging Search in Second Life with Spamatars

Category: Search, Shopping by Stone Culdesac

A post over at Grid Expectations points out how B&B Skins has become one of the most visited places in Second Life, at least according to the visitor counts. Here is a shot of the room below the store that she found full of avatars, what she we call them, marketing avatars, advertising avatars, spamatars, any good names for them?

advertising avatars

unused alts

When I popped in tonight I didn’t think I would see any, and I didn’t. Which brings to my mind right off, is, if they aren’t really “cheating” then why aren’t they still there?

Empty room at B&B Skins

So, I checked a couple times tonight, with the latest time I checked being 2:30 am Eastern time. They have a couple avatars in tubes as avatar models, both live profiles, and both with B&B Skins in their picks.

B&B Models 2

B&B Models 1

And in just using this plan, having many alts and unused avatars hidden under their club, and a bunch of keywords in their description like shapes, skins, skin, sex, sexy quality, escorts, etc, plus, having lots more avatars picks including B&B skins, all those fake alts that is, this allows them to be in the top three for many search terms, for instance, when I search the places tab. Not to mention top ten in the most popular places tab.

The Most Popular Tab

Using the search for freebies.

Search for freebies

Using the search for newbies.

Search for newbie

Using the search for sex.

Search for sex

Using the search for escort.

Search for escort

Even when you search for CSI.

Search for CSI

Boy, if every business starts to do this, just think how many registered and signed in avatars we will have every month. I see new records in the future. But, seriously, Linden Labs needs to take the popularity factor out of the equation, or at least make it not worth anything in the equation, this is ridiculous and is another reason stuff is hard to find in Second Life.

Added:

As noted by in the comments by Emmaline Thorn, apparently I was looking at the wrong spot, the empty spot I found and focused on was under the building here.

First spot at B&B

The spamatars are still there, they are just two levels under the little pond outside.

The pool

B&B Skins

Two Levels

Kinda creepy looking for sure, I wonder how wide spread of a practice this is. I guess it will be time to go down the popular sites list and some high traffic places we can find and see how many places are doing this. I know there are others as I have read about skyboxes being full of them.

Popularity: 6%

9 Comments so far

  1. [...] you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!The Grid Live has some fascinating screen grabs taken from another blog showing masses of avatars gathered in a small area - allegedly to boost [...]

  2. Emmaline Thorn January 3rd, 2008 5:17 pm

    Just wondering — did you go down both layers? There is a false floor above the bots that are idling. If you only go down one level, you’ll see a blank room. If you go down two, you’ll find them. (Three is the ground as of this writing.)

    I checked at roughly 8:50 AM Eastern US time, and they were still there, winning the “giveaways” that the store was having. We have tried to contact the Sim/shop owner about this practice, but as yet have not gotten a response.

  3. Stone Culdesac January 3rd, 2008 9:13 pm

    You know, I just checked under the store, that is where I found the empty room, going over to the pool is where the two levels are, and sure enough, the bottom floor was packed with avatars winning a linden every so often.

  4. Ryven January 4th, 2008 12:22 am

    This definitely qualifies as hilarious. ^_^

  5. Bimbo Princess January 6th, 2008 10:42 pm

    We call these Fake avatars Traffic Bots.
    This has been going on for almost a year now. Every location listed in Popular Places does it in one way or another.
    These are not true campers. These are ALT’s used by the Sim owner or groups. These alt’s run no scripts, no bling and things like that. This way it does not slow their sim down.
    It’s just one more thing to add to the overall Fake settings you now see every where in Second Life.
    Add it to the Classified scams, Land Bots to control land prices (try selling a parcel for less then 7.2 a sqm and see for your self) and Linden Labs manipulation of Stats.
    So why not have Fake avatar traffic bots for what has become suce a empty world. They fit right in with the use of Content from canceled accounts and their own employees alts accounts to fill Fake Malls and shops.

  6. Stone Culdesac January 7th, 2008 12:33 am

    Spamatars is catchier if you ask me, traffic bots have been used on the web as well. Either way, are they as easy to find in the rest of the popular places? I may have to find out tonight.

  7. George January 10th, 2008 11:12 pm

    90% of the most popular places do it, don’t just pick on this one, get pics of everyone that does it and lobby LL, its not an issue with this owner but the fact that LL allow people to have free accounts now. Its also not true Bimbo that every most popular place uses Traffic Bots. But I think most do.

    To be honest the new search and the old search are completely rubbish anyhow - people cannot find anything anymore and there are too many places out there, selling stuff that isn’t worth selling.

    People should go to Skin Oasis and see that actually the stuff there is really good quality and the sim looks to be created by someone who has a talent. I am sure they only did this to compete with everyone else doing it, not to exclude people that don’t!

  8. The Grid Live » Spamatars? More or Less February 7th, 2008 3:30 am

    [...] of avatars are not the only indicators that bots are being used to bump up traffic, as we covered here, I see many of the popular places sims with single avatars under water, some are under the land, [...]

  9. Cupcakes February 12th, 2009 7:58 pm

    …..:::::::~~FLIRTINI Clothing Main Store~~:::::…… Came up in 6th place in the search engine when using the keyword women with a traffic score of over 63k. Upon tele’ing there I found an ill designed store with less then quality items for sale and not one actual person on the lot other then the owner herself. Looking at the map i saw about 60 green dots stacked on top of each other making a pole formation. I thought to myself this had to be one of those places using spamatars. I decided to fly around and see what i could find and yes you guessed it.. 64 spamatars with empty profiles with only one thing in common the flirtini store group at 3800m high in a box.

    You’d think with all the bad rap about spamatars, one would not go to such lengths and risk their reputation only to lose everything but this just goes to show that most people lack dignity and being proud in ones self is less and less a desirable trait to have.

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