Although spam has already been outlawed in many countries including Israel, some jobsites may still be used for nefarious purposes. Here are some of the warning signs of which jobsites to avoid.
To illustrate my explanations below I link to a number of websites. By doing so, I'm not claiming that those sites are chronic spammers or hotbeds of criminal activity but I am claiming that as of this blogging they are employing typical spammer techniques. The linked websites may be completely legitimate and if they are, I hope they will take the below criticism to heart and use it to improve their practices. If they do and tell me as much, I will be more than happy to pass that information on to you and the rest of the JobMob community. Fight spam!
Spammer Jobsite Warning Signs
Website design is very low quality. Like any moneymaking venture, spammers try to earn high profits while keeping costs low; they just have fewer scruples about going outside the law to do so. Good usability, the hallmark of any professional website, is one quality that spammers typically don't waste time on.
The jobsite's origins are not credible as presented. Spammers' websites will either try to hide their origins as much as possible or else they will present false information in a format that lends legitimacy. Jobby's homepage says that it was ‘Developed by iNet' but Crazymind says otherwise. In that title, ‘iNet' is linked to an email address whose domain name redirects to a different domain with an empty homepage. Finally, the Company Profile page (in Hebrew) gives some statistics about the site's job board but makes no mention of the company itself.
Low Google PageRank for an older site. Google's PageRank system is meant to reflect the credibility of a webpage in the eyes of Google and due to the search engine's significant influence (just look what happens when a site falls out of favor), it has become the de facto reputation metric across the Web. A PageRank value takes into account many factors including the longevity of the domain in question, where older is better. That said, if Google senses negative activity it will keep a PageRank low or will decrease one that had climbed in the past.
Newsletter sender address changes periodically over a short time span. Jobby is supposed to help JobMobbers by allowing you to sign up for a job listing newsletter, which I did. Over the next 6 months, I received their mailing from four different senders: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Usage of multiple domain names for one single website. If you surf around Drushim.net, the design stays consistent in such a way that you seem ostensibly to be on the same website throughout your entire visit. Your browser's address bar tells a different story, going through info-hitech.com, amodat.com, cv-center.com and infocenter.co.il.
Inexplicably-high mailing frequency. A typical newsletter is sent on a regular schedule, usually weekly or monthly. Jobby sends me email 2-3 times a week.
Mailing list unsubscription is ignored. This is the most blatant and aggravating sign. In general, you should never reply to spam. Doing so informs the spammer that your email address is actively read by a real human being who may be tempted to ultimately send money, and is thus very valuable to them. However, if you subscribed to Jobby's newsletter while believing it to be legitimate like I once did, you will be disheartened to discover that unsubscription is their option and not yours regardless of the link for it in every email they send you. I tried to unsubscribe and received an unsubscription confirmation email in August 2006 from Jobby. I'm sorry to say that I'm still being sent the newsletter from Jobby, although I long ago began filtering them into my spam directory.
Spamming is indiscriminate.If Jobby was a legitimate Israeli job site, they would only be interested in attracting Israeli job seekers. However, Jobby will spam you regardless of where your email address is based as a number of JobMobbers have confirmed.
Found A Jobsite Showing These Signs? Here's What to Do
Search for the website in Google or via your favorite search engine. Your best hope would be to find testimony from a former user of the site complaining about the site's shoddy practices or possibly even proving that the site is a spammer front. However, unless that opinion shows up in the first page or two of search results, you may miss it.
Run a whois query on the website's URL. This should reveal a physical mailing address that was used to buy the domain name of the website, an address which you may recognize and which you can definitely verify elsewhere on the Internet. Depending on the country, you may even be able to find it in Google Maps or a local mapping equivalent. For example, I did a whois check of Jobby and was able to find the resulting address (at the top) on Walla! Maps.
Thanks to David Slade for these action tips.
You should try to recognize these warning signs for any jobsite or even any website that you discover. I discovered them the hard way but it will have been worth it if you can learn from my mistakes and avoid spam as you continue your Internet job search.
Do you know of any other jobsites that match these criteria? Perhaps you know of other signs to add to the list? Tell us below.