So long Yaro Starak, and thanks for all the spam!

June 26, 2006

yaro starakI’ve been following with interest an up and coming Australian blogger for some time, one Yaro Starak, who writes an interesting blog, Entrepreneur’s Journey. To date, I’ve found Yaro’s content a worth while read… then last week he decided to flog Made for Adsense templates from Joel Comm, a guy who I’ve written about in the past (back on the ol’ Weblog Empire blog, link now dead but reference to it here) who does a lot of promotional work with spam blog creators and others who make bloggers lives hard. I decided not to post a negative review of Yaro’s work at the time, but thought I’d leave a comment on his blog, below the post, expressing my disappointment that Yaro was not only promoting “Made for Adsense” sites that breach the Google Adsense TOS/ Guidelines, but also promoting products from someone like Joel Comm, who’s business relationship aren’t all that flash.

Fast forward to today and I hadn’t read his feed for a couple of days, and I read this post, where Yaro accuses me (without naming me) of making untrue allegations, and totally fails to even attempt to justify his atttempts to profit from a product that pollutes the internet.

Now, as I’ve said in the past, I don’t believe that Joel Comm is, himself, undertaking any illegal activities, and indeed his sites (as far as I’m aware) are all legit. It’s the fact that he does business with people like Rick Butts that I don’t like.

Since Yaro is either too dumb to use Google, or just plain lazy, a quick search finds this page. Indeed, there’s plenty in Google about Joel Comm and Rick Butts.

But is Rick Butts a bad guy? Read this, or this, or this, or this, or how bout the Wall Street Journal Yaro?, and I quote:

BlogBurner’s founder, Rick Butts, denies that his software is used by spammers. He says it is used by business owners to automatically create blogs based on content pulled from their Web sites. He acknowledges that the blogs being created by BlogBurner are often used to help draw attention to a company’s main Web site. “I’m not going to pretend to say we’re altruistically creating blogs for humans to read,” he says, adding that other companies have mimicked his software and sold it to spammers.

Nice chap that. Yaro, as I noted in my comment, which you deleted, I believe your readers would have expected more from you. You trade on your integrity and now you’re flogging (at best grey) made for adsense templates from a guy who does business with the bad guys, and the fact that you’re not even remotely apologetic says it all.

Yaro Starak, so long, and thanks for all the spam.

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27 responses to So long Yaro Starak, and thanks for all the spam!

  1. I have a legitimate question, and I am not trying to out you. When Darren promoted Joel Comm, why was there no word from you on this. The link on Darren’s blog is and on this the only thing that you said was this.

    2 things
    1. Whilst you?ɬ¢?¢‚Äö¬¨?¢‚Äû¬¢ve got the link to the e-book marked (aff. link) I think you need to note more strongly that you are potenitally profiting from the revue, just to be on the safe side, I mean, I picked it up straight away but others might not
    2. The problem with any ebook promoter in using ?ɬ¢?¢‚Äö¬¨?Ö‚Äúcelebrities?ɬ¢?¢‚Äö¬¨?Ǭù to promote the e-book on the page is that you can always visit their site to work out what the great advice is. I won?ɬ¢?¢‚Äö¬¨?¢‚Äû¬¢t give the secret here, but I know you?ɬ¢?¢‚Äö¬¨?¢‚Äû¬¢ve previously discussed the issue yourself Darren, one visit to Lockergnome sorts its out! Now if only I had the time and inclination to implement the strategy myself!

    So I am trying to figure out why yaro is being belittled on this and your own business partner wasn’t.

  2. I can only point to the date of Darren’s post, which was 10 March 2005, and I’d add that at the time I actually bought the book as well (can’t remember if it was via Darren’s link or not though), he also wasn’t my business partner at the time…a little more history, the way I actually found out about Joel Comms links to Rick Butts is because I bought his book and got his newsletter. About 6 months later (maybe a little less, apologies with the dates) I noticed him promoting a tie up with Rick Butts on one of his email newsletters. I automatically knew who Rick Butts was and I actually emailed Joel Comm at the time and asked whether he was aware of what Rick Butts did: his respone was that he wasn’t concerned and he was one of his great mates…it was then I dropped Joel Comm…indeed I’d also ran the affiliate program (at least for the Adsense book, like Darren did) for a couple of months, the book itself wasn’t all that bad, and certainly didn’t promote anything untoward other than optimising your adsense spots with working examples, I’d also mentioned Joel Comm a number of other times as well, for example when he launched his adsense forums. I actually deleted the posts about Joel Comm from the Blog Herald at the time as I just wasn’t impressed as all…and as I’d noted at the Weblog Empire blog at the time, I also stated as to why I took this course of action.

    Back to Yaro though, my gripe isn’t only with Joel Comm’s business partners, it’s also the product Yaro is flogging, and that’s “made for adsense” templates, you know the sort, spam sites with rubbish geared towards adsense clicks only.

    I’d note that I didn’t enjoy writing this post either, however as I’ve noted, Yaro decided to not respond to my comments on his blog, and even deleted them, and from what it appears, other people with a similar opinion of both Joel Comm and the product Yaro is flogging have had their comments deleted as well.

    Now Shane, I’m far from perfect, but I also don’t trade on being this great big high “credibility” guy on online marketing like says Darren or Yaro does. Yaro’s really dropped the ball here, and his reaction has resulted in this post, plain and simple. If Darren did something similar, I wouldn’t hesitate in bringing it up, although I don’t think he would somehow.

  3. Another side note, I remember a little bit more, it’s the first time I’d advised Darren to mark his affiliate links…seems like for ever ago 🙂

  4. So you’re bashing Yaro for the actions of a ‘friend of a friend’.

    That’s pathetic Duncan.


  5. Andrew,
    you’re not listening: “Made for Adsense” = spam sites, Yaro is flogging spam sites from a guy with a track record with blog spammers, plain and simple. Now, I don’t happen to think business associations with Joel Comm are particularly wise, but selling made for Adsense sites like Yaro is….far, far worse still.

  6. And I ask this Andrew, if I was in business, or any one for that matter, with a known peodophile, would you do business with me or that person?

  7. These are TEMPLATES. Not ready made spam sites.

    Do you want to go and ban all WordPress templates because they also save time.


  8. And I nearly forgot, Joel Comm IS IN BUSINESS with Rick Butts, check out one of the links above, it’s more than a friendship, he targets his products with Rick at the spam blog set, and I know this because when I tracked a lot of this stuff at the Blog Herald, I was on most of their marketing lists…Rick Butts loved to promote Joel, indeed, you’ll see they’ve down courses together.

  9. Andrew:
    Made for Adsense templates = spam templates, plain and simple. Check out the Google search here. That\’s a world of difference from a WordPress template for a legitimate site.

  10. No there’s not. It’s what you do with them that matters.

  11. Spam arguments aside,
    Your public bashing policy really sucks.

  12. Andrew,
    read this in order, I didn’t want to do this, I made some comments on Yaro’s blog which apparently kicked off a discussion (afraid I missed it) which Yaro then decided to delete then basically accuse me of making stuff up, all the while without me knowing it (I only read about the deletion this morning). The comment was left in a way for Yaro to review what he’d done (and wasn’t meant to attack him) and instead he’s attacked me in return (see his comments on his site + the post about deleting stuff). Nothing I said on the site wasn’t true, but I can asure you my thoughts there were a lot more polite and reserved than my post here 🙂
    Yaro had his chance, he blew it, and is still promoting this rubbish. If you like it, cool, go for it, but I don’t think someone like Yaro who trades on integrity can really be left to flog this rubbish without rebuttal?

  13. Hi Duncan,

    I can see based on the comments and everything that I’ve probably lost any chance of repairing our relationship, which is a shame.

    For what it’s worth I would like to apologise for not emailing you immediately after deleting your comment on my blog. I should have given you that courtesy.

    Besides that I don’t really appreciate the public bashing but I’m sure you feel it justified since I deleted your comment and it’s the way you like to express yourself.

    Lesson learnt for me.

    Regarding the post I made about the AdSense ebook which referenced the templates – I don’t intend to take it down because I don’t have a problem with website templates. I can see where you are coming from and I’m comfortable enough to agree to disagree in this instance, although you probably aren’t.

    Why I deleted your comment from my blog was that you posted comments about the integrity of Joel Comm. My post was intended to recommend a free ebook which I had I read and wanted to recommend to my readers, which to get they had to sign up to a prelaunch email list for the template product which is to be released in July. I didn’t want a comment that alleged something about Joel without providing some evidence (a single link would have been enough) to back it up.

    Where I went wrong was to delete the comments without waiting long enough for you to comment again with evidence (there was about a day or two) or emailing you to ask for further explanation. Which as I stated at the start of this post, I am sorry about.

    I don’t know what else I can say so I’ll leave it at that.


  14. Yaro
    I think, as I’ve demostrated in the links above, that the person you’ve gone into business with doesn’t do you or your readers justice, nor does the product. It’s a shame really, you had so much potential, and you’re throwing it a way for a quick dollar from Joel Comm.

  15. You may have already seen this, but I thought it was pretty funny.

  16. Joel Comm has lost my business. I’ve bought nearly everything he’s come out with up until now. I even fell for that adsense tracker program he initially promoted that fell flat on its face because it didn’t work and which he then duplicated the concept with his own software program (didn’t buy it the second time, Adsense Buddy I think it was called).

    I’m extremely unnerved by his new venture coming out in a few days that borders on Black Hat marketing. These so-called Instant Adsense Templates are horribly designed HTML templates with not-so-friendly search engine source code. Anyone with a small bit of web dev/SEO would see through it.

    Why someone who admittedly has no design experience feels he can hire an obviously inexperienced freelance web desginer to design templates that he can stamp with his approval is beyond me. I’ll be highly suspicious of anything he comes up with in the future. Also, he says that the PLR content included with the templates should be changed so it’s not detected as duplicate spam content. LOL … that’s exactly what all those other SPAM Adsense Ready template sites say! The only difference I see is that he himself has crossed the spam line and thinks because it’s Joel Comm, it’s okay.

    All I can figure is Joel Comm’s Adsense ebook sales must be dropping and he’s desperate for a new product of his own that he can spinoff his already known adsense empire. What a shame.

  17. Hey, I’m new here, but this is great stuff! I’m definitely going to bookmark this site!

  18. I found this site because you guys really put a lot of energy into optimizing it for my name and for Joel Comm’s.

    The sad part about this whole thread is that no one on here has even the vaguest idea what was really going on in 2005. The Wall Street Journal writer was a complete moron and totally screwed up what I’d said over the course of a 1 hour interview.

    Made for AdSense = spam?

    There appear to be 3 types of people posting this kind of stuff,

    the misinformed

    the uninformed

    the chloroformed

    The great tragedy is that anyone with a library card can create a blog – say anything they want to – and it sits here for years and years – and some new person comes along and reads it like it’s factual.

    Nobody on this blog ever talked to me – or asked me a question – yet I’ve been tried and fried.

    Seriously – this is so over – you should really just delete this whole thread – it is as relevant as a 1904 Encyclopedia.

    Contact me if you have any questions, I’m not mad, just kind of disappointed stuff like this is still in play.

    Rick Butts

  19. What’s all this nonsense about “polluting the internet?” Splogs don’t pollute the internet. In a world of infinite content, it’s impossible to “pollute” anything. Filtering out the noise is merely a search problem, which has been solved. The self-righteous indignation is naive and misdirected. Don’t like the spam content? Don’t google it.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. » Inside Joel Comm’s Made for Adsense spam venture - June 27, 2006

    […] After yesterday’s little flame war caused by Yaro Starak defending Joel Comm’s latest offering, “Instant Adsense Templates”as being legitimate, I was fortunate enough to get a tip from a reader of the preview of the templates and marketing system Joel Comm is offering readers for $197…and although he chucks in some WordPress templates, the bulk of it is good ol’ fashioned Made for Adsense spam pages, plain and simple. […]

  2. WorkBoxers - Making money online since 1891 .. - June 27, 2006

    […] 1) Yaro launches a post titled “How To Make Money With Blogs + AdSense – Free E-Book” 2) Duncan responds on EJ stating that how Joel Comm’s new product (Adsense templates) are pure Adsense spam and should be banned by Google. 3) Yaro deletes Duncans comments in order to remove his less than nice words about Joel Comm. 4) Duncan becomes Cowboy for a day (ie. the new JOAB) 5) Duncan destined to pursue this, does further research. Even the old Cowboy would not have gone this far. […]

  3. [gonzo]musings » Blog Archive » Duncan vs Yaro - June 28, 2006

    […] Interesting to see the flame up between Duncan and Yaro this week. […]

  4. » Inside Joel Comm’s Made for Adsense spam venture part 2: Eric Holmlund - June 28, 2006

    […] Part 2 isn’t about Yaro’s involvement today (and I’d note Yaro has made some changes to his original post), but as a result of a number of Yaro’s supporters in the original post in this series suggesting that Joel Comm can’t be judged based on his previous relationship with spam blog promoter Rick Butts. You see, as I dug deeper into this whole “Made for Adsense” bought to you by Joel Comm venture, one name kept coming up: Eric Holmlund. It’s not a name I was familiar with, and an initial Google search yesterday didn’t bring up an awful lot. But the more I dug, the more I found. […]

  5. blogHelper » Joel Comm’s “Made for AdSense” Saga - June 30, 2006

    […] If you want some background on the issue, I suggest reading the extended coverage by Duncan Riley here, here and here (in chronological order) or jumping to Jamsi’s summary post over at WorkBoxers. This is definitely one of those “stories” where the resulting comment “wars” light up your day with fun and laughter (not unlike the 9rules saga many months back). […]

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