The very long tail of spam
June 18, 2006
A search engine optimizer named Alex reports on the perverse consequences of search-based advertising. He points to a site that apparently has managed to get billions - yes, billions - of spam pages indexed by Google after being launched just 18 days ago. Loaded with AdSense ads and content swiped from other sites, it has already become one of the web's top 7,000 sites, as ranked by Alexa. "I wonder," writes Alex, "how much that one person is earning per day with billions and billions of pages indexed and ranking?" Well, if you have a billion pages (all automatically generated, of course) and each pulls in a penny a year, that would earn you a cool ten million bucks per annum, or about 27 grand per day. It's not hard to see the incentive, is it?
If you're interested in getting into this business, Alex provides a nifty set of instructions.
If I don't find a search result useful, I steer away from it, which tells my Google Personal Search (Beta) that I prefer not to see pages like that. The result is exactly what I want: pages that I find more useful rise to the top on subsequent searches. A similar effect happens to the types of pages I ignore in my search results or manually remove from my search history. Eiqz2q may have gamed the system for those who still haven't signed up for Personal Search, but they haven't gamed it for me. With no conscious effort on my part, my search algorithm has customized itself to my preferences.
Soon beta testing will be finished, and millions of un-gamable personalized algorithms will figure into the whole. While other search engines are trying to grok how to censor spam-sites, Google has created a system where censorship is unnecessary.
Posted by: Zephram Stark at June 18, 2006 04:06 PM
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