Google and the War on Spam

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Google has come under plenty of fire lately, and we’ve been reporting on (yes, maybe contributing to) a lot of it.  The reason is Google’s omnipresent spam. While the idea of a search engine based on back-links was incredibly innovative and effective back in 1998, manipulators of the search engine rankings have done the same thing they did to Yahoo: broken the system. For Yahoo, this happened through duplicate pages and spammed text (especially in lumps at the bottom of the page) to repeat the keywords. Today, it happens through buying links to your site, your preferred anchor text, and otherwise manipulating the SERPs.

Because of the efforts of these spammers, many of the results you’ll find for any given keyword — especially those related to purchases — will be a spam result of some kind, either pitching its own services or some affiliate site. Industry analysts and experts, as well as competitors like Blekko, have pointed to this as the reason why we need a change — whether from Google or someone else.

Well, according to Venture Beat, Google knows that there’s an issue and they’re working on it. The PageRank algorithm, the foundation of the original concept behind Google, is shifting — even being abandoned in large part as Google dodges the dishonest spammers. The Venture Beat report is quick to remind us that this isn’t cause for alarm.  Google is created by PageRank, but by expandable computing, the ability to conquer the data of the Web, and (I’ll add) adaptability. The addition of features like specific widgets related to information (like local, stocks, weather, etc.) and the Google Instant feature, both of which have SEO specialists in an uproar, may well be designed specifically to combat spam. Of course, it’s not enough yet, but there’s no need to rule out Google simply because there’s a hole to be mended.

Rob D Young
Rob has been insatiably obsessed with Google, search engine technology, and the trends of the web-based world since he began life as a webmaster in 2002. His work as an SEO consultant since 2006, and subsequently to content writing for technology and internet-focused publications, has done nothing but fuel this passion.
Rob D Young

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  • Michael Martinez

    “While the idea of a search engine based on back-links was incredibly innovative and effective back in 1998”

    First of all, Google was NOT the first engine to use links to influence its search results.

    SECONDLY, the BackRub paper that described Google’s early technology made it plain and clear that PageRank was only ONE FACTOR out of several. They ALWAYS used traditional IR scoring to determine relevance. PageRank is NOT a relevance factor — it’s a (faux) “quality” factor.

    You’d think that after 12 years people in the SEO community would have learned SOMETHING about search engine history by now.

    • Rob Young

      The key difference, Michael, was the back-links. The concept of pagerank was foundational. Even if there were other companies using it, they didn’t use it in nearly the same way or to the same degree.

      Find me something else that really differentiated them from their competitors in those early stages and I’ll gladly mention it, but what I said was neither misstated nor misleading. I welcome information that shows something otherwise.

  • kombice

    google spam savasina katilmiyorum

  • Linkbuildr

    I can barely find a real product review anymore, big companies pay for blatant links and NEVER get penalized, and I’m getting tired of playing by the rules. Besides that xrumor blasts are getting out of hand all over the place.

  • Drade

    Lately, I am often very difficult to do a search with google, whether this is related to this article.

  • Johan Hedin

    Nice article…I do think Google has always been trying to combat spam but especially the trust of the links so the links that used to work no longer works. This will cause the spammers to get confused and reshift their tactics…I dont think it’s possible to change ppl cause spammers want to be number one at all cost but the search engines need to adopt to a better technology…

  • Bruce Michael

    This is all Money Game Dude, Stay away or keep calm 😉