Traffick - The Business of Search Engines & Web Portals
Blog Categories (aka Tags) Archive of Traffick Articles Our Internet Marketing Consulting Services Contact the Traffickers Traffick RSS Feed

Friday, July 07, 2006

Fightin' Search Engine Spam, Part I

Google exec in BBC story makes much kerfuffle about search engine spam as an "arms race."

In keeping with this month's light posting sched., let this be the first of several anti-spam posts sprinkled into the light fluffy mix for the month:

Spam-Fightin' Sub-Folder #G-Traffick-0001: Spammers Share Revenue with Google

Two words: "AdSense sites." One part of Google creates and fosters an atmosphere where there is a financial incentive to create sites with AdSense ads on them. For those keeping score, close to half of Google's ad revenue, which makes up 97% of Google's total revenue, comes from AdSense. (That's a bit misleading, mind you -- the revenue share or "cost of revenues" is much higher on the AdSense side than on Google Search and search partner sites, so what it seemed to do in addition to giving Google the opportunity to place code on a lot of websites was to give them the "top line" heft that made Wall Street go ga-ga.) To best monetize those sites, of course the spammers will want to, well, spam the Google index full of pages containing AdSense ads. That adds up to "revenue on autopilot" at very low cost with no risk. What hacker wouldn't jump on that bandwagon? Indeed, the "pros" at this game will be better at fooling search algorithms than your garden-variety spammer, so after Google clamps down on linkspam, they'll already be onto the next tactic, snapping up pre-aged domains, links, etc. Meanwhile, good sites get caught in the crossfire, because there is so much bad stuff out there that the effort to catch it creates false positives. (Yes, I do understand not all sites showing AdSense are spammer-driven.) As the Google exec implies, the potential outcome is that search results turn into a yecchy mess.

So while the AdSense gang cheer the site-builders on, the "other" (search) part of Google then marvels at how tough the spam problem is, after they've helped to fund and indeed romanticize the AdSense-monetization-via-SEO effort. As one commentator pointed out, AdSense has become a kind of allowance for high school kids. 1999 all over again.

Isn't this self-inflicted pain, at least to some degree? From the standpoint of the moral high ground, as well as from a practical standpoint, Google must reconsider the extent of its AdSense program. They tie their own hands and give themselves less incentive to boot out these kinds of sites when - let's face it - the money acts as a pleasant buffer against the "problem" of users leaving Google for other sites. AdSense code also offers Google data on surfing habits, en masse.

Until Google curbs its addiction to AdSense revenue, their anti-spam efforts will probably lack teeth and conviction.

No, that won't mean there won't be other ad programs out there... but if those programs were run by other companies, you'd think Google would stiffen its stance against these crap sites, rather than being wishy-washy on them in practice.

Posted by Andrew Goodman




View Posts by Category

 

Speaking Engagement

I am speaking at SMX West

Need Solid Advice?        

Google AdWords book


Andrew's book, Winning Results With Google AdWords, (McGraw-Hill, 2nd ed.), is still helping tens of thousands of advertisers cut through the noise and set a solid course for campaign ROI.

And for a glowing review of the pioneering 1st ed. of the book, check out this review, by none other than Google's Matt Cutts.


Posts from 2002 to 2010


07/2002
08/2002
09/2002
10/2002
11/2002
12/2002
01/2003
02/2003
03/2003
04/2003
05/2003
06/2003
07/2003
08/2003
09/2003
10/2003
11/2003
12/2003
01/2004
02/2004
03/2004
04/2004
05/2004
06/2004
07/2004
08/2004
09/2004
10/2004
11/2004
12/2004
01/2005
02/2005
03/2005
04/2005
05/2005
06/2005
07/2005
08/2005
09/2005
10/2005
11/2005
12/2005
01/2006
02/2006
03/2006
04/2006
05/2006
06/2006
07/2006
08/2006
09/2006
10/2006
11/2006
12/2006
01/2007
02/2007
03/2007
04/2007
05/2007
06/2007
07/2007
08/2007
09/2007
10/2007
11/2007
12/2007
01/2008
02/2008
03/2008
04/2008
05/2008
06/2008
07/2008
08/2008
09/2008
10/2008
11/2008
12/2008
01/2009
02/2009
03/2009
04/2009
05/2009
06/2009
07/2009
08/2009
09/2009
10/2009
11/2009
12/2009
01/2010
02/2010
03/2010
04/2010

Recent Posts


Death of Common Culture?

Playing Knockoff

CPA the Real Reason for Google Checkout?

Thinking of Using Google Checkout? Here's What You...

Google, the Micropayments Savior?

Microsoft adCenter Labs: Anything New to See Here?...

Search Engine Results and Sociopolitical Controver...

I Knew Real Estate Was Getting Out of Hand in the ...

Jagger's Away from the Switch

Monetizing Google Video

 


Traffick - The Business of Search Engines & Web Portals

 


Home | Categories | Archive | About Us | Internet Marketing Consulting | Contact Us
© 1999 - 2013 Traffick.com. All Rights Reserved