Scratch below the surface of all this great information, or in our case dig deep below the surface, and it is shocking what is happening to the Internet. Millions upon millions of pages of junk are being unleashed on the web, a virtual torrent of pages designed solely to generate a few pennies in ad revenue for its creator. I fear that we are approaching a tipping point, where the volume of garbage soars beyond and overwhelms the valuable of what is on the web.
Web spammers simply have to create pages on the web and sit back and let search engines send them money. Current search engines have abandoned any attempt to enforce even the slightest modicum of quality control. Revenue is guaranteed if a page can draw a click. The result is a global sweatshop workforce cranking out millions of pages of web trash.
The problems and challenges of spam to the entire world are going to get worse. As the online economy continues to grow at double digits compared to stalled growth for the offline economy, the incentives for spammers get even more lucrative.
That's why we've created the world's first Spam Clock. This clock is going to record in real time the amount of web spam that is being spewed out. The clock is designed to bring greater attention to this growing problem. While it is illustrative more than scientifically accurate, it is truly indicative of the soaring spam problem.
I'd say it was designed to generate publicity for the new wannabe search engine.
I had a conversation at PubCon with a guy in Blekko's booth, and on several occasions where I mentioned that Blekko wasn't showing data about sites I'd expected to see in a search engine, he said, very self-righteously: "Well, maybe they're spam."
Just the way he said it indicated he was a true believer... and I'm seeing no other evidence on Blekko that they have the kind of internal co-ordination necessary to keep an organization on-message just for publicity purposes.
All of which is to say in a back-handed way that I think their anti-spam message is sincere, even if it's being used for promotion.