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Other search engines clogging up the results
6 of the top 10 for one search are nothing but redirects to other engines
BGumble




msg:152755
 4:10 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

I only monitor a few industries, but these results must be appearing all over the place-- "Meta-search" pages that are specifically designed to rank well in Google for any keyword. Some sites doing this have thousands of pages in Google for terms that they aren't related to-- the only thing they provide is additional search results on the subject.

We can't name names, but this is what they do with an example domain--

[getsearchwise.com...]

On the resulting page is search data from a partnered search engine. It includes the top 10 results for "penguin widgets" when you search on the competing engine. These results are well formatted with bolding, links, and high KWD to rank well. They of course have additional "search boxes" and related terms for the user to click on for more information.

Now Google has spidered thousands of these pages which are nothing more than search results from other engines. These results pages rank well for many different keywords doing nothing but putting traffic to totally unrelevant pages and another search engine. If GG wants to see what I'm speaking of with specifics, check the spam report just sent.

 

BGumble




msg:152785
 10:27 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>You believe GoogleGuy is really from Google?

OK, that qualifies the level of your responses, thanks.

>>those search results will not have very many incoming links so probably won't be as relevent

True, but you know it's easy to generate and pass around your PR. Also, they can come up for non-competitve terms rather easily just with keyword density. Just because they're non-competitive doesn't mean they shouldn't be relevant.

>>All the example I have been sent have been clearly marked as search results

Please look again. Only 1 of the 4 pages identifies itself as a search result.

digitalghost




msg:152786
 10:27 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

In message #6 GoogleGuy said, "Got it, BGumble. I think some filters will partially roll in on this pretty soon."

That indicates that Google seems to be aware of the issue and that steps have been taken to correct it. If steps are being taken to correct the issue it must be seen as a problem because normally people don't correct something that isn't broken.

Personally, I don't like finding results from any other engine or directory in with the SERPS unless I'm using a meta search engine. How can a listing from another engine or directory be more relevant than the site the listing points to?

[edited by: digitalghost at 10:30 pm (utc) on May 8, 2003]

Bdespain




msg:152787
 10:28 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

<begin quote>
Ask yourself then, how many search engine duplicates should Google index? How many times should the re-sold listings be ranked in Google? There are companies now specializing in buying search engine results from lesser engines just for the fact of using them to generate these content-less pages for Google Rankings
</end quote>

The activity you are talking about is called arbitrage and it's an ancient practice. It's a good economic activity as it drives the price of goods to their natural levels over time.

As the links you have sent have demonstrated these pages are anything but contentless. The fact of the matter is the content on these pages tends to be excellent which accounts for the high ranking in google. If they didn't do well in Google - You wouldn't care.

BGumble




msg:152788
 10:28 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Sorry, uspntech, I didn't see that you were new. Welcome to Webmasterworld, and yes, it is a known fact Googleguy is a Google employee and official representative.

heini




msg:152789
 10:29 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

If Google doesn't want results from other SEs in their index then they shouldn't crawl and index them.

That's not a problem on the SEs side. It's a crawl/index process on Google's side gone wrong.

axa504




msg:152790
 10:29 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

A point of view:
Content replication without aditions is a spam.
all DMOZ clones without aditions are spam.
DMOZ itself promoting this kind of replication
is spamming the web.
On the other hand, crawling another engine
is not a spam if you respect TOS of that engine
and you do not replicate that content.

uspntech




msg:152791
 10:32 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

So there should be a cap on how many directories should be indexed in Google? How about mortgage brokers and porn sites? Limit them as well?

If a page is listed on a directory of any sort, and the page has a list of web sites related to the same topic - it IS relevant. So the web user click through Google to that directory and then to a site listed in the directory.

It is an industry as relavant as any other on the Internet.

As for the reality of GoogleGuy - you must be taking someone's word for it because I've never seen a post by him or anyone else that it's legit.

Is there an MSN-Man?

uspntech




msg:152792
 10:34 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

So what if the content is unique - not a clone of DMOZ, etc.

I agree that duplication is not a good thing, but if the site is a search engine or directory and it's listings are unique they shouldn't be penalized.

BGumble




msg:152793
 10:37 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>If Google doesn't want results from other SEs in their index then they shouldn't crawl and index them.

True enough! Hopefully they will correct it. Sites in question here are using other domain names and buying domains for each sets of keywords. It's not "gigablast" but "joe-blows-shopping.com" providing the results.

>>If a page is listed on a directory of any sort, and the page has a list of web sites related to the same topic - it IS relevant. So the web user click through Google to that directory and then to a site listed in the directory.

A fair argument, but again-- Does Google want to become a Meta-Search engine itself, providing results from other engines? Human-edited directories are another story.

>>As for the reality of GoogleGuy - you must be taking someone's word for it because I've never seen a post by him or anyone else that it's legit.

This site just hosted a large conference including keynote speakers from Google and other search engines. I trust the admin of this site to let me know that Googleguy is an official representative. I'll let someone else dig up the threads for you.

GoogleGuy




msg:152794
 10:37 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

uspntech, welcome to WebmasterWorld. I promise I'm legit. :)

BGumble




msg:152795
 10:38 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>but if the site is a search engine or directory and it's listings are unique they shouldn't be penalized.

I agree, but re-selling Gigablast listings and having 270,000+ of your "search results" listed is different from having a quality directory or search engine of your own. How many Gigablast re-sellers is too many?

digitalghost




msg:152796
 10:38 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

USPNtech, the authenticity of Google has been verified by the people that run this forum. However, you can dismiss that and just apply some thought.

If GoogleGuy weren't a representative of Google a team of lawyers would have descended on him by now with a huge suit for false representation.

With that said, the authenticity of Googleguy has very little bearing on whether Google should list results of other search engines. If a DMOZ listing that points to another site appears in Google how is that listing more relevant than listing the site that the DMOZ listing points to?

BGumble




msg:152797
 10:39 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>uspntech, welcome to WebmasterWorld. I promise I'm legit.

And now you know, uspntech, why this is the most popular and most professional Google forum on the web :)

big_softie




msg:152798
 10:41 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

YOW! - GoogleGuy, please...not so fast!
I run a legitimate search site (the title clearly states 'The XXXXX Search Company - Widget Results), and count on search engines such as Google, just as does any other legitimate search site. Isn't it discriminatory to ban a search site just because it isn't as big as the other search engines that show up in Google?!
Please reconsider, or at least take care to not ban search sites that clearly identify themselves as a search site in the title. If our site gets baned, several extremely hard working and honest folks will be out looking for a new job (myself included).

merlin30




msg:152799
 10:43 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Webguerilla,

Of course it is manipulation of the algorithm.

I (a notional I) am a site with a heavy weight page rank, say 8. I know that I can pass a large amount of that page rank on to several other single page domains and inter link them. I know the result will be hefty page page rank on those single domains and I also know they will get indexed because they are anchored in an (apparently) external domain. Now I know all I need to do is add some text to that page rank and monetise it. That's easy - I just put and Espotting results feed on. Because I can predict what Google will do I can manipulate it to my advantage.

Its happening now, its happening more freqeuntly and on more search terms and swamping results with page after page of unoriginal content.

And yes, it does detract from user experience. Just because a user generates many page views doesn't necessarily mean it's a good experience - if they are on a page which is simply showing a list of search results it just means they are clicking on these results. And if those results are simply an advertiser who has bid the most then this has totally detracted from what Google set out to do in the first place - provide relevant results not related to the financial ability of an advertiser to put them there but based on democratic nature of the web community.

What Page Rank set out to do originally is now being manipulated successfully to acheive the opposite.

Am I simply jealous of those domains who are using their high page rank? You probably think so. However, I currently have decent page rank, I know how to get more. If I want to enter this game I am equipped to do so and therefore have no need to feel jealous.

But I do see a flaw in the way Page Rank is currently assessed and passed between domains.

Bdespain




msg:152800
 10:45 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

I gotta tell you GoogleGuy - I also run a search engine and if my results are no longer spidered - I need to know in order to prepare. (And probably shut down)

Bdespain




msg:152801
 10:48 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

BGrumble - You should be aware Gigablast is a crawler based engine, not a PPC. You pay for Gigablast results, not the other way around.

GoogleGuy




msg:152802
 10:55 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

The sites that BGumble sent in were pretty bad spam. Cloaking, duplicate content on doorway pages, etc. etc.

uspntech




msg:152803
 10:55 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

<quote>
USPNtech, the authenticity of Google has been verified by the people that run this forum. However, you can dismiss that and just apply some thought.
If GoogleGuy weren't a representative of Google a team of lawyers would have descended on him by now with a huge suit for false representation.
<unquote>

I find it hard to believe that a company like Google would knowingly have a representative making public comments and suggestions on a public forum without running it past their legal department. But that's just me (my lawyer made me say that:)

big_softie




msg:152804
 10:58 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks, GoogleGuy. Happily, we do not employ those tactics. If that is to be the basis of the ban, that means I can stop panicking.

GoogleGuy




msg:152805
 11:00 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

uspntech, I stop by to answer questions, dispel myths, and clear up misperceptions. I speak only for myself personally, not as an official spokes-Googler. But often I can help webmasters with questions, and I think it's good for both Google and webmasters to have an informal way to give and get information. :)

Bdespain




msg:152806
 11:04 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

So if results are clearly indicated as search results is that OK? or is there something else that we should do. We always make sure to obey Google TOS so we won't get banned.

uspntech




msg:152807
 11:05 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

GoogleGuy, I just hope you don't initiate changes without a full understanding. There are a lot of small search engines and directories trying to get some traffic, and painting (or filtering) them with a wide stroke wouldn't be fair.

If it's duplicate content, cloaking, etc, then penalize them, but if their URLs contain "search?keywords=" doesn't mean the content is not of value - so why apply a filter?

mrose




msg:152808
 11:14 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

As Heini said: if Google does not want results of other SE or Directories in their SERPS than Google should stop crawling them!

Operating a niche directory myself (and being heavily spidered by Google), I choosed to replace direct links to my (paying) clients with redirects.

It is not my job to help Google find the relevant websites of my industry and monetize my expertise and research efforts.

For me, running a directory, Google is a competitor.

Fortunately, for me, no matter how sophisticated an algo is, it will never outperformance the knowledge and quality of a human edited directory (as long those humans have clearly defined guidelines and are paid by the directory in order to avoid conflicts of interest).

From my point of view (as a publisher as well as a user), any SE algo is still in infanity as long as it list any non-official site in its SERPs (e.g. If I am searching for Hotel XY, I would like to see the official website of that Hotel listed first - not expedia, hotel.com or any other "SPAM?" website).

hutcheson




msg:152809
 11:16 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Content replication without aditions is a spam.
I'll take a piece of that POV

>All DMOZ clones without aditions are spam.
That follows easily enough.

>DMOZ itself promoting this kind of replication
is spamming the web.
DMOZ doesn't "promote" this kind of replication. It permits it. But the License specifically allows additions, and the original expectation of the project founders was that licensees would add additions (as, for example, Google has added pagerank and directory search, AOL experimented with a directory-based search, others have added polls, and in fact anyone COULD add lots of deeplink product-retailing links like Looksmart does to itself--I don't know why nobody seems to have done this yet).

Entering my own "idiosyncratic point of view" mode:
There's a clear and radical difference between the Amazon Books affiliate program (which envisioned topical enthusiasts recommending their own favorite relevant books from their topical websites) and Vstore (which envisioned nothing but a massive distributed doorway spam excretion program.)

Although dedicated doorway spam excretory vermin can generate no-added-value (spam) websites with either Spamazon or Vspam, an honest webmaster can still incorporate useful Amazon information into his own site as a public benefit (whereas I can't imagine any reason to do the same with vstore -- and in fact, most people's notion of "adding value" to the vstore catalog consists of incorporating affiliate links to SMC products -- Wow! Turkey spam and Beef spam in ONE CAN!)

And, seeing new affiliate programs, I don't have any trouble distinguishing between "potentially useful" and "irredeemably spamorific" ones.

Now, certainly the ODP data can be misused. That is not the criterion for "spam" -- any useful thing can be misused. The criterion is "does it have a POTENTIAL non-abusive use, and is there any significant ACTUAL non-abusive use?" For the ODP, the answer is an easy "yes" on both counts.

There are also some useful heuristic criteria: for instance, does the site require the actual source of the data to be identified? (Pure-spam coprophagic schemes like vstore, SMC, and hotel reservation systems either encourage or require the actual source to be hidden. Honest-information-sources usually do the opposite. Amazon obviously encourages affiliates to identify them, and of course they identify themselves. The ODP requires licencees to identify the ODP and provide links back -- where they of course identify themselves.)

Again, does the site actually ACT to promote "cloned" affiliate copies -- does it provide tools to build such sites, or actually host them? (Avon does both; vstore and SMC provides templates; on the other hand, Amazon and the ODP do NOT provide active support for strictly abusive uses.

By any criterion I can imagine, that has any actual correlation to the behavior of the many pestilential-affiliate-spam-promoters out there, the ODP behavior is distinctly and radically different.

Having said all that, I'll admit what I recently mentioned in another thread: it is very frustrating to search for some obscure topic in Google, and wade through 200 results of which half are merely copies of the ODP category -- yes, that is really a kind of spam made possible by the ODP.

Another example: Project Gutenberg, a noble internet effort if ever there was one -- provides the same kind of spamming potential. How many worthless "literary" sites have been set up by copying popular public-domain e-texts from PG, and wrapping them round with flashing ad banners? (You may not have seen them, but as an ODP editor in Arts/Literature _I_ have seen dozens of them.)

Is PG "promoting" spam? Not at all, although it has been abused by spammers. Is all repurposing of literary content spam? I don't think so. I've picked up almost a dozen e-texts and reformatted them to fit into the vision of a different literature archive: and I think that was worthwhile work. [I appreciate the "support" that I received from other archives, and I reciprocate it wherever possible. That's the original, primary internet culture, still surviving even as the internet absorbs new populations which find it incomprehensible.]

hutcheson




msg:152810
 11:35 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

>The activity you are talking about is called arbitrage and it's an ancient practice. It's a good economic activity as it drives the price of goods to their natural levels over time.

No, the activity you are talking about is "fencing of shoplifted goods." It is admittedly an ancient practice, and it does tend to dpress the price of goods. But it has no place in an equitable economy.
The fundamental problem with it, is that one of the interested parties (the victim of the thief) doesn't have his economic interests adequately represented.

What is actually happening is that fly-by-night-searches.com is stealing value (reputation for relevance) from google.com and selling it to advertisers. Now, the FBNS.com proprietor is happy, and his advertisers are happy. But the store (Google) has a poorer selection and higher prices, and its customers (that is, the ones engaging in the honest economic activity) find their money buys fewer, poorer goods.

Bdespain




msg:152811
 11:40 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

<begin quote>
No, the activity you are talking about is "fencing of shoplifted goods." It is admittedly an ancient practice, and it does tend to dpress the price of goods. But it has no place in an equitable economy.
The fundamental problem with it, is that one of the interested parties (the victim of the thief) doesn't have his economic interests adequately represented.

What is actually happening is that fly-by-night-searches.com is stealing value (reputation for relevance) from google.com and selling it to advertisers. Now, the FBNS.com proprietor is happy, and his advertisers are happy. But the store (Google) has a poorer selection and higher prices, and its customers (that is, the ones engaging in the honest economic activity) find their money buys fewer, poorer goods.
</end quote>

I was talking about Google here - I was talking about the practice of buying traffic from one source and reselling at a higher rate - That's what I thought the post was originally about.

Bdespain




msg:152812
 11:40 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Sorry wasn't talking about Google.

WebGuerrilla




msg:152813
 11:57 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

I find it hard to believe that a company like Google would knowingly have a representative making public comments and suggestions on a public forum without running it past their legal department.

Google's participation here is one of the many benefits of being a privately held company. The issue with the legal department is much more common with public companies. (And for the record, GoogleGuy is a real, verified google employee).

axa504




msg:152814
 12:48 am on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi hutcheson,
I must agree with you, permits!=promote
and your theory is very attractive. We can also
enumerate few applications including google

However,
1) I am happy that google is filtering out all clones
2) Is using DMOZ in the terms of research, aditions and
not showing up DMOZ listing as result
like hundreds of other "search engines"

I also support research projects but I cannot agree
with TOS that "permits" replications without any
abuse control.

Did DMOZ take in any way action against this practices?

I am sorry, I am new on this board and I do not
know any case. If should have at least one example
I did't have this view.

chiyo




msg:152815
 3:08 am on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

I see this a lot and just assumed it was scripts that embed the query term and turn up lots of links. Netster is most obvious. But the key problem is usually with these search engine results they are mainly PPC, a lot of spam, and affiliate links. I dont think they help the user at all.

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