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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

 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--


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.


SEO practioner

 4:27 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)


You should file out a spam report right now to Google


 4:31 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

I did, with ATTN: Googleguy.

And yes, I know, S(ites) P(ositioned) A(bove) M(e) as always, but this is more of a possible epidemic than a spam report. If sites like this are allowed to spread, they could have results for any term-- much like the self-replicating no-results pages discussed last week from a major e-commerce site.


 7:49 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have seen quite a few of these pages - I would hesitate to call them "spam" as they are not doing any of the traditional spam techniques. The example you cite is a pretty straight forward looking search result. Users can clearly see where they are going. How would it be spam?


 8:33 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've seen something similar in the top 10 for my top keyword (just on sj-), but in this case the result *appears* to be a legitimite site, which then redirects after a few seconds to the other SE results. Very strange...


 8:40 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Got it, BGumble. I think some filters will partially roll in on this pretty soon.


 8:42 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

hey GG what about netster? and the backlinks problem?



 8:51 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

What about MSN showing up in the results? Check for free credit report and on page 2 of the serps they have 2 listings and one of them is a spam re-direct... msn is now spamming google for more traffic? ha ha ha...


 8:55 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Are legitimate search results going to be targeted with the filters? BTW netster also serves up Google results...


 8:59 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Netster seem to be buying alot of expired domains as well? GG any comment



 9:02 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

On the search for free credit report - The Yahoo Credit Center is on the first page.... Kinda of interesting


 9:08 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

You tend to see how annoying this is when you are trying to get information on a topic that you yourself do not know with the intimacy of an old lover.

I know the hotel and travel market up down and sideways. Today I was trying to buy some furniture, what do I find ...the very sort of links to other search engines mentioned here.

Roll on the new filters!


 9:12 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

I just don't have a problem with lists of links or search results. The example cited was obviously a search result and people could click on it or not. Depending on the provider and the search, the search results could be very relevant - generally because the ads on these results lists are PPC ads as opposed to free listings.


 9:13 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

I see a lot of these sort of pages popping up - notably those who get Espotting results pages shown. They are getting top positions because the pages are anchored in MAJOR review sites thereby benefitting from high page rank. The results page provides the necessary text and BAM! - Google has got a pay per click search engine overlayed on to of it.

No - it isn't strictly spam; but it is a major manipulation of the algorithm and doesn't add to the searchers experience.


 9:16 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

if you time your adverts right on netster you can get a good 300 - 500 backlinks with the right anchor.



 9:19 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's not "manipulating the algorithm" at all. It's just a page that may or may not be relevant to the users query. Often times it's more relevant than other results right around it - it depends entirely on the context and results. So your mileage will vary. I have run into those pages and most of the time I find them relevant to the search. If Google starts banning lists of links we would all be in trouble.


 9:23 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

It certainly does NOT add to the surfing experience when 6 of the top 10 results are simply more search engine listings from other engines like Gigablast. Why would I go to Google and then want 6 top results that are simply other search engines? What happens when those search engines start listing similar pages then it is just one big mess of meta-search result pages.

The surfer is not clear on where they are going-- the meta-result pages pull in other sites descriptions when they are displaying their listings. The meta-tags from other sites are used in the Google listing since it pulls from the text.

I know of three domains doing this successfully in Google, but I'm sure there are many more. They have many thousands of these false-result pages in the index:

example1.com (276,000 pages)
example2.com (44,800 pages)
example3.com (51,500 pages) -- this one used to cloak every one with a redirect

Thanks for the prompt attention GG, I hope this gets sorted as it could get messy.


 9:27 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

As I said in my post - it may vary depending on the result. I in no way stated that having the six out of the 10 results would be a good thing necessarily. I said it will vary depending on the result and the keyword. Maybe you could sticky me the URL and result...


 9:36 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

I am willing to bet that most of those results pages never get a single click either as they will be buried so far in index.


 9:42 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>it is a major manipulation of the algorithm and doesn't add to the searchers experience.

How is it a manipulation of the algorithm? Google has been aggressively crawling
other search engines
[google.com] since it began.

I've also have had the opportunity to look at log data from some sites who have had their search results crawled by Google. And I can tell you, that based on what I saw, the notion that these pages create a poor user experience simply isn't true. The listings that showed up in Google were clearly identified as search results, and the people that clicked through stuck around for multiple page views.

Google is certainly within their rights to decide that they want to reduce the number of these types of pages, but that doesn't mean the people who operate these sites are spammers.


 9:45 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

BGumble, these sites have value. Are you going to include DMOZ in your spam report? How about Yahoo?

These sites have just as much reason to be in Google as any other.

If a site has a "search?keywords=" in the url it could also mean they are pulling from their own database of content - so you want to penalize them, also?


 10:01 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

I just got your sticky note - 700 back links is not so many as you might think. Additionally the top result appeared to be a good result with relevent content - Not a big pile of search results at all.

I think this is just a case of whining.



 10:06 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

I never suggested an across the board ban or penalization on directories. But I still fail to see how these sites I'm talking about add to the user experience.

Sample search: "buy vases" (not the real search terms)

Top 10 results include 6 results that use templated pages like:


"Welcome to SiliconJoe's BUY VASES section!" </title>

... Buy Vases Online - All Materials, Great Prices Vasecity offers beautiful decorative
Vases online, great variety in Vases and Urns (glass, acrylic, blown glass ...
siliconjoes.com/buy_vases_us.html - 7k </descrip>

Looks like they sell vases to me, right? Wrong.. click through and it is simply the top 10 results from Gigablast for the same terms. They can take any term, any number of keyword phrases, and generate instant custom pages that are highly optimized because they include everyone else's meta-tags. You're telling me 275,000 of these pages that do nothing but redirect you to a Gigablast search is a good thing?

[edited by: BGumble at 10:09 pm (utc) on May 8, 2003]


 10:08 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Additionally the top result appeared to be a good result with relevent content - Not a big pile of search results at all.

The top site is cloaked-- look at the cache. Those are good relevant results? 6 of the 10 do not sell anything when you specifically searched to "buy"


 10:12 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

I only went to the result that had a back link that you provided as I thought that was the result you wanted me to check... I will take a look at the others...



 10:14 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

So what's the difference between that site and DMOZ? If you search for a topic that happens to have a category in DMOZ, and that DMOZ listing shows up, you have a choice to click on it or not. You see that it is from DMOZ - so you can choose to pass on it.


 10:18 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Regardless of whether the individual search yields spammy results I think eventually Google will have to do something. It seems these autogenerated pagemakers have the ability if used improperly to create an optomised page with backlinks for EVERY SEARCH QUERY.
How can that possibly be good for the user.

Plus, GoogleGuy said so.


 10:20 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>So what's the difference between that site and DMOZ? If you search for a topic that happens to have a category in DMOZ, and that DMOZ listing shows up, you have a choice to click on it or not. You see that it is from DMOZ - so you can choose to pass on it.

Fair question!

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.

Whether they are violating "spam" rules or not, whether I'm whining or not, the results they're returning are not very relevant and anyone can do the same thing they're doing and further clog up the results. Did the example I posted above look like a search engine result? No, it looks like they sell vases.

I could write a script to pull in any search engines listings, reformat them, and generate hundreds of thousands of instant "content" pages just like these people are doing for any keyword phrases I want. I could release the script then many people could do it. What point would indexing these duplicate search engine listings have to help the relevancy of Google results?


 10:21 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

You believe GoogleGuy is really from Google?

And this isn't about autogenerated pages - these are queried results which were spidered by Google.


 10:22 pm on May 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

yet - those search results will not have very many incoming links so probably won't be as relevent. Getting that many pages into Google would be difficult. All the example I have been sent have been clearly marked as search results by those engines. If they were cloaking or masking that would be problem and should be penalized.

This 66 message thread spans 3 pages: 66 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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