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Google Spamming - Definition Required
Google ranks top 10 for unrelated spam
percentages




msg:41080
 7:36 am on May 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

While comparing Yahoo results to Google for some common search terms (and there are major differences in SERPs) I happened to come across a page which would get most folks penalized....and it is on Google's own site.

Hope the mods don't edit this, but one of the common search terms I tried was "Britney Spears". On page one for both engines (but in different positions) I found [google.com...]

I personally don't think people searching for Britney would be looking for this type of result, and I don't think Google should be allowing that page to be indexed if they are truly against spam of this type.

Yes, you can argue Google isn't trying to deliberately get additional traffic, but that could be true of any site. If rules are to be applied surely they should be applied evenly? Maybe it was a simple error on Google's part and they weren't intentionally attempting to gain traffic from Yahoo & partner users by spamming the index of their partners with all these common misspellings (and the correct one), but we could all argue that was also true if we did it!

So where is the line in the sand to be drawn? Are we all allowed to create pages that contain 100's of mis-spelled/irrelevant words and have them indexed? If we do it will Google penalize us for spamming? Even though they are doing it themselves?

As Jakob Nielsen says most people don't look below the page fold, if this type of activity is permissible then isn't Google encouraging/condoning this activity by doing it themselves? I noticed he cleaned up his act, maybe he needs to tell Google to clean up their's now?

Google are always telling us that webmasters are responsible for their own site's content....it appears to me they need to penalize themselves for this type of activity!

Should we send a spam report to Google for the above page? I wonder what type of reply/action will be received?

 

takagi




msg:41081
 8:05 am on May 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

See also see message 7 of Rebranding the Google Home Page [webmasterworld.com] thread.

nutsandbolts




msg:41082
 8:29 am on May 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Talk about a page just FULL of keyword stuffing...plus that font is rather small too! ;)

webdoctor




msg:41083
 9:19 am on May 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

I personally don't think people searching for Britney would be looking for this type of result, and I don't think Google should be allowing that page to be indexed if they are truly against spam of this type.

I don't think it qualifies as spam. It might not be that relevant for most people searching for 'Britney Spears', but it's extremely relevant for anyone who happens to be searching for any of the 593 'alternative' spellings listed on that page.

It's a page about the misspelling of Britney Spears, for goodness sake! How can it not mention the misspellings? The correct spelling is only mentioned twice on the page.

Webdoctor

soapystar




msg:41084
 9:48 am on May 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

a page of mispellings is not relevant for the search! google isnt working as we have been saying!

percentages




msg:41085
 9:54 am on May 25, 2003 (gmt 0)


>It might not be that relevant for most people searching for 'Britney Spears', but it's extremely relevant for anyone who happens to be searching for any of the 593 'alternative' spellings listed on that page.

Google shows that over 30,000 people per month are searching for Britney using an incorrect spelling on that very page. Do you actually think people are deliberately doing this? No chance, they are people who are making errors, and Google is getting them as visitors because of this spam page.

>It's a page about the misspelling of Britney Spears, for goodness sake! How can it not mention the misspellings? The correct spelling is only mentioned twice on the page.

Yup, mentioned twice on a site that is not about Britney, but still ranks on the first page! No Britney theme, no real Britney content, no Britney information, just a bunch of common keywords.....is that not the definition of spam?

It could simply state that Britney Spears is mis-spelt over 500 times per month by 30,000+ searchers.....the fact it chooses to show the keywords is an interesting anomaly!

If a site is allowed to post totally irrelevant content in the guise of being about mis-spellings of common search terms, then can we all do the same without fear of penalty?

I concede most of us don't want untargeted traffic, but as we all know adult sites target everything. When they do, they get penalized for spamming.....is Google any different? I'm sure there are lots of sites that would like 30,000+ visitors per month for untargeted traffic in some hope of making an impulse sale.....or just for exposure.

One final thought from the Google guideline at [google.com...]

"Don't load pages with irrelevant words."....well Google explain this one away please!

trillianjedi




msg:41086
 9:54 am on May 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't think this qualifies as spam in the slightest.

It's just an info page on google's mis-spelling engine.

It doesn't try to sell you anything (except maybe the fact that google has a good spelling engine) and is actually quite useful info to see how it can work.

There's no pop-ups, porn/gambling sites or any other kind of junk and that's the real enemy behind spamming.

Anyone who finds that page by mis-spelling Ms Spears name will immediately see what they have done wrong and can do another search to find what they're after.

TJ

topr8




msg:41087
 10:03 am on May 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

i guess the thread is tongue in cheek, but obviously it isn't spam ... its a perfectly legitimate page for what it says it is ... laying out the misspellings that were actually used as search terms for bs.

each misspelling is legit on this page

spam words are words that have little relevance to the page.

NeverHome




msg:41088
 10:32 am on May 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't think for a second that google is really trying to spam with that page, however, a quick search for [ britney spears ] revealed a few high placed pages that seems to have copied that lovely list of ready-to-go keywords, and also seem to be using it to good effect.

And, I reckon if I tried a similar tactic with misspellings of my target keywords I might have trouble convincingly "explaining... to a website that competes with me". See: Quality Guidelines - Basic principles [google.com]

But frankly, what concerns me most about that page is the confusion that it may cause amongst Papua New Guinean headhunters who may stumble across that page when comparison shopping online for something unique in spears, made in the U.K. ...

[google.com.tw...]

:)

HitProf




msg:41089
 11:03 am on May 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't consider it a spam page but it certainly doesn't deserve to rank so well. Perhaps the spam/algo team could look at it and tweak the algo?

philipp




msg:41090
 11:15 am on May 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

I suppose several people (and several with good PR) link to this page. Since it's not spam, there's no reason it ought be banned. If it would be penalized somehow, Google would have some seriously flawed algorithms.

It might not be a very relevant page to most people looking for Britney Spears; maybe Google should do better in analyzing wether or not a page contains real spoken English, as opposed to just word-lists. (If they don't somehow do that already.)

webdoctor




msg:41091
 11:25 am on May 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

a page of mispellings is not relevant for the search! google isnt working as we have been saying!

Soapystar,

If you search for 'brittany spears', then Google's page is relevant to your search, precisely because that's not how you spell 'Britney Spears'!

The page is not particularly optimised for the correct spelling (despite PR8, it's only 7th in the SERPS).

I really don't have a problem with Google's page, as far as I'm concerned it's genuine content, and definitely relevant to all those who can't spell :-)

Webdoctor

percentages




msg:41092
 11:28 am on May 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

>I suppose several people (and several with good PR) link to this page.

78 backlinks, for a PR8 page....it is generating PR from internal sources, not external ones....another good indication of a spam page;)

Yidaki




msg:41093
 11:42 am on May 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Beside the fact that i never did a search for Britney Spears (i swear), i wouldn't expect to find only clean, non spammy, highly relevant bio pages about her. imho, google has a right to have some fun with those who work hard to get found for their nudist garbage (no general offense taken against adult webmasters). Allthough their spelling list prob wasn't motivated by fun. ;)

x_m




msg:41094
 4:34 pm on May 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'd say there is nothing wrong with that page. None of the keywords are repeated more than once except "spears" which might give you a clue about role of keyword density in Google's ranking algorithm. Moreover it once again proves that PR is the main ranking factor. ;-)

XM

Yidaki




msg:41095
 4:39 pm on May 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Moreover it once again proves that PR is the main ranking factor.

In general? Wrong! There are obviously more factors counting. You spoke yourself about keyword density ... there's also link anchor text and 100's other factors.

it's hard to argue pro google's current relevancy, though. Ever thought about the possibility that the mentioned page is google's internal relevancy test page ...? Hmmm...

x_m




msg:41096
 5:04 pm on May 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Sure there are 100s of algo components but I am quite sure PR is the main one. Based on my experience with dozens of keywords. My comment to keyword density was meant in the way that page could help a lot in figuring that keyword density is not that important somebody might think.
XM

Yidaki




msg:41097
 5:13 pm on May 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

I would like to add my opinion about the weight of pr since it seems to be still misinterpreted and hyped these days.

The britney example shows me that pr is in fact important to gain top positions at google. However, i still refuse to see pr as the most important factor for good rankings. At least for me ...

One scenario:
Say, you're hyped about pr. So you set up your site and go link hunting. You do all you can do to gain more pr. You invest most of your time to reach this goal. So while you worked hard on getting inbound links from high pr pages, maybe while you purchased links, signed guestbooks or did what ever is needed to get a higher pr, you didn't have the time to work on your content, structure and the things you visitors would like to see at your site.

Now, you have a high pr page (whatever pr you specifiy as "high"). Imagine your visitors don't like your site - allthough it's so "popular" - you simply don't have enough good content. People wouldn't visit your site again, they wouldn't link to you again. Now, all high pr backlinks would drop - link rott. For those links, you have purchased, you would have to pay another year's fee to stay linked. Guestbooks links will get ignored ... and so on ...

Another scenario:
Say you are a reall pro in your topic. You write good articles, offer great, unique products, run a successfull board or whatever. You work hard to keep your vistors satisfied - you write good copy, news, blogs, or you are skilled in shooting wonderfull digital images, you simply build more and more good content ...

People start to link to you. People start to write articles about you. They just like your site. The more people like your site, the more backlinks you'll get. You'll end with a healthy pr and don't have to worry about unsatisfied and not returning users.

Now, tell me: what's the better choice?

twilight47




msg:41098
 5:55 pm on May 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

IMO
Google should just not have this page crawled.
Otherwise why would it be wrong for a "Spears" site to use this list as relevant information for fans and even acknowledge the Google reference?

Wouldn't they be just as legit? Even more so, since surfers would be more likely wanting a fansite, than a Search engine reference site.

WebManager




msg:41099
 5:58 pm on May 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

But they're all spelled differently aren't they? - that's the whole point!

(and the link has been posted before - as a gentle joke)

This is a non-thread.

Mods - delete, dlete, deleet, dleet, (etc. etc. ect. tce.)

Wmebagner

Brett_Tabke




msg:41100
 7:22 am on May 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Google Spamming - Definition Required

To paraphrase Neo: there is no spam.

Search Engine Spam: The result of machine generated listings. Search engines have not progressed to the stage where they can effective critique all textual materials.

Watching this forum now for so many years, it is clear to me that a large portion of webmasters are confused about "spam" as Google would define it. With PageRank the gate keeper, the majority of lower quality pages are kept out.

It is when we get into those lower quality pages where it is patently difficult for Google to know what is and isn't "spam". There simply isn't enough traffic down there to allow the mathematics to earn their keep.

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