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"Spam is an Arms Race"
- Douglas Merrill/Google
glengara




msg:745953
 11:38 am on Jul 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Online search is not a "solved problem", a senior executive for net giant Google has told BBC News.
"Our position is that search is a very hard problem. We have still a lot of work to do," said Douglas Merrill, who looks after internal engineering.

[news.bbc.co.uk...]

Linkspam - not often featured on the BBC front page, are we in for a rough(er)ride?

[edited by: engine at 11:43 am (utc) on July 3, 2006]
[edit reason] added snippet [/edit]

 

steveb




msg:746013
 10:22 pm on Jul 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm always puzzled by a lot of the Adsense comments. Adsense is prohibited on (almost all) sites in the three most profitable areas of the Internet, where more reams of junk are produced than anywhere, and where some entire business models are built on a domain gnerating as little as a dollar a day gross revenue.

Adsense has lead to the creation of a lot of useless garbage, but there is relatively not much money in it so one should suspect that overall it is a minority contribtor to the doodoo online.

europeforvisitors




msg:746014
 10:38 pm on Jul 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

lol ok EFV, you keep reading G's PR campaign.

Well, if you seriously want to believe that Google is just sitting back and ignoring search spam, you're welcome to do so. But if you want to believe that, you'll have to ignore a lot of the Webmaster complaints in this forum. :-)

As for AdSense, one of the most common thread topics in the Google AdSense forum is "My account has been disabled." Another is "Smart pricing has discounted my click earnings to almost nothing." Between slashing and starvation, Google seems to be making at least some effort to keep the more questionable AdSense publishers in check.

whitenight




msg:746015
 11:19 pm on Jul 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

<takes a quick look at all the websites scraping my content to see if they still have adsense on it>

lol yep. Still there.

And of course, they are all banned on G but you better believe that adsense is still up and running...

glengara




msg:746016
 11:50 am on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

*..you keep reading G's PR campaign..*

As it appears to have been a BBC exclusive I'm assuming there's some specific reason behind it.

The level of information seems aimed at the "layman" yet linkspam is not usually a subject matter G wants to bother the general public with, It'd be interesting to know who instigated it....

Anyone come across Douglas Merrill before this?

wildbest




msg:746017
 12:48 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've been trying to spam them with relevant links and unique content for years now, to no avail. They sure are smart.

He-he. You've hit the point!

Everyone that builds a site and "optimize" it for Google is a spammer! As simple as that. You should forget about Google to exclude yourself from the group of spammers, right? But, at the end, if we all forget about Google, what Google will be? Nothing! That is why they need their "Arms Race". There should be no winners... a neverending "Arms Race"... that is what they need!

gibbergibber




msg:746018
 4:06 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Lol, I already gave one suggestion, but ulimately that's for the "brilliant" minds at G to figure out."

No, that's just not good enough.

It could well be that whatever overall strategy Google is using right now is the best that can be done. Note I said best, not perfect or even good, just better than the alternatives. Least worst, if you like.

It's just no good whining "there must be an alternative" but being unable to come up with any. If you can't come up with any, how do you know they even exist?

Of course spam will never be eradicated, but that doesn't mean Google have "lost" any more than the police have "lost" because there will always be crime, or any more than doctors have "lost" because there will always be disease. These bad things will be with us forever, but we can learn to deal with them as best we can and reduce their impact as much as possible.

It's not about defeating someone, it can't be because the problem goes beyond a few individuals and is inherent in the technology of the internet. As long as the internet is open to anyone from anywhere on the planet, as long as there are millions of clever and technically-minded people with a corrupted sense of morality, as long as there are countries where laws aren't properly enforced, there will always be spam of all kinds.

All that anyone can possibly hope to do is lower the spam level, nothing more.

If you know how to do that better than Google, great, tell us about it, Google might even notice it on here.

If you don't know how to do it better, what's the point of you moaning about it? None of us want spam, Google certainly doesn't as it's eroding Search which is their main cash cow, so they're extremely likely to use all possible methods to reduce it as far as possible.

whitenight




msg:746019
 4:33 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

gibber,

It could well be that whatever overall strategy Google is using right now is the best that can be done.

Then G should expect to be obselete within the decade.

It's just no good whining "there must be an alternative" but being unable to come up with any

Of course there is an alternative. There is always a better alternative. Companies who don't find them suffer and die.

reduce their impact as much as possible.

"As much as possible" is the important part of that statement. Did you read the other 20 posts I made in this thread?

It's not about defeating someone

Again, did you read my first post? That's my point to begin with... The "defeat the enemy" mindset is what's preventing G from seeing effective "alternatives"...

All that anyone can possibly hope to do is lower the spam level, nothing more.

That's the small-minded thinking of companies/individuals who fail or are lazy. Truly great companies try to achieve the "impossible" even if they know they will never succeed. It what keeps a company growing and on the cutting edge.

If you know how to do that better than Google, great, tell us about it, Google might even notice it on here. If you don't know how to do it better...

First, I don't work for Google...so if they want to pay me a consulting fee I'll be more than happy to give them plenty of actual suggestions.

Second, again, that's the point. Google's arrogant "know all" stoic attitude towards webmasters prevents open lines of communications for the free flow of ideas and solutions to their problems.

If Adam or GG #1, #2, or #3 want to come on here and give even a weak semblance of answering the many issues about the current upheaval then that would be a start.

If the spam and sitemaps teams want to give more personal replies to the many issues and concerns of webmasters, even better!

Then, and only then might I and others offer up valuable solutions for free to a company that makes billions of dollars and can't be bothered to interact more frequently with their content providers.

Otherwise, I'll keep my solutions to myself and my clients and let the "Phds" on their payroll figure it out, or not.

Google full well knows they are seen by many as arrogant, un-communicative, and unresponsive(within the internet world and the business world).

Let em show they are willing to work with webmasters in a meaningful way and perhaps they will find their bottom-line growing faster. (and their company image improving)

In the end, it doesn't matter to me. Like I said, I'm not on their payroll and I sold all my G stock. ;)

frakilk




msg:746020
 6:05 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>> Let em show they are willing to work with webmasters in a meaningful way and perhaps they will find their bottom-line growing faster. (and their company image improving)

Agreed. One of the most important aspects Google needs to shape up in pronto is communication.

TypicalSurfer




msg:746021
 6:14 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Will they ever declare "arms race" against click fraud?

The G$$G shtick is getting old, "everyone is bad except for us" evil webmasters blah blah blah . How long can the charade last?

BigDave




msg:746022
 6:21 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

The G$$G shtick is getting old, "everyone is bad except for us" evil webmasters blah blah blah

Where EXACTLY do they ever suggest that they are against webmasters, or call them evil.

They only have issues with a small subset of webmaters referred to as SPAMMERS. You soulc take no offense at this unless you are a spammer.

europeforvisitors




msg:746023
 6:33 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Everyone that builds a site and "optimize" it for Google is a spammer! As simple as that.

Not according to Google.

TypicalSurfer




msg:746024
 6:37 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

They only have issues with a small subset of webmaters referred to as SPAMMERS. You soulc take no offense at this unless you are a spammer.

Whenever they "update" or tweak their algo the result is just a new set of spam and more importantly for G$$G a new deck of webmasters that they nail with click payments. Please show me an example of any update where spam was reduced.. lol Its always the legitimate webmasters that take a beating one way or another and that is by design.

How long will it take for people to "get it"?

europeforvisitors




msg:746025
 7:15 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Whenever they "update" or tweak their algo the result is just a new set of spam and more importantly for G$$G a new deck of webmasters that they nail with click payments.

But if site A drops and Site B takes its place, isn't site B less likely to buy PPC ads? (The term for this is "zero-sum game.")

Please show me an example of any update where spam was reduced.. lol Its always the legitimate webmasters that take a beating one way or another and that is by design.

In the categories that I watch, there's far less spam in the top search results than there was two or three yearg ago (say, pre-Florida). And that's despite a massive increase in keyword-driven, machine-generated junk sites.

TypicalSurfer




msg:746026
 7:21 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

But if site A drops and Site B takes its place, isn't site B less likely to buy PPC ads? (The term for this is "zero-sum game.")

No, its called churn, it doesn't work as neatly as you described.

europeforvisitors




msg:746027
 7:25 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

No, its called churn, it doesn't work as neatly as you described.

And you're suggesting that it does work neatly for Google?

Powdork




msg:746028
 7:50 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

And you're suggesting that it does work neatly for Google?
It is profitable for Google. Once you've signed up for an account with adwords, you are more likely to keep it open even once your site is doing well as compared to if you never signed up for an account. This is known as retentive churn (well, it is now anyway).
I'm not saying that's why Google does it, but it worked with me. Of course, even with the account open, I'm not currently advertising with them.

gregbo




msg:746029
 9:52 pm on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Will they ever declare "arms race" against click fraud?

Actually, Eric Schmidt implied this in a recent CNBC interview.

waziwazo




msg:746030
 6:24 am on Jul 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am managing a website that include a guestbook since about 10 years and never got any problems with the posts made by peoples, well until about 1 month ago. Now i got spams links nearly everydays. My guestbook is now modarated so that i can review posts before they show up. Damn spammers...

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