Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Google dazes and bores us with empty robotic shouting spammy search results

Main head: Easy Lizard Pot Pie Recipe
Subhead one: Quick and Easy Lizard Pot Pie Recipe
Subhead two: Quick & Easy Lizard Pot Pie Recipe

Step by step recipe instructions for Quick and Easy Lizard Pot Pie Recipe complete with photographs and reader comments and discussion. Make the best Lizard Pot Pie with this quick and easy recipe. The ultimate comfort food, Lizard pot pies are wonderful, especially on a cold fall or winter day. These Quick and Easy Lizard Pot Pies can be made days in advance and then frozen for later. This is a feel-good meal! It's traditional without a catch but very satisfying, not to mention easy and fast.

This was the google result which finally caused me to snap (actual pot pie ingredient disguised to protect the perpetrator). Life is too short to have to read drek like this. People who put up websites like this defend them: it's the only way to rank high in Google, they say. I say: Then it's high time for something other than google (two alternatives listed below).

So I, uh, Googled the topic and found many cranky fellow sufferers:

Vivek Wadhwa: Google has become a jungle: a tropical paradise for spammers and marketers. Almost every search takes you to websites that want you to click on links that make them money, or to sponsored sites that make Google money. ... When you visit these sites, they take you to the websites of other companies that want to sell you their goods. (The spammers get paid for every click.)

Paul Kedrosky: The entire web is spam when it comes to appliance reviews... Pages and pages of Google results that are just, for practical purposes, advertisements in the loose guise of articles... Content creators are simply using Google against itself, feeding its hungry crawlers the sort of thing that Google loves to consume, to the detriment of search results and utility.

Marco: I've been frustrated as well by Google's apparent defeat by spam. It's not a sudden issue — it's been gradually worsening ... the impact of spam — mostly affiliate marketing and auto-generated splogs — has decimated the usefulness of the "product research" category. It's impossible to do any meaningful product research with Google.

Part of what exacerbates this is the apparent explosion recently of cheap-"content" sites that try to answer every search query ever asked. ... sites like, eHow, and countless clones with .info domain names that promise to address every niche question and informational topic, but whose content lacks all quality and substance. Searching Google is now like asking a question in a crowded flea market of hungry, desperate, sleazy salesmen who all claim to have the answer to every question you ask.

"Hey, anyone know how to wire an outlet?"

"Did you say ‘how to wire an outlet'?"
"I can help you with how to wire an outlet!"
"Here is info on how to wire an outlet!"
"Bargain prices on how to wire an outlet!"
"Guide to wiring outlets in New York, right here!"

Jonathan Christopher: How many times within the past six months have you had to sift through the first page of Google search results, making your way through scraped content and a rabbit hole of affiliate links to finally find the resource you were looking for? ... Advertising is a sneaky world, marketing is a sneaky world, I just want them to stop wasting my time.

Bob Warfield: Google's webmaster guidelines say, "Google will take action against domains that try to rank more highly by just showing scraped or other auto-generated pages that don't add any value to users." Here is the thing, folks: Google profits from at least some of these spammy sites. ... do you really think the brilliant minds at Google can't cut out some of this spam if they really wanted to? ... Google brings them traffic and conveniently monetizes it while they're at it.

Google offers us a Spam Report Form but neither they nor we have the time to empty the ocean with an eyedropper.

Here are two alternative search engines: and I'm going to be giving each of them a try.


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