Is Google NOT Serious About Webspam?
And therein lies the problem: It's hard to judge intent. Google admits as much by asking its users to submit spam pages so they can be removed from its index. If Google could do so algorithmically, it wouldn't have to ask for help.Claburn then moves beyond startpages (that could be misconstrued as spammy, doorway pages) and claims that Google profits from spam on parked domains:
AdSense for Domains treats domain names like search keywords for the purpose of placing ads on the parked domain... Google, I know, would defend these ads as providing useful information to Web searchers. If you ask me, it's a spam service. Google doesn't like people manipulating its index, but it seems to be okay with Web pages posing as real content.That's a bit of a stretch to use the term "spam service" to describe AdSense for Domains. However, I have seen cases of spam traffic from AdSense for Domains, so I can see why he would make this assertion. Google isn't helping themselves by refusing (so far) to detail traffic on the AdWords side that originates from AdSense for Domains (on the content network but parked domain traffic also exists on the search network).
Matt Cutts seemed irritated with Claburn's assertion that Google can't be serious about webspam since it runs an ad service for parked domains. It's important to separate Google's natural search program from its paid ads program. Cutts works on the former and has no control over the latter. Still, I'd like to see him involved in this meeting. He seems genuine in his efforts to combat spam, although the issue of snitching on paid links is rather silly (but that's a topic for a future post). I think Google IS serious about fighting webspam in their natural search results but IS NOT serious about fighting webspam on the rest of their system that does not exist on the core Google search property. Think of it this way:
- Google = Natural Search + Paid Ads
- where Paid Ads = Search Ads + Content Ads
- and where Search Ads = Search Engine Ads + Parked Domain Ads
- and where Content Ads = Contextual Ads + Parked Domain Ads
It is important to note that in a Clickbot.A-type attack, top-tier search engines would not pay miscreants directly. Instead, they would pay syndicated search engines a share of revenue, and syndicated search engines would, in turn, pay a share of their revenue to doorway sites that posed as sub-syndicated search engines or referral accounts set up by the bot operator.See the problem with Google's stance? Since they don't pay "miscreants" directly, they claim to not be culpable. IOW, it's not up to them to police their syndicated network and deal with these "miscreants" (partners who are creating spam or engaging in click fraud). They don't seem serious about dealing with webspam to me. As for Cutts, he does seem serious. However, since 99% of Google's revenue is derived from paid ads, and more and more of those paid ads are not displayed alongside Google's natural search results, it doesn't matter how serious he is. It's the AdWords and AdSense teams at Google who need to address this issue. Not Cutts.
Tags (these are not paid links made w/ TagBuildr): google, spam, matt cutts, webspam, thomas claburn, adsense for domains, startpages, adwords