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Report Cheating on Search Engines

Defeat Deception and Search Engine Obfuscation!

One of the solutions to defeating Search Engine Obfuscation (see search engine problems) is an idea implemented by GOOGLE following the widespread cheating which went on towards the end of 2003. The solution: If you find irrelevant websites appearing in your search results, loads of silly eBay stuff, repeated key phrases, and annoying pop-ups, even though they've got nothing to do with what you have searched for, you can squeal on them! This may become the way of dealing with the problem for a while, although whether it will stem the tide of dross always beating good stuff remains to be seen. At Google they have said this: "When you encounter Web sites that are trying to deceive our Web crawlers, please submit a report at http://www.google.com/contact/spamreport.html* . We use the reports submitted on this page to collect data which our engineers use to devise scalable solutions to fight spam in our search results. While we do not always take action on individual sites as a result of your report, please rest assured that we are using the information to make large-scale improvements to our system. We appreciate your assistance in maintaining the quality of our search results".

This is good! Not only because it gives you the chance to do something about those sites that are just loads of irrelevant keywords and no useful content, but also it is a deterrent to dissuade potential creators of such stuff from doing so. Honesty is the best policy! If you're going to create a website, sure, have some commercial content and affiliate stuff, but always have something useful and/or entertaining too, stuff which does visitors some good even if they are not going to part with any money. The best thing is to get the balance right. I have got the balance about right. To see what I mean, take a look at this Circular Newsletter

* Sadly this link no longer goes to anywhere you can report cheats. Instead, Google expects you to join. It's a sprat to catch a mackerel. Meanwhile, cheats have won on Google and the search results are swamped by rubbish. Also, honest sites are doing very badly because the cheats are obfuscating the results AND damaging the real sites. The people ostensibly in charge of defeating search-engine-spam are saying things which do not fit with facts. This and the naff search results are leading to a general move away from Google. See Replace Google. Replacements for Google include Blekko, which is doing much better! However, to be fair, we have yet to see how Blekko will tackle the problem of search engine cheats.