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Re: is there a name for this practice?

  • Subject: Re: is there a name for this practice?
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2006 13:54:31 +0000
  • Newsgroups: alt.www.webmaster
  • Organization: schestowitz.com / MCC / Manchester University
  • References: <1141043638.370416.229380@e56g2000cwe.googlegroups.com> <2kt502pjklscoqatbafvsoo3b6sg6oe9ro@4ax.com>
  • Reply-to: newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • User-agent: KNode/0.7.2
__/ [ hug ] on Monday 27 February 2006 12:57 \__

> "dave black" <dbl4ck3r@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>I increasingly find that when I look for something via a search engine,
>>most of the top results are of 'directories', which usually announce
>>themselves with something like: "search for [the search term I'd
>>entered into the search engine] with [name of the directory company]".
>>And if I fall for this, and go to their website, I have to input the
>>original search term into their own (usually very inferior) search
>>engine...and usually get nowhere. It's very annoying.
>>These directory sites are in effect hijacking my search, and rendering
>>a very good search engine like Google ineffective. Is there a name for
>>this practice? And more important, are search engine designers trying
>>to find a way of stopping it?
> I think some of that is search-engine assisted as a kind of paid ad.
> It's definitely annoying.
> That's what I'd call the practice: annoying.

>From bitter experience, such pages are intended to:

-Hijack high positions in valuable search results pages. If the offending
page contains the top 10 results for "blue widget", then the term "blue
widget" will be echoed many times in the page, in different contexts (thus
not detectable as gibberish/spam). Ultimately, such bogus search results
pages can top the search results page in proper search engines (logical loop

-Mention plenty of distinctive terms (e.g. company names), thereby attracting
more attention (traffic) to the page. There are always curious ego surfers
and surveyors.

-Generate money using contextual ads services like AdSense, all with minimal
effort using scrapers.

So, all in all, this probably falls under that family of "scraper sites", yet
they use content from search engines (thus *dynamic* content and not
*concrete* content that can be said to have a mirror).

The spammers could argue that they only give a snippet from each site and
also link as attribution. To them, this is no worse than what many bloggers
do, namely congragating and aggregating news with further commentary.
Difference is: spammers *automate* it. Brute force. Much like promotional
E-mail (spam); much like comment spam.

I have reported such sites, but never seen success.

Best wishes,


Roy S. Schestowitz      | Bottom-post: as English goes from top to bottom
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux     |     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
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