Most Annoying Google Search Results? Empty Answer Sites

Jul 9, 2009 • 8:43 am | comments (8) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine

Remember a little back Matt Cutts of Google posted that he wanted the Google search results to remove empty review sites from the listings? Recently, during my Google searches, I have been landing on sites that have answers, but require you to login and pay to view those answers.

This has happened to me several times over the course of the week, but let me share one example with you. I was looking on how to mess around with imap outlook folders and found a Google result at, you guessed it, Expert Exchange. Here is a screen shot:

Expert Exchange and Google

Great, this is my exact question, I click over and what do I see? I see a teaser to sign up to view the answer:

Expert Exchange and Google

I cannot tell you have annoying this search experience has been for me. It makes me want to completely remove all results from my search experience at Google. I know this is not new, it comes up very often in the forums. But now it is bothering me personally, so I thought I take a recent thread and vent about it.

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.

Update: As noted by Adam in the comments, if you actually keep scrolling and scrolling, you will see all the answers listed there. I assume they are doing this to not cloak content to Google, but it still seems wrong.

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07/09/2009 01:21 pm

The answers are at the bottom if you scroll past all the crap.


07/09/2009 01:23 pm

Agreed, I hate expert exchange for that. To be fair good on them for trying maximise their exposure but it is bloody annoying as they show up for loads of techie related problems.

Barry Schwartz

07/09/2009 01:35 pm

Wow, Adam, good eye. Still wrong imo.


07/09/2009 03:34 pm

Actually, in my experience, scrolling down only reveals the answers in about 3 out 5 searches. At least 2 out of 5 still just show the "register for answer" banner. And this is definitely far too many.


07/09/2009 05:22 pm

And you used to be able to get around that by viewing the cached version as it seems they would show it to Googlebot for exposure, but they've changed that in the last year or so.


07/09/2009 05:57 pm

This annoys me to no end as well. I was looking last night for a driver for my digital camera because the new Vista service pack seems to have borked it. Most of my search results were for sites cloaking the driver as a download for some spyware-ish driver-management software.

Michael Martinez

07/09/2009 08:28 pm

It would be nice if Google removed all the stub pages from major sites like Wikipedia, IMDB, and other "database" sites that are plugging up the search results.

Tony Lawrence

07/10/2009 11:49 am

I think it would be nice if Google had a "Don't ever show me this site again" - if they did, I'd click Experts Exchange for that immediately. Perhaps if Google saw that thousands of us are disgusted by that site they'd de-rate it enough that nobody would have to waste their time with it. I vote EE as "most annoying site ever"

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