Search Spam vs. Search Relevancy

Jun 29, 2011 • 8:58 am | comments (6) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Search Engine & SEO Theory

Battle #7This morning while brushing my teeth I began thinking of the topic of Panda.

I asked myself, was it aimed at fighting back at "content farms" who target the algorithm to build out content for searchers? Most say yes. If so, then is that a spam fighting technique? Most might say yes.

My question is probably what most Googlers involved in search deal with every day.

Is fighting search spam the same thing as improving search relevance? It is like asking the question, is a good defense better than a good offense.

You have to imagine that if you are constantly battling those trying to knock you down, then how much resources can you put into new and improved relevancy technology? Or is fighting spammers a relevancy tactic by itself.

A company like Google has enough resources to work on both the offense and the defense. But where should they allocate more resources towards? Where should companies that are smaller, such as Blekko or Duck Duck Go allocate resources towards?

Again, I am sure these search companies have a clearer picture of what the proper answer is. But when you think about it from a searcher or SEO point of view, it does start to make you think.

I'd also recommend reading a NY Times opinion article named Google's War on Nonsense.

Get thinking and do comment below.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld and Google Webmaster Help.

Previous story: Global Rollout of Google +1


Marc Perez

06/29/2011 02:31 pm

Google is the search engine by choice, not by force. When we enter a query, and aren't satisfied with the answer, we go back to Google, and refine our search. We don't switch to Bing, or ask, blekko, etc.  Google has adapted to our needs the same way we've adapted to their tools to enhance our searches. Google is helping us in our strife for perfection.

Nick Stamoulis

06/29/2011 02:54 pm

Marc makes a great point. Users unsatisfied with the Google search results don't usually blame Google. They go back and change their search keywords. No many brands can get a customer to do that.

Ian Williams

06/29/2011 03:10 pm

Hi Barry, sorry to be a pedant but the following sentence has a typo: "My question is probably what most Google's involved in search deal with every day." Googlers?

Barry Schwartz

06/29/2011 03:47 pm

Thank you.

Michael Martinez

06/29/2011 03:57 pm

Panda is not directed at so-called content farms.  It's looking at a much bigger picture.


06/30/2011 05:59 pm

 The idea of Panda, after all, is to help users find content with some usefulness or distinctiveness.   Ad to content ratio, scrapers, high bounce rates and other signals of poor user experience are what this update attempts to identify.   What it appears to be doing is enable the creation of custom content.  Which is rich with opportunity in the form of advertising and branded messages. imho - the bar is raised if only for the general internet surfer.  Any content that serves a broad purpose is just getting a makeover so it is not so easily distinguished.    +1 for a better mousetrap  this was just a warning shot to content farms, do you think Demand Media even blinked?

blog comments powered by Disqus