Yesterday I was searching for ergonomic chairs as anyone sitting 8+ hours a day is ought to, and to my amazement huge percentage of search results were made-for-Adsense sites with rubbish content written by an outsourced penguin. Made-for-Amazon sites were in the strong second place.
It is in my belief that much of the web spam appearing on top pages of search engines could be easily solved on the algorithmic level by simply 'penalizing' (or completely removing) pages with Adsense or similar contextual ads.
The reason for this is most of the spam sites were made to leverage not-so-perfect search engine ranking algorithms, get free traffic and use ads or affiliate links to make money. There are more subtle techniques that involve buying traffic but the end result is the same.
Simply if there are three or four Adsense blocks on the site and they have affiliate links on top of it, that's exactly the kind of site I don't want to be seeing in my search results.
The algorithm would simply penalize the sites based on number of ads they run, using exponential valuation. Adsense, affiliate links, banner ads - over do it and you get heavily penalized.
And there lies the biggest problem. Google makes bulk of their revenue through Adwords/Adsense. If they wanted to clean their search results in this way they would clean themselves of big portion of their profits.
On the other hand Bing does not have to rely on ads as Microsoft has other income streams, and nothing stops them from implementing such algorithm. And if a user likes to see ads they could just have an option to include these sites.
Does it make sense?
- Ad conversion rates as search engine ranking factor
- Mind your comments, someone may be watching
- Near perfect analytics day
Posted in: SEO
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