Feeds

Spammers, Cuil, and the rescue from planet Google

Out-Googling Google is not an option

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Web spammers are looking for an audience. As the most popular search engine, Google controls what its audience sees, so the junk jockeys generate their pages in ways that game the system. Everyone else legitimately seeking those same eyeballs for their content or customers for their business want the better search rankings too, so the SEO crowd works to make legit sites dance to Google's tune. Techniques such as adding needless internal links, creating PageRank-friendly URLs and distorting normal grammar are all widely deployed with varying degrees of dastardliness.

And so it goes. Gradually the structure and content of the web becomes at one with the Google data centre. Disrupting such a tight, interconnected mutualism seems impossible for would-be "Google Killers". The best others can hope for is to imitate Google results.

Throw Google from the Train

Hitwise says Google's market share of US web searches in June was more than 69 per cent. Thanks to the mutualistic process driven by spammers and SEO consultants, that dominance is only going to increase, and it's the only "Google Killer" on the horizon.

There will be other players in the game five years from now, skiffling along on scraps where there's a lazy audience (see Microsoft's deal to supply Facebook with web search facilities, or Live.com bloatware on new PCs).

That of course is when the favours spammers and SEO consultants have been doing for Larry and Sergey will become dangerous, anti-trust style. Regulatory intervention now seems the only bar to a complete Google autocracy over the web economy.

Now is probably a good time to abandon any hope of a benevolent Google dictatorship. In toughening economic times, we're already seeing the firm being tempted to abuse its immense power to prevent its halo slipping in the eyes of Wall Street. "Do no evil" became a bad joke long ago, but its latest move to multiply its customers' search advertising costs on the sly by co-opting them into its new "Ad Matching" programme is low by any standard.

But don't blame Google's executives. It's just what monopolies do.

The spammers can help by increasing the sophistication of their junk, prompting more secret factors to be added to the byzantine Google algorithm. Kosher sites must then respond, further tailoring themselves to Mountain View's new rules, and accelerating the decline of its weak web search rivals. The at some point governments and regulators will have to act, won't they? ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
DARPA-derived secure microkernel goes open source tomorrow
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.