back to article Google algorithm change squashes code geek 'webspam'

Google has rolled out an update to its search algorithms designed to reduce "webspam", aka "the junk you see in search results when websites try to cheat their way into higher positions in search results or otherwise violate search engine quality guidelines". In short, says Google principal engineer and search quality guru …


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  1. Michael C


    I am SO tired of doing a search and getting 15 results that are just different sources wholesale copying the same content, especialyl technical forums are horrible about this...

  2. Tom Maddox Silver badge


    They could just send a brute squad around to so-called SEOs and whack them in vital bits until they agree to stop.

  3. Aremmes

    Finally something

    At last Google is at least acknowledging the search spam problem. Now, will they do something about the keyword search spam sites and the shopping spam sites that I keep getting in my search results? Take care of that, Google, and you'll have gotten rid of most of the spam results that I've faced.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bugger the Spam

    The pages that get me are the ones that claim to be an article (or similar) along the lines of what you're looking for and then take you to some other search engine. One that still doesn't contain what you are looking for!

    Seem to recall 'Brothersoft' being bad for that if you're searching for software

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hate the spam!

    Usually prefixing your query with "allintext: " helps filter out some of the junk. Only downside I've noticed is if you use it a lot within a short time frame, it thinks you're a bot and flags up a captca :(.

  6. Wibble
    Thumb Up

    Personal blocklist

    Would be nice if I could 'blacklist' certain sites from my Google searches. There's a pile of useless spammy tech sites that just parrot original content - and badly too. But my top blocks would be those damn stupid 'comparison' sites that add no value and are of no use to anyone.

    At the end of the day Google needs to get on top of this in order to stay on top.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Block list

      This would make it worth staying signed into google.

    2. Stoneshop


      "But my top blocks would be those damn stupid 'comparison' sites that add no value and are of no use to anyone."

      Or, when you're looking for info on some piece of junk, errr, Fine Example of Ancient Tech that you just found in a dusty box in your grandma's attic, those sites that claim you can buy that gear from them, new, fully warrantied etcetera. Oh, really?

      1. Wibble

        OK, naming names

        I mean sites like caio, pricerunner, reevoo, etc. Whenever one looks for a particular model -- and particularly if it's rather obscure -- these sites always come up and add no value as they all show the same set of vendors with the same prices, few reviews if any...

        In short they're a waste of characters in the Google result set. I've never really found them to be of any use, e.g. adding any value to a search.

        Let me give you an example. I bought a telly over Christmas. The one I wanted -- from LG -- wasn't available, so I was looking for a Samsung. All of these sites came up with the same set of answers. None of them listed the company -- Comet -- which I found to be the cheapest. I hate to say this but, like the Direct Line adverts, price comparison sites don't always work.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Black Helicopters

          Direct Line

          I used to work for a financial services comparison site and got to see the data before we filtered out companies who had asked to to be removed. Things may have changed in the past two years but Direct Line's products never came out very well when compared to the rest of the market which lead us to conclude that their marketing copy about not being on comparison sites was merely trying to cover up their uncompetitive prices.

    3. Jonathan Evans

      Personal Blocklist - Good idea

      I agree. I just want to be able to exclude anything from eFreedom in my results.

  7. Pablo

    Make it easier to report

    I wish Google made it easy for users to report spam results. I certainly wouldn't suggest they automatically delist a site just because a few people report it (you can easily imagine that being abused against political sites and so forth), but surely those reports could be very useful in combination with Google's algorithmic magic.

  8. Michael Hoffmann Silver badge

    Next step

    Make it so half my tech searches are no longer from "Experts Exchange".

    1. Davros
      Thumb Up

      Expert sex change gradually going away

      Expert sex change is slowly getting less dominant in my searches anyway. And they do sometimes have useful info, just click on 'cached' and scroll to the bottom.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Bloody experts exchange...

      Putting this in your query seems to do the trick

      Though, to be fair, I haven't felt compelled to use it in a quite a while, so maybe they have tweaked their algorithms regarding that &^%£% site.

    3. DRendar

      Nothing wrong with EE

      Not sure why people dislike experts exchange, just scroll to the bottom of the page - the "You must register to access the answer" is just there to deter the luddites I think.

      I find MANY of my technical answers on EE and I've never paid them a penny.

      By the way, for people who dislike all those bloody horrible comparison sites:


      1. Britt Johnston
        Thumb Up

        I like this too, but it seems a shame that google can't build in this approach as a filter icon.

      2. Evan Essence

        Tittle tattle must be contained

        I'm immediately put off by EE claiming to have "the solution". I can't imagine any query I've searched on where EE popped up having One True Solution. That's just nonsense, and I've never even been tempted to look at their "solution".

  9. Robinson
    Thumb Up


    Great. Love stackoverflow!

  10. Oninoshiko
    Thumb Up


    Can we eliminate sites with the google bot can read, but renders such that you cant? expert-s^H^Hs-exchange, I'm looking at you!

    1. /\/\j17

      Scroll my brother, scroll.

      Nothing wrong with expert sex change - just always access via a Google search, never direct.

      If you click via a Google search and scroll to the very bottom of the page you will see all the answers exposed for free! Do the same via a bookmark or direct search on the expert sex change site and you won't - it's just one way they get indexed by Google and stay within the Google rules.

    2. Argh


      Whenever I've had Google results from experts-exchange, I've always found that if I scroll down to the bottom, the answers are there anyway, it's only at the top of the page that they're blurred / labelled as needing a subscription.

      That's not to say the answers will be correct, just that anyone can read them, not just Googlebot.

  11. Renato
    Thumb Down

    The worst

    If you use Google in a language other than English you can see many Wikipedia clones that grab the Wikipedia EN article and Babelfishes it. It is very annoying.

  12. paulll

    :p's still showing up near the top a lot ...

  13. Jimbo in Thailand

    Yes, their search algorithm is shiite! Has this happened to you?

    Try searching for a review of any consumer product. In the old days...let's say at least a year ago, the search results would actually include several legitimate product review links to choose from. Since then, the Google Empire building engine instead mostly displays a list of sites claiming to have reviews but are in fact just reseller sites that have snuck in the search keyword "review". As we all know, the boys at Mountain View are incredibly talented and I can't believe they're either not directly behind this crap or don't fully embrace these bait and switch tactics for the additional revenue it brings in.

    The bottom line is these increasingly irrelevant search results are getting more frustrating while comparable alternative search engines are nowhere to be found...Yahoo? Bing? Yeah...right.

    It's now time for a new search competitor, let's call him David, to arrive on the scene to take on the Google Goliath. What say you?

    1. Allan George Dyer


      Doovid and Googliath perhaps?

  14. Robin Bradshaw

    this helps


    That cuts out a whole heap of shit from search results, big thanks to for their site.

  15. Trev 2

    Re experts exchange

    Think sites like that tended to vanish after Google looked for hidden content and feeding Googlebot one thing where the user got something else. They eventually stopped doing that and you simply jumped to the bottom of the page for the real content (ignoring the "register" links).

    Now I think they've gone back to the original system and they seem to have vanished mostly from the results again. So in some ways Google is making things better, but it causes headaches for more legit sites using things like show/hide text.

  16. John Tserkezis

    If it weren't for the OptimizeGoogle add-on to FireFox, I'd be really annoyed.

    One of the features it offers is "filtering" of google finds.

    If a google find is to a particular URL (or part thereof, wildcards are supported), it greys it out.

    It's still clickable, thus accessable if you need it.

    Really useful when I've ironed out the sites that demand payment for semiconductor datasheets the original manufacturer has for free come up first. Along with the sites that merely sell the semi in question, but offer no other information at all.

    experts-exchange is no longer an issue.

    Finding software downloads is by far less painful now that I don't have to battle with dozens of "SuperDuperWizzBangDownload" sites that demand payment or registration for the mere "priveledge" of being able to download files at faster than their normal retarded speeds.

    It takes a while to add the filters in, but once you have, ahh, bliss. :-)

    1. robin48gx
      Thumb Up

      thanks for that, my initial filter list :)

  17. Anonymous Coward

    The Google algorithm is broken

    Developers have been grumbling about the Stack Overflow scraping sites for months now. It's definitely been discrediting Google search in the eyes of geeks: if the algorithm can't figure out which is the original source of two identical posts, then what else is it getting wrong? The fact that Cutts singled the SO scrapers out by name makes you think that Google was worried - also you have to wonder if the fix is an algorithmic one, or just (as Google have been caught doing before), a hard-coded bodge.

  18. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. DRendar


      Just scroll to the bottom!!!

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Fudge Factory

    Who is working in the fudge factory sampling the output?

    Where have all the people gone?

  20. Matt Hawkins

    Experts Exchange

    Not sure why people don't like Experts Exchange. Just scroll to the bottom for the solution to your problem. Ignore the rubbish in-between. It's not difficult.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Try scrolling to the bottom of this to get the solution -

      As a previous commenter said, the reason expert sexchange doesn't appear to be hogging the result sets as much these days is because they aren't including the content in the page which is rendered to the user rather than the google bot.

      1. DRendar

        The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

        Personally, I've only ever come across about 2 or 3 pages like that.

        The VAST majority are like this:

      2. Argh

        Well I couldn't with that link

        But when I typed the question from that link in to Google, then clicked on the Experts Exchange search result, it gave the answers at the bottom.

        You're welcome!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Expert sEx change

    is a really annoying site

  22. robin48gx

    kill list

    I want a kill list in google search.

    I hate the datasheet for electronic component sites that want you to log in,

    they always come up first in google search even when the chip manufacturers

    have put the latest version of the data sheet up for free.

    This would be first on my kill list:

  23. /\/\j17

    An end to 'Sponsored' results?

    "the junk you see in search results when websites try to cheat their way into higher positions in search results or otherwise violate search engine quality guidelines".

    What, you mean by buying their results to the top of the list using competitors trade names as trigger terms...?

  24. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    product names

    Another trick is to add +problems or +faults to the end of the product name to get the real review site

  25. Bill Coleman
    Thumb Up

    Experts Exchange

    There seems to be a lot of hate here for the exchange, but I've found it useful in the past - particularly for little nuggets of weird-ass legacy application trickery.

    As above posters pointed out, if you follow a google link to an experts exchange page you can scroll to the bottom for the answers. BUT if you hit the url directly you get the garbled page. Consequently I on rare occasion have actually found myself putting an experts exchange page url into google and following the hit to get around their paywall!

  26. Michael Kean

    They should buy


    Problem solved - at least for software choices.

  27. The Grump

    Search for : Bugger off

    10,000,001 Results




    Yes, some relief from dimwit search search results (like the above example) would be welcome, even from a data mining operation like Google.

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