co Ode To Spam: Is It All Your Fault? |

A lot has been said of Google’s most recent algorithm change, which was designed to kill the content farms. They call it the farmer update. But what started this?

Google has always tried to control the spam. That’s its mission. The sole purpose of the search engine is to help searchers find the best information for their search queries. Spam gets in the way of that.

Consider this: You decide you want to buy a new plasma screen TV. So you go online to search for one. In the No. 1 position is a bullet point list of how to go about buying a plasma screen TV. It’s obviously very low level content. And it doesn’t help you. That’s the kind of content the farmer update was supposed to address.

Whose fault is it that the search engines are full of those types of useless web pages? Some people say it’s Google’s policies that have created the spam market. But I’d argue that the spam market would be a huge market no matter what the search engine policies were.

The reason we all have to fight spam in our daily lives is because there are people who don’t care about business ethics. They are greedy and seeking to make a quick buck and if they can get you to click on a link on their low-level web page so they can earn a .50 commission on that click, well, that’s just business. If they can convince 1,000 people to do it, that’s $500 in their pocket. And if they can make $500 per page on 10,000 pages in six months, that’s not a bad salary.

Once you get a view of the economics of spam, it’s easy to see who is causing the problem. It’s not the search engines. It’s people who can’t, or won’t, create valuable content, but who want to earn a living as if they do. How do you fight it? Don’t click their links.