content farm

Improved Google Spam Filter?

Submitted by tomo on February 26, 2011 - 10:08pm

Google, in response to the flood of recent concern about spam/content farms showing up in their results, have just announced a big change in their system of algorithms which calculate page rankings. They had previously published a Chrome plugin that lets you manually block results, and Google says the new algorithm blocks some 84% of the same sites that people were blocking with the plugin. I guess some people were controversially blocking non-spammy sites, rather than guess that Google's algorithm isn't good enough. Or isn't it?

Matt Cutts, the main anti-spam guy at Google, says the new algorithm change affects 11.8% of queries. Since the change is only effective in the US right now and I can browse from both Vietnam and the US, we can compare results and some one in eight queries should be improved.

So I tested "dog shampoo" out of the blue. I have never had a dog because I think they smell.

In Vietnam, high ranking results included which had a low quality page of filler about dog shampoo and which is clearly a made-for-adsense site. In the US, the drnaturalvet link is much lower, but maintains the same high position. A link to content farm is also lower now. And a link to, a made-for-adsense site with nothing about dog shampoo at the time of indexing (see cache) is now gone too.

A search for winrar came up with fairly similar results in either country, and both maintained links to spam sites like

A search for "tightvnc server authentication successful closed connection" punished duplicate content site slightly but another duplicate/copy site maintained its position in the top 20. Both copy the StackExchange site

So it seems that the new algorithm change is an improvement, but I don't think it goes far enough to filter spammy results. While it may be a slight setback for those guys, they are still in the running and will be emboldened to try to rank higher.

There may still be a need for users to crowdsource a database of filtered spam sites until further algorithm improvements.

Note: The Atlantic did a similar test from India on "is botox safe" and "drywall dust" and found their results to be much improved.

Google Spam / Content Farm Filter

Submitted by tomo on January 21, 2011 - 3:06pm

There's been a lot of talk about the decrease in quality of Google search results over the years due to spammers / content farms with strong SEO skills. I'm glad I'm not the one who's been annoyed by this.

Google should know which sites are spam, content farms, or duplicated content. That they aren't properly filtering or demoting them could be due to a conflict of interest - they make money from the ads on those crap sites.

But we, as individuals, can easily distinguish the spam results from the quality ones and we do so everyday. If only there were a way to stop duplicating this effort.

If Google won't do this for us, then we can do this ourselves.

Here's what I want:
1. When I've been tricked into opening an ad-filled page without meaningful content, I want to go back to Google and mark that link as "spam", have that noted somewhere in the cloud so I can access it from any computer, and have future search queries filter out that link.

2. I probably don't want to see any pages from that domain show up on any other queries.

3. I probably don't want to see any pages that my friends have also marked as spam.

4. I probably don't want to see any pages that friends of my friends have also marked as spam.

5. I may even want to befriend / "follow" strangers just because they're good at marking spam.

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