NYTimes.com Article: In Searching the Web, Google Finds Riches

Russell Turpin deafbox at hotmail.com
Mon Apr 14 15:05:32 PDT 2003

I'm not sure people realize why Google is so
neat. Google succeeded because it killed
search spam. When you search for "high
dividend stocks," you DON'T get back pages
on porn, MLMs, and debt consolidation, ranked
artificially high by a variety of tricks that
search spammers once used.

There are several corollaries to this observation.
(1) If it weren't for spammers, Google would
not be as important as it is. Yeah, it would
be better than the other search engines, but
not qualitatively so. On the one hand, this is
kind of sad. On the other hand, anything that
wipes out a whole category of spam is really,
really cool. (2) By killing search spam,
Google makes limited, qualified ad placement
more valuable, and that is where it makes its
money. (3) Search spamming has lessened. I can't
remember the last time I received email spam
promising to place my Web page at the top of
search results.

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