Removing Spam From The Web


Neither Hormel, the maker of Spam, nor Monty Python’s Spamalot would appreciate the sentiment in the title. However the rest of us would very much like to see the end of that other spam that accumulates on the web.

One major influence in creating all this rubbish was Google with its search view that the number of inlinks to a web page could be a measure of the importance of that web page. Once every one knew that, the name of the game was to create as many other inlinks as you could. Even though this was against the Google Terms of Service, for a time it seemed to work. The view that inlinks are what counts persists and is as strong as ever even though Google has been improving its ability to root out the spam-producers.

Now Matt Cutts, a Googler with some authority on this topic, has written a very clear explanation of what they’re doing about spam. This was triggered by a new service to create “Undetectable” spam. The follow-up to that is well described by Loren Baker in a post, Matt Cutts vs. V7N Links : Matt Wins. Another sign of the times is that Wikipedia seems to have gone the “No Follow” route in adding this tag to all its outlinks. So these will no longer count as inlinks conferring authority in the Google search process.

One would hope that the message will get around and the mindless creation of inlinks or the search for irrelevant reciprocal linking will cease. Unfortunately too many people currently waste too much time and money on these pursuits and spoil the scene for the rest of us.