Meta Spam: Search Results in the Search Results

I was chatting with DaveN last night about Google's spam problem. So many spammy listings are dominating Google using the following techniques:

  • submitting spam to a social news site (I see a lot of 1 vote Netscape and Digg listings for long tail queries in the consumer fiance vertical)

  • linking to a site search on an authoritative site like, limited to your target keyword and Google has had the regurgitating search result problem for at least 5 months now.
  • leveraging an authoritative redirect off a site like

DaveN also pointed out how many clean sites like funnel PageRank to sites that show spamming is indeed a web-wide standard. Still way too much weight on domain authority Google!

Published: July 31, 2007 by Aaron Wall in google


July 31, 2007 - 11:50pm

I think social news sites should make all individual pages for news items noindex for that exact reason. If an item gets popular it'll get dozens or even hundreds of extra links from other blogs, I doubt that one less link would cause a huge problem.

But then that would probably result in lost ad revenue for sites like Digg that I would assume use a CPM model, they probably get a ton of traffic from Google and the others for those long tail items.

July 31, 2007 - 11:54pm

You have to respect DaveN AND Aaron Wall! Though I have been occasionally a bit aghast at remarks DaveN has made from the podium as well as face to face while less than sober...I must say he speaks his mind and reveals a termendous amount that is decidely insightful. I recently noticed the problem on page 2 SERP of DaveN's favorite search "Buy Viagra"...

Google is so spammy in areas it is shocking. C'mon Mr. Cutts... You are losing the battle and all of Google and possibly much of Web 2.0 may go down with you!?

August 1, 2007 - 12:12am

Sorry if I am a bit slow but I follow all of the items that you (and daven) mentioned but I don't quite understand how people are using to funnel pagerank to their spammy sites.

Jeremy Luebke
August 1, 2007 - 12:13am

Matt is busy chasing down relevant paid links to legitimate sites to worry about these kind of tactics ;)

August 1, 2007 - 12:59am

Umm can you say Technorati?

August 1, 2007 - 3:40am

Hi Johnnyfundae
If you look long enough there is a member's personal blog linked to where every post is PR6 or higher, and they are selling a bunch of sitewide outbound links as well.

August 1, 2007 - 11:36am

I've noticed this too... its a massive problem and something that should be easily rectified. there is NO REASON Google should ever list another directory/search results page as they're too easy to detect i.e. does th content of this results page match MY OWN LISTING DOH!

The same goes for scraper sites that include Google results as content.

August 1, 2007 - 12:08pm

Very good post on Earners Blog illustrating what happens to a site when Google decides it is responsible for too much webspam (in this case, Squidoo):

August 1, 2007 - 8:24pm

I've seen the spam a lot too. Not good at all.

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