Google Brand Bias Reinvigorates Parastic Hosting Strategy

Yet another problem with Google's brand first approach to search: parasitic hosting.

The subdomain was removed from the Google index due to excessive malware and spam. Since wasn't a brand the spam on the domain was too much. But as Google keeps dialing up the "brand" piece of the algorithm there is a lot of stuff on sites like Facebook or even my.Opera that is really flat out junk.

And it is dominating the search results category after category. Spun text remixed together with pages uploaded by the thousand (or million, depending on your scale). Throw a couple links at the pages and watch the rankings take off!

Here is where it gets tricky for Google though...Youtube is auto-generating garbage pages & getting that junk indexed in Google.

While under regulatory review for abuse of power, how exactly does Google go after Facebook for pumping Google's index with spam when Google is pumping Google's index with spam? With a lot of the spam on Facebook at least Facebook could claim they didn't know about it, whereas Google can't claim innocence on the Youtube stuff. They are intentionally poisoning the well.

There is no economic incentive for Facebook to demote the spammers as they are boosting user account stats, visits, pageviews, repeat visits, ad views, inbound link authority, brand awareness & exposure, etc. Basically anything that can juice momentum and share value is reflected in the spam. And since spammers tend to target lucrative keywords, this is a great way for Facebook to arbitrage Google's high-value search traffic at no expense. And since it pollutes Google's search results, it is no different than Google's Panda-hit sites that still rank well in Bing. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. ;)

Even if Facebook wanted to stop the spam, it isn't particularly easy to block all of it. eBay has numerous layers of data they collect about users in their marketplace, they charge for listings, & yet stuff like this sometimes slides through.

And then there are even warning listings that warn against the scams as an angle to sell information

But even some of that is suspect, as you can't really "fix" fake Flash memory to make the stick larger than it actually is. It doesn't matter what the bootleg packaging states...its what is on the inside that counts. ;)

When people can buy Facebook followers for next to nothing & generate tons of accounts on the fly there isn't much Facebook could do to stop them (even if they actually wanted to). Further, anything that makes the sign up process more cumbersome slows growth & risks a collapse in share prices. If the stock loses momentum then their ability to attract talent also drops.

Since some of these social services have turned to mass emailing their users to increase engagement, their URLs are being used to get around email spam filters

Stage 2 of this parasitic hosting problem is when the large platforms move away from turning a blind eye to the parasitic hosting & to engage in it directly themselves. In fact, some of them have already started.

According to, Youtube referrals from Google were up over 18% in May & over 30% in July! And Facebook is beginning to follow suit.

Published: July 26, 2011 by Aaron Wall in google


July 27, 2011 - 8:43am

Another great post

Is there still a search engine out there that focusus on ressource results ?

I think people are going to quickly get fed up with all this social crap and popularity results.

We'll probably have to go back to the Yellow pages to find quickly what we're looking for.

I think the term Anarchy search engines corresponds pretty well to all this search crap.


July 27, 2011 - 5:20pm

Google sending tons of traffic to a "trusted" domain while getting a large chunk of Youtube videos played on FB walls. At least on this level - they are definitely friends. The global spam problem, as written many times before by you and others, is solely Google's fault. kind of ironic for the company who once claimed to sort the web...

July 27, 2011 - 8:17pm

Hey Aaron, I love when you write posts like this that shows Google's true colors.

Obviously it's their site so they can do whatever they want but at least we know they're a bunch of hypocrites.

I'm still going to stick with quality content and building links through guest posts and any links that a viral post may pick up but I know there are a bunch of people out there still gaming the system with those crappy pages on Facebook, Youtube, and other sites as well.

I guess the moral of the story is branding is power... If you're a well known big name you can bend/break the rules and still enjoy all of the high rankings sites like this work hard to get.

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