Thanks for This Sweet MySpace Friend Bot Spam Tool, Google!!!

Should companies that claim to vigilantly fight web spam allow people to advertise spam tools on their network and sell the spam tools using their payment processor service?

Google signed a billion dollar ad deal with MySpace, and at the same time recommends people buy friend bots to spam the same website:

What’s among the biggest contributor to blight on MySpace? The leagues of sock puppet profiles and automated friend requests that jamb your inbox. Google — the company that stands on a soap box attacking companies for SPAMMING their index to manipulate search results — is selling keyword advertising for software designed to create fake profiles and send SPAM friend request.

How is a direct paid link any more sinister than Google recommending email users dating cheating housewives? Why does Google put less effort into policing their own ad network than they try to enforce on the rest of the web?

Published: February 11, 2008 by Aaron Wall in business


February 11, 2008 - 3:46am

Not only does Google accept Adwords advertising for MySpace bots, but many bots use Google checkout to accept payment. Food for thought, eh?

February 11, 2008 - 4:24am

Talk about hypocrisy. This is just another example of their hypocritic 'do no evil'.

February 11, 2008 - 4:25am

Google make money off of selling adverts. It loses money when people game the index, i.e. buying fake links to rank well, so they don't need to buy adwords. This might influence their choice in which forms of evil spam to fight.

February 11, 2008 - 9:34am

OMG someone is using Google to spam?!?!?!?!....

For all the power Google has on the net, I think they do a pretty good job of dipping into their profits (and removing revenue streams that involve spam, like this example) in order to 'be good'.

February 11, 2008 - 10:01am

@Nixies -- the relationship between Google quality and Google revenues is complex.

Google's prerogative is to keep their quality head and shoulders over MSN and Yahoo. For instance, if Google has 3 spam results in the top ten SERPs and MSN has 9 and Yahoo has 10, Google doesn't need to get rid of the last 3.

Many kinds of spam site, such as MFAs and other sites monetized by adsense, actually make money for Google. Google just needs to keep things clean enough that legitimate advertisers don't walk away in disgust.

February 11, 2008 - 10:18am

? There are all kinds of illicit materials on Google, the Myspace bots are some of the least problematic. Anyone can game the system, fake Adwords out, and get their material on Google. It doesn't last long when it does go up, but they just resubmit it under a different URL or other such nonsense. It's pretty difficult to keep it off - I would have thought you would know this.

February 11, 2008 - 5:43pm

It is designed that way though. If they lost money from it then they would change the submission and review process.

February 11, 2008 - 11:36am

Aaron, I definitely understand your point. It seems like Google is double-minded when they allow this stuff to go on.

I'm not as quick to believe that they intentionally want this spam cluttering their Content network. Pretty much all the evidence is to the contrary..

They are doing everything to kill off anyone with a poor quality site using their 'quality score'. People want to hand Goog thousands of dollars, and in a lot of cases, they don't even care nor want the money.

February 11, 2008 - 5:43pm

The issue is you do not see them writing blog posts to in an attempt to scare their advertisers the way they do to the content providers they leech off of.

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