With ever new algorithm change and every new technological enhancement comes a new wave of spamming techniques. My definition of web site spam is any web site that is built for the sole purpose of generating an income while providing nothing uniquely useful to the viewers.
In a great article about the “next generation” of search engine spam Lee Gomes of the Wall Street Journal finds this:
No matter what I searched for, I ended up with a distressingly large percentage of what might be called second-generation Web spam.
In many cases, a page might at first glance seem like a guide to your topic. But after a minute or two, it becomes evident that the information is virtually useless but is surrounded by an ocean of ads.
These spammers are gaming the search engines natural algorithms ( getting top search engine placement for a junk site) but also gaming the paid ad system. Let’s assume you use Google Adwords or Yahoo! Search Marketing to run ads. Unless you opt out, these ads are syndicated on other web sites of similar content. New sites are built to house these syndicated ads as the owner gets a percentage of what you are paying each time your ad is clicked.
If you monitor your conversion rates this is a win for you as your ad gets clicked and you get a chance at a conversion, the ad provider (Google or Yahoo) wins because they get your dollars for each click, and the site owner winds because he gets a portion of that.
So who loses? Well, the average surfer looking for good quality sites loses because instead of finding relevant information they find junk and more ads. The search engine lose because their results are junked up with such spam. Loss of relevance means loss of searchers and ultimately loss of revenue. Oh, and you lose as well because you might find that you’re paying more click charges and getting fewer conversions.
The bottom line here is that if the searcher loses, everybody loses. The search engines know this and need to ensure that only quality and relevant results are returned. They should also monitor sites syndicating their ads much more closely. Take that away the ability to spam the ads, you take away the incentive to spam the natural results.