Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Big Changes at Google

I found this from Slashdot, currently the wwwcoder.com story is down because of it. I had to read a copy of the article. It sounds really good. I had heard some changes were in the works, but had no clue what a big shakeup this could be. The story is based on a patent that Google recently filed detailing a bunch of techniques they will be or are using to combat spamdexing. The article says they "launched a full out assault against artificial link inflation & declared war against search engine spam..."

There are lots of things in there I like. Detecting changes between page updates rather than just looking at the page's creation date for freshness. Looking at site's name servers to penalize sites that use slimy name servers. Looking for real addresses in whois info. Length of domain registration. Click through data (likely from Google Toolbar). And lots of other good stuff.

If spammers read the article (assuming they know how to read) they would realize that link spam to a new site won't do any good because new sites are not expected to have a sudden huge increase in incomming links. And if you have been spamming for long enough you will be caught. So spam won't do them any good anymore.

The author of this article believes this system is "far beyond the reliance of criteria that can be readily or easily manipulated." I have no doubt SEOers will try really hard though. If they are smart that won't include large webspam campaigns, but since when have spammers been smart.

I really hope this turns out more effective than Google's last fix for comment spam. I think it will though since this is a global move rather than something that people must implement. Google is doing it for us. That is what has been needed all along, Google's PageRank success agrivated the spamming problem and now it looks like they might have it solved. As I have said before, I hope this makes chongqing unnecessary.

I know there are other search engines, but once Google gets it right the others will have to follow or die. Google already almost has a monopoly on searching. If the others become the main target of spam and can't handle it, no one but the spammers will use them. A true search monopoly isn't a good thing in the long run, but Yahoo and MSN would never let that happen to them.

It looks like nothing has happened yet, but they only filed the patent at the end of March so I suspect its not all in place yet. I am sure it has to go through lots of testing first, which means when its ready its going to be a huge sudden noticable change. They have to make sure this has as small an effect on legitimate sites as possible. I wonder what it is going to do to our PageRank since chongqed.org is such an unusual site.

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