Web Junk and Houp This

This is a re-post from another website of mine. I kind of like the article so I reposted it on this blog.  To read the original, you can go here.

I recently got the following comment on my blog:

“to the huge review, however The definitely supporting the modern Zune, as well as houp this, plus the fantastic evaluations some other folks have drafted, will allow you to determine whether it is the right choice for you.”

Other than the fact that I’m kind of diggin’ the phrase “houp this,” the comment is clearly spam and has been deleted. Every now and then a comment gets through my spam protection and I have to clear out a few posts. Not a big deal, really. Most bloggers accept a little comment maintenance from time to time, especially as the blog becomes more and more popular. My real problem with the comment is that it was clearly generated with spin software.

Let me briefly explain: Linking hundreds of articles to a particular web page can make it seem popular to the search engines, which gets it ranked well in search results. The problem is that most marketers believe they will not get credit for all that popularity if the articles they submit are all duplicates.  And writing hundreds of different articles is just too much work for the lazy internet marketer, who more often than not, is looking for an easy way to make a quick buck.

When an industry starts to lose respect for its own product and works almost entirely to game the system rather than provide a credible service, then we’re in for big trouble.

They overcome this problem by using spin software which creates hundreds, even thousands, of unique articles by replacing random words with synonyms. The articles are essentially the same, but with different words. Their hope is that Google spiders will crawl their content and see each article as unique, even if it is incoherent to the human reader.

The problem is that auto-spin software stinks. They generate unintelligible comments like the one left on my blog. When an industry starts to lose respect for its own product and works almost entirely to game the system rather than provide a credible service, then we’re in for big trouble. The most recent example is the mortgage meltdown in 2008. Mortgage brokers, investment bankers and investors stopped caring about the value of their products and the consequences of their actions, leading to a crisis that almost brought down the world economy.

Now, I certainly do not believe spammers are going to bring down the world economy, but marketers are doing the same thing by saturating the Internet with garbage; articles that are either poorly written and submitted merely to provide a backlink, or are written somewhat clearly, but provide no substantive content.

For years I have been urging webmasters and marketers to clean up their content. Mostly, I get ignored. As early as two years ago I warned the Internet community that someday search engines like Google would start to tighten the screws on those contaminating the Web with their “space junk,” and there is evidence that they now may be taking note. Nothing would make me happier.

Even when the grammar, usage and sentence syntax of articles finally gets cleaned up, we’re still going to be faced with the problem of thousands of marketers writing authoritative articles about subjects they know nothing about. Hopefully, the search engines will come up with a way to keep that in check as well. Or, should I say; Ideally, this seek locomotives is designated to occur upwards among any resolution on to retain who around view likewise. Houp this.

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