View Full Version : Mega-Site Garbage! - The Latest Google Target?
10-21-2004, 03:09 AM
I have seen many Mega-Sites fall in this last update, while smaller Sites gained PR.
Many Sites have taken advantage of replication technologies and list in directory pages for every City in the US, with a lust for "conquering" every city in the world.... Get Real! The Sites using these proliferation technologies seem to be getting hit pretty hard for duplicity of content this time around.
ie... Doing a search on "Dobbin Texas": Hey we live in a town populated with less than 100 residents. We have 2 country stores, railroads tracks, a greasy spoon cafe, clean air and no terrorist threats and we damn sure don't need a "cherry picking" web design and SEO company out of Chicago playing local.
We don't have Dentists
We don't have Lawyers
We don't have Doctors
Hell, many days we don't even have local news.
Veterinarians might be another story, as long as they are in a 20 mile radius and/or pay house/ranch calls!
Are Sites subscribing to these pseudo directory page proliferation technologies the target now? Aren't these "bad neighborhoods" by the strictest definition? Are these not "Gateway Pages"?
We don't have hotels, resteraunts, etc. here either!
Guess what, they are all turning up "Goose Eggs" now, as in PR0.
Do I hear a cleaning for regional or local searches whisping in the latest "house-cleaning" winds?
700-5000 pages - My "bleep"! Why do you have that many pages? Very Few International Conglomerate Corporations create that many products and/or services.
We have a client that markets to 20 Industries with 110 pages having more top 10 SERPS for 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, keyword phrases than I can count, many in the 5 and 6 digit highly competitive SERP return numbers.
10-21-2004, 03:54 AM
Ken, I can't answer your question about local search. I would have thought you could operate an SEO company anywhere there is a phone line.
I live in the biggest village in he area, so we do have all of those things.
I run an info site, where I tend to put up a new page for every question I receive that is not adequately answered by the others. There is some internal linking for common topics, buta lot of things have to be treated on their own.
A lot of the stuff floating around the net is garbage for 99% of the population, but there may well be a reason for it. I guess one of hte problems is that many people do not remove old pages, but simply add new ones.
10-21-2004, 04:01 AM
Checking "Housing Units" for Vienna.... Less than 6000 in the last governmental census!
How does that merit 5 Million web pages on topic?
We are bloated to the gills, everywhere!
Cut, Clip, Crop - Go Google!
10-21-2004, 04:03 AM
I don't really know what they call a housing unit. Vienna has about 1.6 million inhabitants. I can't see much reason for it either! there is a Vienna in Georgia as well, and probably a few others as well.
10-21-2004, 04:06 AM
How about over 21 million returns for Austria?
10-21-2004, 04:28 AM
I had 2 returns for Internet Web Design & Seo companies listed for my town on a PR0 directory, one of them being an associate of a frequent poster on these forums.
That firm most likely subscribed to that directory service and they have provided a different URL and page for every single city in the US.
Tell me that is not garbage. Do you want to hazard a guess at how many duplicate pages that is?
PR is not an issue here (they have a PR0) as much as
having a separate page for every US city using this proliferation technology.
The next obvious question we have to ask then is... Are there ways to garner traffic beyond what the SEs can provide? Can I sacrafice my PR for much more traffic? (Probably not since this particular find was not in GOOGLE's top 30 SERP positions), but then, they only know.
Ohhhh... and if I go there , How long will the party last?
Show me Sites engaging in these duplicate web page proliferation technologies that kept a mid point ranking in the last update.
The last time I checked PR0s did not qualify for "Trusted Site Status".
10-21-2004, 04:37 AM
I'll agree with you on that one. If they are using different URls, then that is spamming. If they stick to one address and get themselves included everywhere, that is only good business practice. There are enough duplicate pages out there already.
At last someone has said this. The "Mega- bulls**t-site" is, in many, many cases spam. You're also completely, 100% correct on the subject of gateway pages. I'd love them all to rot in hell. When I hear people on this forum talking about their "need" to have 10,000 pages I think "not".
10-21-2004, 08:24 AM
I honestly kind see any good reason to have 10000 pages, but if I can think of one, I will let you know. I guess if you supply a high definition version of every picture on a separate page to save loading time on the main page and that sort of thing, you can quickly get them adding up. Still, I do think some people exaggerate just slightly. Doorway pages are what we all think they are, spam.
By the way Ken, I tried "housing" and "Vienna" on sites from Austria adn just got 17700 results. I guess the bulk must be Vienna, Georgia.
10-21-2004, 10:53 AM
There are many huge Sites that are well organized and provide good service, run intelligently. One I was particularly impressed with recently are those under the JupiterMedia umbrella:
But living in a small town, I know which town I need to go to for different services and I am not going to drive 100 miles to see a Dentist and I am not likely to stay 80 miles away from someone I visit for a few days.
Many Sites are running as fast as they can to buy their positions in "local" searches.
Here is what I am talking about; Google; "Dobbin Texas" without the quotations:
(link broken at primary domain level on purpose because breaking it at any subsequent level is ineffective. A near same page resides at all folder levels for every City in the US) Spend a little time there go to any state and scroll down...There's plenty of dissimilar content in multiple location listings) In fact the primary domain has a PR8! Have they achieved trusted Site status and are the SE's allowing that level of spam? If so, maybe we should all do it. 10 million web development companies in every town! Where are we going with local searches?
Read that intro paragraph:
…. “We offer nothing but the freshest and best quality flowers with a 100% satisfaction guarantee direct from a Dobbin flower shop.”
There are no flower shops in most 1 traffic-light rural towns, this one included! In fact, the guys out here are more likely to send their wife a chainsaw instead of flowers, so they can clear the woods together.
Look how many times “Dobbin” was used in the header, introductory paragraph and even the URL - very intelligently mass regurgitated from an SEO perspective! The page is beautiful, very appealing and….. they have a PR0 at this level, all the way down from an "8".
Is anyone really going to search for “Dobbin Texas” or any other “BFE” to send flowers? Hell no… They are going to search for “send flowers”, “send roses” or something along those lines.
Where does mass advertising and Spam diverge?
IMO - This is what Google is now targeting!
I could cite many more examples of the same regional and local "gateway page" practice for, lawyers, real estate agents etc… etc…, check out your own local area SERPS.
This webpage proliferation practice is not going to fly any more with Google. In fact, I have been monitoring MSN in several categories for total SERP counts and I have been watching a trend to trim most of those SERP’s Total Returns by quite a margin for 3 consecutive months. Will MSN beat Google in "trimming the fat" to gain an edge on search relevance? It will be interesting.
Dealing with this mess is an important aspect of SE relevance and will continue to be. The problem is much larger and more difficult than one might want to imagine. The Traffic-Power scandal was just a "warm-up" practice session.
I hear that garbage truck coming down the street again!
All rights reserved, Mountain Eagle Marketing.
10-21-2004, 01:37 PM
greeneagle, I follow a lot of local-related searches, and can tell you that Google is doing a good job lately of getting rid of these types of spammers.
From what I can see, a site like roses nationwide, who has created local doorway pages like this usually don't last long in the SERPs. They usually get indexed and do okay for as long as a few weeks and then drop completely off the radar. I attribute this to the "newness factor" of Google. Google normally ranks completely new pages it finds fairly well at first (because new pages can't get links and PR quickly, etc.) and then they start to drop. These new pages get some sort of "boost" by Google and then tend to be put into the pool with the rest of the pages--and since these spammy doorway pages don't get the needed links and PR they usually end up not ranking after 2 weeks or so. The spam filters and duplicate filters usually kick in, too.
I would suspect that pages like this (keep in mind they're also spamming for this search as well (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&safe=off&c2coff=1&q=kemp+texas)) and personally I believe that their days are numbered.
In the past few months Google has stepped up their enforcement of local doorway spam like this, and frankly I'm actually surprised that this site has been able to get away with ranking for these search terms. But, at this point, I really wouldn't worry too much about it, Google will catch up with them. I know how frustrating it can be, but give it some more time and they'll be gone.
10-21-2004, 01:54 PM
This one seems armour coated. It is done extremely intelligently at all SEO levels. The content in the introductory paragraph, and the listings at State and City levels add enough difference to not flag the Dupe Content Filter. Every aspect of SEO follows the rules to the tee!
It's Incideous!, I really don't know how else to describe it beyond that. How are the SE's going to deal with these kind of issues as we march toward localization refinement?
Any speculation there?
10-21-2004, 02:59 PM
. . . add enough difference to not flag the Dupe Content Filter. Every aspect of SEO follows the rules to the tee!
How are the SE's going to deal with these kind of issues as we march toward localization refinement?
Any speculation there?
Although they may be getting around dupe filters, I think that ultimately their page perfect SEO will be their downfall.
I suspect that Google is quite adept at differentiating the ‘average Joe’ website from the highly optimized site by closely reviewing on-page attributes. I also suspect that Google is penalizing already (albeit ever so slightly) pages that are in fact, overly optimized.
I suspect this because many of us have reported that our unkempt sites are tending toward higher PR and SERP position while those sites that receive our greatest efforts tend to stay the same, or may even fall.
If this is true, the site you reference that is so good it gets around dupe filters, will ultimately fall because of its SEO perfection.
Think about it. . . Google created this monster with reliance on links. Now, linking is totally out of control. So if Google de-emphasis links, where can it go. . . back to on-page stuff.
The issue is simple in my simple mind. SEs can evaluate only two primary data sets, on-page and off. So, if Google tweaks down off-page importance, it will probably increase on-page importance. If so, Google must then work harder to cull pages that are built specifically for ranking (highly optimized) and must diminish visibility on those pages.
That’s my speculation on where this is going. If I’m right, the SEO experts may start getting paid to undo the work they did yesterday.
10-21-2004, 04:16 PM
How about this GOOGLE alg addition:
No, How about this SE alg addition, be it #101, #125 or whatever is next:
1) Count Site Pages Indexed
2) If quantity of Site pages indexed exceed “x”, then set dupe content detection threshold and subsequent penalties higher.
Hell, scale it at different numbers; "x", "y" and "z"s...
It is pretty easy to ascribe certain patterns in numbers to this kind of abuse, isn't it? These are semi-finite numbers for every country on the planet, right? We are talking AI (Artificial Intelligence) here aren't we?
Doesn't that take care of both "static" and "dynamic" page issues in one fell swoop?
Is this too simplistic?
With the "trimming the FAT" recently documented in MSN reductions in several total SERP returns for many search strings, have they beat Google to the punch here?
Damn... No "Roses" in top searches for Dobbin Texas" at MSN... Plenty of "real estate" though.... definitely deserves closer examination!
OOOOOOOPS!!, even the "Gift Baskets" made it through there too at #5:
Here is their "Dobbin Texas" header HTML:
"Dobbin TX Texas Gift Baskets, Dobbin TX Texas Gift Basket Delivery, Dobbin TX Texas Gifts, Gift Baskets Dobbin TX Texas Texas, Dobbin TX Texas Fruit Baskets, Dobbin TX Texas Fruit Gift Baskets, Dobbin TX Texas Florists in Dobbin TX Texas, Dobbin TX Texas Florist, Dobbin TX Texas Florist Delivery, Dobbin TX Texas Flower Delivery, Dobbin TX Texas Cookie baskets, bouquets of cookie, flower bouquets, Dobbin TX Texas Candy designs & candy gift baskets, Dobbin TX Texas Cake Delivery."
God help us all - We are a long ways from making "localized" searches truly viable!
10-21-2004, 05:18 PM
Anybody want to pick on YAHOO... I haven't gone there yet, but if someone doesn't....I'll probably do it!
Well may you laugh. I wonder what these people are on. I have an image of several hundred spotty teenagers poring over maps of America saying "Dobbin Texas, that sounds kind of cool" (which it does incidentally, so no spoiling my illusions please!).
The serious point however, is very well made. Whether it's desperately obvious or not, this kind of thing is spam and should be dealt with as such by the SE's. Like you I can see many ways of dealing with this, some obvious, some not so obvious.
It kind of (read completely) flies in the face of quality searching. There's no point in pretending that local search delivers results when it so manifestly doesn't.
I believe that MSN can kick ass on this one and I certainly hope they do.
10-21-2004, 05:43 PM
"Well may you laugh. I wonder what these people are on. I have an image of several hundred spotty teenagers poring over maps of America saying "Dobbin Texas, that sounds kind of cool" (which it does incidentally, so no spoiling my illusions please!)."
No one ever needs to look at a map.... Should we expose these companies offering spam page proliferation services under the guize of localization?, or are we missing a hot money maker right now?
Be my guest!
How about a business making place names up. We could sell a "bogus seo template" (hell, we could even call it that) which automatically adds place name tags and strategically placed text to any page you care to write or copy.
My first two nominations would be "Bushwins Creek; Wyoming, Wiltshire (UK) and Panama" and "Blairsuglywifeville; Minnesota and Thailand".
Local search for places that don't exist yet.
10-21-2004, 05:57 PM
On the lighter side I have to play this one...
That would beat the "simple" alg changes I suggested earlier, but would not probably rank very highly since no one in their "right" mind would search there.... However as clearly demonstrated in these forums there are a lot of individuals in their "left" mind! Or was that the mind that "left" them?
You've hit the nail on the head. It's all in the sales pitch, "Left field solutions for left brain Webmasters", it's got to be worth a go.
I might put up a page or two to see if it works! BTW, you ready for all the business?
10-21-2004, 06:14 PM
I can shovel "bleep" as fast as most! If I wanted to... problem is, I don't have any "horse" stalls or "bull" barns here. Wouldn't have to go far to find one though!
I do have a "chicken" pen... but, I don't know which of the 3 analogies fit best!
Having great fun,
10-21-2004, 06:52 PM
I thought local searches were intended for brick-n-mortar stores, where people could actually "visit"? Like the yellow pages; only online.
That's why I've never even let local searches enter my brain ... I do retail 100% online.
10-21-2004, 07:58 PM
Do you think that local searches in that light will ever be effective?
10-22-2004, 08:23 AM
Because of the millions of doorway page that can be found on local searches of which most have a PR of 0 or 1 makes it simple for the small guy to achieve a high ranking if he or she know how to properly use information on there site.
Though unfortunately most do not! Or it is maybe fortunate for those who do!
Good Luck All
10-22-2004, 07:57 PM
I must be doing some thing wrong, if Ken has a Rose store in his town he doesnt know about listed on the web, how come I cant get more listings for E.I.T.O.C. that is made to reach out to every one on the web... Ken dont worry, you dont have a Local EITOC office near you, well unless Conroe is near you, our web manager lives that way. I agree tho, many times we do a search for some thing, and the resulting pages are all the same. This is actually making the web harder to search for what you are looking for as every page winds up being a copy of the same other page. we are actually shown on the same page as a group selling field glasses who has no mention of us or eitoc on their pages. As it turns out, we have a lot of visitors, but not many donors and not as many sales as we would want.
But thats all for an other post.
10-23-2004, 12:14 PM
Ken has a good point. I looked up Diboll, Texas, a town in Deep East Texas with about 4,600 residents. I found zillions of listings for things that clearly do not exist in Diboll, Texas. For example: Hotels in Diboll, Texas (there is one small, comfortable motel, no hotel). Florists in Diboll, Texas. (None that I know of). Car Rental in Diboll. (There is none). Lost in all this spam, I didn't see any of the real businesses that I know are there.
I visit Diboll of every weekend, which is why I selected it as an example.
10-23-2004, 01:46 PM
Greetings - Everyone!
Yup, my biggest complaint with Google is that everytime I query popular words for my industry & others, these same "Mega-Sites" float to the top that have no direct bearing on the keywords I am using in my search. I feel spammed every time I search - its a really sad state of affairs.
10-24-2004, 06:46 PM
I noticed when searching for my company name (axzar) on google that one of my marketplaces (ioffer.com) uses this technique.
I live in Georgia, and I have results on google like this:
Honolulu, HI 96801 : Sports : Sporting Goods For Sale
They are also putting together a "college" trading zone, using college names as keyword spam.
It seemed to be good for me, as my products (and company name) are promoted widely.
Then I stumble on this! Now I wonder?
my two cents.
10-24-2004, 10:17 PM
I have a feeling that these replication technologies are offered by just a few "gray-hat" "SEO" firms. Does anyone know who is offering these replication technologies or what they are called?
10-24-2004, 10:33 PM
Does anyone know who is offering these replication technologies or what they are called?
Yes, here are three:
10-25-2004, 02:53 AM
What are you saying? Those 3 companies are supposed to reputable and seem to only offer promo items.
No indication of "Gray Hat SEO Services" there.
Are you saying they offer these technologies as services under the table?
10-25-2004, 06:01 AM
Are you saying they offer these technologies as services under the table?
No, I guess my biggest complaint with Google is that everytime I query popular words for my industry & others, these same 3 "Mega-Sites" float to the top that have no direct bearing on the keywords I am using in my search. I feel spammed every time I search - its a really sad state of affairs.
For instance, Google the words - Beauty Products
10-25-2004, 06:48 AM
I have never seen it used, but it is ok to use the term "Gray Hat SEO" for practices that seem shady but are not "outlawed" yet isn't it? You know, the practices that "skirt" by the hem of the dress!