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The economics of bogus search engines
June 22, 2005 4:24 AM   Subscribe

What are the economics of bogus search engines and other oddities found by regular search engines?

Whenever I look up my website name (it's a unique made-up name) in Google or another legit search engine, some of the results are just odd: bogus search engines, pseudo sex/dating/tax/furniture/etc websites that look like datingsite.com/myfirstname.html or bodypart-enlargment.bogussearchsite.com. I understand that these "sites" are only there to get money, and I've read about spamdexing and other internet scams and but I still don't understand the economics of it. Who is paying whom for what? Is someone getting real cash from having my website (which doesn't have a large traffic) listed in a totally irrelevant way? And who is getting scammed, since no real service is provided? Also, are we talking about large sums of money or small change?
posted by elgilito to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
 
"Is someone getting real cash from having my website (which doesn't have a large traffic) listed in a totally irrelevant way?"

Sure. Because having that link in place is part of how the spammer gets his search result placement. A decent placement on search results means hits to his page. Hits to his page mean ad impressions.

I don't know how much dough is involved but I assume it must be considerable; these guys have gone to extreme effort to make many search results -- especially Google's -- next to worthless.

"And who is getting scammed, since no real service is provided?"

Every person who uses a search engine and gets one of these crap results is a victim. They're scamming an ad impression on a page that were it not for it's appearance in unrelated search results nobody would view, ever.
posted by majick at 6:57 AM on June 22, 2005


Oh. And the revenue model is that the spammer is being paid -- by various ad networks -- on a per-impression basis. They get cash every time their bogus page is viewed, so it's in their interest to get as many people to view the page, by hook or crook.
posted by majick at 7:35 AM on June 22, 2005


And the revenue model is that the spammer is being paid -- by various ad networks -- on a per-impression basis

So, if I understand well, those ad networks are the actual culprits and they pay a third party (the maintainer of the bogus page) to show their ads by tricking the search engines. But are the people who pay the ad networks to advertise their products accomplices or victims?
posted by elgilito at 7:53 AM on June 22, 2005


Why doesnt google get busy blocking those crap results?
if I'm searching for something I dont care if another crap search engine has almost the same results minus a link to itself.
posted by Iax at 2:41 PM on June 22, 2005


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