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Saturday, May 28, 2005

Yet Another Search Engine Spammer

Blake Ross caught the Stanford Daily link-spamming and says he’s “absolutely disgusted.” Indeed, this is the complete package: navigation links pointing to diet pills, slot machines, and online poker rooms; invisible links; and articles which don’t seem to serve any other purpose than to share a little more linkjuice.

One of the many paid links reads “Lastminute Urlaub” – this is German and means “last minute vacation” (obviously, it is not intended to be read by anyone but searchbots). Searching Google reveals there are at least 27,000 pages on the domain daily.stanford.edu which contain the text “diet pills.” Also, many spam blogs point to the Daily Stanford using the “diet pills” keyphrase.

Watch the video [WMV] to see for yourself.

There’s irony on different levels here. First of all, Stanford is Google’s birthplace (the Stanford Daily went live in 1995, the same year in which Google’s co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin met for the first time). And then, Lauren Gong’s original article from May 19 in which Blake Ross discovered the linking scheme started off with the following:

“Type in the words ’diet pills’ into the Google search engine and youÂ’ll receive more than 800,000 hits.”

[Via Andy Baio, who also pulled WordPress and Syndic8 to the spotlight before.]

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