Design & Publishing . /
. WEB . /
. Rip-Off . / . Search Engine Spam
- Twas the Night before Christmas
A Horror Story about Spam
There's a new search engine on the Web, designed for the consumer who wants to find
businesses, products and services in any one of almost 34,000 neighborhoods in the
United States. Did I say "neighborhoods"? Wow!
What's more this search engine has "eliminated the clutter caused by personal
pages and duplicate results." They "have also ferreted-out those annoying
keyword spammers who fool most search engines by making their site seem more relevant
to your needs than they really are." In short they're promising a shop till
you drop site! - quotation from their own page: http://www8.localeyes.com/le/info/about.html
If all this hype sounds too good to be true, it is. This story has to do with how
LocalEyes (the fine folks quoted above) either by accident or design managed to get
the word out about their wonderful new "flagship product."
LocalEyes decided their "flagship product" was so valuable, so important,
they created more than 69,000 pages celebrating those 34,000 neighborhoods and told
AltaVista, Excite and other search engines where they could find them. It must have
been a lot of work, creating those many pages because when the people at LocalEyes
got done they were soooo tired they must have forgotten to write a robots.txt file
which would have instructed AltaVista's and Excite's crawler not to catalog all 69,000
Scooter (AltaVista's cute little name for their web crawler), it didn't find a robots.txt
file containing instructions so it sucked up all the documents located on the LocalEyes
domain, and after reading all 69,233 pages it incorporated them into the AltaVista
database. Excite's spider came along soon after and finding no robots.txt program
it did the same thing, indexing the entire Local Eyes site. After all, each page
was such a small thing amounting to only about 1K each; they are actually just personalized
and hyperlinked templates for LocalEyes search engine.
- All of this accidentally happened just in time for the lucrative Christmas shopping
season and it has just wreaked havoc on Excite, AltaVista and all the other search
engines it powers. What happened you ask?
Go to AltaVista and enter the search string "camera stores."
You'll be confronted by the return of hundreds of pages all beginning with LocalEyes,
each page purporting to provide information on local camera stores in various cities
and communities across the country.
LocalEyes occupies 91 of the first 100 "camera stores" returned on AltaVista.
The LocalEyes pages have frozen out most of the hundreds of camera stores which listed
their web sites with AltaVista, making it nearly impossible to find an assortment
of camera stores in different parts of the country for easy comparison shopping.
It doesn't stop there...
Design & Publishing . /
. WEB . /
. Rip-Off . / . Search Engine
Interested in getting published?
If you'd like to publish in the pages of WebDesign & Review
then capture and read our "Readers
Guidelines" found here, or from our On-Demand
Documents Desk by sending e-mail to Info@Graphic-Design.com ...Put the word HOSPITALITY,
and GUIDELINES in the subject area.
Thank you for visiting
WebDesign & Review at http://www.graphic-design.com/web/
Notes: The screen shots herein represent the copyrighted works of their respective
owners, and are used here for editorial demonstration purposes. please read
and be aware of our Legal Properties
& Disclaimers document. Not all areas of the
online environment allow special characters such as the registration and trademark
marks. This file will alert you to proprietary works that cannot be duplicated or
distributed. Copyright 1996, 1997, Showker Graphic Arts, for the The Design &
Publishing Center, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. WebDesign & Review, Pixelsmith, WebEye
are all trademarks for The Design & Publishing Center. Other products mentioned
in these pages are the registered trademarks of their respective owners. Updated