Monday, June 25, 2012

Webspam Alive And Well Despite Google Panda

With all the talk this year of Google Panda, and "improving the user experience", I just wanted to share a quick search result from last Friday.

A co-worker was closing an order with a customer from overseas. The customer will be in New York in a few days and they're looking to rent a video wall for their trade show booth. Everything looks legitimate, the customer, the venue, the dates, etc. But the credit card they charged the order on was from an overseas bank.

Remembering I had once been warned about oversees credit cards, I decided to Google the concept of "can I trust an overseas mastercard ?" and see what, if anything, might be helpful to pass on to my co-worker.

Below are the top two totally worthless search results from Google: (Click for entire Google page)

Hey Google! We are worried about getting paid! Not getting .... ! 

And the search results from Bing:  (Click for entire Bing page)
At least Bing understands we are asking a quesion about credit card use.

As you can see by the drastically different results, Bing understood the nature of the question. That it's about a credit card, it's about trust, it's about being abroad. Then Bing tried to return what it believed were the most relevant results in their attempt to help my co-worker with his problem. Google, on the other hand, returned a screen full of webspam that answers another problem entirely. 

So despite all the talk from Google proclaiming that low quality links will not be counted, it appears that when Google does not fully understand your question, they do still count for something. And having the very first Google result come with the warning "This site may be compromised", does somehow make all that talk,  seem all the more ironic.