I agree personalization and alternative energy and Internet TV are important challenges, but when all those Ph.D.s at Google get done with those problems maybe they can get to work trying to explain this. I can’t, and it’s really bugging me so I could use some help from the Internet Brain Trust.
I checked Techmeme.com today, which I do about once a week or so, and saw something about Robert Scoble getting dumped by Facebook. I quit Facebook two weeks after I started with it, because it was so obviously a bad idea to hand over real data to that company. So I was interested in the Techmeme article. I clicked thru, and read some comments, and then saw a link drop in the comments from a Mahaloo fan boy. I hate to admit it, but I clicked it. Wait! Let me explain! It was research! Seriously.. I would never go to Maholoo, but since this was obviously a spam grab I had to look and see just what those guys were up to now, “covering” breaking news.
And I did indeed see. It’s a search results page, but also an RSS feed aggregator-like page. It’s a mashup, but more like an automated one than an edited one. It tries to look like an authority page, but is more of a link farm than an authority reference, because it could be built by just about anyone with an embedded feed reader (like, say the one in Flock). So, I’m thinking, Mahelo is finally devolved to a full-bore MFA scraper site. That didn’t take long.
Then, like the SEO I am, I checked Google. Sure enough, it ranks #3 for it’s target search query “Robert Scoble blocked by Facebook”. What??
So… we have a project that claimed at one point to intend to compete with Google, which then became a Google partner, and then a wiki-like substance, and now an obvious scraper site, and it ranks at the top of Google almost as well as wikipedia does? Dang that has GOT to be causing hurt over in the wikipedia camp. Lots and lots of cash coming in for garbage content, as a reward from Google for polluting the SERPs. Ouch.
Google, when you get some free time, please answer me this: how could this content pass your quality filters? How could it rank? And perhaps the hardest question of all…. how could you allow it to continue to rank?
I’d submit this to Google Answers but I think I’m too late for that. I’d submit it to Yahoo! answers but I suspect Mahaola staff already ninja market the YA! site cause, well, doesn’t every spammer start there?