movalog generating search engine spam?

movalog is a blog about moveable type that has an online store that is apparently just dynamically-generated using the amazon api. this makes it really obnoxious when it shows up in google and a9 searches. just like the zillions of other useless amazon affiliates and shopping comparison sites out there.

according to the definition of search engine spam from tim mayer of yahoo, what movalog is doing is clearly search engine spam. it is redundant with amazon’s own pages that provide exactly the same information.

it is this sort of nonsense that makes it damn near impossible to find actual product reviews with a general-purpose search engine.


But doesn't Amazon provide their API directly for this purpose?

» Matt (link) » may 18, 2005 3:17pm

perhaps amazon does intend that everyone with a website would set up something like the movalog store, and thus dominate the search engine listings for all of the products they carry.

but then i’m not sure how much of a distinction there is between that and mortgage lenders that distance themselves from email spammers through affiliate programs.

it’s search engine spam by tim mayer’s definition, no matter whether you think amazon intended their api to be used in this manner or not.

» jim (link) » may 18, 2005 3:33pm

I'd say, at the very least, this is in a grey area. By this measure, Amazon Light would be search engine spam, too, and I don't think anyone would argue that's legit. There's obviously no bright line between what's okay and what's unacceptable as far as web spam goes, but something that's clearly disclosed and not hidden from its users, related to the topic of the site, and run by the site's owner on the site's behalf instead of at the behest of a company that has content generation as its primary business seems like it's less of an offense.

» Anil (link) » may 18, 2005 3:33pm

there is, of course, an easy way to make it not be search engine spam: drop in a robots.txt to keep the spiders away.

» jim (link) » may 18, 2005 3:47pm

I'm sorry you feel this way about the Movalog Store. The store is not trying to deceive or mislead readers or search engines in any way. The pages are rendered exactly the same. Readers are free to shop from Movalog's store to support Movalog while people from search engines are also welcome to shop.

Although the store is dynamic, I have only linked those areas that are appropriate to Movalog, i.e. electronics and technology. I don't see how other areas of the store could appear on search engines and awstats shows that the store isn't being accessed by any of those areas.

» Arvind (link) » may 18, 2005 10:07pm

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