Friday, July 17, 2009 tries a new spamming trick

We got a little traffic from this site today, and for various reasons I decided to poke my nose in a little deeper...and was quite entertained by the spammy trick I discovered.

It seems is scraping (yes, stealing) content from Yahoo Answers in order to generate lots of pages of juicy content for the search engines to digest and index, in the hopes of driving more traffic.

So that's nothing new, lots of sites try tricks like this. What made it interesting was the trick they used to massage the content so that the search engines didn't see it as duplicate content--a copy of what they'd already seen on Yahoo Answers.

As far as I can tell, they've fed the Yahoo Answers pages through an electronic translator...twice, once from English to another language, then again to translate back. Because of how rough electronic translation is, you end up with a pile of decent english words, with most of the important search terms preserved, but scramble so it doesn't look much like the original text.

Look at some of the gems that result:

  • "My fiance additionally as myself have been pondering about stealing scored equally together in Hawaii, yet we're confused on how it would work."

  • "I am carrying a finish matrimony in Key West, FL. we am not sure if we should rewear a grave wear during a matrimony reception."

  • "I am unquestionably confused additionally as hopefully somebody who has had the finish wedlock in the past can benefit me!"

Here's the original page in Yahoo Answers:

And here's the translated page (for those who weren't tempted to click on "spammy trick" above):

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