Rich Skrenta, Blekko’s CEO confirmed the ban with us today. He told us Blekko has decided to ban the “top 20 spam sites from blekko’s index entirely, based on our users click /spam on results.” This includes ehow.com, one of Demand Media’s top revenue generating web sites.
Rich explained this came up after listening to Danny on This Week In Google. Rich hacked together a reverse slashtag named -/contentfarms that allowed searches to remove these sites from their searchers. Today, Blekko decided to drop the sites completely from their index, making the slashtag irrelevant.
The top 20 sites Blekko removed from their index include ehow.com, experts-exchange.com, naymz.com, activehotels.com, robtex.com, encyclopedia.com, fixya.com, chacha.com, 123people.com, download3k.com, petitionspot.com, thefreedictionary.com, networkedblogs.com, buzzillions.com, shopwiki.com, wowxos.com, answerbag.com, allexperts.com, freewebs.com, and copygator.com.
This move was obviously in reaction to Google announcing their 2011 spam target this year are content farms. Matt Cutts of Google announced part or all of the algorithm is live as of last week. However, ehow.com and other typical “content farms” have for the most part, seemed to be unaffected. This implies that either the algorithm that launched had nothing to do with content farms or Google does not classify these sites as content farms.
Postscript: Tammy Frost, a writer for ehow and Demand Media posted a call out to ask people to stand up to Blekko and demand they not consider the Demand Media sites as spam. She said:
I think we need to stand up for all of the hard work and dedication that we have put into our published ehow articles.
- Google Launches Algorithm To Fight Content Spam
- Google Says Search Quality Improved With New Spam Detection
- Google, Content Farms & Why This May Be Blekko’s Moment
- Google Sets Sights On Content Farms In 2011
- Blekko Launches Spam Clock To Keep Pressure On Google
- The New York Times, Demand Media Edition
- Blekko: New Search Engine Lets You “Spin” The Web
- Blekko, The “Slashtag” Search Engine, Goes Live
- Google And Blekko Head-To-Head: Blekko Lives To Fight Another Day