Where Web Content Comes From

Make sure you’re running an ad blocker and perhaps a script killer, feed “Larval Engineer received a Pilot InstaBoost” into your favorite search engine, along these lines:




The first (few) hits should be the various ways my original post from late last year appears on, but the rest (particularly from Google) will be spam blogs and scraper sites that ripped my text, ran it past a thesaurus (euphemistically known as article spinning), larded the result with keywords, and reposted the shattered remains. If you click on the links, you’ll have the experience of reading text where short sequences of words make sense, but the overall corpus leaves you shaking your head in disbelief.

Even though Google allegedly doesn’t reward such sites, they make up the bulk of its list. DuckDuckGo does a slightly better job of suppressing them and Bing kills nearly all of the junk, which suggests that Google operates with a powerful incentive to not notice problems in sites serving (its?) advertisements.

There’s obviously no point in getting annoyed with any of the participants…

FWIW, that particular post seems to have drawn the attention of scammers due to the presence of a trademarked brand name with good search-ability. Other posts have been more fortunate in escaping their attention, despite my glowing prose…


  1. #1 by Red County Pete on 2015-04-11 - 10:52

    I switched over to Bing when it appeared that there were a few asterisks in Google’s “Don’t Be Evil” policy. [irony alert] Google has current satellite imagery for our locality, while Bing’s is at least 4 years old. (NOAA dropped Google’s set in an update a few months ago, and now matches Bing.)

    • #2 by Ed on 2015-04-11 - 10:59

      Who’d’a ever imagined that Microsoft would have a better reputation than Google? [sigh]

  2. #3 by tantris on 2015-04-11 - 18:02

    The spammers seem to not only scrape & mangle, but then post it to dead blogs to get some backlinks.
    The swiss ” http://müller****.ch” is for (flour)mill apprentices and has 3 members in their very active group ..
    Other groups are all fake reviews for some tools with one post and one member. (**** is “netz”- didn’t want to create more links for them)
    While this is shocking and appaling while the king left the house it is not surprising and as always writing on the internet while drunk now makes it feasible for everyone to do just that. As the Turing test continued the drunken human was mistaken which might have helped in the end when the robots took over.

    • #4 by Ed on 2015-04-11 - 18:29

      There must be money in there somewhere, but for the life of me I can’t see it…

      Maybe that’s because I run Adblock all the time on every browser I get my hands on and know what junk search results look like without clicking on them. [mutter]