Spam vs

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-03-03 Print this article Print

. Algorithmic Results"> Yahoos goal with its new paid inclusion program is to gather more content for its index, and the company maintains an "iron wall" between the paid service and its algorithmic relevancy rankings, said Tim Cadogan, Yahoos vice president of search. "It has no relevance at all on the relevancy algorithm," he said.
Yahoo, of Sunnyvale, Calif., is trying to eliminate "the enormous guessing game" played by Web sites trying to make sure that search engines regularly crawl their pages, Cadogan said.
The debate over paid inclusion points to a larger problem plaguing search engines—the increase in spam-like results from sites using sometime unscrupulous methods for ranking high in specific searches, said Gerry Campbell, vice president and general manager of America Online Inc.s search and navigation efforts. AOL does not operate its own search-engine crawler or index, instead partnering to use Googles Web results as well as its paid sponsored links. AOL, of Dulles, Va., signed a new deal with Google in October. "The elephant in the room is that purely algorithmic results are subject to spam," he said. "We also have very real problems where some results are not good enough." Campbell said search engines need to find a way to balance the concerns around paid inclusions and "objectively and transparently" increase relevancy, or they risk turning Web users away. Check out eWEEK.coms Enterprise Applications Center at for the latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion about productivity and business solutions.
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Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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