As Andy at Waxy.org reports, Syndic8 is the latest culprit to spam the search engines for profit and better rankings.
Here’s a list of the sites I found, with the number of articles indexed by Google and Google pagerank. At current count, over 194,000 articles are indexed.
The list goes on and on. This sort of behaviour is simply idiotic. They can’t really believe that they’re going to get more qualified leads because they’re hosting articles like this, can they? Given the presence of Google ads on these pages, I assume it’s just a strategy to buoy their income. [more]
And to what end? When they’re found out, they’ll get punished by Google and their reputation will be soiled. It’s possible that this all came about because they hired some black-hat SEO firm, but I expect they’re fully aware of what’s going on.
As I frequently do, let me quote my friend Roland: “you can’t game the search engines anymore.” At least, not for long. You’ll get found out, and you’ll get punished. For a company like Syndic8, where a lot of business would come through the search engines, they’re going get screwed.
Finally, here’s a good quote in the comments on Waxy.org, from Jason: “My analogy has been that it’s like someone who wants to open a children’s toy shop, but can’t figure out a way to keep it afloat so they also decide to host a hard-core porn shop in the basement.”
And if you don’t believe Google’s not going to punish them, check out this quote from their Webmaster guidelines: “Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you. Another useful test is to ask, ‘Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?'”
UPDATE: For the moment, at least, Syndic8 got their domain bounced out of Google. Smart thinking, guys.