The War on Spam: Google Fights Back

Google

Google is engaged in a war. It is a war on spam. With new strategies and filters ready to put into place, the search engine is adding new firepower to its arsenal almost daily. However, for those of us that believe in the cause, the future isn’t scary. In reality, the future seems very bright.

My ten year-old son is interested in warfare. He has a dozen buckets full of army guys, and makes all a battlefield–the kitchen, my bedroom, as well as the bathroom. He’s got a brand new bicycle helmet that’s green. For Halloween, if other children were Spiderman and Batman, he was a soldier. He constantly plays computer games like Soldiers of WWII and Battlefield 1942; he even turns brooms and mops into weapons to fight the invisible enemy. He loves movies like Saving Private Ryan, Pearl Harbor, and Platoon. He understands about both World Wars and Vietnam then I will ever expect to, or attention to, understand. What does SEO and war have in common? More to the point, how does Google implement strategies that declare war on spam?

SEO is a continuous struggle to get our clients’ websites to the top. We fight lousy SEO companies that give us a bad name, flagrant advertisements that claim they are able to do what we do to just $29 by submitting your website to a million search engines, along with other little annoyances that pop up every day. Even though, my little battles are actually nothing when you compare it to the war that Google is waging. Google’s number one goal is to deliver the visitor the most relevant results possible in a search engine. This implies sorting and filtering through all of the crap on the market, to ensure you, the visitor, doesn’t need to Remove Ripoff Report.

“It’s an arms race,” Steve Linford, director of the London-based SpamHaus Project, stated. “The more we lock (spammers) down, the more techniques they try to get us around.” The SpamHaus Project is a nonprofit organization that places information about the groups behind nearly all unsolicited email, and maintains a “black hole” list of domains where spammers operate. Spam accounted for one in four email messages that a business received in 2002. The U.S. Attorney General’s site has an whole page on the topic. “Nearly 45 percent of all email is now spam and that number is growing every year. Almost three trillion spam messages are sent annually – 13 times the entire snail mail delivered from the U.S. Postal service. The average wired American is struck with almost 2,200 spam messages each year – that afterwards most ISPs have filtered 80-90 percent of the junk messages. Some reports suggest that these numbers could increase by five times in the not too distant future.”

Market research firm, Gartner Inc., estimates that their firm of over 10,000 employees suffers more than $13 million worth of lost productivity due to internally generated junk. This is just email spam. Throw from the junk on the internet, and it’s a enormous productivity drain. It causes companies financial losses since they have to buy more high tech software such as spam blockers and spy-ware removers, and it is a strain on network servers and bandwidth.

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