Web Detritus

Can anyone explain for me these web pages of apparently computer-generated randomized sentence fragments, like this one, that almost all seem to contain the word “Blogroll” in the title? They seem mostly to be made up of bits of sentences from the daily news, with certain phrases occurring again and again, and “Kyle Gann on music after the fact” (which was Doug McLennan’s coinage, not mine) is one of the ubiquitous phrases, along with several others from Arts Journal. They certainly gum up the search engines with nonsense, like the plaques that clog up the brain of an Alzheimers sufferer. I see nothing creative about them. They supply no delightful Cagean juxtapositions of hetergenous ideas, because the collection of phrases seems more or less equivalent on every page. They’re just internet spam, as far as I can tell.


  1. says

    Exactly—they’re like spambots that use specific words and phrases to get their Google page ranking elevated. At least that’s my theory.

  2. David DeMaris says

    When you get this sort of thing in email, it’s called “Bayesian Poison”, as it attempts to degrade the ability of spam filters to separate wheat from chaff by making everything sort of – whaff. It’s a little harder to figure out what they’re thinking on a web page, unless it’s just a kind of peeing in the pool impulse. Who wins if search engines don’t work? The yellow pages people?

  3. JS says

    Suppose someone googles “Kyle Gann on Music”, and winds up with the blogroll site. Perhaps he will notice the links to ‘Bianca Beauchamp Nude’ and ‘Lip Gloss’ on the right hand side, and perhaps his baser instincts (or his chapped lips) will get the better of him. If so, the page has functioned as a crude form of advertising, no?
    KG replies: Yeah, but I clicked on ‘Bianca Beauchamp Nude,’ and it was just another nonsense site. Imagine my disappointment.

  4. says

    They are for search engine optimization. The text is probably farmed from other blogs, and put together in a way that makes it look like a real site, and then links are placed in the “article.”

    The links point to other sites with the keywords people would search for, for those sites. The links supposedly help those sites get a higher ranking in Google, but as I bet you can infer, Google and other search engines do not like this practice and it is a bad way of getting rankings on the search engines!
    KG replies: Thanks for the reasonable explanation. I wonder if that makes my blog rank higher than it should. It would explain a lot.