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Why search engines are worthless

This is to inform the 3 or 4 people left in the world who aren't aware that search engines are worthless for finding worthwhile adult websites, unless of course they actually enjoy spam, or are prepared to spend hours sifting through mountains of trash links.

It is far too easy for the countless thousands of opportunistic spammers in the world to have their junk pages listed in most search engines. It would be safe to say that the vast majority of adult sites listed at Google, Lycos, Excite, Alta-Vista etc are nothing more than bags of blind links, pop-ups and redirects, or junk 10-gallery paysites only interested in your credit card number.

Some of these sites also use a technique known as 'cloaking', which further degrades the usefulness of search engines. While cloaking has honest uses such as protecting a legitimate site's ranking in a search engine's results, it is often used by spammers to mass-infect search engines with their site's pages.  Cloaking is akin to the bait-and-switch swindle, by setting up the site so that it automatically detects when a search engine robot is visiting the site. The site then presents many 'doctored' pages to the robot, which in the case of spammers, are often entirely different and unrelated to the pages a surfer sees at the same site. By this method, the spammer not only achieves a higher place in the search engine's results for particular keywords, but you arrive at the spammer's site using a keyword which has nothing or very little to do with the site.

Cloaked entries in search engine results sometimes (but not always) give themselves away by their 'template' style i.e.

Yahoogle results for ******  

Hot ****** here!
Are you looking for ******? Look no further, everything you want in ****** is here! We are the number 1 site for ******!

where ***** is the word or phrase you searched for. In the case of a paysite, many pages like this simply redirect you to a common join-up page, sometimes with a few bonus pop-ups thrown in as a final insult.

Another spammer's technique is to simply wait until his site has been listed with the search engine, then replace the pages that the seach engine's robot found with his spam rubbish. Of course this only works until the next visit by the robot, but by this time the spammer has made his precious nickels and dimes. Google's listings will show this trickery; by clicking on the 'Cache' version you will see exactly what the robot saw when it indexed the site. Often this is nothing more than a page full of keywords.

Remember - some spammers make it their career to devise methods to spam search engines