Who put all this spam in my Google search results?
The Google search page appears on a computer screen in Washington on Aug. 30, 2010.
Vivek Wadhwa is a writer, big tech thinker, and academic affiliated with Harvard Law School, UC Berkeley, and Duke University. He recently noticed that the Google, which accounts for two-thirds of all searches in the United States, was filling up with a whole lot of junk sites. These are what's called "content farms". Maybe you've seen sites with names like eHow that have a whole lot of words but not a lot of real expertise. They exist mostly to lure you in, make you look at some ads, maybe even click over and buy something. Wadhwa says that the students he works with are increasingly frustrated as the amount of web spam seems to be increasing all the time.
We talk with Wadhwa about that. We also check in with Matt Cutts. He leads Google's efforts against webspam and says it's an ongoing effort. He thinks things are largely getting better in the fight although he admits that the spammers have made some gains in recent months.
Also in this program, we hear about a new dating site called Heartbroker. When you sign up, you pick some of your Facebook friends to evaluate you based on several attributes. That information is then digested and shared with both you and your potential dates. Your friends are kept anonymous. This story is filed under 'O Internet What Hath You Wrought?'