The Problem with the Cheaters

is the innocent get hurt. But we all knew that, didn’t we. Does it make it okay? Let’s […]

is the innocent get hurt. But we all knew that, didn’t we. Does it make it okay? Let’s look at this adsense scenario.

Despite having some delicious metadata to pull from,

meta name=”keywords” content=”design, conference, event, workshop, information architecture, interaction design, meetup, cocktail hour, salon”
meta name=”description” content=”The place to list design-related events, from conferences to cocktail hours.”
title Create Engaging Applications for Facebook – Boxes and Arrows Event Calendar

Google ignores that — because it might be gamed— in favor of what.. the URL? Even the title of the page has better information on the topic of the site than the name.

If they have to ignore what I, the site owner, say the site is about, why not turn to their own giant search engine monster. Surely it knows what queries Boxes and Arrows is relating to… and it’s not archery. Nor packing companies.

Worse of all, you know who the real beneficiaries of this system are? The domain name squatters. Only they, the holders of “love poetry .com” and “cheap software .com” can guarantee that the adsense that shows up on their sites will match the searches well enough to get high click-through. This is so effective that one domain squatter I know (yes, gentle people, I have friends in high and very low places) had to give up his only genuine website because a squatter page made him so much more money.

I know relevancy is a sufficiently complex science to resemble black magic, but surely the wizards of Mountain View can do better.

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