Scoville Units Unite

13 Sep

Brian Souter Fails at the Internet

One of the most bizarre stories of the last week has been Brian Souters rant about google.

He claims that his vanity site not appearing high in the rankings is censoring free speech. Of course his site still exists, so his free speech is not being censored. At all.

Google have previously removed BMW’s website from the listings temporarily for when they breached Terms of Service, and after buying a company also removed it from listings when it was apparant their SEO efforts were also not squeeky clean.

A couple of SEO blogs have detailed the kerfuffle as well as other commentators. They point out some reasons why Google might have lowered the sites credibility, mainly because his site is crap and has lots of duplicate content in it.

One of the interesting comments though is related to how the site deals with invalid URLs.

If you take the url

The important parts are :

It appears that you can change the non-bolded part and it redirects to the article. This could certainly be used for making much mischief.

Brian is rubbish at the internet.

Of course given, his well publicised views on homosexuality and his support for privatisating transport systems and support for the SNP that is 3 easy ways for people to mess with his site.

Brian Souter Buys Policy Change on Nationalisation With Boyfriend Alex Salmond to combine all three angles in one clearly not-serious story.

Of course the real reason the site will have been dropped from the search engines is probably because most of the content is duplicated from elsewhere on the internet. To Googles algorithm, his site isn’t the No1 important site about Brian, but no different to any other content scraper that duplicates articles from other sites. So it rightly bins it.

Of course being able to link to any article on the site with your own made up phrases mean that as well as duplicating keywords elsewhere, the site duplicates content on it’s own site.

So the developer thinks he’s dead clever by allowing any keywords to be stuffed into the page. What actually happens though is googles bot looks at these links and goes has three copies of the same article up under different addresses, flag as spam low quality site

Edit: it appears they have fixed the website to not allow you to randomly change the seo path to be whatever you want it to be.

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