Google’s situation gets worse as it loses its fight against search engine spam

by MMC
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Their basic conclusion was that search engines have “significant problems” with affiliate links — paid links that send a customer to a seller. Although the number of online product reviews containing affiliate links is not huge, researchers said these reviews are overrepresented in search engine results.

The problem with affiliate links comes down to “trust,” according to researchers.

“As users often already trust their search engines, the affiliate inherits this trust as a byproduct of high rankings,” the authors wrote. But it also creates tension between affiliates, search engines and users, because affiliates are more likely to design web pages tailored to their needs. optimize their ranking instead of investing in higher quality product reviews.

Although web pages with more affiliate links and optimized are more likely to appear in search results, they also “show signs of lower text quality on average,” the researchers said.

And like AI-generated content continues to flood the Internet, researchers said search engine results are likely to deteriorate.

Although the question “deserves more attention,” the researchers said they don’t have a perfect solution.

“Affiliate marketing itself is partly responsible for the current appearance of content online,” said Janek Bevendorff, a research assistant at the University of Leipzig and co-author of the paper. said The register. “Banning it completely is probably not a solution,” because many legitimate websites rely on affiliate marketing and SEO as a significant source of revenue, Bevendorff told the outlet.

“In the end, it could remain a game of cat and mouse,” Bevendorff said.

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