Google’s motto: "Don’t be evil" – Hogwash

I’m very upset with Google’s policy of indexing and allowing Google advertising on forum web sites which are “slurping” content from Usenet and Microsoft newsgroup servers.

When I go looking for a technical answer on Google’s main search page I used to get just web pages. If the question is a common one then they are likely to be found on web pages such as the several hundred pages of advanced Microsoft Access content on my web site.    Web pages can be much better than forums for common questions and answers because they are organized, are reasonably well written and usually updated on a regular basis.

Usenet and Microsoft newsgroups and web forums are excellent for finding answers to more obscure or rarer questions.   Or when you’d like to have a discussion or when you don’t know the correct terminology. Frequently though web forums are full of other extra junk and fluff that are quite useless for answering your more general questions.

If I wanted to get a newsgroup answer I would use the Google Groups search engine. Furthermore I would use the Advanced Groups Search option and restrict my query to just the Access, Excel, Word, XP or other set of newsgroups of interest.

But what really upsets me is that those twenty or more forum web sites which “slurp” their content from Usenet or Microsoft newsgroups.  Such as the comp.* and the microsoft.public.* newsgroups.  I have, last time I looked over 32,000 postings almost entirely answering questions in MS Access. in the comp.database.msaccess or the microsoft.public.access.* newsgroups. 

These “slurping” forum web sites, who are copying my newsgroup answers, are making money off my postings.

Proof?  Search on a phrase of my newsgroup signature line at Google. For example “Microsoft Access Links, Hints, Tips & Accounting Systems”  At the time of this posting the first six URLs are from sites selling Google ads:  buzz.omgili.com (ok this site links to another site selling Google ads; www.wiredbox.net; www.eggheadcafe.com; www.mydatabasesupport.com; www.ureader.com; objectmix.com.  The next four are fine. 

The second search page has only two that are “slurpers” www.ureader.com and www.kaizenlog.com.  The third page has www.developerfood.com, www.accessmonster.com, www.nnseek.com and mssql.meetholland.com.

Now lets try searching on my email address I use for posting ttoews@telusplanet.net  First page shows www.thescripts.com, www.dbforums.com, objectmix.com, www.mydatabasesupport.com, www.developersdex.com and www.pcreview.co.uk.  I won’t bore you reciting the rest of the URLs.

Note that I don’t mind forums such as Utter Access who are not “slurping” answers from the newsgroups.  You must visit the web site to post the question or view the answers.

In my opinion Google enabling those forum “slurpers” to make money off my answers is wrong.   Furthermore they are violating my copyright.  I don’t mind Google making some money off my postings given the expense of running the search engines and such.  But these other “slurpers”, nah they’re evil.

Disclaimer.  I make a small amount of money with Google ads on my granite.ab.ca web site.  So these forum web sites are somewhat decreasing my revenue.

Tony Toews, Microsoft Access Most Valuable Professional since 1999

2 thoughts on “Google’s motto: "Don’t be evil" – Hogwash”

  1. That’s highly unlikely to work. I suspect you’re not familiar with how NNTP newsgroups work.

    Say I have ten postings today. I’d then have to locate those ten postings on each of the 15 or 20 scummy newsgroup “slurper” sites and send Google a DMCA for each of those pages.

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