Microsoft to clean up web spam

by admin July 14, 2006 at 3:37 am

Taking it off the menu for web searchers…

Researchers at Microsoft have developed a tool to scrub search engines of major websites that pollute search results and ultimately help clean the web of spam.

Called Strider Search Defender, the tool is designed to dig out web pages that are a front for spam sites, according to a paper published by Microsoft researchers on Thursday. These web pages typically reside on blogging sites and other services that provide free web space, the researchers said.

Spammers soil the web with countless links to their spam fronts in order to gain a higher ranking in search engines. Yi-Min Wang, principal researcher at Microsoft, said in an interview: “By cleaning up web search, hopefully we can discourage spammers from cluttering the web with spam.”

Microsoft’s tool doesn’t find spam the traditional way, by looking at the site’s content. Instead, it turns the spammers’ activities against them by using search engines to find links to potential spam pages. These links are often posted as comments on blogs, in online discussion forums and in guestbooks, also called “comment spam”.

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