I am confused.
I can't help but wonder what is real, and what actually has a human behind it (in the normal sense, I know some human is behind everything).
The internet started out as a sort of twitter thing. Then came websites.
Websites were sometimes used to advertise or sell products. Someone got a bright idea to use ads to sell products from other sites. Google bought them.
Now we have:
sites that advertise
sites that sell products
sites that copy other sites to get traffic just to get eyes on ads
whole industries built around creating fake sites and hijacking traffic to drive click throughs to yet other sites
The only problem is that there is no telling the difference, and search engines involved in the advertising don't really want to kill the fake sites because they create traffic or clicks.
Search engines involved in advertising are benefiting from all the fake sites. Who is paying?
You and me.
What do we have left?
I've applied the 10% create 90% of the content rule which applies to social networking sites so why not the web at large? Does that mean that 10% of the web is original content and the rest is rehashed fakes?
I am not suggesting that bloggers (like me) not be able to comment on and quote issues or articles appearing elsewhere (and give a link - unless it's a commercially valuable source).
I am suggesting that a vast amount of web content is fake, un-original and created solely to facilitate fraud.
Who's paying? You and me.
Click fraud is estimated at $4 billion+.
It's not just a $4+ billion dollar click fraud industry, the real cost is much more than that. Meanwhile we have a web full of fakes, fakers, malware, identity theft and fraud.
Google's net revenue was less than that. What is going on here and who is going to fix it? Apparently not google eh? They're too busy 'helping' the President out and sloshing millions around to congressmen(>$1M this q and thats just the hard money, what
about the EU?).
If google is such a web guru corporation then why do we still have all the fraud. It beggars disbelief that this one-trick pony could even be considered to 'help' out with health care, let alone anything else critical.
I only point the finger at google because apparently they are the internet search and advertising business.
Update: October '09
This is the sort of thing I'm talking about with click fraud. A recent example was written up by http://www.anchorintelligence.com/ about one network of students apparently located in China using an advanced multi-level social networking group to command
over 200,000 IP addresses in an organized click fraud system sharing an estimated $1.5m per week on that venture alone.
When rumbled it dissolved into the ether, and will probably already have morphed into some other scam. Kids aren't stupid or ignorant when it comes to IT and for some taking free money is almost their patriotic duty. They aren't alone.
There is much more to the web than meets the eye and it is also proving to be a very effective income redistribution tool.