Is Google's Armstrong Promoting Search Spam?

Kate Kaye at ClickZ uncovers an interesting connection between Google's VP of Ad Sales Tim Armstrong and potential search spam. In "Bottom Slurping for Google Juice," Kaye points out that Associated Content, a content production house theoretically aimed at creating a marketplace for aspiring writers, seems to be responsible for creating some made-for-AdSense type of content.

The "content producers" are taught to write keyword-heavy content, and they're paid according to the amount of traffic their creations will drive. Surprise, surprise -- Associated employs an algorithm that estimates the number of unique visitors that will be driven to that content in coming months, and pays writers upfront accordingly.

A few examples from an Associated Content customer that Kaye looked at were very low-quality, keyword-stuffed pages, though she admits those pages are not necessarily products of AC writers. Even if those specific examples are not, the argument remains as to whether the service is about creating quality content or adding keywords to a page to better target ads, such as those sold by Google.

About the author

Kevin Newcomb joined ClickZ in August 2004, covering search marketing and other online marketing topics. He has been reporting on web-based businesses since 2000.

Before the bubble burst, Kevin was a marketing manager for an online computer reseller, handling copywriting, e-mail marketing, search marketing and running the affiliate program.

With a combination of real-world marketing experience and years of business journalism, Kevin brings to ClickZ a unique ability to deliver news and training materials that help online marketers do their jobs better.