Content farms and SEO are the bane of the Internet. Google is fighting it, but somehow spam results keep slipping through. In this second installment of our Founder Stories interview with Stack Exchange CEO Joel Spolsky, he talks about how SEO spam sites make the Internet worse.
For instance, Stack Overflow is the premier site on the Internet for programmers to ask and answer questions about code. But Spolsky charges that SEO spam sites just rip the questions and answers straight off the site, wrap them with some black-hat SEO magic and Google ads, and rank higher than the original page on Stack Overflow. “They took our content, put Google ads on it, and made it worse because not in situ,” says Spolsky. “They used SEO techniques to rank higher.”
This is exactly how quality content gets displaced. There are even pages about “How to ask a question on the Internet.”
Spolsky fights this by going deep with each knowledge community Stack Exchange launches. In the video segment below, he explains why “you have to go deep.” He also talks about Stack Overflow’s new Careers 2.0 product, and how simply answering questions on Stack Overflow helped one “guy wasting time on World of Warcraft” become the No. 1 user on Stack Overflow, He parlayed that reputation into a job at the company.
Stack Exchange is a network of free, community-driven Q&A sites. Stack Exchange was created by the founders of Stack Overflow. Stack Overflow is a community knowledge exchange for programmers.
Joel Spolsky is a globally-recognized expert on the software development process. His website Joel on Software is popular with software developers around the world and has been translated into over thirty languages. As the co-founder of Fog Creek Software in New York City, he created FogBugz, a popular project management system for software teams. Joel has worked at Microsoft, where he designed VBA as a member of the Excel team, and at Juno Online Services, developing an Internet client...
Chris Dixon is a Partner at and co-founder of Founder Collective. He is also a contributing writer for TechCrunch. He previously was the CEO and Co-founder of SiteAdvisor, which was acquired by McAfee, and Hunch, which was acquired by eBay. In addition to his work with Founder’s Collective, Chris is a personal investor in early-stage technology companies, including Skype, TrialPay, DocVerse, Invite Media, Gerson Lehrman Group, ScanScout, OMGPOP, BillShrink, Oddcast, Panjiva, Knewton, and a handful of other startups that...