Aug 13, 2009

If AP Can't Beat the Google Spammers, It Will Join Them [Print Is Dead]

Ever clicked on some high-ranked Google result, only to land on a useless page of links, obviously created by spam software? Infuriating. Well, prepare to be maddened further; the Associated Press, avowed hater of the internet, will spam Google too.

Harvard's Nieman Foundation obtained an internal AP memo showing the wire service plans to ape Wikipedia, the user-written reference that dominates many Google searches. But instead of writing its own concise summaries, like Wikipedia, AP will simply generate "landing pages" automatically, compiling basic links to its own content, and then having its members link to those pages. Robot spam! Felix Salmon of internet-loving Reuters doesn't think this will work, since Google's algorithms are pretty smart; we don't think that matters. Technical cluelessness doesn't seem to have ever sidelined an AP initiative before.

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