Infamous.com is one of those sites that Google tells us they will blacklist but which they never do. Let me explain what I mean. Like many others, including Helium, I subscribe to Google’s adsense programme. This means that I can incorporate Google adverts into my site content in the hope of making a few dollars from people clicking on the advertisements while browsing my site.
In their terms and conditions, Google make it clear they will not permit advertising on sites which contain adult material, excessive profane language, defamatory articles, etc. All well and good – and let me make it very clear that infamous.com is not an adult site, is not a site using profane, blasphemous or otherwise unacceptable language and which neither promotes nor denigrates any of the major world religions.
So exactly what is it about the content of infamous.com that would make Google threaten sites like it with blacklisting. Well, infamous.com does not have any content. Rather it consists of a very large list of headings. When each heading is clicked, up comes a list of subheadings and/or advertisements based around the heading subject. Click on any subheading and you will see yet more advertisng links. Try as you may, you can spend an hour or more on this site, but you will not find any content which is not advertising, with the exception of the odd link to wikepedia. This is where the site infringes Google’s rules, whereby they state they will blacklist sites which are purely for advertising purposes with no actual content.
The strapline for infamous.com is “Fifteen Minutes of Fame”, and the home page carries a photograph of two people who I do not recognise and who may or may not be famous, apparently trying to shy away from the camera. A seach box is incorporated into the page, with the text: “Seeking information about famous or infamous people? Look through our comprehensive, search-friendly index.”
The hope is, of course, that writers researching people will come to the site for information. They won’t find any information, but maybe they will be hooked by one of the advertisements and send a few cents in the direction of the site’screator(s).
Just by way of experiment, I picked five people who just about everyone would have heard of. They were, in no particular order: Winston Churchill, Florence Nightingale, John Lennon, George Washington and Martin Luther King.
I entered each one into the search box. As predicted, no direct content appeared, just advertisements and a couple of links to Wikipedia. One interesting aside was that a link to johnlennon.com provided me with real biographical information about the man without payment. Didn’t Lennon once say the Beatles were more famous than Jesus? Maybe now infamous.com considers Lennon more famous than George Washington, Florence Nightingale or Winston Churchill.
I don’t recommend infamous.com as a source of knowledge, entertainment or education in any shape or form. Try it if you don’t have enough advertisements to look through already.
I’m hoping I may gain a few cents for the time spent writing this article. I doubt I will make as much as infamous.com did out of my research clicks!