I wrote a rather strongly worded blog post against bnet, a c|net property. It looked to me like they were keyword spamming Google with business keywords, particularly when I got a garbage page as the #1 result for a search.
Stephen Howard-Sarin, a VP working on BNET, was kind enough to write and explain that some of what I thought was spamming was actually a simple bug:
We had a Reuters story about PIMCO on BNET, and it got tagged like other content. But our contract with Reuters only allows us to keep a story live for 30 days. At the end of the period, we pulled the story but Google had index the story and the tag-listing page by then. So when you went to find it, you got a crappy error page.Fair enough! I apologize for assuming malice in what was just a simple mistake. I'm still not wild about bnet's aggressive cross linking and keyword URLs but frankly if I ran a content site like theirs I'd be doing some of that too. For me the line is drawn at intentionally fooling search engines into sending traffic to you even when you don't have content. bnet wasn't deliberately doing that, so I withdraw the accusation of spamming.
Completely coincidentally, rumour has it that Google has recently altered its ranking algorithms for link weighting. I've got no idea what Google has done or if it would affect link structures like bnet's, but I note that today the lousy bnet page is no longer on the first result page. Maybe Google just got around to reindexing the page.
Many thanks to Mr. Howard-Sarin for being polite and professional. It's been a good reminder for me to elevate my own blog standards. I'm a bit embarassed at my use of the word "scumbag."