c|net has always seemed pretty squirrely to me, what with the weird com.com domain name and the rafts of crappy articles crowding around the occasional good content. But c|net's "go-to-place for management" site bnet takes the cake.

I ran into bnet researching the PIMCO Distressed Mortgage Fund. Their page is the first hit on Google and promises "White papers, case studies, technical articles, and blog posts." Only the page actually has no content on it, just list after list of keywords and a bunch of ads.

Searching around it's clear there are a lot of keywords bnet is spamming: hedge funds, mortgages, currency, management, etc. In fact, bnet seems to have a keyword stuffed URL for just about any valuable business search term. Some of the links even lead to crappy boilerplate articles, the sort of text that just barely passes a Turing test without actually informing the reader. And lots of ads and outbound links.

These kinds of ad farms are pretty common on the Web and Google's generally good at filtering them out. I guess c|net had a good enough reputation that Google was fooled into trusting the URL and description meta tag. That won't last. I always wonder about the engineers who work on these spam projects. Aren't they ashamed?

Update: it seems I was wrong and bnet wasn't intentionally spamming. Please read this update.
  2007-10-19 23:42 Z