Double-translation spam

We got a little traffic from at TheBigDay, and for various reasons I decided to poke my nose in a little deeper…and was quite entertained by the spammy trick I discovered. It seems is (well, WAS…the site’s dead now!) scraping content from Yahoo Answers in order to generate lots of pages of juicy content for the search engines to digest and index, in the hopes of driving more traffic. So that’s nothing new, lots of sites try tricks like this. What made it interesting was the trick they used to massage the content so that the search engines didn’t see it as duplicate content–a copy of what they’d already seen on Yahoo Answers.

As far as I can tell, they’ve fed the Yahoo Answers pages through an electronic translator…twice, once from English to another language, then again to translate back. Because of how rough electronic translation is, you end up with a pile of decent english words, with most of the important search terms preserved, but scrambled up so it doesn’t look much like the original text (i.e., so the search engines think it’s new, juicy content).

Look at some of the gems that result:

  • “My fiance additionally as myself have been pondering about stealing scored equally together in Hawaii, yet we’re confused on how it would work.”

  • “I am carrying a finish matrimony in Key West, FL. we am not sure if we should rewear a grave wear during a matrimony reception.”

  • “I am unquestionably confused additionally as hopefully somebody who has had the finish wedlock in the past can benefit me!”

UPDATE: Yahoo Answers has been shut down…but if you happened to be looking for an alternative, try this article on