After first hearing about the new College Kingdom educational search tools, I headed over to the site. The site uses the Google Custom Search Engine(TM). The search results come from Google, but those search results have been customized to include search results only from the schools’ websites. What’s cool is that you can easily search the websites of over 7,000 Colleges, Universities, Career Schools and Adult Education programs. What’s not cool is the amount of spam that still plagues these websites.
As you probably know, I’m a few years past my college years, so the “online marketer” in me decided to use the College Kingdom search tool to search for links. I first tried a search for “add url”. There literally appear to be thousands of results, but what’s disturbing is the amount of spam that appears:
There are a few search results that are appropriate, but the fourth search result shows a “acne” spam that appears on the NYU.edu site. I also see spam for Wellbutrin, Flomax, and other pills–in the top 10 search results. Just try performing a search for “wellbutrin” using College Kingdom’s search and the results are riddled with spam. Tamu.edu, sdsu.edu, and even ucsd.edu are even offenders: they have plenty of spam content on their websites.
Another interesting search is the search for “sponsored links”. If you’re searching for sponsored links–or places where you can buy a text link on a university website there are plenty of them available.
Don’t Blame College Kingdom
I certainly do not blame College Kingdom for showing all of this search spam. After all, there are generally two parties to point the finger at here: the educational institutions themselves for allowing the spam on their sites and not cleaning it up, and Google. Surely Google would be able to make sure that spam pages on .edu sites shouldn’t show up in their search results.