30+ Weird, Educational and Stupid Search Screenshots

Author: Gab Goldenberg

One of my favourite things to do when browsing the web is take screenshots of interesting things I notice, particularly in the SERPs, but also on other sites. It’s an easier way of taking notes and learning from others. Featured below are some sites you know, like DoshDosh, Treatment Search, Sphinn and others.

There’s also the genuinely stupid Stupid.com, some much more intelligent Sphinn spammers who’ve carefully observed what tips us off to spam, and more. In the interest of load times, I’ve linked to some pictures rather than post them here. Enjoy!

Keywords and Search Demand/Volume per DoshDosh

I thought that taking a historical look at Maki’s most viewed posts would give us an idea what’s popular with the search engines, and what gets more transient attention such as social media love or being on the front page of his blog. Another possible explanation is that the effect of showing most viewed posts is kind of self-reinforcing, as more people view the posts by clicking the sidebar links.

Here’s a May 13 2008 screenshot: DoshDosh Most Viewed Pages May 13 2008

Here’s another screenshot taken slightly over a week earlier.

DoshDosh Most Viewed Pages May 4 2008

What I pick up on is that Maki’s adsense posts are very popular. The search volume for them is probably greater than for social media terms.

If you find Maki interesting, you’ll probably be interested in this series of screenshots on…

Sphinn spam.

Sphinn Spam - 4 Spam Submissions In a Row

Kombucha tea bags and affiliate marketing on gas offers… lame! No avatars, no subtlety in the titles, just plain volume. I’m so tired of this crap. On a more humorous note, consider the irony of this guy’s Sphinn submission of domaining advice.

Webkinz Toys Spam

In the above Webkinz toys picture, the spammer had a short title, and a single vote. These probably attracted attention to his post as (i) being different from average Sphinn material and (ii) likely spam. But he also had an avatar and used a trusted domain (from which I exclude the subdomain, obviously), which make people speed over the submission and not notice the spam.

State of Sphinn & Pligg Spam - Avatars and Votes

Finally, we get to the more sophisticated spammers.

They’re getting 2 votes to avoid being lumped with the 1 vote churn and burn spam submissions. They’re also using avatars. In particular, the Bangkok hospital one blends in with Sphinn’s dark green color scheme without looking like the newbie/spammer default green avatar.

There’s also some manual spam submissions. I’d bet that the Iron Man submission was done by a human because it goes to a legitimate news site. Probably a spammy SEO/webmaster who sold search marketing services to naive clients. Note also the avatar aimed at not being categorized with the rest of the spam. That one almost got by me because the title is typical length for Sphinn and there’s an avatar…Just looked like a meh submission (becaues of the single vote) by a newb who was making an effort to do well on Sphinn, until I read the headline.

Then finally there’s the really dirty affiliate free get-rich-quick-on-clickbank-and-adwords-ebook squeeze page aiming to get people’s emails. The only subtlety was making the title sound like it could be a review (e.g. inspire reasonable doubt in would-be spam reporters) and getting a vote.

Blogged.com Widgetbait Spam and other miscellaneous spam, like Submit Express’ link trading

I blogged it earlier, and while browsing around, I found out that their “use this badge to show off your great rating” spam has met with some success.

BLogged.com Widgetbait Spam

Just before changing the topic, I’d like to share some other spam, including some link exchange spam by Submit Express, who happen to rank pretty well for SEO terms.


So with all these people spamming to rank for keywords, you’d think the people spending money (rather than time/server resources) for traffic would be careful. Turns out that buying ads for a page that’s gone/doesn’t exist is more common than you think.

Bupa International was advertising on my buddy Rishi Lakhani’s Treatment Search.

Unfortunately for Bupa, their PPC person/agency was sending traffic to this page that tells you the page you requested is unavailable.

You’d think it was an isolated incident. Stupid.com’s stupid PPC agency brought me to this page when I clicked an ad of theirs:

Stupid.com is stupid

Sticking with the theme of stupidity in pay-per-click advertising, I’ve seen this ad to “increase Your Page Rank” on Search Engine Land. What happened to knowing your audience?

Another thing of interest were Israeli PPC ads I saw, in two languages and with two character sets.

Israeli PPC ads

Similarly, this is what Lyndon Antcliff’s Cornwall SEO organic site listing looked like to Israelis, back when it got hacked. The blue line of Hebrew text under Cornwallseo.com reads: this website might cause damage to your computer.

Cornwall SEO in Hebrew

Furthere in the topic of original PPC ads is this one using a URL shortening service!

PPC advertising with URL shortening

This clever fellow is succesfully buying two spots in the PPC results. Can you tell it’s converting well for him?

Skyhigh Auctions Spam

After discussing Google’s Expanded Broad Match with Andrew Goodman and Amy Konefal, I’ve got some ‘craptastic relevance due to Google’s Expanded Broad Match’ screenshots to share.

First, here’s a picture of GoToMyPC, Google and Goofbay showing up for a copywriting keyword. There’s actually more irrelevant ads than relevant ones – quality score my eye :P!

Google Expanded Broad Match Free Swipe File

Then I did this search and poor Microsoft (yes, that’s an oxymoron) saw Google taking its money for “free search engine submission software.”

That ad came up when I tried to see if Google Expanded Broad Match would make this ad for Engine Land Inc (motors, not SEL) show up again.

Unusual Reputation Management Cases

Well, it appears that besides Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, Hermione Granger has a taste for stronger flavours. The caveat is that the beer drinking shot may have been photoshopped. What’s interesting here is that you need to do image SEO for reputation management here, and that not only do you need to deal with the universal SERPs but also the Image SERPs.

Image Results for Hermione Granger

For those people who steal content, wouldn’t you like to know that the DMCA can get you booted from the SERPs and give you reputation management problems?

DMCA in SERPs means reputation management

Feeds, IP Addresses and Other Miscellaneous Items Ranking in SERPs

Shawn Collins’ feed is showig up rather than his actual blog post. Sounds like a case for nofollow… And Shawn, if you’re reading this, I’d be happy to do SEO for Affiliate Tip ;).

Affiliate Tip Shawn Collins Feed Indexed and Ranking

Finally, one strange pic of an IP ranking for “Honda Civic.”

IP ranking for Honda Civic


I’ve got other cool pics, so check out my Flickr photostream (nofollow cuz Flickr nofollows outbound links).

You might find some retargeting after I tried booking a stay for SMX Advanced (I got accepted to speak on the Site Buying panel). Copeac’s also doing intelligent stuff with their email marketing to get inactive affiliates moving. Our national news network in Canada, CBC, is shamefully incompetent and biased in nearly all its journalistic endeavours, but at least they know to track RSS referrals.

And if you dig really deep, past my screenshots, I did some paid drink spam arrests (inspiration came from Chris Hooley’s Drinkbait). Arrestees included notably Miguel Salcido and Michael Gray, (eVisbility and Wolf Howl) as well as Sugarrae (Sugarrae), Andy Beal (Marketing Pilgrim), Rob Kerry (Evil Green Monkey), and Mike McDonald (Web Pro News).

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  1. Gab - I missed this post somehow, but I enjoyed it immensely! What a wonderful collection! When I get my own Office - I am going to frame a few of these with other Search blunders I have collected over time ;) SEOGEEK or what ? lol.

    Comment by Rishil - May 19, 2008 @ 4:03am
  2. Glad you liked it Rishi. I think this is one of those posts that should have gone hot on Sphinn but didn't cuz my title was crapola. Kinda shallow of Sphinn, but what can you do?

    Comment by Gab - May 20, 2008 @ 1:58pm

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