Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Blocking drumming-related spam

Thanks, we get it: “you're a restaurant”,
now please GTFOOMF.
After months of becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the results my drumming-related web searches, this week I installed the Google search results blocker extension to my web browser— I use Opera— and have been delighted with the results.

The problem I was having was that a certain company decided that its path to success was to render the major search engines as useless as possible, swarming them with their own links on every conceivable drumming related topic for which they could slap together a video. “He who advertises most, wins” is the apparent philosophy. Say your name often enough, and enough undiscriminating people will buy your junk for you to be profitable. Sort of the same approach as the Romney For President people had, or the producers of any number of Hollywood bombs. Or the Rosewood Grille; famously the worst, most heavily advertised restaurant in Las Vegas, which finally could not overcome with advertising dollars the horrific word-of-mouth surrounding their business, and closed in 2010.

Anyhow, if I search for "jazz drumming" on Bing, whose results I am not filtering, on the first two pages alone I get:

Drumeo Store - Jazz Drumming System 
Learn How To Play Jazz with Free Drum Lessons
Basics Of Jazz Drumming
Learn How To Play The Basic Jazz Drumming Pattern
How To Play Jazz | Jazz Drumming
How to Play Jazz Drums
Jazz Drumming System - Drumeo
Jazz Drumming Lessons - Master the Techniques and Rhythms

Plus several paid links at the top of the results and in the sidebar; that's about a third of my results from this one company's domains: drumeo.com, freedrumlessons.com, jazzdrummingsystem.com, rockdrummingsystem.com, howtoplaydrums.com, and drumplayerworld.com, all linking to the same not-very-good product I'm never going to buy.

With this browser extension, when one of those sites breathlessly lunges into my Google search results, I can just hit the richly satisfying block drumeo.com link, which, while staying on the same page, gives you the lovely, caressible “oh yes, I definitely want to block them” confirm link, and that's it. They're done. Running the same search now, I mostly get people who are primarily interested in communicating information to me, not in hyping me into opening my wallet to them, and I remember how nice it is to have a functioning Internet.

There are similar extensions for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. I highly recommend using them.

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