Have you ever searched for a term only to find a page that says “we have no articles for [your search term]” and a whole bunch of ads? Most people have come across these sites with auto-generated content, often called “Made for AdSense” or MFA sites. These pages are created for the sole reason of luring people in, and hoping they click an AdSense ad to leave the page instead of hitting the back button.
The majority of these types of websites use a script to automatically generate content that takes snippets from search results or web pages with those keywords. They don’t offer real content in any way and have absolutely no legitimate value. It makes many wonder why they’ve encountered these kinds of pages in the Google search results.
One user directly asked Matt Cutts, Google’s head of webspam, if the search engine is doing anything about the pages, such as penalties or removing these sites from the index. As you would expect, Google already has a policy in place, and Cutts encourages users to report any pages like this they come across. He states:
We are absolutely willing to take action against those sites. We have our rules in our guidelines about auto-generated pages that have very little value and I have put out in the past specific calls for sites where you search for a product – a VCR, a laptop, or whatever – and you think you’re going to get a review, and the first thing you see is ‘0 Reviews found for [blah blah blah].’
As Google sees it, even if these pages are from legitimate search engines, they don’t belong in the rankings. Users don’t really like searching for something and being sent to another page of search results. They want to be directed straight to real content.
There are very few times when search results snippets should be indexed. The only real time it might be considerable is if you have exclusive data that no one else has. But, there is no time when a supposed search results page with 0 results should ever be indexed.
To put it simply, Google is already trying to fight against these sites. They aim to find and penalize all they can, but they also want people to report them with a spam report if possible so that the lowest amount possible slip through the cracks.