Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


A Two Player Game To Combat Web Spam

Michelle Goodstein, Virginia Vassilevska

June 2007

Keywords: Web spam, games with a purpose, algorithms

We present a novel approach to combating web spam. In the spirit of Luis von Ahn's games with a purpose, we propose using a two player game to identify spam pages within search results. Our game asks users to classify a page as either highly relevant to a query or not relevant to a query, with the option of passing. We use data from the game as the input to a simple voting algorithm which determines whether a page is spam. We show that the best strategy for users playing the game for fun is to answer truthfully, and that spammers have difficulty obstructing the game.

22 pages

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