That's the SEO industry. Ironically,
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. That is to say, optimum for the searchee, not the searcher. I am the searcher (I don't really have a web site I want to promote, LOL). Thus, SEO is my enemy, not my friend. It is also Google's enemy, because it reduces the effectiveness of the Google search engine as perceived by its users (me).
Folks seem to have trouble understanding the search engine business model. To a search engine, the searcher is the product, not the customer. The customer is the advertiser, to whom the search engine delivers eyeballs. The search engine wins by delivering eyeballs to advertisers. It best does that by delivering the best search results with the least effort on the part of the eyeball.
I don’t think the majority of the posters were wise to your tongue-in-cheek contributions. In fact, I don’t think the target of your original post asking ‘where you get this special search engine treatment?’ ever got the real point you were making.
So now we have an entire thread that, to the casual internet reader (non-tech-savvy), will seem to serve as a big ol’ warning about evil google (mea culpa: I really wish there was an effective alternative to it, but it’s so embedded into the way I surf and use the web, I can’t replace it). So in this case, a lazy reader will see this thread and add another log to their personal, virtual fire of google hate, when in truth, our thread starter actiually had a virus or other malware.
Lastly, I too fervently endorse the use of hosts file entries to block unwanted content (ads and more). I learned that originally right here on FreeRepublic.com more than 10 years ago. I use the 30,000 line one found at the first (he he) google hit for HOSTS MVPS.