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Tuesday, January 22, 2008 8:27:00 AM
Theoretically, it's quite possible, though I doubt it would be commercially justified today. However, human is an ingenious creature, though this ingenuity doesn't always work for the mankind. There isn't a single technological achievement which man wouldn't find a way to abuse! Developers of the e-mail protocols didn't foresee spam, developers of HTTP didn't think of phishing (fraud using fake pages looking like banking websites). Some time ago, using meta keywords to find relevant web pages looked like a reasonable idea. With our present experience in the modern web, it's not that hard to imagine how the new type of search would be abused.
The simplest and mildest abuse would be recording and publishing advertisement songs to popular melodies. Such ads can easily be targeted, for example, Britney Spears' music could be used to target teenagers. A more aggressive approach: a commercial medley matching several different queries. An extreme case would be search spam, nonsensical sound files without a general musical structure, containing sequences of notes similar to those found in hundreds of popular songs; the only purpose of search spam is to redirect the user to the advertised website, often a fraudulent one, regardless of what they were searching for.
Of course, it's possible to devise technical measures against abuse, new ways to abuse against those technical measures, and so on. Given the modern pace of IT development, this scenario looks likely and usual. Typical sci-fi literature often misses out this important aspect of future technologies. It's hard to imagine holographic TV without annoying commercials, a “global data bank” (Internet, that is) without “search engine optimization” (it's a modern politically correct term for purposeful distortion of search results in favor of your web resources), and a future e-mail without spam. But I'm also sure that future will bring us conceptually new methods of abuse, impossible with the current technologies. We'll see.
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