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What is search engine spam?

Search engine spam is the use of unethical techniques for improving your search engine position. Dishonest Webmasters are using these spam tactics to fool the search engines into giving irrelevant pages high search engine  placement.

Tutorials on search engine optimization are often recommending optimization techniques that will be regarded as search engine spam by the search engines. If you are not aware of what constitutes search engine spam your site will not be indexed -- and could even be blacklisted. That is a very high price to pay if you are serious about  the success of your Website.

Therefore, besides looking at factors that will boost your search engine rankings, we will also look into what tactics to avoid:


Ten search engine spam techniques

  1. Invisible text. Hiding keywords by using the same (or very similar)  color for font and background is one of the most common techniques used by  search engine spammers. This can be done unknowingly if you are using tables or  a background image with a different color than the real background for your site.
  2. Keyword stuffing are often used along with hidden text, but can also be used to repeat keywords over and over again on the bottom of the page  (tailing) in tiny font or within meta tags (or other hidden tags). This is a very popular search engine spam trick.
  3. Unrelated keywords. Never use popular keywords that do not apply to  your site's content. You might be able to trick a few people searching for such words into clicking at your link, but they will quickly leave your site when they see you have no info on the topic they were originally searching for. This kind of search engine spam will upset both the search engines and their users.
  4. Hidden tags. The use of keywords in hidden HTML tags like comment tags, style tags, http-equiv tags, hidden value tags, alt tags, font tags, author tags, option tags, noframes tags (on sites not using frames) and hidden links might be considered search engine spam by some search engines. Others will  allow it.
  5. Identical pages (or very similar pages). Don't duplicate a Web page (or doorway page), give the copies different file names, and submit them all (mirror pages). Duplicate pages are regarded as  search engine spam by all search engines and directories.
  6. Code swapping ("bait & switch" technique). Do not optimize a page  for high search engine position, and then swap another page in its place once a high rank is achieved. Doing this will never result in a lasting search engine  placement anyway.
  7. Page redirects. Often people create spam filled Web pages intended for the eyes of search engines only. When someone visit those pages, they are redirected to the real page by META refresh tags, CGI, Java, JavaScript, or  server side techniques. There are legitimate reasons for cloaking and similar  techniques, but don't use them unless you know exactly what you are  doing.
  8. Link farms. Many search engines consider the use of link farms or  reciprocal link generators as search engine spam techniques. Several search  engines are known to kick out sites that participate in any link exchange  program that artificially boosts link popularity.
  9. No content. Sites without unique content of value to the search  engine users are often regarded as spam. Illegal content, duplicated content, and sites consisting largely of affiliate links are also considered low value search engine spam, especially by the directories.
  10. Over submitting. Each search engine has its own limits to how many  pages can be submitted and how often to submit. Do not submit the same page more than once a month to the same search engine and don't submit too many pages each  day. Never submit doorways to directories. Follow the submission guidelines  carefully.

Penalties for search engine spam

Not all search engines are equally strict about search engine spam. Tricks that are perfectly acceptable for one search engine can be considered search  engine spam by another. Some engines will refuse to index pages believed to contain spam, some will still index, but rank the pages lower. Another option is banning the whole site.

On some  search engines, you may find pages that are ranked high and DO use some of the  search engine spam techniques described here. These are usually old pages --  often several years old. If these pages were submitted today, they would be  scored low, or rejected. Even if you currently can get away with certain search engine spam techniques, spam and other ways of cheating just do not work in the  end.

Search engines strive to provide the most relevant results to their users, but spam clutters their indexes with irrelevant and misleading information. Make no mistake. Search engines will always react to the spam techniques when they become a big enough problem.

Then they might ban your entire site if you are caught using such tricks.




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