by Dawn Rowlett
Certified Search Engine Positioning Specialist
are many variations of the exact definition for search engine
spam. Said as simply as possible, search engine spam is the process
of attempting to miss-lead a search engine spider into believing
that a web site is relevant or more relevant than it really is
to specific search terms.
ideas of spam may vary slightly one engine to the next, it is
a good idea to consider any concept of spam to be--SPAM. Any attempt
to deceive search engine spiders, directory editors and / or your
visitors should be avoided at ALL times.
one engine has had trouble with a particular area that it considers
to be spam, chances are that the next engine will soon realize
that they have the same trouble. Therefore changing their spam
policies. When designing, writing, optimizing and submitting your
site, always keep in mind general Internet ethics.
the search engine optimization process of your web site begins,
it is important that your search engine optimization service knows
of any and all practices that are being used or have been used
in the past that could be considered as spam techniques. In most
cases, a qualified search engine specialist will be able to find
any current instances of spam techniques by carefully analyzing
your site. However, only you know what has happened in the past
and hold the responsibility to inform all parties involved in
the marketing process of any past information that you feel may
have previously or is currently affecting your search engine rankings.
have listed some well-known and unfortunately, over-used spam
techniques, that are commonly used. If you know any of the following
to be used in your web site now or in the past, it is very important
that you make your search engine specialist aware of anything
that you feel was, is or will be detrimental to your search engine
Never Use The Following Techniques...
In some cases, it is not necessary to submit your web site at
all. Submitting over and over again will not increase your chances
of high search engine rankings. Sometimes, as an SEO specialist,
I do feel that it is important to submit a web site after extensive
changes have been made as long as the proper guidelines and criteria
have been followed. As a general rule, never submit a web site
more that one time in an eight week period. There is simply no
reason for it and you could over-submit to the point that your
submissions become ignored.
Do not stuff keywords in every tag and area of your page that
keywords can be used. Legitimately, tags such as ALT tags and
TITLE tags can and do contain descriptive phrases and may contain
keyword phrases if they apply to the description of the link or
image. Sometimes, this might boost your keyword relevancy if it
is done with caution. However, this practice can be abused --
and should not be. If something doesn't belong, don't do it.
Repeated Over and Over Again
Use your keywords on your pages creatively. Do not repeat them
over and over again. Use your targeted keyword phrase as a phrase
a few times throughout your page. Within the rest of your page,
use keywords as separate terms, plural and singular and synonyms.
If you are attempting to get your web site ranked under a term
such as "Search Engine Marketing", Do NOT say search
engine marketing this. Search engine marketing that. Search engine
marketing blah, blah blah. Search Engine Marketing over and over
again for no legitimate reason. Naturally, you do want your content
to reflect your keyword phrases -- but don't overuse them to the
point of repeating them un-necessarily and excessively. Read your
content out loud. Have someone read it to you. If it sounds like
words or phrases are over-used, they probably are.
Duplicate pages with the same exact design, layout, navigation
and content, either on the same domain or different domains, can
be detected and considered spam.
Or Invisible Text
Do not hide text, links or images with text that is the same color
or similar color as the background of the page.
Do not use text that is impossible to read.
Never Create pages with the sole intention of gaining a search
engine ranking without providing any useful, quality content,
products or services to actual visitors. If a visitor would have
no use for a page, do not attempt to use it. Do not create separate
pages with the sole intention of high rankings in a specific search
engine. A qualified search engine optimization specialist will
be able to optimize a page to meet EVERY search engines criteria
for high ranking. There is no reason to create separate pages
for different search engines.
Doorway pages are defined as a stand alone page that is not a
part of your main web site. The page is not accessible from the
main site and is created for search engines only. If the page
was not created to be a "part" of the site, don't use
Never attempt to gain high rankings for keywords that are not
related to your content. For instance, this article that you are
reading is about "Search Engine Spam". Because there
are not really many search phrases for this page that are going
to produce high traffic flow, if I wanted to "deceive"
search engines and traffic, it would be possible for me to mislead
a search engine spider and potential traffic (If I'm not caught
first) into believing that this article is about "Anti Spam
Software" could potentially generate a much higher traffic
flow if I were to gain a top search engine position for that phrase.
However, that phrase does not accurately reflect what the content
of this page or this web site is about. So, to intentionally "optimize"
this page to come up under unrelated words is SPAM and should
be avoided at ALL times.
Always be sure that your title, description and keyword meta tags
are relevant to the content of the page that they are on.
Do not use redirect or meta refresh on your pages.
Cloaking is the process of presenting one page to search engine
spiders while visitors see an entirely different page. Many SEO's
will present a lot of argument over why this practice "is"
okay to use -- the only thing that is important to me is that
it is used more often than not as a spam technique and IS viewed
as SPAM by search engines.
Exchange Programs & Link Farms
It is going to be important to the publicity and visibility to
your web site that you have text links and banners on other web
sites that are relevant to your general target market. T he more
you can publicize your site, the better for search engines and
overall marketing success. However, there are sites, programs
and software that have figured out a way to deceive search engine
rankings by with deceptive "Link Exchange Programs".
Before getting involved with any program such as this, you should
seriously consider seeking the assistance of a qualified search
engine positioning company who practices ethical search engine
marketing guidelines. Getting involved with the wrong link exchange
program could seriously harm the success of your web site.
Also known as "Free For All" link pages, these pages
include tons of links that have no rhyme or reason. There could
be links to "Baby" web sites mixed in with links to
"Web Design Companies" mixed in with links to "Automotive"
web sites. These pages are not created to benefit any one specific
area of a general market and are not useful to anyone. Avoid being
linked from these pages and NEVER add a link from your web site
TO these pages. AND, NEVER, EVER host a page of links like this
on your site.
Automated Software to Submit
Submitting by hand to the major search engines should be the only
way that your pages are submitted. Using software programs that
claim to submit to hundreds of web sites will do nothing but add
your site to hundreds of FFA pages, add tons of junk mail to your
inbox and overload major engines submission databases.
There are programs out there that will generate "optimized"
pages for you. Don't use them.
you have any doubt at all about techniques used within your own
web site, consider seeking the assistance of a qualified search
engine positioning company that practices ethical search engine
major search engines have become very sophisticated and are able
to detect spam before it ever has a chance to enter their index.
When spam is detected, the site may never have a chance due to
serious spam penalties assessed and may be banned completely.
Recovery may require many months to regain the opportunity to
make it into the engines database after the spam techniques have
been completely eliminated. In many cases, the site may never
get this chance again.
most popular engines such as Google, work extremely hard in keeping
their spam filters updated to combat spam techniques -- after
all, they pride themselves in providing the most relevant information
to their searchers -- that's why they are our favorites.