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Search Engine Spamming

What is search engine spamming?
Spamming can be defined as practicing those techniques which tend to bypass the algorithm of search engines. In other words fooling the search engines by using unethical methods is termed as spamming. Search engines have algorithms that measure the importance or relevance of websites and accordingly those websites are ranked in the result pages. With spamming techniques undeserving pages are artificially manipulated to rank at top rankings in SEs. SEs main motive is quality search results so as to gain popularity but their very purpose is defeated by spamming techniques as a result SEs penalize the websites that are identified to be spamming by either placing them low in the rankings or completely deleting the website from their index or database.

How it emerged?
With this enormous growth potential of business (traffic) over internet webmasters and online business owners discovered that major portion of traffic was directed by SEs so they found ways to artificially rank high or to befool SEs by techniques like invisible text, keyword stuffing, cloaking, link farms, hidden tags, code swapping, page redirects etc. and a variety of other means. They spread improper ways after learning the criteria used by search engines to rank web pages. For example search engines rank high those pages that has more links flowing to them and quite wisely webmasters devised so called link farm associations in order to increase the link popularity of a website and thus to boost ranking. In this way many more methods emerged for overcoming the search software. Some techniques that are clearly considered as spam and that you should avoid using them are as under:

Spamming techniques

Keyword stuffing: SEs ranked those pages high in the results which contained good number of keywords so webmasters started using the keyword stuffing technique. Keyword stuffing is the repeated use of any keyword or phrase a number of times on a page to increase the frequency of targeted keywords on the page. For example they can place the following text near the bottom of the page

Search engine optimization and marketing Search engine optimization and marketing
Search engine optimization and marketing Search engine optimization and marketing
Search engine optimization and marketing Search engine optimization and marketing
Search engine optimization and marketing Search engine optimization and marketing

SEs now have the ability to detect such stuffing, they have filters that analyze the page and determine whether the frequency is above a normal level in proportion to the rest of the words or above normal.

Invisible text: It is a technique of adding hidden text on the page and including keywords in that text. This is often practiced by making the background and the text color to be the same and placing the text in the empty parts of the page. SEs can detect invisible text and penalize the site using this technique.

Unrelated Keywords: Unrelated keywords are popular keywords that are often searched on SEs. Using these keywords on pages to rank them high even if they are out of scope of the subject of the website is known as unrelated keyword spamming. This technique is really fruitless because a user is directed to your site but he was looking for something else and leaves the site instantly. Hence this technique adds no targeted customers to your website and leaves a bad experience of search engine on the user.

Web page stuffing: Web page stuffing means creating many copies of the same page with different names and submitting all of them to search engines. All pages are defined to dominate the listings keeping in mind particular keyword or key phrases. SEs don’t want to provide duplicate pages to their users so they consider duplicate pages as spam and if any site is detected using duplicate or doorway pages then it faces high losses in regards to optimization.

Link Farms: Linking greatly boosts website ranking showing the page to be very important so with advent of time and SEO technique “link farms” emerged. A link farm is referred to a website which is solely created for the purpose of boosting link popularity by maintaining reciprocal link exchanges. Websites participate in link exchange programs by adding links to the websites termed as link farms that in turn link to the subject site. As a result link farms and exchanging links became a common scene however ethical linking boosts ranking but unethical linking demotes ranking. For overcoming such farms SEs have started identifying these sites and penalizing them. If your website is linking to a link farm that has been identified by search engines then you can also be faced with some type of anger be the search engine. So be clean and ethical in this process.

Excess submission: Submitting to search engines multiple number of times within a very short time span is also considered as spamming. Every search has defined limits of how many times a person can submit within a specified time and how frequently they can be submitted. So crossing the limits specified of the search engines i.e. submitting the same pages more than once a month to the same engine or submitting hundreds of pages each day to an engine is considered as spamming. Suppose a site has 1000 pages then it is not at all mandatory to submit all the pages to a search engine, instead SE will crawl all the pages itself by visiting the home page of the site that is being submitted.

Page redirection/spoofing: It is a technique by which users are redirected to new pages rather than taking them to the actual pages appearing in the search results. This can be achieved by various techniques like meta refresh tag, JavaScript, CGI scripts or any other server technology. The pages that are submitted to search engines are not defined or meant for the users; instead users are directed to some other pages. These redirector pages have the sole purpose of achieving ranking at search engines. Search engines do not like these pages and often don’t accept pages that have a very low meta refresh rate.

Mirror sites: This type of spamming involves creation of same exact website at different URL’s and likewise submitting them all to the search engines. Mirror sites usually are used by very heavy traffic sites in order to reduce the burden of traffic on their servers but such site that are developed just for the purpose of ranking high are considered spamming. Search engines on detecting such mirror sites act harshly against them.

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