This site is for sale,
search engine spamming
is the practice of deliberately and dishonestly modifying
pages to increase the chance of them being placed close to the beginning of
results, or to influence the category to which the page is assigned in a dishonest manner. Many designers of web pages try to get a good ranking in search engines and design their pages accordingly. Spamdexing refers exclusively to practices that are dishonest and mislead search and indexing programs to give a page a ranking it does not deserve.
People who do this are called
search engine spammers
. The word is a
(as well as a pun on
Search engines use a variety of
to determine relevancy ranking. Some of these include determining whether the search term appears in the
tag, others whether the search term appears in the
. A variety of techniques are used to spamdex, including listing chosen
on a page in small-point font face the same colour as the page background (rendering it invisible to humans but not search engine
search engine spiders
Search engine spammers
are generally aware that the content that they promote is not very useful or relevant to the ordinary internet surfer. They try to use methods that will make the website appear above more relevant websites in the search engine listings.
Here are some common
Hidden or invisible text
Disguising keywords and phrases by making them the same (or almost the same) colour as the background, using a tiny font size or hiding them within the
code such as no frame sections, ALT attributes and no script sections. This is useful to make a page appear to be relevant in a way that makes it more likely to be found. Example: A promoter of a
wants to attract web surfers to a site where he advertises his scam. He places hidden text appropriate for a fan page of a popular music group on his page hoping that the page will be listed as a fan site and receive many visits from music lovers.
(also known as
Repeated use of a word to increase its frequency on a page. Older versions of indexing programs simply counted how often a keyword appeared, and used that to determine relevance levels. Most modern search engines have the ability to analyze a page for
and determine whether the frequency is above a "normal" level.
Meta tag stuffing
Repeating keywords in the
more than once, and using keywords that are unrelated to the site's content.
Hosting of multiple websites all with the same content but using different
's. Some search engines give higher rank to results where the keyword searched for appears in the URL.
Creating low-quality web pages that contain very little content but are instead stuffed with very similar key words and phrases. They are designed to rank highly within the search results. A doorway page will generally have "click here to enter" in the middle of it.
Taking the user to another page without his or her intervention, e.g. using
Server side redirects
or server side techniques.
Sending to a search engine a version of a web page different from what web surfers see.
Optimizing a page for top ranking, then swapping another page in its place once a top ranking is achieved.
takes advantage of
algorithm, which gives a higher ranking to a
the more other websites link to it. A spammer may create multiple web sites at different
that all link to each other. Another technique is to take advantage of web applications such as
that display hyperlinks submitted by anonymous or pseudonymous users.
are another technique.
Referrer log spamming
When someone accesses a
, i.e. the referee, by following a link from another web page, i.e. the
, the referee is given the address of the referrer by the person's internet browser. Some
have a referrer log which shows which pages link to that site. By having a
randomly access many sites enough times, with a message or specific address given as the referrer, that message or internet address then appears in the referrer log of those sites that have referrer logs. Since some
base the importance of sites by the number of different sites linking to them, referrer log spam may be used to increase the search engine rankings of the spammer's sites, by getting the referrer logs of many sites to link to them.
Spamdexing often gets confused with legitimate
search engine optimization
(SEO) techniques, which do not involve deceit.
Spamming involves getting web sites more exposure than they deserve for their keywords, leading to unsatisfactory search results. Optimization involves getting web sites the rank they deserve on the most targeted keywords, leading to satisfactory search experiences. To be sure, there is much gray area between the two extremes. The root problem is that search engine administrators and web site builders have different agendas: the search engine wants to present valuable search results, the webmaster just wants to come up first, particularly if he/she runs a commercial website and needs visitor
. For that reason, many search engine administrators say that any form of
search engine optimization
used to improve a website's
is nothing else than spamdexing.
Many search engines check for instances of spamdexing and will remove suspect pages from their indexes.
In 2002, search engine manipulator SearchKing filed suit in an
court against the search engine
. SearchKing's claim was that Google's tactics to prevent spamdexing constituted an unfair business practice. This may be compared to lawsuits which email spammers have filed against spam-fighters, as in various cases against MAPS and other
. In January of 2003, the court pronounced a
in Google's favor.
 (http://research.yale.edu/lawmeme/modules.php? name=Downloads&d_op=search&query=SearchKing)
Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spamdexing
Reprinted from Wikipedia, The Free-Content Encyclopedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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