Tuesday, July 08, 2008

10 Tips to Avoid SEO Spam

In SEO fraternity, the word Spam is used to describe unethical techniques and practices adopted to boost Search Engine Rankings artificially. These techniques and tactics are a real no no for the Search Engines and the sites adopting these techniques are banned by them being thought of using unethical business practices.

Even the word Spam itself is being used to describe the dark-side and often deceptive side of everything from Email marketing to abusive forum behaviour.

In this post I am listing some techniques which are treated as Spam by the SEs and should always be avoided while promoting any website.

1. Cloaking
Cloaking is the technique that involves serving one set of information to search engine robots or crawlers and an entirely different set of information to the general visitors.

2. IP Delivery
IP delivery is a simple form of cloaking which involves s
erving targeted/different content to users based on their IP address. If you need to use the techniques in some gelocation specific cases then make sure that Search Bots see the same content as a typical user from the same IP address would see.

3. Leader Pages
Leader pages are a series of similar documents each of which are designed to meet requirements of different search engine algorithms. It is considered SPAM by the major search engines as they see multiple incidents of what is virtually the same document.

4. Mini-Site networks
Mini site networks were designed to exploit a critical vulnerability in early versions of Google's PageRank algorithm. These are very much like leader pages and involve the creation of several topic or product related sites all linking back to a central sales site. Each mini-site is designed to meet specific requirements of each major search engine and has its own keyword enriched URL.

5. Link Farms
Link farms are groups of websites all hyperlinked to every other page in the group. Most of the link farms are created through automated programs and are a form of spamming the index of a search engine, also referred as spamdexing or spamexing.

6. Blog and/or Forum Spam
Blogs and forums are amazing platforms for essential communication over the world Wide Web. In some cases, blogs and forums establish high PR values for their documents which make them the targets of unethical SEOs looking for high-PR links back to their websites or those of their clients. Google in particular has clamped down on Blog and Forum abuse.

7. Keyword Stuffing
At one time, search engines were limited to the algorithm that used to rank websites entirely on the number of keywords found on the pages. That limitation led webmasters to stuff keywords everywhere they possibly could. Over use of keywords on a page leads to keyword stuffing and spamming.

8. Hidden Text
There are two types of hidden texts. The first one is the text in same colour and shade as that of the background which makes it invisible to human visitors but not to search robots. The second is the text that is hidden behind images or under document layers. Search engines tend to dislike both forms of hidden text and devalue the pages containing them.

9. Hidden Tags
There are a various types of tags like comment tags which are sometimes used by SEOs to increase keyword density on a page. These should be avoided since they are treated as spam techniques.

10. Misuse of Web 2.0 Formats (ie: Wiki, Social Networking and Social Tagging)
A very common form of SEO spam is the misuse of user-input media formats such as Wikipedia or social networking and bookmarking sites. Like blog comment spamming, the instant live-to-web nature of Web 2.0 formats provide an open range for SEO spam technicians.

Many of these exploits might find short-term success though in the long run they are always penalized by the Search engines.


james on May 20, 2009 at 4:51 AM said...

Very useful topic...Keep these tips and get more benefits to website.


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