Search Result: Spam in the Search Engines

Many successful online businesses know all about the importance of SEO (search engine optimization).  They can also tell you that there is a very fine line between proper SEO and tasteless strategies employed by spammers.  While shady individuals target search engines to receive higher rankings, these acts can actually damage their credibility and prevent their sites from ever succeeding.   

Differentiating between legitimate and spamming SEO

So how does a user or a search engine recognize the difference between SEO and spamming techniques?  The first step in learning if you are appeasing the search engine or making a bad name is to understand what actually constitutes as spam.  As it relates to the search engines, spam is defined as pages that are intentionally created to persuade sites like Google and Yahoo into providing them with favorable or redundant search results.   

To avoid being placed in this category, there are several questions a webmaster should ask in regards to relative web content and strategies they plan to employ for optimization.  The proof shows that these questions simply are not asked enough, as many turn to spamming when their initial intent was of actual goodwill.  Instead of proper search engine optimization, they merely think of the big payoff at the end - generating traffic to their site, creating popular links, and most importantly, making a substantial amount of money. 

Common Search Engine Spamming Techniques  

The prominent search engines have done their homework and are often able to distinguish legitimate SEO tactics from those applied by treacherous spammers.  Some of the most identified techniques include:

an abundance of keywords not related to a particular site

  • frequent ads found in comment sections

•  trackbacks not related to a particular site

• frequent redirects 

•         • abuse of keyword density

•         • duplicate content

•         • text posted in small fonts

•        • doorway pages

•        •  link exchange programs and link farms

•         • the stacking of keywords

•        •  text mainly composed of gibberish

•         • hidden text

•       •  hidden links found in server logs

•       •  obvious domain spam

•       •  micro-sites

•       •  page swapping

•         • typo spam

•         • cyber-squatting


Many of the major search engines take the act of spamming very serious, as they have invested a great deal of time and effort into identifying the numerous techniques.  They also understand that more aggressive tactics are being used by legitimate businesses looking to compete for those search engine rankings.  Unfortunately, many innocent users are placing themselves in that unfavorable grey area thanks to the actions of determined spammers.  The good thing is that some product categories are not as competitive as others.  This gives genuine business owners the opportunity to promote themselves with aggression, while staying on the good side of the search engines they look to impress. 

Associates representing the search engines would ultimately like to shift emphasis away from certain SEO techniques and focus on the real problem at hand.  Here is the bottom line: several of the sites being operated by spammers are intentionally devising their pages to manipulate the search engines and cheat respectable individuals.  If you are one of them, expect no mercy when the search engine catches up to you. 

Log in or sign up to comment.

Post a comment

Log in or sign up to comment.
86% of email addresses posted on websites are used by spammers to send unsolicited emails?

63% of all "Remove me from your list" requests are not honored.

Spam accounted for 80% of all e-mail received in 2004, up from 62% in 2003