Spamdexing: Six Surefire Ways to Wreck Your Website
Spamdexing (the combining of the computer terms Spam and Indexing) is a collection of methods used by web authors, site operators, and SEO companies to improve website traffic by targeting Search Engine indexes. It is loading sites with superfluous terms, passed off as legitimate, to get the site a higher ranking in the SE index. It’s a form of cheating and it puts an undue burden on SE servers, costing everyone who uses a Search Engine in the end.
Spamdexing (also called SES), when finally detected, will see the website barred altogether from the SE services. That translates into decreased traffic for your site and a lot of hassle getting your credibility back.
Owning a website says you’ve spent a fair bit of time, energy and money to get your message or product noticed. It would be such a waste to have those efforts blindsided by exclusion from the major SE companies simply because either you or your webmaster didn’t realise the use of certain web authoring techniques would get your site tossed from services like Google or Yahoo.
With the millions of web pages that exist on the internet, how do Search Engines even know what’s on my website?
Spiders. Creepy, but true. Spiders are a bit of programming (code) that continually crawl around the internet gathering data for the SE. The information goes into a report (SEOR) to determine its place – rank, if you will, with the Search Engine (SERP) results. This rank position determines if your site appears in the top ten hits (making it available on the first page of SE hits), the top ten pages of hits or even if it made the list of 140,687 hits at all.
Spiders do nothing but crawl from one link to the next, digesting and separating the data found along the way and they do it in nano-seconds. If a link is broken, the spider will know. If a series of Meta Tags do not match the page content, the spider will know. If your URL leads to a page filled with nothing but lists of links, or your cooking page content is interrupted with Keyword Stuffed paragraphs the Spider will know.
Spiders identify and report all Spamdexing incidents as they come across them back to their SE server, and since this information can then lead to your webpage demise, it becomes important to know what the Spiders know.
To help you develop a SE friendly website that feeds your Spider visitors only healthy data, we’ve laid out the different forms of Spamdexing in an easy-to-reference glossary. Bookmark this page to have at your side when communicating with SEO companies or doing your own web authoring to ensure that, while optimizing your site’s visibility on the web, it won’t fall into one of the Spamdexing traps. Understanding this glossary and subsequently avoiding using these tactics will ultimately keep your website Search Engine friendly and safe from bans.
HIDDEN TEXT: Hiding keywords inside your webpage by assigning text the same colour as the page background, (thus hiding it from the reader’s view), will not prevent the tools used by SE crawlers from finding them. So while this technique may seem a clever way to attract additional attention to your site, it really only makes the SE aware you’ve something to hide.
KEYWORD STUFFING: Building entire paragraphs from multiple or repeated keywords that barely or don’t even form coherent sentences is form of Keyword Stuffing. A sentence like ‘Owning your own home – Ms. Gillard – K Rudd – read my blog – selling your boat’ on a cooking webpage not only puts off your readers, it alerts the SE crawler to the fact you’re attempting to spam their service.
Stuffing keywords into your selection of Meta Tags that have nothing to do with your site’s content is another. For example, these keywords would have no relation to a page advertising carpentry; mp3, free tunes, sex.
LINK SCHEMES: Webpages which consist of nothing more than lists of links are called Link Schemes (or Link Farms). You would sign up for the service, adding your website address to the list of other addresses, forming a chain of links between lists of non-pages – just pages of links, links and more links. It’s an illusion that when found out, will get your site banned from the legitimate traffic you’re after.
GATEWAY PAGES: Even though this outdated version of optimization has been banned by the major Search Engines for a decade or more, some SEO companies and web authors still promise increased traffic by asking to load a client’s site with something called Gateway Pages, (also known as Doorway, Ghost and Bridge Pages.) Avoid them. This practice fills a page with terms which appear on the surface but are not underneath, legitimate addresses. Spiders find these extraneous pages.
Explanation of Terms Abbreviations and terms used on this Post:
SE – Search Engine
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
SEOR – Search Engine Optimization Report
SERP – Search Engine Ranking Position
SES – Search Engine Spam
URL – Universal Resource Locator
Meta Tags – A list of keywords that capture the essence of your message or product, prepared as a short list for Search Engines when indexing your site.
Spam – cramming servers with unsolicited information or advertising on or about your site.
Indexing – Search Engines gather information about websites, blogs and forums and then rate them into ranking positions which are then displayed from highest rank to lowest on their Search Engine analysis report (where you land after performing a search on that particular engine).