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  1. #1
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    Google needs to stop tweaking and work to resolve major rating/ranking problems.

    Many of the pages now placed in the top ten have hidden text, hidden links and keyword stuffing in graphic images.

    They have invisible Text (keywords) at the top and bottom of the page that only become visible
    when highlighted on the cached page.
    They have stand alone Keywords visible at top and bottom of the page which is blatent keyword stuffing.
    They have graphic images stuffed with keywords.

    The Sites are abusing Googles quality
    guidelines - Specific Recommendations:
    Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings.
    Avoid hidden text or hidden links.

    So, it is not a mystery why the SERPS report bad results.

    Perhaps a massive spam reporting campaign might get Googles
    attention.

  2. #2
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    I almost died laughing when I read the following page: (To see the hidden keywords, you need to highlight the text).

    Clueless Page

    The whole point of the site is that they have higher ethics than other people. As a demo of ethics, the web site loads the paragraphs with key words.

    BTW, I often use white text in my pages. I do it when the background is black.

    boom!

  3. #3
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    Search engines have always had some sites with hidden text etc listed near the top.

    But who is to say that is spam?

    Seriously though, is there something in the Google algorithm that weights hidden text over other elements?

    And if so then why do they weigh hidden text highly when it is a known spamming technique? Philosophically, if they reward sites with hidden text, then it cannot be spam.

    And if you are not sure of the hidden text weighting in the algo, then how do you know it was not some other element that got them to the top?

  4. #4
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    I think if anyone know about search engine results, it's Google. I can't see the point of wasting your time finding and reporting spam. The spam gets cleared out when they put a fix in, that's their job.
    You can jump ahead of the spam with a well designed site, I took a great #1 this month with a design that's so simple and clean you would never expect it to rank anywhere near the top. I don't care how much spam there is below me

  5. #5
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    May I remind you of one thing: One man's definition of spam is another man's definition of usefulness.

    The first thing you have to know about Google "spam" is that you cannot take the list of Google's don'ts and look at them selectively. Let's go through a couple of examples:


    1. Hidden text.
    Let's say that I include a unique sequence of words on my pages to have something to track to check if somebody has copied my content. I do not want the visitors to see this, so I hide the word as white text on white background. Some of those who I beat in the SERPS would regard this as spam - hidden text is on the don'ts list - and report me to Google.

    There is currently a discussion going on over at WW about the website of Jakob Nielsen (the usability guru). He is a member of Google's technical committee. On his website, at the bottom, he has 1 pixel sized text listing variations of his name, only intended for the search engines. Spam?


    2. Doorway pages.
    There are many webmasters who have the opinion that most affiliate sites are doorway pages. Why shouldn't they be? Many affiliates simply grab the text from the merchant, tweaks it, optimizes for Google, and uploads to the server. As I user, I don't want the first 50 results to be variations of the same product from the same manufacturer, only presented by different affiliates. If I were a webmaster offering unique content, I would likely regard those affiliate sites as spam - and report them.

    To add to this: Over at Dmoz they have a rule about "syndicated content". Basically, when a content provider is delivering content to more than one websites (and of course they do), only one of those websites can be added to the directory. Similar, shopping directories are in general not listed, unless they have a physical store, in which case they may be listed in the regional part of the directory. Affilite sites are not listed unless they offer unique content. Contrary to what many affiliates believe, dmoz is not interested in if a site has affiliate links on it or not. They ask the question if the site is offering more unique content, than reproduced content. Affilite sites, spam?


    3. Linking
    Let' say I have a site in Google. Then I upload another site. Instead of waiting for someone else to link to my new site, I link from my old site so that Google includes the new site in the index faster. The new site has nothing to do with the old site, so the link from the old site is purely for the search engines. It's not useful for the visitors. Spam?

    --

    According to many affiliates' definition of spam, a site is spamming if the site has something listed on the Google's don'ts list and the site is listed above them in the index.

    But Google looks at the totality of a site. They are concerned with whether the site is offering something unique to the visitors, and without trying to inflate ranking by reciprocal linking (hands up anyone who doesn't have a reciprocal link on any of their sites. Thought not.)

    Another thing about Google is that they prefer to take out spammers by improving the algo, not by human review. If Google were to look into every spam complaint they receive, they would have to employ more people than the CIA, and stop working on everything else.

    When I read spam complaining posts I'm always reminded of what a dmoz editor once said: "In the majority of cases those who report spam to us are themselves spammers".

    --

    The answer to the question "To spam or not to spam", is this: If you have the energy to run=always on in order to stay ahead of the spam hunters, do spam. If you like to have a peace of mind, not worrying about if your site is going to be excluded from the index for a year, starting next month, do not spam.

    The answer to the question: "To report spam or not to report spam", is this: If you have the energy to write complaints, knowing that at least x number of others would have to file a complaint about the very same site before Google will look into it, do report spam. If you would like to improve your own rankings, not only moving one spot up because a spammer above you got removed, but all the way up to the top, do not report spam. In that case, work on your own pages and let the Google engineers take care of the spam instead.



    :rant off

    -- Less is more --

    [This message was edited by Cellophane on January 17, 2003 at 06:53 PM.]

  6. #6
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    Bottom line - Is Google serious about these
    quality
    guidelines - Specific Recommendations ?http://www.google.com/webmasters/seo.html

  7. #7
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    This really has nothing to do with the original post, but the title got me thinking.. what exactly is "Non Professional Spam"? If there's a non professional spam, then there'd have to be a professional spam.. and if there's professional and non professional spam, what exactly is the difference?

    BTW, please don't take this post to seriously.. I am tired and the title just made me think strange thoughts about spam wandering off to university to become professional..

  8. #8
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by El Jefe:
    Bottom line - Is Google serious about these
    quality
    guidelines - Specific Recommendations ?http://www.google.com/webmasters/seo.html<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yes, they are very serious about these guidelines - but not the way you think they are.

    You appear to believe that if there is something on a page that's mentioned somewhere in the guidelines, then it's spam..

    But that's not how it works. As I said, Google prefers to improve results by tweaking the algo. When i comes to the point where Google looks at a page by hand, then they are considering both the totality of the site, and how grave the violations are. The question is not if the site is in violation of the guidelines, but how and why they are in violation of the guidelines.


    You have to ask yourself, at what point does something become spam? Where to draw the line, what's much and what's too much?

    For example, when is keyword stuffing spam and when is it useful for the visitors? If I have a picture of sweaters in different colors, why can't my ALT be: "red sweater, green sweater, blue sweater, yellow sweater"? Of course it can, that's what's on the picture.

    If Google were to drop all pages that has something on them mentioned somewhere in the guidelines, defined in the strictest way possible, them most affiliate sites are gone.


    A final note: I asked rhetorically above, "hands up anyone who doesn't have a reciprocal link on any of their sites". Actually, I can raise my hand. I don't do reciprocal links to boost my PR, nor do I do doorway pages, redrects or count the keywords on my pages. But I'm quite sure there is someone out there who has had a look at one of my pages and called it spam.

    -- Less is more --

    [This message was edited by Cellophane on January 18, 2003 at 10:01 AM.]

  9. #9
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    Cellophane,

    I concur. Well put.

  10. #10
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    Theres a fine line between SEO and spam.
    When its above you on google, it's spam.

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    It's not important whether we think a site is spam or not. It's important what Google thinks of it. Reporting means nothing, unless Google removes that sites or changes their algo accordingly.

    Changing algo to remove sites with same spam methods, is better, easier and faster than removing sites manually, and that's why Google is Google. They're best at what they do and improving it every month.

    And there are very obvious spams. I am all for the reporting them, at the end that makes the results better for all. And if you're a spammer, you can do it all you want, at your own risk.

  12. #12
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    Spacewar, you are EXACTLY right. That begs the question... why are SO MANY PEOPLE spamming in my topics!!!


    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by spacewar:
    Theres a fine line between SEO and spam.
    When its above you on google, it's spam.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

  13. #13
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    As mentioned in a post above, spam is in the eye of the beholder. Too many are in too big of a hurry to yell spam. Many times it is the kettle calling the pot black.

    Here is a hypothetical SEO in the heading.

    Title Shop online garden stores for your garden supplies

    garden=2

    META name="description" content="Shop these online garden stores to buy all your
    plants, seeds, garden tools, lawn and garden supplies. Shop online for great garden gifts, lawn
    and garden power tools, seeds, bulbs, bird baths, bird houses, wild bird art, sundials, garden
    lanterns, garden tools, birdfeeders, back yard birding, and other supplies for your garden."


    online=2
    garden=8
    tools=3
    lawn=2
    supplies=2
    bird=5

    This is quite acceptable though maybe a little lengthy.


    META name="description" content="Shop online garden stores to buy garden tools, garden supplies,
    garden gifts, garden power tools, garden lanterns, garden tools, and other supplies for your
    garden.

    garden=8
    supplies=2

    There are 8 keyword phrases in a row using the word garden. Seven beginning with the word garden.
    Some search engines may consider this as *spamming*.

    Go ahead and tear it apart. Keep in mind that relativity of the keyword usage is what the search engines mainly look at. How these keywords and keyword phrases are used here and throughout the page will determine the relavancy to the keyword phrase used by the net searcher.

    Gene
    TCS

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    SPAM?, maybe.

    It is pretty irritating when I was getting traffic last year by white text on my white background. I quit doing that, thought it was not appropriate, and that it would hurt our rankings. And we see folks still doing it, and getting away with what I would interpret as SPAM.

    So maybe I should do it again? How many of you have read this thread, looked at the real estate site from "yintercept's" post above and said "Screw it, I am going to lay a few keywords in there on my page!?"

    Sorry - food for thought...

    Fred

    In an effort to watch your cholesterol, you eat Spam Lite.

  15. #15
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    It makes you wonder how they got listed and why the site is still on Google. These clear violations of Googles policy is rampant throuhout all the pages of the site. Some worse that others.

    I certainly wouldn't suggest doing this on an affiliate site. If the foot falls, lots of revenue could be lost. Your entire site could get booted and blacklisted.

    Gene
    TCS

  16. #16
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    Well, good luck to everyone who spams. Spamming doesn't actually make your site rank any higher. It's the same algo for all. From an SEO perspective, I don't really care what techniques people use to get their sites to rank well. I can achieve the same effect without spamming - so it really doesn't bother me personally.

    It is, however, unprofessional SEO. Hiding a bunch of keywords using invisible text; keyword stuffing in alt. tags; a bunch of tiny text at the top of a page in an h1 tag - any f**kwit can do that. Creating user-friendly pages that also rank well - that is professional SEO.

    Search Engine Positioning - 1 Design 4 Life

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