Is This Spamming And Will Google Block Me?

Is This Spamming And Will Google Block Me? post thumbnail image

There’s another problem with the spamming crowd. When you’re fighting search engine spam and start seeing the different forms it can take – and, disturbingly, realizing that some of your techniques for your legitimate site are similar – you have to wonder: Will Google block me for my search engine optimization techniques?

This happened recently to BMW’s corporate site. Their webmaster, dissatisfied with the dealership’s position when web users searched for several terms (such as “new car”), created and posted a gateway page – a page optimized with text that then redirects searchers to an often graphics-heavy page.

Google found it and, rightly or wrongly, promptly dropped their page rank manually to zero. For weeks, searches for their site turned up plenty of spam and dozens of news stories – but to find their actual site, it was necessary to drop to the bottom of the search, not easy to do in Googleworld.

This is why you really need to understand what Google counts as search engine spam, and adhere to their restrictions even if everyone else doesn’t. Never create a gateway page, particularly one with spammish data. Instead, use legitimate techniques like image alternate text and actual text in your page. Look for ways to get other pages to point to your site – article submission, for instance, or directory submission. And keep your content fresh, always.

While duplicated text is often a sign of serious spammage, the Google engineers realize two things: first, the original text is probably still out there somewhere, and it’s unfair to drop that person’s rankings along with those who stole it from them; and second, certain types of duplicated text, like articles or blog entries, are to be expected.

Their answer to the first issue is to credit the site first catalogued with a particular text as the creator, and to drop sites obviously spammed from that one down a rank. The other issue is addressed by looking at other data around the questionable data; if the entire site appears to be spammed, it, too, is dropped. Provided you are not duplicating text on many websites to fraudulently increase your ranking, you’re safe. Ask yourself: are you using the same content on several sites registered to you in order to maximize your chances of being read? If the answer is yes, this is a bad idea and will be classified as spamdexing. If your content would not be useful to the average Internet surfer, it is also likely to be classed as spamdexing.

There is a very thin line between search engine optimization and spamdexing. You should become very familiar with it. Start with understanding hidden/invisible text, keyword stuffing, metatag stuffing, gateway pages, and scraper sites.

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