Spammy Techniques Getting Top Results
Posted 03 January 2007 - 12:02 PM
I am competing with a number of local glazing / window companies in my town. I am trying to achieve top results for terms such as replacement windows mytown, double glazing mytown. All the top results of the organic results have either, div hidden text or big chunks of commmented out text at the tops of pages.
Can I beat them without resorting to similar tactics? None of the sites have a large number of incoming links, and I'll be targeting directories and listings.
I want to achieve top results without cheating!
Thanks for the advice
Posted 03 January 2007 - 12:43 PM
Patience and hard work can bring results.
Make content, polish what you have, get relevant inlinks. Develop a site that others would feel good about linking to. Go looking for links - for mutually beneficial relationships.
If you've done work for local groups that would consider linking to you, you've got a leg up on spam any day.
What do your customers' sites look like? How can you give them what they need? Do they link to those who give them a testimonial? Does someone need an article (with author credit and inlink) about something targeted and relevant to windows? Scan published material for article ideas, and to gauge who may be receptive. Is there a neighborhood paper that might need an article related to a topic on which you are an expert? Introduce yourself. Make friends. Come through. Repeat.
Posted 03 January 2007 - 03:11 PM
Commented out HTML content is not indexed by the search engines, it brings them no advantage at all and I even doubt it would be a basis for a penalty .
In general, doing spammy on-page optimizations (mostly hidden text) will bring you very little in terms of additional ranking for that page. If done properly, a normal page can rank just as well, probably even better -- and you don't have to worry about what you'll do when you get caught.
If you feel they are doing something spammy, you can file a spam report with Google. It has the most weight when done from within your Google Webmaster Tools account (if you don't have one, it's a good time to get started).
If you want to learn more about onpage SEO (or just SEO in general), you might want to take a look at the SEOmoz Beginners Guide to SEO
If you are certain that they don't have much in terms of links, I'm fairly certain that you'll be able to beat them if you work on getting good links. Getting good ones is always a good idea!
Here are some link on getting good links, it might give you some ideas:
If you're worried about other spammy parts of the pages, you might want to take a look at http://tool.motorice.../spam-detector/ for a rough (very rough) check. Sometimes it tells you things which you might have missed.
Posted 04 January 2007 - 05:04 AM
Any other tips welcome,
Posted 04 January 2007 - 09:01 AM
Spam reports at Google are mainly used to improve the algorithm; only in very rare cases are they used to manually penalize or ban the site in question. They are collected, probably confirmed first and then used for testing. When they make changes in the algorithm, they probably use those "known spam" pages to see if the changes are better at recognizing the spam or not. So in the end, you are not really reporting the single site which is spamming, you're helping to get rid of all sites that use similar techniques. It would probably influence your competitor just as well if you reported another unrelated site that used the same techniques.
When seen that way, I feel it often makes sense to report spam when it is bad enough to seemingly influence ranking. However, for smaller sites I sometimes try to send the webmaster a mail instead, telling him that what they're doing is against the guidelines and could result in a penalty, with some links. 99% of the time it's wasted time :-) -- if you don't know who you're dealing with and they send you a mail like that then would you trust it more than the "neat tricks" that someone else told you would work?
Posted 04 January 2007 - 10:55 AM
You can beat these sites.
Edited by EGOL, 04 January 2007 - 10:55 AM.
Posted 04 January 2007 - 11:40 AM
Well, that's what I thought until I found a website called Chilling Effects Clearing House back in sept 2005. They had published on their website, the DMCA which I sent, (faxed), to Google about someone ripping off one of my websites. What annoyed me about it was that it did not edit my name or email address. I wrote to the website, and had a brief exchange with them. Part of that exchange is here:
Spam reports at Google stay anonymous...
They did go onto explain that they did annotate DMCA's
Chilling Effects serves as a clearinghouse for cease and desist letters. Our goal is to educate the public about the different kinds of cease and desist letters--both legitimate and questionable--that are being sent to Internet publishers. ...... As part of this goal, we have been receiving DMCA takedown notices from Google for several years. Neither Google nor Chilling Effects is under any confidentiality obligation with respect to these notices.
In the end they did edit my email address.
:...if there is another identifying name, and remove address information, but otherwise post the notices as sent.
So - annonymus? Nope
Posted 04 January 2007 - 02:15 PM
Not that I think it should make any difference. Just because you want to get along with your next-door-neighbor doesn't mean you should fail to call the police when you see him beating his wife. "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
As to the more direct question, the answer, I think, lies in WHY people use spam.
Spam doesn't work "better" at ranking pages than more conventional best-practices techniques do. It just works faster and, typically, takes less work. I've yet to see any blackhat technique that doesn't have a corresponding whitehat technique that works just as well . . . given time.
For example, the very easy answer to hidden text is to use similarly powerful text on your own page without hiding it. You'll just have to invest more time and work to make that now visible text well written enough to be acceptable to your visitors.
What do you need to beat spammy pages without resorting to cheating?
Posted 04 January 2007 - 05:07 PM
Yes, DMCA complaints and spam reports are two very different things.
You can file a generic and anonymous spam report at Google through http://www.google.co...spamreport.html or get some information at http://www.google.co...py?answer=35265
You can do the same report through your Google webmaster tools console (it's in the "tools" box with the "+" in it); those reports are linked to your account but this additional binding is also a reason why they are taken more seriously.
You can also do a generic complaint / comment on search results with the link "Dissatisfied? Help us improve" on the bottom of all search results.
Seriously, if you notice something which does not look right at all, complain about it to Google, file a spam report if you think it looks like spam, even if you assume others must have reported it as well. They're really keen on good feedback.
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