To understand the importance and extent of abusive referencing on the Web, it is essential to be aware of the challenge of being well referenced on search engines.
What is Spamming?
The term spamdexing means in French “abusive referencing”. It brings together a set of techniques and other abusive means of natural referencing of a website by search engines.
Spamming is, for example, putting keywords unrelated to the page concerned and hiding them from visitors. The page is then considered as Spam since we are dealing with a deception and it goes against the interests of Internet users.DefinitionIn general, spamdexing is the set of techniques allowing a site to cheat to improve its natural referencing. In this way, the sites gain in positioning.
What is the point of practicing spamdexing?
The main interest of using abusive referencing techniques is to position your website on the SERPs so as to be as visible as possible. We can think that this is already a good reason, in view of the importance of being referenced as ready to exist.
The principle is to trick search engines using unsavory methods. These methods involve:
- Pages satellites,
These are pages created to “seduce” search engines. They can be totally artificial or more natural by giving reading to Internet users. There can be as many doorway pages as there are topics searched. In this way, a swimming club can create a satellite page for breaststroke swimming, butterfly swimming, etc.
- link farms,
A link farm is one or more internet link pages on which webmasters can place links to their site to boost their popularity and improve their SEO. The goal is therefore to promote referencing. However, search engines recognize them and no longer take them into account when calculating popularity. Moreover, if as a user, you abuse this type of process, you can be sanctioned.
Illegal method used on websites to offer different content depending on the visitors (or search engine robots). This practice improves the SEO of a page.
- Black Hat SEO
Black hat attempts to manipulate search engine algorithms to increase a site’s ranking on a search engine results page, (SERP)Attention :Search engines, Google or Bing for example, clearly specify the practices that are not accepted in their general conditions. This is one of them and can cause you harm by penalizing your site.
- Keyword repetitions in meta tags,
- Excessive repetitions of keywords in the text (Keyword stuffing),
- Or the writing of texts in minimum size at the end of the page.
By these techniques, the webmasters have advantages that the others do not have: they manage to position themselves fraudulently at the top of the list of search engines and penalize the other sites which continue their layout normally.
However, there are methods to combat these techniques.
Google against spamdexing
Google seems not to appreciate abusive referencing and wants to fight against this digital pollution which highlights behaviors that lack ethics… but what is it really?
There is a fine line between good SEO practices and spamdexing. It is therefore important for everyone to know the limits of referencing and optimizations so as not to be bothered by search engine robots and in particular Google.
In 2003, a patent was filed by the Google team that manages spam to try to dissuade people who are tempted by this type of process. Let’s see together what important information emerges from this document.
Spamdexing according to Google
Similar to cloaking, the methods of which we mentioned above, spamdexing is therefore a “cheating” method which gives the possibility of hiding content in order to position oneself better on the SERPs (Google search pages for example or Bing) . It is also called abusive referencing. In the patent filed by Google, the known methods used are cited.
Here are a few :
- Use of a text of the same color as the background so that it is invisible;
- Use of a text on an image with the same principle as before, that is to say of the same color as the background;
- The writings are so small that they become invisible (font size in 1 for example);
- Link inscription in transparent GIF (very small image);
- Addition of hidden link behind a content block set up with a z-index.
Google fights against “cheaters”
On the patent filed by Google, it is indicated how they fight spamdexing. It is clearly specified that the detection is done during client-server exchanges or by denunciation in the event that a complaint is lodged against a site.
Basically, Google parses documents into HTML. It indicates for each element the information on the color, size, readability, type of tag… It is thanks to this work that it will be able to detect the details of the HTML pages and see the people who cheat.
Penalties or not?
In the patent, one can read interesting elements concerning the possible sanctions. A priori, if Google detects spamdexing, it is not indicated that it will sanction the designer of the site. But it will clean, classify and ignore hidden contents.
So a priori the page will not be sanctioned, but it will lose value and be demoted in terms of its positioning. On the other hand, if there is use of cloaking or other abuse In reality, the document will be penalized only if there are primers of cloaking or other back at SEO.
How to report spamdexing?
You then have the possibility of denouncing this type of practice. To make it easier for you, Google has decided to set up a form on the principle of denouncing another Internet user. The form is available on the Google site is anonymous.
Here is the direct link where you can report:
- Spam in web pages
- Paid links
- A case of phishing
Once the information has been completed on the site concerned, the form is sent to a technician who will analyze it, but the observations made will only very rarely be the subject of great attention.
The technician will enter his observations into the Google database, which will use them to set up a future anti-spam filter during a new algorithm.
Limits to reporting spamdexing…
Did you know ?Although spamdexing is penalized by Google, many popular websites use it without being detected by the algorithms.
For example, newspapers or travel sites produce quality content which does not make them suspicious in the eyes of search engines. However, there are many more websites that use this dubious method than you might think.
If the denunciation is done very simply, its usefulness is not obvious. Indeed, several testimonials from Internet users claim that the form only very rarely bans the site.
When he does, the webmaster of the site has only one thing to do: recreate it under a new domain name and repeat exactly the same fraudulent maneuvers.
To make your site a success machine, think about your SEO referencing. To see your efforts on the first pages of search engines, consider the professionals to help you.