No more spam

There are many different definitions of “spam,” ranging from very vague definitions like “everything bad,” to lists of all methods whose use could be considered “spam.” Even search engines are essentially part of the problem because they are the only ones that penalize or exclude from search sites that do what they consider spam. This is yet another reason why search engines should provide a definition of spam.

Unfortunately, search engines are not entirely clear in defining what they consider spam. Probably because if they were to write such a list, spammers would find another method that is not on the list (which is likely to happen). Some engines and people have defined spam as “Anything you would not do if search engines did not exist.” The problem with this definition is that it leads to the conclusion that any method used to improve rankings in search engines, whether it be simple keyword stuffing, is spam. Try applying this logic to any other form of marketing, and you will see that it does not work because everything would be considered spam.

But just because there is no list of everything search engines consider spam, or because there is no clear definition of spam, does not mean you can use things that have been marked as spam techniques:

  • Using the same colors or similar colors for background and text (some call this technique “white text”).
  • Using very small font size, and similar background colors and keywords on web pages, making it difficult to read.
  • Stuffing title and/or meta tags of the page with too many irrelevant keywords that are repeated (or their combinations).
  • Using hidden layers to hide links with keywords.
  • Using duplicates of the main page (or duplicating the entire site, mirror sites).
  • Pages that redirect visitors to another page with different content (for example, you search and find a page about children’s clothing, but you are immediately redirected to a site about motorcycles).
  • Cloaking and IP delivery.