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From the folks who brought you High Rankings!



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Is This Spam?


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47 replies to this topic

#16 Scottie

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Posted 10 August 2003 - 10:57 AM

I guess the question is, responsible to who?

It's your site- your business may suffer as a consequence of risky behavior. The search engines don't care who did it!

I was advised by an SEO friend on my first site to use commented keywords and tons of duplicate meta tags as well as keywords in alt tags. I didn't know any better so I just thought that was how it was done.

After reading up and getting some great advice from Jill and others, I removed the "questionable" stuff (which was a real pain!). I didn't change anything else.

Within about a month, my site hit #1 for several targeted keyphrases and has been there ever since. Without any tweaking or additional changes.

Do I think SE's penalize when they find that stuff? Hmnn... that's a tricky question since the algos are always changing. Do I think ultimately it hurts your site's ranking? Yes. And it was a whole lot of time wasted putting that stuff in, and then taking it out.

All that being said- noscript, noframes, and noembed are all subject to abuse. If I had a site using those technologies, I would be very careful that the content in those tags matched the page because even if they don't check it now (they might, I don't know), I have no doubt they will eventually be able to check that.

#17 Scottie

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Posted 10 August 2003 - 11:00 AM

Would any SEO who's good or ethical use spammed tags on any of their clients sites? If they have spammed tags on their own site, would this be an indication that they might use trickery on their client sites as well?


I'm sorry- I didn't answer your question!

I would assume that an SEO would use the same tactics on client sites as he/she uses on her own site. Whether it is trickery or not is a judgement call, but I would say it's safe to assume from their own site what their strategies are.

#18 Jill

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Posted 10 August 2003 - 11:24 AM

Just be sure you understand what is really spam and what is the proper use of a tag.

Comment tags have lots of good uses. Just as noscript tags do. They can be used correctly or they can be abused.

The correct use for comment tags is to remind the Webmaster where something goes on the site. Or sometimes if more than one person is working on a site, messages to each other can be placed there. Usually, it's to say where something goes on a site.

I've used comment tags a lot on my sites when I have information that needs to be there one day, but not another day. Sometimes there's something I may not want showing on my site at the moment, but think I may want to put it back at a later date. Comment tags are great for simply commenting out that stuff so that it doesn't show. Then later, if I want to bring it back, I don't have to try to figure out where it went or how I worded it. Just uncomment and I'm all set!

I do this with the weekly testimonials I put up in on my archived newsletters. If you look at the code on some of them that have no testimonials (cuz i was too lazy to add them that week), you'll see commented out testimonials from my very first newsletter issue! When I do add testimonials, I just copy and paste them into the old ones. That way I don't have to recall the set up, etc. (I don't use WYSIWYG editors, and do my HTML nearly all by hand.)

Since the search engines ignore comment tags (as they should) it doesn't matter either way that I do these things. I'm just using the tags for their intended purpose.

I suppose someone who read something in the wrong place that said "comment tags are spam" they would think I was spamming or something! Well, duh on them! Cuz they would be majorly wrong, and really kinda dumb.

Same goes for the noscript tag.

You will never have to worry as long as you use the tags for their intended purposes. The search engines would be idiots to penalize people for using tags correctly. It would wreak havoc on the system.

Jill

#19 NoHiddenTags

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Posted 10 August 2003 - 11:26 AM

Hi Scottie, Thank you so much for your replies!

So, if I understand things correctly:

1. Using ANY tag that contains data not seen by the user, who's sole purpose exists for the search engine, is spam.

2. If an SEO uses spammed tags on their own site, I can from this, conclude that this SEO uses tactics that are deceiving and would not hesitate to do so on any of their client sites as well.

3. If I hire an SEO or a web manager who does this without my knowledge or consent, I am still responsible even though I didn't do the spamming myself.

4. The actions of the SEO using trickery or spam tactics on my site can result in my site being flagged by search engines and can harm by business.

So, with all of that being cleared up for me, I have another question. How can I find a web manager or SEO that I can trust?

Jill, who manages HighRankings.com? Do you manage it yourself, or do you have a web manager? If you have a web manager, are they accepting any more sites to manage? I really need to hire someone, and don't want to take any risks.

Thanks,
Stephen

#20 Scottie

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Posted 10 August 2003 - 11:42 AM

Hi Stephen!

1. Using ANY tag that contains data not seen by the user, who's sole purpose exists for the search engine, is spam.


If you can conclude that their sole purpose exists to manipulate rankings in the search engine and there is no human-related reason for their existence, yes. You can't always make those assumptions though. There are lots of valid reasons to use tags that can either be valid or abuse.

2. If an SEO uses spammed tags on their own site, I can from this, conclude that this SEO uses tactics that are deceiving and would not hesitate to do so on any of their client sites as well.


If you can determine that a company is using questionable techniques on their own site, I would assume they do the same for their clients. If they seem like people you want to work with, simply ask about the things that worry you.

3. If I hire an SEO or a web manager who does this without my knowledge or consent, I am still responsible even though I didn't do the spamming myself.


It's your site! Spamming or tricking the search engines isn't illegal and won't get you thrown in jail. But the site may suffer because of questionable techniques and the site is likely to be less visible on the search engines because of those tactics. If you find something bad has been done to your site and you appeal to the search engines, you may be able to have any penalties lifted. Or maybe not. Either way, it's a lot of effort that could be avoided.

4. The actions of the SEO using trickery or spam tactics on my site can result in my site being flagged by search engines and can harm by business.


Yes.

So, with all of that being cleared up for me, I have another question. How can I find a web manager or SEO that I can trust?


Check out SEO Consultants. Members have to meet some stringent requirements for acceptance.

Good luck!

#21 Jill

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Posted 10 August 2003 - 11:43 AM

[quote]1. Using ANY tag that contains data not seen by the user, who's sole purpose exists for the search engine, is spam.[/quote]

Nope, this is incorrect too! Meta keyword tags are used solely for the search engines, and they are not spam. Same with Meta description tags, and to a certain extent the Title tag.

Unfortunately, things aren't always black and white in this world. Tags have many different uses.

Some people just starting out seem to think that the purpose of Header tags is to rank highly in the search engines, when of course that's not their purpose. They think the purpose of comment tags is to put keywords in for the search engines, when of course, it's not. They think the purpose of Alt tags is to give the search engines keywords, when of course, it's not.

The problems come in when there are shades of gray. One can use a tag properly and it also may have benefits to your search engine rankings. That's what an SEO can help you with. Understanding the proper use of tags and body text to be able to utilize them in such a manner as they help your site visitors and also your search engine rankings.

Problem is, there can be a fine line between using them correctly just enough so they help, but don't hurt!

[quote]2. If an SEO uses spammed tags on their own site, I can from this, conclude that this SEO uses tactics that are deceiving and would not hesitate to do so on any of their client sites as well.[/quote]

Nope, you can't conclude that either! They may have used their own site for testing new SEO theories. Or they may have created their site ages ago when certain techniques wouldn't hurt you in the engines. You can't conclude anything by it except that they put those particular tags on their site at that particular point in time. You don't know their reasoning behind it. It doesn't mean they're spammers, and it doesn't mean that they will put those tags on their clients' sites. They might still use those techniques or they might not. You need to talk to them about it to understand exactly what they will and will not do for you.

[quote]3. If I hire an SEO or a web manager who does this without my knowledge or consent, I am still responsible even though I didn't do the spamming myself.[/quote]

Yes indeed. It's your site. Your responsibility to do your due diligence.

[quote]4. The actions of the SEO using trickery or spam tactics on my site can result in my site being flagged by search engines and can harm by business.[/quote]

The operative word there is can. Or better yet, may. It may or may not. You have no way of knowing until it happens (or doesn't happen).

[quote]So, with all of that being cleared up for me, I have another question. How can I find a web manager or SEO that I can trust?[/quote]

A good place to start would be SEO Consultants as Edward and his team thoroughly screen all the applicants.

[quote]Jill, who manages HighRankings.com? Do you manage it yourself, or do you have a web manager? If you have a web manager, are they accepting any more sites to manage? I really need to hire someone, and don't want to take any risks.[/quote]

I am a sole proprietor. I am taking on limited new work, but have a bit of a waiting list. You are welcome to read through my consulting and service pages which list prices and timeframes, etc., and see if it fits with your needs.

Jill

#22 NoHiddenTags

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Posted 10 August 2003 - 11:55 AM

I've used comment tags a lot on my sites when I have information that needs to be there one day, but not another day. Sometimes there's something I may not want showing on my site at the moment, but think I may want to put it back at a later date.


That makes sense.

However, looking at the front page source code of Highrankings.com I found this:
<!-- <DIV ALIGN=center><H2> Register Now! <A HREF="/seminar">Half-day Search Engine Optimization Seminar in Atlanta</A>. Friday, May 16, 2003</H2></DIV> -->

Surely this isn't a case of something you want to "put back later." The material in question is time dated (May 16, 2003).

If you're going to teach "best practices" shouldn't you also practice them?
Many people read your newsletter, and they read in here too. You're setting a bad example and you know it.

I am a sole proprietor. I am taking on limited new work, but have a bit of a waiting list. You are welcome to read through my consulting and service pages which list prices and timeframes, etc., and see if it fits with your needs.


No thanks. I don't want stuffed out dated comment tags, or any other type of spammed tags on my site. This is the type of SEO I want to avoid. Now I see that the one who screams the loudest "I'm an ETHICAL SEO" is anything but.

I think I'll look elsewhere.

#23 Jill

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Posted 10 August 2003 - 12:00 PM

Yep, that's exactly a case of what I was talking about. It used to say Nov. 2002. Then it was May 2003. And next it will be Nov. 2003 for my next seminar. It will be going up in a matter of weeks, once we get the date.

You just illustrated my point very well!

Jill

#24 Jill

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Posted 10 August 2003 - 12:03 PM

Just noticed the rest of your reply.

No thanks. I don't want stuffed out dated comment tags, or any other type of spammed tags on my site. This is the type of SEO I want to avoid. Now I see that the one who screams the loudest "I'm an ETHICAL SEO" is anything but.


Apparently you didn't understand the very lengthy post I made above. And apparently you don't know what keyword stuffed means.

Also, I don't ever remember shouting anywhere that I am an ethical seo. I don't need to do that, as my work speaks for itself. Perhaps you need to go back and read what I wrote above, as you look awfully silly posting what you just did! Awfully silly indeed!

Jill

#25 Scottie

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Posted 10 August 2003 - 12:04 PM

LOL Stephen! :lmao:

That's exactly what we were telling you. You can't make assumptions like that. There is a perfectly good reason for that tag to be there.

Do you really think Jill is trying to manipulate her ranks for Friday, May 16, 2003 ?

(Sorry Jill. I checked and you don't make the top 30 for that term. :wacko: )

#26 Jill

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Posted 10 August 2003 - 12:05 PM

Yes, I have dreams of ranking highly for May 16, 2003!

I have been so depressed not to get it, so I "stuffed" it in my comment tag! ROFL

You got me hidden tag man!

#27 Jill

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Posted 10 August 2003 - 12:09 PM

(Sorry Jill. I checked and you don't make the top 30 for that term. )


Well, duh. Since Google doesn't read comment tags. Guess I better go back to stuffing my keyword meta tag with that date.

Oh wait...that won't work either.

Whatever shall I do.........If only I knew how to optimize my site.

:wacko:

Jill

#28 NoHiddenTags

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Posted 10 August 2003 - 12:15 PM

No Scottie, I'd have to be rather dense to consider that Jill would be attempting to manipulate search engine ranks for the date of May 16, 2003. Please don't insult my intelligence and I won't insult yours.

Look at the rest of the comment tag. Do you see the hyperlinked words there Search Engine Optimization Seminar? This is called "anchor text" am I correct? Anchor text is looked at by search engines.

That's not my point. My point is this:

Jill -

Don't you think that you 'might' be penalized for this if a human reviewed it? It's setting a bad example for others to see a high profile SEO, such as yourself, do this on their own site and say it's for 'convenience'. You 'could' get penalized for this and it's not setting a good example for new people who don't know why you're doing it. They could do it as well and end up hurting themselves.

#29 qwerty

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Posted 10 August 2003 - 12:25 PM

I sincerely doubt Jill could get penalized for that, Stephen. She really does run the seminar twice a year, and it makes perfect sense for her to just change the date and location and un-comment it whenever she wants it to be visible.

Think of it this way: if an SE takes note of the content of the comment, it isn't going to give it more weight than visible text. She could just as easily remove the comment and just change the text to indicate that she's going to be running the seminar at some point in the future... kind of a "watch this space" thing.

Instead, she chooses not to waste anyone's time with something like that. The text will be visible when there's a legitimate reason for people to see it. So what's wrong with that?

#30 Jill

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Posted 10 August 2003 - 12:36 PM

Stephen, you must be new at html. Of course that's not a link. IT'S COMMENTED OUT!!! It's not seen by the search engines, and of course any human looking at the page who knew anything about HTML would know exactly why I was using the tag.

You might want to read up on the use of comment tags on some web design forums.

To have that comment tag be even discussed in the same breath as spam is simply laughable and totally ridiculous and in fact, even irresponsible as it will make others worry about their own proper use of comment tags.

Before you accuse someone of spamming, please learn what spamming is.

Jill




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