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If You Could Spam The Search Engines
Posted 08 July 2004 - 08:03 AM
So would I do it? If it didn't mislead the USERS, then yes. If it was a tactic that DID mislead the users, then no as it wouldn't be worth the effort or expenses anyway, nevermind the damage to my site's reputation. My responsibility is to my visitors, not the place that sent them to me.
Not all spam tactics are misleading, and I still very much believe in offering the best possible in what I do. What about hidden text and doorway pages that are relevant to the content of a flash site? Spam? yes. Irrelevant duping? no.
So maybe the seperate question to be asked is "if you could dupe users and never get caught, would you?" The answer there is no, I hate being deceptive.
Posted 08 July 2004 - 08:09 AM
I wouldn't do it. There is more to a site then having high search engine rankings and I doubt that the conversion rate would be very high if I used spammy SEO techniques...
Posted 08 July 2004 - 08:11 AM
Irrelevant duping? No. Duping? Yes.
Irrelevant duping? no.
In Australia, the ACCC ruled on what constitutes an appropriate disclaimer, and they ruled that a small but visible disclaimer can still be considered misleading. How can hidden text, used to creat a ranking that is not deserved, be any better than text that is visible but small?
Spamming is like advertorials in newspapers that are not listed as ads, but run in with editorial content. Is teh article "newsworthy"? Perhaps. Is it an ad? Most definitely. IMHO, spam is no different than a bazillion offline examples of misleadingk consumers, none of which are ever intended to misdirect them as to the content, otherwise, quite frankly, they wouldn't suceed, would they?
Posted 08 July 2004 - 08:51 AM
Madams, your post did make me laugh...especially "digital gang-bang"!
I asked the question because I see a lot of posts in various places about why people think spamming is a bad idea, and it almost always gets answered by "because you'll get caught" or "it's too risky," which made me wonder if you took out the risk, then what?
Honestly, I thought that I would answer that I wouldn't do it either just because it's wrong. But then when I read someone else's post about finding a million dollars and would you keep that, I thought...hmmmm....maybe I would. So if I would do that, why wouldn't I spam the engines? I think I wouldn't probably because I've put more thought into that one and because it involves others, i.e., the search engines and the searchers. Where as if I took the million, it wouldn't involve anyone else (except I guess whose ever million it was to begin with). I suppose if I thought about that more, I wouldn't want to take the million either because it would mean that someone else was losing their million.
Obviously, none of us really know what we would do unless the real situation presented itself, and I imagine it would depend on what the method entailed.
And OWG made some really good points too. It would certainly be boring, but then again, it would also mean unlimited money, if you could just keep the technique to yourself!
Any other thoughts?
Posted 08 July 2004 - 08:57 AM
Yes, it reminded me of this:
[quote name='http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2002/07/01/spyware_inc/index.html']The men who ran Website Results, an Internet marketing company, had a unique test for gauging the moral fiber of their employees. According to former colleagues, Ronald J. Penna, Michael K. Osborn and Kevin Smith used to pose this question: Imagine there's a peasant somewhere halfway across the world. If you could push a button and kill the person without getting caught, would you do it for a million dollars?
"For them, it was yes, in a heartbeat. They just wanted to know whether we felt the same way. Who even thinks that way?" said Steve Simkovitch, a salesman who worked for Website Results for most of 1999.
Website Results specialized in the quintessentially dot-com boom service of "search engine optimization"...[/quote]
Posted 08 July 2004 - 08:58 AM
Posted 08 July 2004 - 09:26 AM
Posted 08 July 2004 - 09:43 AM
But- I won't SEO a site without a usability analysis, copy improvements, etc. So the site would still be good enough to rank well and be a credit to it's company even without the trick. To me, search rankings are a reward for a job well done and the real effort and measurements are in conversions.
But if I could guarantee that the wonderful site I've put such hard work into could top the engines as well without having to wait... I'd probably try it.
Then I'd be utterly miserable, lie awake nights, assume everyone knew I had tried it, and because I always get caught whenever I do anything wrong, I'd take it back off and go back to the way I always do things.
Posted 08 July 2004 - 10:17 AM
Then again with my luck I would get half way across a field, get kidnapped by aliens and lose the briefcase.
My name was on the inside though, so I guess it just depends on who finds it there
Posted 08 July 2004 - 10:48 AM
Posted 08 July 2004 - 11:05 AM
However I must state that if it involved anything that is not good for the client then I wouldn't.
But the fact remains that you CAN get caught and that keeps me from doing some of the spammy things that are currently working for others. It is just not worth the risk as I have already been down the 'spam recovery' road. It is not a pretty one. I have mentioned here before that a few years back I tried the "hidden link to increase link popularity thing"and got busted. It took over a year to correct that. never again!
But if you could do something that others might consider spam and completely get away with it, provide a relevant search result and better your customer's web site and profitability, then who wouldn't do that?
There was a post on this forum last week about a company that was hiding text in <div> tags, a company in my town. The poster complained they were spamming but were they really? They had an all graphical home page and hid text that was relevant to their business in <div> tags so spiders grabbed it but users didn't see it. They were simply compensating for the lack of text on their home page. So is this really spam or just overcoming a handicap?
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