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Css And Searchengines


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10 replies to this topic

#1 ranch

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 01:49 AM

CSS and searchengines (See Changing Header Tags) made me curious. Does the spiders actually look through your css to check for cheating? What if you put the css-file in a separate directory where bots are not allowed (using robots.txt)?

Using bold with your keywords is a good SEO-technique. But maybe you don't want a lot bold text on your page. What happens if you put "font-type: normal" in your css for the <B> tag?

If you put keywords on your page using a slightly different colour (hex-code) the keywords are invisible to the human eye. What will the searchengines say? How much contrast between your background colour and your copy is needed?

I know these examples would be bad practice. Just curiuos if such misuses are really detected and if not when will they be?

#2 Mel

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 02:34 AM

Hi Ranch:
CSS is a great tool, but its power also means that it can be subject to abuse.

I am sure that it is (or soon will be) possible for the search engines to read your css file and parse it. But I don't believe at this point they do so, possibly to save spider and indexing time.

I am aware of a few instances where css was used to deceive the search engines, but there was no penalty placed on the sites for some time, until someone discussed it on the web and shortly thereafter panalties were put in place.

You may be able to decieve the search engine spam algos, but can you deceive the spam cops and competitors who may report you?

As to when the search engines may be able to detect these css spam practices it may be some time yet, but as to when you competitors might report you to the search engines that could be today.

#3 Alan Perkins

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 05:52 AM

I know these examples would be bad practice. Just curiuos if such misuses are really detected and if not when will they be?

They are definitely detectable automatically. If a browser can work it out, so can a robot.

And, as Mel says, everything can be detected by humans.

#4 Jill

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 09:16 AM

Whether the search engines bother to detect and/or penalize for tricking them through CSS or other means, is really not important.

The fact is that tricking the search engines is spam.

If you don't mind spamming to get high rankings, you can probably get away with some of that stuff for the time being. But you better check your site every day, because one day it will catch up to you, and your site will suddenly be gone. It may or may not be able to get back in.

Ranch, this isn't directed at you as I'm sure you have no intention of spamming the engines, and are simply asking a theoretical question. I just want it to be clear that what the search engines can catch, and what best practices actually are, are not quite matched up at the moment.

Your best bet is always to do things in an honest and forthright manner. It sure makes it easier to sleep at night when you do!

Jill

#5 Mel

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 10:43 AM

How is it that you can get your ideas across so clearly??

What Jill said.

#6 Jill

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 10:52 AM

How is it that you can get your ideas across so clearly??

Guess it's just a gift! :)

#7 Big Bill

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 02:35 PM

Given that you do your newsletter AND you seem to be in every forum I look in, I'd say it's practice!

BB

#8 Jill

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 02:37 PM

Practice makes perfect, but I still say it's a gift too! A lucky one for me. :D

Oh, and welcome BigBill! ;)

You probably won't see me in the other forums much any more. Too much just to handle this one and my work. YIKES...work! uh oh....

:aloha:

#9 Thanol

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 04:17 PM

Did you notice you passed 200 posts in like a week?

#10 Jill

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 04:22 PM

Did you notice you passed 200 posts in like a week?

Amazing, huh?

And gonna hit 200 members any minute now too. Yesterday we had 50.

:hmm:

#11 Vermont

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Posted 07 August 2003 - 04:23 PM

Another factor to consider is that some search engines, Google included, allow you to report websites that "cheat" - things like re-directs, hidden text etc. I know 'cause I have reported a site or two.

Then Google has the option of penalizing the site or even banning it completly.




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