Stop Spam Now - the Harmful effects of Spamdexing

Rob Dee

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Spamdexing is the practice of manipulating the natural results of search engines to artificially inflate the positions of a webpage. It is a common practice which both bred it's own industry and saw the rise of internet giant google.

The first search engines were very simple affairs which simply looked for pages with a targeted keyword and listed results based on simple algorithms. Once people started investigating the results generated by these search engines it became a relatively simple process of developing webpages designed specifically to exploit weaknesses in them. In the Mid 1990's this was a common practice and as a result even now we see pages which have spammed keywords all through them in an attempt to out rank the opposition. If a page wanted to be indexed under specific search terms they would frequently display these terms in the same color as the background - making them visible to search engine spiders, but not to real surfers. This practice was common in gateway pages which showed up highly ranked in search engines, but had no purpose but to flow traffic to another page.

It's amazing to think that Google only started in 1997, and in ten years have come to dominate nearly every corner of the internet. This domination was achieved largely through a search engine designed to see through these simple spamdexing tricks, and deliver the results people wanted to see. When they started the search engine market was dominated by MSN and YAHOO, both who have been playing catchup ever since the more advanced Google algorithms granted them a massive share of the search engine market.

Spamdexing still exists in a variety of forms, but is less effective because of the importance search engines now place on delivering real relevancy. The whole search engine optimization industry has built up on the premise that it is possible to manipulate results in major search engine through a variety of factors. The kings amongst these factors are contents and links, with it being generally accepted that the more of both the better, provided the quality is good.

The negative side effect of this increased in search engine efficiency is that many websites are now built with the objective of gaining Search Engine Rankings, rather than usability or usefulness. This means email is not the only spam we sometimes have to deal with, but we may need to wade through several webpages before we find “the one we meant to get".

With an estimated 70-90 billion spam messages sent every day, the problem is not going away. Don't wait for someone to solve the problem for you, visit and download your free ebook on how to win the fight against spam.


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