Monday, November 2, 2009

10 signs of a spammy website

What is spam? Spam has different connotations depending on the application. In most cases, Spam is defined as 'unwanted e-mail (usually of a commercial nature sent out in bulk)'. These emails could be adverts, newsletters, press releases, adwares, spywares or even links to porn,pills and gambling.

In website development, spammy websites are websites obviously created to rank in search engine results. They're not made for humans but for web crawlers of search engines such as Google. Of course search engines are not perfect that's why there are quite a few people who still find ways to cheat in ranking their sites.

Since I'm working as a quality assurance guy, I've made a short list of things I'm looking at a site:

  1. Hidden text. Old school SEO people believe that writing all their keywords in their homepage would improve their rankings. This was done by matching the text colour with the background colour.
  2. Hidden links. This is the almost the same as number one. But here, links may have different purposes. (Some sites are even using 1x1 pixel picture for links!)
  3. Too much keyword density. Like for example using their targeted keywords in a repetitive manner which is not making any sense to the readers.
  4. Interlinked networks. I noticed that interlinked networks still bursts but once google discovered this, the whole network will be penalized.
  5. Incoming links from free sites, directories, forums, comments etc. This is practiced by a lot of people. Getting free links with no value at all is simply spammy.
  6. Overly interlinked web pages. I normally see this in blogs. The main purpose of this practice is to make the page rank flow to almost all pages, making the PR closer to the home page's pr.
  7. Excessively highlighted keywords. Most of the old school SEO practitioners do this. Like the targeted keywords were stressed out by placing bold, underline or italize tags with a very very big font size. Yeah, most of these sites look like shit.
  8. MFA sites (made for adsense). There's nothing wrong with adsense. But the thing is there are lots of sites out there that were designed for people to click the adsense.
  9. Link farms. Link farms are usually fake blogs with unique content. They also rank but the main purpose of it is to act as inlinks for other sites.
  10. Duplicate content. Content is king. The one with better/useful content will obviously rank higher than others. If a site has duplicate content, that simply means that the owner of the site doesn't have time to write quality articles so he just copied everything from a famous site. 

There will be always ways to cheat but a good website is a site that is really really helpful to people and would naturally get inlinks.


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