you can follow the link back to that site to find out why. A site using stolen content is easy to find
using this method. There are also many services available that will help you track your web-site
content. Those services are covered in more depth in Chapter 12.
Tagging works well for finding content thieves, and there’s another tactic you can use to thwart auto-
matic content scrapers — domain cloaking. This is a process by which your web site appears to be
located somewhere other than where it is. This is accomplished using an HTML frame set that redirects
traffic from one URL to another. For example, if your web site address is
you can use domain cloaking to have your site appear to be www.yourbusiness.com.
The problem with using domain cloaking is that it can confuse a search engine crawler, because the
same content appears to be on two pages, although it’s only one page and one that redirects. And
another problem is that some search engine crawlers can’t read the frame set that’s used to redirect
the user, which means your site may end up not being ranked at all. This is a tactic that should only
be used in special cases where content is truly unique and could possibly affect your SEO rankings
(or that of someone who might steal it) in a dramatic way.
Dealing with updates and site changes
One last problem you may encounter after you’ve initially set up your SEO strategies is the updates
and changes that your site will go through. Often, people feel that once the SEO is in place, then it’s
always in place, and they don’t have to think about it again. But believing this can lead to a very
When your site changes, especially if there are content updates or changes to the site structure, links
can be broken, tags may be changed, and any number of other small details may be overlooked.
When this happens, the result can be a reduced ranking for your site. Site crawlers look at every-
thing, from your tags to your links, and based on what they see, your ranking could fluctuate from
day to day. If what the crawler sees indications that your site has changed in a negative way, the site’s
ranking will be negatively affected.
Many things affect the way your site ranks in a search engine. You’ve seen an overview of a lot of
them in this chapter, and you’ll see them all again in more depth in future chapters. Realize that
SEO is not a simple undertaking. It is a complex, time-consuming strategy for improving your
business. And without attention to all of the details, you could just be wasting your time. So plan
to invest the time needed to ensure that your search engine optimization efforts aren’t wasted.
Building Your Site for SEO
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