Don’t make the mistake of using the
tag as a sneaky method of covering
up duplicate content intentionally included to increase your search engine ranking. The
process will most likely backfire on you. The search engine crawler will eventually realize that your
site doesn’t rank well on all of the criteria the engine uses to rank sites, and you’ll find that your
search engine rankings begin to fall.
tag can be used for a similar effect, but it won’t be covered here. Look for
information about robots.txt in Chapter 16.
Stay Away from Search Engine Spam
Search engine spam is one of the most difficult problems that search engine crawlers encounter. And
it can be a real problem for web-site owners, too, because those who use search engine spam in an
attempt to improve their site rankings make it even more difficult for legitimate web sites to
achieve good rankings.
So, what exactly is search engine spam? Yahoo! defines it like this:
Pages created deliberately to trick the search engine into offering inappropriate, redundant, or
poor-quality search results.
Other search engines have a similar definition for search engine spam. Ultimately, what your con-
cern with search engine spam should be is to avoid it at all costs. There’s a fine line between opti-
mizing your web site and creating search engine spam. And you can cross that line unexpectedly.
The problem is that search engines will penalize your site if they perceive any element of the site
as being search engine spam. And in some cases, that penalty can be delisting your site from search
There are more than a dozen types of search engine spam. Some types, like content scraping, we’ve
already covered. But many more exist and in order to avoid them, you should know what they are.
Doorway pages are often confused with landing pages, but they are not even close in their functions.
Landing pages are designed to be rich in content, and visitors usually come to these pages through
PPC ads. Doorway pages, on the other hand, are created specifically for search engines with the
intent of increasing search engine results rankings.
Doorway pages usually use some form of redirection so that when visitors click through the link in
the search engine results and land on the page, they are immediately taken to another page. This is
a technique that is used less often now than in the past, because many search engines penalize web
sites that use such tactics.
The Content Piece of the Puzzle
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