Bait and switch
Remember the old bait-and-switch cons that used to be so popular? Someone would offer a prod-
uct as a great deal, and then, when users showed up to purchase it, the seller would try to switch
them to more expensive products or ones with less quality. This bait and switch still happens today,
and it’s come to the Internet.
Bait and switch in SEO is the practice of creating an optimized web page specifically for search engines
with the intent of obtaining good rankings. When those rankings are obtained, the company replaces
the optimized site with one that’s less optimized and more normal. The result is nearly instant traffic
when the site has been switched.
Bait and switch does have one downfall. Most search engine crawlers revisit a site several times a
month. And when the crawler revisits a bait-and-switch site, it will see that the content of the site
has changed, and will adjust search rankings accordingly. In other words, the person who set up
the bait and switch put a lot of time into a temporary optimization solution.
It makes much more sense to do your optimization the right way the first time out. Then, when
the crawler comes back through looking at your site, it sees a consistent picture of the site, and the
ranking of the site will remain consistent.
Cloaking is another sleight-of-hand SEO technique. For SEO purposes, cloaking a site is a method
of delivering a page based on who is requesting the page. For example, if a web site is using cloak-
ing, when a regular visitor comes to the site, that visitor will see one page. But when a search crawler
comes to the site, it sees a much more relevant, better optimized site.
Search engines frown on cloaking, and if you’re caught using cloaking techniques, your site will be
penalized or even delisted completely.
There is another reason that people use cloaking on their web sites. Instead of trying to trick search
engines, some web-site owners use cloaking to protect the source code of their web site. Because
it’s possible for anyone to choose
Display Source Code
from their browser’s tool
menu, it’s sometimes frustrating for organizations that want to keep their source code proprietary.
Instead of putting it out for the whole world to see, these companies use page cloaking. But this is
not an advisable way to protect your code. Search engine crawlers don’t like cloaked sites and your
site will be penalized if you choose to use cloaking for any reason.
Hidden links are created using the same methods used to create hidden text. The difference between
hidden links and hidden text is that, with hidden links, the search crawler can follow the links to
other sites or to other pages within the same site.
The Content Piece of the Puzzle
12 1 9:41 187