The word spam started from email spam, which is receiving emails that you never requested, needed, or wanted. People would send mass mailings and acquire as many emails as they could in order to send their unsolicited advertisement emails.

In the early days of search engine optimization, those involved in SEO split into different camps. Spam became the word for practicing techniques that violated the search engine policies. Spam is ultimately an attempt to create a false assessment of relevancy through content, links or the programming of your website.


falsifying content through SEO Spam was more of a problem in the past, as search engines have increased and their technology and their capabilities on page techniques are easy to find and dealt with quickly by reduced rankings. Or elimination from the search engines index.

These days if you were to employ any of these techniques, it would be found and penalized very quickly.


Keyword stuffing is using a keyword over and over on a page in order to increase the relevance of the content for that word. This falls victim to the over-optimization penalty implemented in the Panda update in 2011. This is also related to the keyword density. Many older articles would advise you to have a specific density of keywords to content. This is irrelevant now in the face of Google’s Hummingbird update, which looks at natural language, context, and conversational content and not a specific word.


Duplication is an issue as many websites attempt to increase their content by stealing content from other websites. They also do this by publishing feeds from other websites and aggregating multiple contents feeds. In both cases, these sites are using other people’s content and rarely ever publishing unique content of the road. These tactics are aggressively pursued by Google and eliminated from the index.


Other techniques are over linking your content to other pages, especially with repetitive anchor text in the link. It prevents a very poor user experience and is a low quality attempt to inflate relevance.


Thin or shallow content that is repetitive. Now an example of this are sites that attempt to rank for multiple cities or locations by using the same content but only changing the location or the city on every single page and the text and then linking to every location on every page. Again, search engines don’t like this. They consider it low quality, thin content.


aggregated or scraped content is using other websites’ content to make your website more relevant, either through feeds copying original content or republishing other works. Search engines are employing massive resources to provide authenticity of content ownership and penalizing. Those that steal content or use content from other websites to create their websites.


Finally, websites that have unregulated spam comments or spam posts in their blog show an obvious lack of management and are reduced in relevance and influence.


Falsifying links is the primary reason for constant updates to the algorithm. As search engines move to measure the true value of links, many in the black hat or grey hat communities attempt to create false or artificial relevancy through the influence of linking schemes.

Google’s Penguin update in 2012 specifically targeted linking schemes. 1000s of websites were dropped from the index as they utilized linking schemes and networks to artificially attempt to create influence.

Schemes, communities and networks were identified by the search engines as taking payment to publish links on pages. But without disclosure of the relationship. This method is still around as they are those who still tried to manipulate links for relevance, but the efforts tend to be short-lived.


Falsifying content is also done through programming techniques that show the search engines one page but will show a user another page. This technique creates pages that are built for the search engine spider but will redirect actual humans to other better-designed pages. These are called doorway pages.


They detect the search engine spider and present one set of pages but show users something else. Search engines despise to this technique, as they want to evaluate the same page that the user will see. So much of the algorithm updates over the years have been utilizing methods to detect and penalize these techniques.


We’ve talked a lot about the hidden text. That’s the attempt to add text without the user seeing it, but for search engine spiders to see and attribute as legitimate content. Now, this is done through colour combinations such as white text on a white background, but it’s easily detected as search engines simply have to look for the colour codes used in the programming. Other programming issues are websites that have malicious intent against users, such as fooling users into giving personal or financial information, or by spreading viruses or Trojans to other computers.


When it comes to deciding what tactics you are going to use, here are your options. And this was a question I had to answer myself early in my career. I had a web site and one day I sat down and I had to decide that with the time that I have, should I add content that I know that my users want to see and will help build my reputation and business? Or do I create doorway pages for the search engines rather than for users.

The doorway pages could possibly help me but yet they don’t provide any valuable information for my users. So that day I decided that my users were the ones that would build my business. So I would always work on my website to benefit the user first, and not just make content for search engines. I’ve benefited greatly from that approach.


So the choice is clear. If you choose to use spam techniques, you will have to constantly monitor search engine changes and react and be fearful that someday all of your efforts may completely disappear. You will also have to have the resources available. To participate in those schemes and communities.

Or you can put your time, money, and resources into creating highly entertaining or valuable content that people actually want to see. If they like it, they’ll read it and recommend it which will add to your links legitimate marketing techniques work wonders when you have great content. And the best part of that is that you don’t have to worry about the search engine suddenly changing your future prospects.

I’ve often said that SEO isn’t one thing that needs to be done it is hundreds of things that have to be done.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.