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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Hello all,

    I am looking for your thoughts on this situation I have run into.

    I noticed a website in competition with my cleint that appeared today. In close inspection of the description I noticed something very strange. Upon viewing the source I noticed invisible text just under the body tag. This site has no meta tags, very little copy, no real keyword density that I can notice. I spend all this time on my sites, and a hidden sentence passes my optimized sites. I think it is rather humorous and sad actually.

    Should I kindly email the webmaster and ask him about his hidden text? Should I report him to the SE? Should I just ignore the situation? After all I am in no authority to push my beliefs about good SEO on this webmaster.

    I refuse to spam, and am ticked that altavista let this "old trick" into their database. Am I just being a sore loser?

    Your time is greatly appreciated on this matter.

    Laura Mercer

  2. #2
    SitePoint Zealot Grandmaster's Avatar
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    If this works, good or bad, shouldn't we all impliment it.
    Its not the webmasters fault. Its Altavista's for letting something simple like hidden text work to get good ranking.
    If it was bad altavista would rank like that then..

    Ken Prescott - 21Studios freelancing design
    Graphic-Forums - The Forums for the Graphic User

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I think it is the webmasters fault. If he wants to go that low, then he is probably pretty desperate for hits. E-Mail the webmaster and ask him to play fair, nothing to loose doing that.

    AltaVista probably wouldn't get you too many hits anyway. There are millions of websites that try to cheat the engines - some win and some don't. Search engines aren't everything either. There are many other ways you can promote your site very effectively.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    I spend a great deal of time teaching my students to put into the search engines what we want to get out of them. That is if you use spam to deceive the bot into thinking there is something there that isn't, is a disservice to anyone who uses a SE. That is why I dissapgree with your premise Grandmaster. To deceive because you can- is simply not right IMHO. I realize this could potentially become a philosophical debate on SE ethics :-)

    I feel that ideally spam should be dealt with all the time by the bots, but obviously this site did not get caught. I am sure when the bot goes back to visit, it will drop the site. Luckily I have implemented other marketing strategies that this isn't a bit deal, but I am incredibly curious about how others handle this situation, when in fact their rank is very important to their marketing plan.


  5. #5
    SitePoint Member
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    I dont think its a huge problem. There is alot worse stuff that people are doing. Scripts to generate 1000s of doorways, advanced cloaking, popping tons of consoles or disabling the surfers back button.

    I can understand the fruseration though. The webmaster isnt gonna change it. The people running alta vista really have no clue, so cant rely on them to do anything.
    http://www.trafficfind.com Traffic Find- link trading directory

  6. #6

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    Search engines are concerned about spam and generally have a method of reporting it in their help pages. Bear in mind that they aren't going to be concerned that this page got higher in the rankings than your page though. They are going to be concerned if the page served up in the results is not relevant for the phrase searched for.

    Relevance is everything, it is their core business, delivering search results which match what the user is looking for. If it is a valid return then there's little to complain about.
    Simon Conroy,
    PPC Bid Management and ROI Tracking Solutions
    www.BidBuddy.co.uk www.ROIstats.co.uk

  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    I agree with you Simon. The results should be relevant and this search certainly was. Thanks for your perspective.

    Laura

  8. #8
    SitePoint Member
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    Ahh!...

    The AV nightmare again...there is a logical reason why that webmaster is able to pass a hidden text to AV. Simple...

    AV have just implemented changes in their algorithm. How recent I won't tell. Just to keep you search engine addict posted. It's time to go back to the drawing board again. So...

    Before we roast the 'offending' webmaster...just bear in mind that it's his/her zeal of imagination that's working there...just like the rest of us. :-)

    As Simon says...it's the relevancy that counts
    The questions are tough. The answer is simple. Find someone who's done it. Learn from all his trials, tribulations and successes.
    -Web Development Tools-

  9. #9
    SitePoint Zealot JK_Bowman's Avatar
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    I agree that it's good to have some imagination, but if I am reading this thread correctly all the webmaster did to disguise the text was make it a same or similar color to the background.

    Text can be hidden. But that's a pretty unimaginative way do it.
    Editor, J.K. Bowman
    Spider-Food.net


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