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Glossary Definition: Spamdexing

An ever-growing glossary of SEO Jargon

What is spamdexing?

Spamdexing (also known as web spam, search spam, or black hat SEO) is the practice of using deceptive tactics in an effort to manipulate search engine results.

With continuously evolving algorithms, search engines are increasingly able to detect spam and penalize websites that violate their quality guidelines.

Web spam can be categorized into two main types, content spam and link spam:

Content Spam

Content spam involves exaggerating the perceived relevance of a web page for specific keywords in search engines. Content spam include:

  • Keyword stuffing: The repetitive use of keywords to target specific search terms. More on keyword stuffing:
  • Hidden text: Text disguised to be invisible to visitors. More on keyword stuffing:
  • Meta Keywords stuffing: Repetitive keywords added to the Meta Keywords element. More on Meta Keywords stuffing
  • Doorway pages: Low quality web pages that exist only to target specific keywords. More on doorway pages
  • Automatically generated content: Software-generated text that typically makes no sense to the reader, but contains desirable keywords
  • Scraped content: Republished content from other sites, often with slight modifications such as synonymizing

Link schemes are defined by Google as unnatural links to or from a site that are intended to manipulate PageRank or ranking in search results. Unnatural links include:

  • Paid links: Buying or selling links that pass PageRank. More on paid links
  • Link farms: Groups of websites that link to one another in an attempt to accumulate PageRank. More on link farms
  • Comment spam: Comments (often automated) on blogs, forums, wikis and discussion boards, made for the sole purpose of backlinking or promotion
  • Excessive reciprocal links: Unnaturally high number of link exchanges. More on reciprocal links
  • Automated link building: Software or services used to create backlinks
  • Low-quality press releases: Press releases distributed primarily for optimized backlinks
  • Low-quality directories: Directories with low standards for site submission. More on web directories
  • Article marketing and guest-posting Large-scale content campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links

Other Types of Web Spam

  • Sneaky redirects: URL redirection designed to deceive search engines. More on URL redirection
  • Cloaking: Presenting content to visitors different from that which is served to search engines More on cloaking

Google's algorithms remove the vast majority of spam from its search results automatically; however, sites that go undetected may be removed manually.

See also: Search engine penalty
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