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Doubled H2 Tags? Does it work? Is it Spam?

 3:01 am on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

My closest competitor is using doubled <H2><H2>KeyWord Phrase</H2></H2> and outranks me in most of my target keywords. It this tactic really contributing to their success? Should I bother to report it to Google?



 9:05 pm on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

I notice you didn't mention your competitor's backlink profile - or any domains that they've 301 redirected that now have their link juice and PR passing on. These are critical algo factors, not just what you see in the source code. In fact Google's focus on links in their algo is one of the big differentiators between them and other search engines.


 10:17 pm on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Should all of the greatest backlinks in the world give an obvious spam site with no viewer value precedence? Shouldn't backlinking to such a devious site devalue those supposed valueable sites that link to it?

In other words, does the amount of money I have to purchase backlinks from 'valuable' sites that sell them, mean more to SEO than the content of my site?

Not that it's at all accurate but link:www.thedomain.com shows a total of 8 backlinks all from the site itself. With the 2 more results in the 'click to view omitted results' section.
The site: search shows a total of 1,680 pages on the site.


 11:33 pm on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

I understand that you are angry with the current rankings. However, Google operates a computerized search engine that deals with billions of web pages - not a human reviewed directory that only deals with a much lower number of "sites". There is no computer-based algorithm that can accurately measure what a human considers quality - at least not currently.

As a side note, the Google link: operator does not give us anywhere near a full or accurate report of backlinks - that's intentional (see this thread [webmasterworld.com] for details.) And as for 301 redirects, they can be nearly invisible to the general public.

We can wish that things were different, but they are not. We all need to understand and cope with the current situation as it is. If your competition is ranking through flagrant on-page manipulation alone, it's very possible that it won't last very long. However, if other not-so-visible factors are at play as well, then there's just no saying.


 11:47 pm on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

So I guess you made my point.

If google can't filter out pages that consist of little more than keyword stuffed pages linked to more keyword stuffed pages, what can they filter out? This should be a simple one right? The number of keywords on the page is 90% of the text on the page. Isn't that algorithm signal #1? The onpage spam should negate any backlink, voodoo, tactic. Because 'The Content" is what matters according to all the propaganda given out by the engines. right?

It seems the only way you'll actually get kicked for cheating is when a google employee views your site on happenstance or a competitor has a friend who works there to read your spam report on the site.

It's very distressing having to play the SEO dance instead of spending time adding to the visitor experience. But without dancing to the SEO tune you don't get the traffic. Without the traffic, there's little point in enhancing the experience. And I personally feel that I've disproven the mantra I've heard for the past 3 years "Good Content, No Spam" as an effective SEO strategy.


 8:00 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

For the "this-that-theother.com" keyword domains, we 301'd them and all subpages to their new directories on the core site.

These are not handled as expected in some cases...

When you redirect a root domain to a sub-directory on another domain, the redirect is handled differently (in some cases) than if you redirect a root domain to another root domain. I am not 100% sure on Google's handling of these, but in Y! they are treated as a 302 and the original domain is given credit for the content of the target domain, even if the redirect is a proper 301.



 1:42 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Validation on W3C standards is FAR MORE important than people realize. Re-validate your site instead of reporting another person's site errors. Get your site valid in markup and come back 7 days later; chances are you will rise.


 3:00 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Good advice. Also do a regular technical check:

1. Is robots.txt both valid and what you intend;

2. Are your intended 301 and 302 redirects giving proper http headers;

3. Does your intended 404 handling return a 404 http header -- check both example.com/bad-url and, if the site is dynamic, check errors only in the query string, example.com/?id=bad-id. For example, there can be the server's native error handling and the platform's added error handling;

4. When there are multiple parameters in the query string, what happens if the order of parameters is shuffled? Only one order should return a 200 OK;

5. How does your site handle accidental double slashes in the file path? example.com//page.html should return a 404.

6. Are all your canonical issues and and duplicate url issues handled - really nailed down?

So many troubled sites that I see have one or more of the above technical problems. Making your site a powerhouse on its own is the best way I know of to counter your competition's "spam".


 3:03 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hi Flex/Tedster,
Every page on our site has the w3w greenlight. The SEO consultant we hired stressed that. But I do notice that none of our competitors seem to be bothered with it. Improper span tags, comment tags with keywords in them, and the lack of ASCII quivalents in their text. But all of those seem to be outweighed by SEO tactics.

I think as a good programmer your code should be clean, since you know your competitors and partners will look at it. But our clients don't and wouldn't understand view source if I told them to.


 3:52 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

We have a much better site structure, xhtml compliant code and 4 times the text content we previously had (and it isn't repetitive junk either).

Our traffic is now a fraction of what it was mid-summer and our conversions have flopped as well.

I have had to have this talk with people before. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If conversions have flopped, then you have to figure out why. Conversion rates ought to be independent of the quantity of traffic arriving at the site. "my site is more relevant" is a phrase I have read more often on WebmasterWorld than anywhere else. The question is: relevant to who?

As for the conversion in religion, perhaps you went overboard between the extremes.

The sentiment that a site will be in a good position to take over top positions once google cleans up its act is a lot like "the meek shall inherit the earth". This might be true, but will it happen in your lifetime? That's not to say that someone should be a career criminal, but at least they should take a few calculated risks.

After all one can put their money under the mattress, in the bank, in bonds, in stocks and commodities and commodity hedge funds. There is a broad range of risk factors in that list. Everyone has a comfort zone, but you get paid for risk.


 4:11 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

And how many results for a site:domain.com/* search?

I bet your home page TBPR is 4-5 and you have around 150 pages in the main index.

If that's the case your problem is simple: a weak backlink profile/weak internal link structure.


 11:00 pm on Oct 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

In other words, does the amount of money I have to purchase backlinks from 'valuable' sites that sell them, mean more to SEO than the content of my site?

Absolutely. And you dont need to purchase links necessarily. But link management HAS to be one of your next priorities after creating good content.

kamikaze Optimizer

 5:47 am on Oct 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

jms75: At this moment stuffing may work for some, but come November, I believe that Google will adjust the algo and you will no longer see this.


 6:11 am on Oct 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

The question of doubled H2 tags has been answered and now the discussion is wandering into other areas. So this thread is closed.

This 43 message thread spans 2 pages: < < 43 ( 1 [2]
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