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Lot's of hidden text via the no frames trick, and a lot of hidden links the same way. I wish they would start focusing on ways of improving their algorithmic relevance, it seems to me that for a while now, the only shift they've made is their handling of links. Which we all know hasn't helped them.
I appreciate the fact that they are trying, but even their adult filter seems busted. Try searching for "movie camera." Completely innocent, right? I'd advise you not to search on this, though, because you'll find adult listings at the bottom of the SERP.
Really sad, in many ways, Excite.com has come to this. I guess if infoseek can go, though, anything is possible.
Excite has been spam-filled for years (at least the last 3, since I've been paying attention), with many of the top 10 inevitably getting there by hidden text. It was so bad that I'd written them off... so for me the only good period has been since their big re-index this fall (I think it was this fall).
What amazes me is the number of people that still shuffle through on those SERP's. I think it must be the whole captive audience thing, like MSN only on a much smaller scale. Or AOL, for that matter. Seems to be good traffic value in being both an SE and an ISP. Perhaps those are the kinds of partnerships that will enable the new players to rise?
I have thought for about a year, though, that all they have been doing is playing with their treatment of links.
Cough, I actually know of one very spammy technique that, surprisingly, worked across the board last summer, and now seems only stable in Inktomi and Excite. Something to do with set theory :) The pages were cloaked and had a link strucure that I dont' think anybody would touch now, but at the time, must have seemed like a good idea to somebody.
Oh, the set theory remark is about the link strategy, but I guess it could be applied to Ink and Excite, as in being a set of two very spam ridden engines :) IMHO.