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Criticise Google - and see what happens.
Webmaster World clearly values its PR a little too highly.
I know you are passionate about your position but what alternatives do you suggest? Google is trying to do what they can. Why not be positive and try and help google find their spam.
Google gives people a nice paycheck. When my boss cpomes in the room I don't tell him that his work stinks. The same is with a lot of posters here.
- booted out of Infoseek for what appeared to be same color text on background to the spider (was white table on a black background) (97)
- nuked out of excite on questions of copyright when a competitor put up a mirror of a site of mine. Jacked me, then claimed I was the one that stole from him.
- booted out of Ink - competitors spammed the add url when that trick still worked. (mid 98)
- booted out of alta - and all clients. Industrial cloaking bait and switch when page jacking was rampant. Those days were you cloak or you die (early 99).
What we see today in Google? Childs play spam - it aint nothing.
"I did some research on the top 12 results for a keyphrase I am interested in for one of my clients. 6 out of the top 12 used hidden text, redirects, hidden links or other methods.
It is frustrating when you try and play by the "rules" and see these sites gaining from dodgy techniques.
I did report it to Google with full details but no answer was received.
I have also reported several sites through the "spam reporter" page but no action seems to be taken."
Deja Vue? And all are followed with pats on the head like "Oh, the Algo will sort it out eventually" or, "you're only a newbie".
Nonsense! Much, I suggest, like the way I'm being treated.
PR is good, but search terms are important. I'd rather have a PR of 1 and be at the top of the page than have a PR of 8 and be at the bottom! And you, ladies and gentlemen, understand this fully.
So why don't we *all* keyword stuff, and have a high PR too. Or is that what is happening - am I being naive?!
Or do they have a couple of solid links that did?
I honestly don't know the answer. Also, do they stay there for one crawl and then pop out, or even a few months? If they get increased traffic for a few months and then things balance, where is the pay off. It would seem that spammers in their time make mistakes but honest sites will retain rankings over time and continue to get better. Does a spammy site actually gain any value from a ranking up there. If it is only there for keyword stuffing, not merit, wouldn't it tend to reason that they wouldn't convert any sales anyway.
I don't know. I think we can identify with the frustration of getting beat by spammy sites. I can only have confidence that if you do it right it will pan out in the end.
If you are upset with Google and their algo...let them know.
My quick take on it is this:
"You are playing by the rules and are getting beat out by spammers."
Now Google has provided a great feedback form for spammers. It also includes (almost) everything they consider to be spam. I've watched a competitor go down...based on Google spamming. granted it took several months...but he's down for the count.
in the meantime, I've concentrated on building quality content oriented websites. That's right...I play by the rules.
Nick, the resistance you are hearing may be akin to showing up at a Soccer Fan website and saying, "Soccer rules are terrible....it should be more like Baseball"
It's just not the appropriate place to vent your concerns over how the RULES ARE...the fact is THEY ARE THE RULES.
You or I have no control over those rules. They are accepted...and the game goes on. (Debate over teams is another beast we won't explore here:>)
Nick, I was frustrated by a number of items search engines had as RULES...but it was THEIR RULES...not mine.
I lurked here for many awhile before posting, also. I was treated with respect and dignity. The fact that the owner of this website has posted several responses to your concern should be an indication of HIS concern of the integrity of this website.
Please also note...he didn't ban, nor delete your criticism...what does that tell you about this website?
<<added>> I run several websites that don't even require a sign-up. People can post at their will...it's a honor system. Very few problems. I've dealt with similar posts...I've left them up. Integrity matters.<</added>>
I've checked the links of my competitors, and the fact is that they are poor. They are alongside my site due to spam.
So now we've come back full circle - my original posting suggested that the GoogleBot was inadequate.
So do we all spam away - which would be wrong - or will Webmaster World open the debate fully?
Either way, I do hope that when GoogleGuy makes an appearance I don't make my true feelings shown by dribbling over my mousemat, tripping over my computer, and then swooning all over my printer in a state of wild distraction.
Wouldn't be rational - would it!
The football analogy is a false one!
I'm not complaining about rules - I'm complaining about the breaking of rules!
I don't think we spam, I think we adhere to the ethics that we have set for ourselves. I also, honestly believe that all previous responses were not meant as condescending, possibly misinterpreted (please take no offense, I am not trying to seem argumentative). I have dealt with all of the people who responded to you and only have respect for them.
Maybe googlebot is inadequate on some levels but at the same time I can appreciate the fact that it is very sophisticated on others. I can only begin to imagine the amount of spam that google has to deal with. They have to make decisions about each one individually and find ways to combat them all. I have no idea why spammers beat us once in a while in certain markets but I don't really worry about what they do.
I am confident that no one is going to report me for such foolish techniques and my sites will move up slowly based on merit. I also know that I am going to convert as many clicks as possible based on the validity of my sites.
So, where does that leave us? Not really anywhere. Googlebot isn't perfect and the things that google sees as important are not always what I see as such but I think over all they do a pretty good job. It's the only one I actually use personally. I don't spend all my time worrying about the update. I treat them as a portion of my efforts since even some of my top sites get more traffic from msn or yahoo, whatever.
I don't know, ScottM has a good point, they are just the rules of the game. They could change tomorrow, who knows. I don't even know how to apply ethics to the matter anyways, by doing what google likes aren't I just exploiting their algo for my own ends anyway.
Does it make me any better than the spammers?
Google has provided a vehicle for that complaint:
The football rules rules don't even provide that vehicle.
Nick, several of the senior members have tried to satiate your complaints. I'm just not sure what exactly you want. A special forum dedicated to SE complaints?
If so...ask for one.
Regardless how you feel about WW...it's the only team that matters.
But returning to my original point (once again I'm afraid) I can't understand why GoogleBot cannot interpret that the background colour of a page is the same as multiple lines of text in the same colour.
This would seem a simple task - I could write the code myself.
And if the GoogleBot is indeed incapable of doing this - then is this why so many people are spamming? And then the million dollar question - what is to stop all of us doing it - and should the honest, but pragmatic, webmaster be doing the same to simply keep up?
The rules of football do indeed have a referee, he is called the.. er.. referee!
[edited by: NickJAllen at 12:24 am (utc) on Aug. 23, 2002]
I still don't think we can, honestly, confirm that is the reason they outrank us at times.
As far as googlebot goes maybe it does know. We assume it doesn't penalize for it, given rankings, but do we know that it helps?
I don't worry about it. That may seem foolish but I just keep doing what I'm doing, knowing that in the long run I will be better off.
That may not be your answer but I think that is what we need to do.
I simply made a posting about the enormous amount of simple and basic spam that Google lets through - and it has caused an enormous hoo-hah.
It feels like an attack on the GoogleBottom almost amounts to an attack on the SE world! And anyone who complains is a whiner (some poor soul even gave a dictionary definition - which was a little rude - and when I was mildly rude back it was edited out!)
I've come to a conclusion: it may be wrong, but I suspect I've hit upon a raw nerve and spoken the unspoken. Perhaps this stuff is commonplace. And perhaps the *real* whiners on this site with their PR zeros know in their hearts why they've got a PR zero (they just can't remember which site they put the offending material on)
Sorry to burst all your balloons
p.s. I work for a large search engine!
Unfortunately this type of filter would harm more innocent bystanders then it would to those who are using it to spam. Although, in dealing with Google, I doubt very seriously that the old school tricks are having any weight, there is more to it than meets the eye.
Back to the same color text as background. I always enjoy talking about this topic because it has two sides.
Side One: Amateur designer working with dark colored backgrounds, makes their text the same color as the background color. Text is sitting inside a table that does not have a background color specified but appears white due to the default in most browsers.
Side Two: Amateur SEO working with dark colored backgrounds, makes their text the same color as the background color. Text is sitting inside a table that does have the same background color or it is set off by changing the hex value by 2 or 3 digits. This of course is an attempt at keyword stuffing.
There are more Side One scenarios than Side Two. To filter this would be extremely difficult. A lot of innocent amateur (and some expert) web designers will be sitting out there wondering what the hell happened. We can then enjoy reading topics like...
Why did Google drop me? Is it because I use reverse headings in my design?
Ooh, just saw that. How did I end up being a poor soul? ;)
My dictionary reply was in response to your spelling error as you were pointing out someone else's mistake. Then I realized it disappeared and thought, oh well.
Anyway, I think we all got started off on the wrong foot. The title of the post at the time when it first went live was enough to take it in that direction. I see that us poor souls are still maintaining a certain level of diplomacy. ;)
p.s. I work for a small directory!
Surely you mean *dictionary*
That too, you won't find any typos in our small directory. So, where do we go from here? We all know that Google is not perfect. Each of the SE's have their own flaws. Google just happens to be at the center of attention and the flaws seem more obvious. Lets talk about some of the other large search engines and see how they compare. But, let's wait for the Google Dance to finish and do an apples to apples comparison.
As for Google, it is so beloved because it is a far-reaching engine that is free. It out performs most if not all other engines in ROI. Yes we all know it has its problems. You should realize that a lot and I do mean a lot of people here are spammers. So you are in the lionís den. I try to run a clean SE campaign. I don't do hidden text, doorway or anything else. I believe in the long run that good, clean and original content will win out.