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I just wanted to let those site owners know that those penalties are set to expire, and most of those domains will be coming back. A note to site owners who were in this program: please don't use hidden text or hidden links on your pages. Ultimately, each webmaster or site owner is responsible for what's on your own domains. If you put hidden links/text on your pages, Google may have to remove you from our index, and we'd rather not do that. More info on our guidelines is here:
Hope this helps,
[edited by: GoogleGuy at 3:02 am (utc) on Dec. 31, 2002]
When building a web site, I pay attention to accessibility issues and many of my pages begin with an invisible gif (inside a link) to skip the top navigation (or another larger header of the page) for blind people or users of the text-only browsers.
Another method I've been using quite often is hidding groups of links via CSS to create special visual versions of the same page for various output devices (screen, print, handhelds, etc.), or different screen resolutions (e.g. a menu on the top for narow windows vs. menu on the side for wider ones).
I wouldn't like to be penalized for those design methods :(
Just my $0.02, :)
Hopefully, this story illustrates how it is easy to try something without really knowing right from wrong. I admit that what I did was stupid, but I'm glad that i was able to move past that. I probably would have given up as a webmaster if my site had failed to get spidered.
I glad to see that one can learn from mistakes without getting a life sentence.
I have an idea!
Maybe this is stupid, but maybe not.
Would it be possible to make a Google validator similar to the html validator? Example: the bot examines your site and issues warnings such as:
1. You are linking to 27 PR 0 pages
2. There seems to be text that is the same color as the background
3. You are missing a robots.txt file
Could it be done?
Reciprocal linking is acceptable to Google. Follow the rule of ensuring that your links are visible to a human using a browser, and you'll be fine. Reciprocal linking has been discussed extensively here at WebmasterWorld. There's even a forum all about linking. Check out WebmasterWorld some more, and use the site search feature here.
The answer to both of your questions is no. To your second question, placing a description as a TITLE attribute to an <a> tag is fine. I consider that usability feature just like an alt tag on an image.
As for stuffing keywords into the alt tag of an image, you can do this too, but it won't help much. Its best to put a usable description with the keyword in it. That can help give you that little .01% extra boost for your page. As a general rule, Google gives little weight to things that few users can see or care about.
I am a bit dumb on this, does this spam referring to image link that stuff a lot of keywords in the ALT of the IMG tag?
Do placing description in the TITLE part of an A tag (text links) count on this?
Thanks in advance...
<edit> Ohh and perhaps the future business plans of google, that would also be nice. (i.e. going public, whats the deal with froogle in regards to future plans of that splitting commerce from google content, etc, etc.)
Ohh and Happy New Year, to All!
Would it be possible to make a Google validator similar to the html validator?
That sounds great but I don't think G would do it for us. If someone else did one I'd use it but would it get it right?
3. You are missing a robots.txt file
Is this a problem? I want G to spider everything so I've never created robots.txt. Is this going to hurt me? Does G get confused?
One of our sites uses a customer service system, much like Huamn Click or Live Helper where people can click on a button, it opens a small window and they can chat direct with one of our staff live.
The system involves an invisible link and a gif loaded from the services site, so we can see what pages people are on much like a tracker.
This means one hidden link and one gif delivered from another server on every page. (It changes from "we are online" to "we are offline" depending on whether one of our staff are connected to their system at the time.)
Ive noticed this site has dropped badly in Google referrals compared to our other sites which dont use the system. There may be other reasons for this but I would love to be able to discount the reason that having this customer service is not also making us less visible in Google Search.
Thanks very much and happy new year.
That's certainly welcome, Googleguy. With the uncertainties the Yahoo/Ink marriage is bringing into all of our worlds, I'd say now is a great time for Google and the webmasters to form stonger bonds.
No search engine has made serious efforts, at least not on a long term basis, to harness the energies of the tens of thousands webmasters that co-habitate cyberspace with them, in a constructive and mutually beneficial way. If Google is the first to do this, and good communications is a giant first leap, then I believe they can blow the doors off of the competition.
I think more solid communication from google and us (the webmasters) would do nothing but benefit all parties involved.
I highly respect google, and a symbiotic relationship between them and us would just emphasize the goodness of googles ethics.
Can you imagine what google will be in 10 years from now?
©2002 Google - Searching 3,083,324,652 web pages
©2002 Google - Searching 1,263,083,324,652 zillion pages
GoogleGuy - You frigen rock. Thanks for your effort. I appriciate it (as do many others).
That's good to hear; it's quite a comfort, because it does happen. Two things I'd like to point out, though.
First, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, Mom 'n Pop are spammers. They come up with slick things that can put their sites in jeopardy, and some become indignant when it's pointed out.
Second, it's not always SEOs, sometimes there's been no SEO involved. It can often be the web developer, and when an SEO becomes involved later on it can create a very uncomfortable situation with having to disclose that the developer created a site that's toxic for search engine placement, or did things that are out and out spam.
It's hard to tell the developer and even harder to tell the client, who trusted that company or individual in the first place and more than likely has established a relationship with them over time.
GoogleGuy >> I'd like us to be more proactive with communication.
Bingo, there's the answer. On a personal level, this can be such an uncomfortable situation to be in that it's going on my 2003 resolution and to-do lists.
Proactive, up-front disclosure, going in the gate, that search engine unfriendly design may be discovered, as well as certain things that can be considered to be spam by search engines and jeopardize the site, can't help but make it easier and soften the blow if and when the issues come up.
Unlike others in the past that have taken an adversarial stance, Google's efforts at communication can help SEOs be more effective intermediaries between clients and search engines.