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Title spamming

How long can they get away with it?

     
12:59 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Recently the umpteenth *travel portal* has popped up in the country where I live. Searches for mycity mycountry, anothercity mycountry, yetanothercity mycountry bring up this new portal.

How come?

Besides the fact that they have copied the content from every tourism office (but cleverly made a few changes here and there so as not to be penalized for duplicate content) they are using title tags like this:

mycity mycountry - mycity guide - mycity hotels - guide to mycity - mycity mycountry travel - mycity hotel - holiday in mycity - tourism mycity

Then they repeat it at the top of the page and numerous other important places in the html.

They do this for nearly every city in the country.

I thought for sure that Google would have some sort of filter in place for just such techniques, but apparently not.

Needless to say the site is affiliate driven and its business model is to get people to buy links or advertizing.

1:21 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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OMG....these people are....optimising.....GET THEM! ;)
1:39 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Bobby

>>Besides the fact that they have copied the content from every tourism office (but cleverly made a few changes here and there so as not to be penalized for duplicate content) they are using title tags like this....<<

Well...well..well

Here we have a site that shows us the way to the top of the serps of mighty Google.

- You copy contents as you wish and just donīt forget to make some changes.

- You write different versions of your keywords on title tag.

As simple as that ;-)

2:41 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Yup,

How long can they get away with it?

Is there any possibility that Google will ban those kind of optimized sites in future? Can this tactic get success in long run?

Thanks

2:46 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Some may call it "optimizing", I call it spam.

If everyone "optimized" like this then the SERPs would be impossible to differentiate, they would all look the same.

I believe that a title tag should describe what the page is about, similar to a book title. These pages are designed purely to rank for these search strings yet do not deliver any relevant content. Every page for every "city" is the same, a long list of keywords that repeats itself over and over.

3:10 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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That's 2 seperate issues Bobby.

You say you don't call it optimisation, but "These pages are designed purely to rank for these search strings yet do not deliver any relevant content." - ie they are optimised for search engines.

Quality of content or not, that's SEO.

"Every page for every "city" is the same, a long list of keywords that repeats itself over and over."

Title or page?

The former is an over-zealous SEO getting carried away and the latter is most likely a scraper, or otherwise auto-generated site. Both very different.

"I believe that a title tag should describe what the page is about, similar to a book title."

What like Meta description? That worked out well didn't it? I'd call that wishfull thinking and with all due respect Google ain't going to do a damn thing about it. Entirely down to you to get with the programme and do what you need to rank your site.

No, of course spamming is taking it a little far, but even book and film titles are altered based on the audience they are targeted at - branding, sellability, user retention, uniqueness, etc all go a long way.

Optimising title tags based on what users are search for is no different - you are just taking the basic concept and grounding it with the commerical reality of the real world.

MG

3:14 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I think the solution to this will be more loose duplicate detection filters, very loose for pages located on the same domain.

Perhaps these filters will be applied with harsher settings for pages that look like location based spam.

3:23 pm on Aug 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Is there any possibility that Google will ban those kind of optimized sites in future? Can this tactic get success in long run?

I would say it's a very likely possibility that they will also be banned. Look at how things have changed in the last year. Scraper directories are now being penalized and ODP clones. Pretty soon the algorithim will be tweaked again and more "problems" will disappear. The problem is that it's getting closer and closer to good SEO. Then where do you draw the line?