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Putting titles that accurately describe page content is about good design and usability principles, not spamming. And just because I know that this title is the first thing a user will see when it pops up in a SERP doesn't make me a spammer. It makes me a good designer.
The definition of spam is flawed in this paper
Agreed. They start the paper by saying spamming is..
any deliberate human action meant to trigger an unjustifiably favorable relevance
But at the end of the paper they say..
..sites serve to search engines a version of their page that is free from navigational links, advertisements, and other visual elements... This kind of activity is welcome by the search engines
Well you can't have it both ways. Either spam is changing your page to rank higher or it isn't. I've always loved academia ;)
I'm surprised these guys haven't read this forum, and aren't concerned that their research is in question. If I wrote an argument like this, I would be here trying to further prove my point. But I wouldn't write an argument like this, because it doesn't make sense.
Was this some kind of April Fool's prank?
question- dont search engines automaticaly penalize sites that spam? if so then whats the point in doing it!
Yes they automatically penalize your site, don't spam. Only write high quality content articles and you will be REWARDED by google and other se's ;) Also your users will appreciate the great content and your site will be successful, guaranteed!
I thought the suggestion of search engines spoofing user-agents was interesting (combat spam by acting like a spam-bot). It seems like a slippery slope but it's an easy fix for cloaking.