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Some have claimed it would be too difficult for an se to detect. Here it is done in 10 simple perl lines.
open (GIF, $gif) ¦¦ die "file not found";
read (GIF, $type, 3);
seek (GIF, 6, 0);
read (GIF, $w, 1);
read (GIF, $w2, 1);
$width = ord ($w) + ord ($w2) * 256;
read (GIF, $h, 1);
read (GIF, $h2, 1);
$height = ord ($h) + ord ($h2) * 256;
$height will contain height, and $width will contain width of the gif file.
If it is that easy in Perl...
I've got ranks all over with those pages that use the pixels, especially some high ones in AV. This might not help you though, since my images aren't being use in links, and they are appearing as bigger than a pixel (using height and width attributes).
For your usage, I would suggest using a bigger transparent image. Something one or two pixels in width or height is not that much more likely to get noticed.
(btw: welcome to the board Qianxing)
In other words, there's very little download penalty in making a gif larger than 1x1 to slip by simple filtering, if you're concerned about that.
These file sizes hold not just for transparent gifs, but also for all single color gifs. There's a simple design method that creates a single color gif that matches the site's palette. The browser can redraw that gif image in any dimensions needed. With no download penalty you can create bars of color, table backgrounds, etc. I once used this method to make square bullets that were also click-on links.
It's one of the times when using the browser to resize an image makes sense.
Given all this, I don't see any call for concern.
A few comments:
It's very easy to identify a one by one gif. It's much more difficult to determine if it's a transparent gif, perhaps implying a hidden link.
It came as quite a surprise to me to view one of my pages using Netscape V2 recently and SEE all of my carefully hidden links. EVERY image had a 2 pixel border...
BeFree and other large affiliate programs use 1 X 1 gifs in their links for tracking purpose so I'd be surprised to see SEs become concerned about their use.
I doubt that banning would occur, for the very reasons you state. But the links could just be ignored, and that would make them useless from an SEO standpoint
I remember there was a long article some where that went into amazing detail on using one pixel graphics for everything.<<
I first picked up my tricks from a book/website combination: "Creating Killer Wesites" and killersites.com. I just checked it out, and they're now into the second edition. They urge people away from spacer gifs and toward CSS. Their long tutorial on 1 pixel gifs seems to be gone.
joined:June 27, 2000
*sigh* OK. I will be the Billy. I think I have figured out what you all are talking about:
You put a one pixel gif in your html as a link to other pages of your site. And is the concern that search engines are looking for this and giving penalties?
Can you point me at a tutorial you to learn about the method you are talking about? I'd like to learn more.
Almost! Typically, it's a transparent GIF so the link is hidden. If it isn't, it renders like a "."
The link can be to anywhere. I frequently use them to link between different sites for links popularity.
Could be any size if it's transparent, 1 X 1 minimizes download time and makes it easy to incorporate unubtrusively into a page.
As to the concern, exactly right!