Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.81.69.220

Forum Moderators: mademetop

Message Too Old, No Replies

1pixel gifs? How easy is it to determine?

     
1:10 pm on Aug 24, 2000 (gmt 0)

Administrator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 21, 1999
posts:38250
votes: 111


One of the long standing queries about se promotion, is the usage of 1pixel gifs. Can search engines detect these?

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;
close (GIF);

$height will contain height, and $width will contain width of the gif file.

If it is that easy in Perl...

1:25 pm on Aug 24, 2000 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rcjordan is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 22, 2000
posts:9138
votes: 0


stcrim and I were just discussing this the other day. Our thoughts were that a 1x1 transparent gif has a 'signature' size or size range that would provide a tip-off. Your perl code more than confirms that 1x1's should be avoided.
1:43 pm on Aug 24, 2000 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member nffc is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:June 22, 2000
posts:3604
votes: 0


Not that I am a fan of hidden links but;

You could always not specify the size, remembering to put it outside of any table structure.

2:06 pm on Aug 24, 2000 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rcjordan is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 22, 2000
posts:9138
votes: 0


>not specify the size
I wasn't clear (pun intended), the 'size' I was referencing was in K (or, in this case, fractions of K). Without looking, I believe a 1x1 transparent gif is something like 383.
2:41 pm on Aug 24, 2000 (gmt 0)

Administrator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 21, 1999
posts:38250
votes: 111


And alta/fast/ink have graphics spiders. They are going to download the graphics anyway...

Put up a graphic counter some time (other than counter.cgi of course) and watch the agents that download it. A real eye opener.

3:03 pm on Aug 24, 2000 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member nffc is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:June 22, 2000
posts:3604
votes: 0


>I believe a 1x1 transparent gif is something like 383.

Not that I am a fan of transparent gif's, but you can make them any K you like.

3:28 pm on Aug 24, 2000 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rcjordan is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 22, 2000
posts:9138
votes: 0


>but you can make them any K you like
but does the average submitter think of that? probably not.

qianxing

6:47 am on Sept 17, 2000 (gmt 0)

Inactive Member
Account Expired

 
 


Because of my dislike for <BR> and   (long story from html1.1 days) I've been using transparent pixels a lot of my spacing. I like it because it's cleaner.

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.

2:49 am on Sept 19, 2000 (gmt 0)

Administrator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 21, 1999
posts:38250
votes: 111


Ya, qianxing, we are wondering/worried about using one pix graphics to give spiders a bread crumb trail to follow into doorway/hallway pages. I think it all comes back to: why would the search engines care?

(btw: welcome to the board Qianxing)

5:12 am on Sept 19, 2000 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 20, 2000
posts:1702
votes: 0


NFFC-

Do you like transparent gifs? *L* (JK) :)

6:33 am on Sept 19, 2000 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:May 26, 2000
posts:37301
votes: 0


A 1x1 transparent .gif is 43 bytes. Becuse of the gif compression algo, a 10x10 transparent gif file is only 49 bytes. A 100x100 pixel gif is only 146 bytes.

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.

6:16 pm on Sept 25, 2000 (gmt 0)

Administrator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 21, 1999
posts:38250
votes: 111


The old 1 pixel graphic trick for design is quite useful. I remember there was a long article some where that went into amazing detail on using one pixel graphics for everything. That ring a bell with anyone? I'd like to read it again.
11:19 pm on Sept 25, 2000 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 21, 1999
posts:2141
votes: 0


The original question was "1 pixel gifs? How easy to determine?" might have been better framed as, "Do SE's have a problem with hidden links using 1 pixel gifs?" or similar....

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.

11:43 pm on Sept 25, 2000 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:May 26, 2000
posts:37301
votes: 0


>>DaveAtIFG:
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

>>Brett:
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.

7:28 pm on Sept 28, 2000 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

joined:June 27, 2000
posts:1548
votes: 0


>One of the long standing queries about se promotion, is >the usage of 1pixel gifs.
>Can search engines detect these?

*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?

Also, Tedster

Can you point me at a tutorial you to learn about the method you are talking about? I'd like to learn more.

Thanks,
-G

7:43 pm on Sept 28, 2000 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 21, 1999
posts:2141
votes: 0


>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?

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!

9:09 pm on Sept 28, 2000 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 20, 2000
posts:1702
votes: 0


G-

Here's a tutorial [aim-pro.com] you can check out.