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Acceptable keyword stuffing technique?

Or is it just currently flying under the radar...

8:10 pm on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have a client whose nemesis competitor is suddenly placing higher than my client in the search engines. I looked at the competitor's site and saw one technique in particular that, other things being equal on both sites, may account for the difference.

I suspect that the technique in question is not "white hat" and I'd like to know if anybody has evidence that supports my view. Otherwise, my client wants to do the same thing to remain competitive. He's selling widgets worth up to $750,000.

Mr. Nemesis uses the tactic that I've seen frequently on other sites of having a paragraph at the bottom of his index page that, IMHO, is nothing more than keyword stuffing. It goes like this:

"Acme Widgets sells the following widgets: Brand 1, Brand 2, Brand 3, Brand 4, Brand 5, ..., Brand 50." (This is essentially the universe of known brands for widgets.)

And, even further, he goes on and says that "if you would like to sell any of the following widgets, please call Acme Widgets at 555-5555" and then goes on the give a verbatim repeat of the above brands.

Mr. Nemesis has managed through this method to get attractive search returns on brands that he lists in his "keyword stuffing paragraph" but which he isn't a dealer for, and which he doesn't stock. So it's reasonably certain that it's the above technique that is working.

I told my client to steer clear of this technique-- that his competitor may be getting by today, but it's an egregious keyword stuffing technique that may get zapped next week or next month.

Now, my client is an honest business man who wants to guard his reputation. But in a sense my credibility is somewhat in question: I'm warning him away from a SEO technique that's clearly working for his competitor and which he wants to use unless I can demonstrate that it's not healthy.

Yet I see a lot of people who are getting over with this trick and making big money. What do you all think? Any evidence would be appreciated!

8:17 pm on July 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It all depends how the text is right now on your client's site. Maybe you can get away with adding a few more keywords.

Personally, I think even if G checked it manually (very unlikley if you don't overdo it), as long as you have the "widgets" on your site (i.e. you sell them), they will tolerate an extra keyword here and there. Adding a whole bunch of keyword-only sentences is bad, and very short sighted. It will catch up with him, eventually.

8:24 pm on July 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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

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Yeah, basically agree with Walkman here. Unless it's blatant, this will probably pass a sniff test.

But you know, this really isn't a matter of color of hats, it's just the basic "lazy" technique. You can achieve the same results by taking the time to write copy that reads well, makes some sort of sense, and in some fashion serves the reader.

9:42 pm on July 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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

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I had a similar situation about 18 months ago when I was in a webring with about ten other sites. One of these sites did something very similar to what you describe and the lot of us got banned. I **** myself when my site completely bombed and trying to find out what had happened was actually what made me join this forum.

Eventually I heard from the "horse's mouth" that my problems could be due to my links to the site that was using this technique. I quickly dropped these links and about five or six months later my site popped back in at the top of the rankings and it has been there ever since. So, I would be very careful with this. As you say it may get zapped quite soon.

10:08 pm on July 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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How 'bout the UdmComment technique that the AdSense case study uses?
1:39 pm on July 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I didn't mention last time that this guy wrote his paragraph like this:


Note that he omitted spaces between the brands, just as some people do in their <keyword> tags. It's obvious that the paragraphs were written for search engines and not users.

Thanks for the relies. This practice is not a good one.

And Rookie, the UdmComment technique that you spoke of-- that looks like another cute trick that has a limited shelf life...


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