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Does the wiki answers trick work?

Is this a sneaky way to put extra keywords into your page?

7:37 pm on Jul 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

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10+ Year Member

joined:May 21, 2003
posts: 333
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I've been browsing around Wiki Answers to get some ideas for what people are searching for, and noticed that individual questions have a section down at the bottom with a whole pile of additional questions that are essentially restating the question.

For example, let's say the question is, "What is the best blue widget".

There's an answer describing the best blue widget. And then there's a text block down at the bottom that has many more queries restating the question. Wiki answers says that this is a way to gather together the same question so it doesn't have to be answered many times, and that makes total sense. It's of enormous value for the visitor, since variations on the same question all relate to the same answer.

But it also seems a little bit of a sneaky way to get keyword variations into your website.

So the additional questions might be "Best blue widget? What are some good blue widgets? Should I get a blue widget?" etc...

Obviously this needs testing, but would it get you into hot water with the search engines to do that as well? I tried doing some Google searches and those related questions ranked well when you searched for them specifically. So Wiki Answers isn't be punished.

10:06 pm on Aug 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

joined:Jan 27, 2003
votes: 0

Let's steer this away from the particular site mentioned.

Back in the day, it was fairly common for forward-thinking webmasters to include sections of keywords that weren't mentioned directly on their page, but were highly relevant to the content. In doing so, they enabled people looking for the pages to find them in basic keyword searches.

Anyone remember Google using keyword lists in title on their help pages a few years back? It was to make pages easier to find using a Google search appliance.

These days, the search engines believe that they do not need crude measures such as these to determine relevance. They are unlikely to appreciate any obvious effort to sort out relevancy for them. Thus, the line between a webmaster's efforts to reach the right audience, and keyword spam has become very thin. Some sites get away with pretty blatant spam, others are punished for seemingly minor (if, with experience, misguided) efforts to increase relevancy.

What's needed is balance, and an understanding of context. Dumping a pile of keywords at the end of a an untrusted page on a non-authoritative websites is more likely to cause a ranking drop than be the trick that secures stable rankings for desirable keywords.