What Is ‘Search Engine Spam’?
By Nick James, Fresh Business Thinking
Most of us would understand the term spam as meaning unsolicited email messages, usually sent out indiscriminately. Derived from the 1970’s Monty Python sketch where every meal on the menu of a greasy spoon included the luncheon meat ‘Spam’ the term now covers nearly every form of electronic messaging.
Search Engine Spam can be split into two main areas; Content Spam and Link Spam.
Link Spam is where a website creates and manipulates links for purposes other than merit, in other words to try and trick a search engine’s algorithm into believing that the site is ‘popular’ and...
...a point of reference from other sites.
Content Spam can take many forms but in general it is when a website tries to manipulate the search engine into thinking that it is a site that ‘responds’ to the ‘search query’ but in reality it doesn’t.
In the early days the internet was often referred to as the ‘Wild, Wild, Web’, and as in the Wild West of the USA in the late 19th Century there were few rules and lots of robber barons emerged.
Then, in the American West, towns matured, law and order was imposed and as with most civilisations sets of rules had to be observed or penalties paid.
The parallel continues with the Internet - as we spend more and more of our time online, as we become more discerning and sophisticated we want to ‘find’ the information we are searching for without having to wade through a load of Spam!
One important point to remember is that search engines are competing for our ‘eyeballs’ and therefore they endeavour to deliver the best possible match for a search query to make sure they keep us as customers.
As a result of this there is an emphasis on ‘quality’. But it's difficult for... continued on page two >