Mobile - Web - Media
Wednesday, Nov 02, 2005 11:37:51 AM
Spider Bait Still Fooling Google?
Unless you've been a Web slinger for a few years, you might have missed out on the term "Spider Bait." Spider Bait can happen a few ways, but the main function is to fill Web pages up with keywords and get search engine 'spiders' to index them. A spider is a program that browses the Web and follows links based on rules and criteria. While crawling, it stores your Web pages and information about your Web pages in the search engine's database for use in the search engine.
When this first started happening, back in hmm... 96/97, I had some clients that wanted me to do this. I tried to talk them out of it, but the client wanted it done. Even worse, they wanted me to do it the sneaky way - by setting the text color to the color of the background, and filling the bottom of the site with around 500+ keywords and phrases. Fortunately, the client requested it to be removed after a few months - which was a good move, because the search engines were catching on.
Spider Bait was getting out of hand to the point that some seach engines stated that they would stop indexing your site if it was filled with keywords, while some evolved their spiders to ignore such clusters of words. Once these methods were put in place, the effectiveness of Spider Bait began to diminish - and, in some cases, it caused sites to vanish from the search engines. It was an end to the Spider Bait problem, or so it seemed.
Just last week, while researching for a new site I'm launching, I was searching Google using the words "music hosting." Since I'm curious about the top listed sites, I visit each one to see if there's anything I can learn from them - why they are at the top - who links to them, etc. The fifth listing, Sectionz.com is what this posting is all about.
If you click on the link, you'll be taken to a modern day Spider Bait page. WTF?!?
Yes, it's true, Spider Bait will take you to the top of Google, today, in 2005.
What makes that page Spider Bait? take a look, or, look at this screenshot:
1. The page is filled with keywords that relate to the site.
2. Each keyword is linked to a page where the file is the same name as the link.
3. None of these links go anywhere except to other Spider Bait pages.
4. Every Spider Bait page is the same, even the header text, they simply swap the keywords.
I'm surpised on a few fronts. First, because this can still work. Second, that it's working on GOOGLE! and Thirdly, I'm surprised that Sectionz.com would be doing this. Actions like this are not good for artists or music fans.
If you want to be the best, then be the best, shortcuts will always cut again.
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