Search engine spam is described as websites that have been constructed with random or targeted content and links so as to trick the search engine algorithm analysis into ranking the web pages higher in the search results. But the classification of spam has been found to be a monumental task as it is difficult to identify spam host without manually reviewing the content of each host and classifying it as a spam or a non-spam. The overview presented here is an attempt to set out the guidelines for search engine marketers and other industry professionals. They can evaluate objectively the actions and determine whether the actions could be equated to search engine spamming.
A search engine marketer takes the help of search engine optimization tools to provide readable version of web pages to browsers. It is professionally essential to use tags in the menu for which they were invented so as to make the site usable by web visitors from various fields. Those web clients who are solely interested in marketing their products should use this tool to ensure a wider reach. This sound ethical policy helps in achieving greater access and improves the overall marketing capability. This procedure does not deliver spam which makes some pages meaningless to visitors.
Search engines put great emphasis on Title Tag. They determine the relevancy of the web page since keywords appear on the page title tags. The Title Tag has several functions beyond its listing of web pages on search engine’s results page. However, if a website uses a particular title and justifies its alternative use then the title is not considered a spam. A Meta Tag description functions in a similar manner. Unlike Meta description and Title Tags, the Meta Keyword Tags are normally not displayed to web searchers. In such cases the relevancy criteria of keywords need not be determined for spam detection. Additionally, as keyword tag was specifically designed to determine relevancy, therefore, a keyword tag should not considered a spam. In such circumstances, search engine either uses a keyword tag to guide keyword selection and not to influence or calculate the relevancy criteria of those keywords.
As link popularity has obtained greater importance in relevancy calculation, spammers are now trying to manipulate this tool. Links can be used to deliver both Content spam and Meta spam. In link content spam, the links existing on page one connects to the next page but incoherently describes the authority content. In link Meta spam, the anchor text or title text misrepresents the link target using garbage content. Redirects, another common tool used in spamming, suggests that browsers can be redirected from one web page to another and though, initially, they were not instrumental in spamming but can be subverted for spamming. Some redirection methods include http 300 series which redirects response codes and http 400 series error vectors, Meta Refresh Tags and Java Script Redirects.
Agent Based Delivery does not necessarily imply spam but in Agent Based Spam every unique content on the page is either a content spam or a Meta spam or both. In IP cloaking the search engine robots identify IP name or address and delivers exclusive contents to those robots. Defined in this manner, it suggests that all IP cloaking are spam as the unique content is specifically meant for search engine robots only and not for humans. IP cloaking is an excellent way of hiding various illegal practices which includes copyright infringement and trade mark stealing, etc. Thus it has been recommended for marketers and professionals not to consider IP cloaking as an acceptable technique for marketing. The overview concludes by suggesting the following recommendations to web marketers :
- Utilizing web tools and unique technologies for the purposes they were designed.
- Web owners should make their websites more marketable by designing them in a manner that they remain highly visible and accessible.
- Avoid cloaking.