Bill Hartzer

It is Still Possible to Spam the Google Search Results

Breaking News: It is still possible to game the Google search results, even for commercial keyword phrases. In fact, you can even put up low-quality, low-content, spam web pages and get them to rank well in Google. Not only that, it is still possible, even when the Google Penguin and Google Panda have been in full force, to rank well with that low quality spam content and redirect visitors using a javascript redirect to another website.

Can you tell that I’m disturbed by this? Well, I am.

Let’s take a very specific example and take a look. It isn’t normal that someone in the SEO community comes out and gives concrete examples, so take a look while it lasts. Take a look at the page, take a look at the backlinks to the page, and take a look at the search results (currently showing up on the 2nd page of results) for a Google keyword search for “wholesale sunglasses”. A highly sought-after commercial keyword phrase.

You’ll need to click on the screen capture above in order to see the larger version. In this case, there are two sites ranking in the top 20 for “wholesale sunglasses” that are some of the worst spam sites I’ve seen in a while. Visitors are redirected via javascript to another web site, something that Google supposedly took care of about 10 years ago. It’s a classic spam tactic and does NOT belong in the search results.

Furthermore, let’s take a look at one of the sites, why it’s actually ranking, as we can learn a lot from this.

First, it appears that the person doing this hacked a legitimate web site and put a page of content on the site without the site owner’s permission. Or, they may have bought the site and put up the old content. I’m not sure in this case, because I have not actually called the business to see if they are still in business or not.

Secondly, the actual content (shown below) is pretty low-quality. As low-quality as it gets. It is on-topic, though:

In this case, it’s this page: which is ranking. If you click on the search result, it’s going to redirect to another site. If you have javascript turned off in you browser, it shows the content. This is what I call “poor man’s cloaking” at its finest. If you’re to cloak, at least do the cloaking at the IP level by using “IP Delivery” or some other product/script that identified Google’s IPs and only serves up the content to Google. But I digress.

What’s driving the actual rankings to that web page? It’s the links.

Links from Unique Domains: 1455
Links total: 11,801

There are a lot of links from a lot of unique domain names. That’s exactly what Google is looking for now–a lot of diversity. But take a look at the anchor text. This is the most colorful link anchor text that I’ve seen in a long while. And I see a lot of web sites’ backlinks.

So, we can definitely learn from this. Although the web sites (there are more than one ranking) are spamming and redirecting users to another site, and it appears that they’ve hacked other web sites in order to get the pages listed, the sites rank well. They rank well because of the diversity of links (lots of links from lots of unique domain names) as well as the diversity of anchor text links pointing to the site.

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