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Definition of SEO versus Spam


Author Message
GoogleGuy Says

PostPosted: February 15, 2004 11:50 PM 

Importance: Medium

GoogleGuy offers his opinions on what is (good) SEO andn what is spam.

GoogleGuy Says: [Link to quote]

"We try and produce clean code (CSS is brilliant for this) and use H1 tags for emphasizing contents subject etc. Use image and alt tags too. As you say try and use the tags provided for us. We don't do any analysis of keyword density etc etc though. But is this considered seo?"

peter andreas, it maybe be SEO, but I wouldn't consider it spam.

Here's how I look at the subject. People think about how their pages will show up in search engines. That's SEO but perfectly normal. People tweak the words they use a little. Maybe they add a site map. Maybe they redo their site architecture so that the urls are static instead of dynamic. That's SEO, and no problem. Things like removing session IDs, using text links instead of Flash or frames or weird stuff that some search engines can't read can make a site more usable for users. It's easier to bookmark a page. It's easier for blind people, people with older browsers, or people using WebTV. All of the changes like this can improve a site for users and search engines alike. Is it SEO? Sure. Is it wrong? Of course not.

The part where I object is where SEO veers into spam. What is spam? Well, this is a pretty fair start:
There's a concrete list there: things like cloaking, duplicate content like doorway pages, and things like hidden text.

More importantly, there's a list of principles above the concrete list. If you're doing something that a regular user would consider deceptive (or that a competitor would!), it's probably something to steer clear of. From that list of general principles, you can infer a lot of specifics. For example, on http://www.google.com/webmasters/seo.html we mention a few extra specifics like operating multiple domains with multiple aliases or falsified WHOIS info. But given the principles and the concrete examples, hopefully you should probably be able to take a pretty fair guess at whether something would be considered spam.

My personal take would be that there's lots of people who practice good site design for users and search engines, and that Google has no objection to SEO if it reflects those ideas.

Different people have different definitions of SEO and spam, but that's a rough cut at my outlook.

Hope that helps,

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