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Spamdexing:

 

Many web page designers build their
pages to be optimized and attractive so that they are given a higher rank in
search engines. This process is known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and
it is called White Hat SEO if it is done in legal ways. Spamdexing,
which is a form of SEO, is the practice of manipulating the website
index in order to increase its ranking in an illegal way. As spamdexing uses
illegal ways to get higher rank for the websites, it is categorized as part of Black
Hat SEO. The websites that use spamdexing are usually penalized by
many search engines, such as Google, and therefore have their contents
de-indexed.

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The
following figure shows the difference between Black Hat SEO and White
Hat SEO:

 

Spamdexing
Techniques:

 

Ø  Paid Links

Simply buying links that can pass
PageRank and trying to get to high rank. This method allows the website to get
higher rank even thought its content quality is bad. Hence, manipulating search
engines rankings.

 

 

Ø  Keyword
Stuffing

This technique involves using the
same phrases or words repeatedly on the page to increase the frequency of them.
Modern search engines now can detect this trick by determining the abnormality
of the frequency and hence it is not applicable anymore.

 

Ø  Hidden Text

This technique involves implementing
a text with a color of the background so that it doesn’t appear and is hidden.
The text is usually a repeated phrases or words and it can’t be seen by the
user, however, it is detected by search engines.

 

Ø  Meta Tag
Stuffing

A technique that involves repeating
unrelated phrases or words to the content of the website in the Meta Tags. Many
search engines can penalize such pages after determining whether the text
doesn’t match up with the real website content.

 

Ø  Hidden Links

The goal of this technique is to
increase the link popularity by placing links in places where users can’t see
them.

 

 

Ø  Doorway Pages

They are bad-designed pages with
little content and repeated phrases or words. They are used to trick search
engines and redirect users to another unrelated destination after clicking on
some “Click here to enter” text

Ø  Cloaking

This technique involves deceiving the
search engine by giving it a version of website that is not the same as the one
used for the user. As the website is sometimes optimized when it is given to
the search engine, then it is changed after being indexed. The purpose of this
process is to limit the attempts of others for imitating the features of the
website or to a bad design with a good one. Good search engines handle this
issue by the unpredicted revisiting of the website regularly and penalize the
ones using this technique. The following figure shows how cloaking works in
practice:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ø  Domain
Spamming

Also called “Mirror Websites”, a
technique that involves creating websites with same contents but different
URLs. As some search engines ranking criteria gives higher rank for the keyword
found in the URL, this technique is used to get higher rank.

Technique
to Protect Against Spamdexing:

 

One of the ways to protect against spamdexing is to make
users educated about spamdexing techniques, such as page redirector. Page
redirector will redirect users to fake pages where they may be asked to
download an infected anti-virus.  What is
more, when searching about recent topics or news, users should go to reliable
news websites rather than relying on search engines to avoid spamdexing websites.

 As for
companies, they have to protect their reputation and make a regular monitoring
of their websites to ensure that they are not involved in spamdexing.  Cross-scripting is one of the techniques used
by spamdexing attackers and hence companies should configure their websites
properly to prevent these types of attacks.

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