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What does Spamdexing mean in SEO?

Spamdexing is another way to describe Black Hat SEO techniques. These are methods a webmaster might use to try and trick search engines into believing their website should rank highly even though it:
  • doesn't deserve to be there - e.g. full of poor quality content, adverts, etc.
  • is actually about something completely different - e.g. a page for gamblers masquerading as a page about kittens.

Some argue that Spamdexing is part of Black Hat SEO but in practice the two are used interchangeably with Black Hat being the most popular phrase.

The word comes from 'Spam' and 'Indexing'.

Spam is something we're all familiar with in our emails but to search engines it has a slightly different meaning but the root definition is constant - unwelcome rubbish. For a search engine it might be a website that appears full of content on a subject so intelligent algorithms are needed to spot if the 8,000 words on a page is actually of any quality.

It might be a website that looks as if it has a large number of links from other sites suggesting it is popular with other internet users such as bloggers. Again the better search engines like Google and Bing can usually spot if these links are coming from quality sites or sites that have simply been created to provide links for a price.

Indexing refers to a search engines 'index' - all the website pages it knows about across the Internet and serves in its search results. Note search engines hold much larger databases which include all the websites they have banned or ones they simply don't see as being of any value. The 'index' are only the website pages it considers when a search is carried out.

Getting into the 'index' of search engines like Google and Bing is one of the first steps in Search Engine Optimization. Usually if your website has any merit at all this will happen within a matter of weeks but issues with design may make a website hard for search engine robots to crawl and in these cases you may need to submit a file (known as a Sitemap) to the search engines.

The second issue is obviously getting your website pages to show at the top of the index (or as it is more commonly referred to, Page One of the Search Engine Results Pages - SERPs) when certain searches are carried out.

So Spamdexing is about getting to the top of the search results for certain keywords by using underhand methods.

Spamdexing / Black Hat SEO can employ a large number of different techniques. For more information see Black Hat SEO.

I'm Tim Hill, a Search Engine Optimisation and Online Marketing specialist. I created this site to help others understand that SEO is not a mysterious black art!.

If your a newbie try the Getting Started in SEO page, otherwise feel free to dig around and learn more.

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