CSS SPAM - Out of Control!
Every newer technology has loopholes that draw multitudes of Spammers. The newest Spam technique on scene is hiding text and URL gateways using CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) methods.
More frequently we are finding top listed sites owned or controlled by SEO and Web Development companies using this technique.
There are many ways to hide text and links using CSS and it is seems to be running completely unchecked by major SE’s at this time. Up to now search engines haven’t been able to parse CSS files and combine that information with page code to determine if spamming techniques were being used.
Most methods deploy a separate attached CSS file and use “hide” terms, such as:
This morning I was doing a GOOGLE search for “web development pricing” and found a Site in top positions using a similar technique to hide hundreds of links to pseudo URLs with a full spectrum of web design, development and promotion key terms. Each page was same “gateway” page.
Here is a small sample of their technique:
Web Site Programmers, Web Site Programming, Web Site Promotion, Web Site Promotion Marketing, Web Site Promotions, Web Site Traffic,
Obviously, links were hidden in microscopic detail, utilizing smallest text possible and CSS color same as background. Of course this method required very little space at bottom of page after layout table for hundreds of links.
The search engines thrive on “relevance” to maintain market share. Almost every algorithm shift targets Spam, filtering out anything irrelevant possible. Recent Search Engine history is replete with algorithm updates that severely punished Sites and Site Owners that chose to deploy similar “Black Hat” Search Engine Optimization techniques.
Why do so many flock to new “Black Hat” SEO techniques every time another one surfaces?
These practices are strictly forbidden in top 3 SE’s published “Webmaster” and “Site Owner” guidelines:
It shouldn’t be very difficult for Search Engine developers to take in external CSS file considerations and incorporate them into algorithm changes in near future. With extent CSS is being misused now, we should expect an update correcting this problem in near future.