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Old 27th September 2008, 11:56 AM   #11
chesa7
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Default Clarification?

Just to clarify -- is the penalty only if the key words are literally hidden by using the same color as the background? If the text is a different color there is no penalty, correct? Another related question -- if you have text at the bottom of the page that contains keywords and it is actually in the footer so that it shows up on every page -- is that "duplicative" content problematic at all?

thanks,
Laura

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Old 28th September 2008, 12:14 AM   #12
torka
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Generally, the search engines find out one of two ways: either their own algorithm flags the page as having "suspicious" content, or a competitor notices what you're up to and rats you out.

Once the page has been identified, what they do depends on the egregiousness of the text stuffing. They have a whole range of possible responses: everything from a minor penalty to totally dropping your entire site from their index. Google and the rest maintain a fairly large staff of reviewers, and will often have someone visit a "flagged" site for a hand review before they impose whatever penalty they're contemplating, but in some cases the punishment is automatic.

It's not just about an exact-same-color match between the text and the page. It could be if the text is very, very small, or if it's a similar color to the background, or if it's formatted using CSS to not display or to display way off the page, or if there's some kind of cloaking going on, etc.

The issue is not color, it's text targeted only at the SE (not intended for human vistors to read) and being used in an attempt to deceive the SE into ranking the page higher than it would normally deserve. Any time you put text in there strictly for the search engines, text that you don't really want your human visitors to see -- especially if it's text that would seem nonsensical or "keyword stuffed" to any human who did happen to come across it -- you are running a risk.

--Torka

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