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Unintentional Spammer Could You Be One Of Them

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Julien Luc

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User since: 19 Oct 1999

Articles written: 1

By now, everyone knows that unscrupulous web masters and designers use spamming techniques in an attempt to achieve higher rankings on search engines. You, on the other hand, have decided to follow the safe route, avoiding any schemes that could get you penalized or even banned from major search engines. You have carefully designed your pages. No tricks to fool the spiders; only straight-forward design techniques. Well, that may not be what the spiders think...

The issue: text and background of the same color. Wait, before rushing to leave the page, believing you have heard everything on the topic, you might want to pause and reconsider what you know.

Search engine spiders see web pages differently then you do. They carefully analyze the HTML and META Tags of your pages to index your site. Sometimes, HTML tags can be misinterpreted; this is particularly true for Background color, Font color, and Link color tags. Background color tags () are used to define the color of the background of a page as well as the background of table cells. Hence, a page that uses colored tables (see example below) will have several background colors. Use the same colors for your text and links anywhere on the page, and you will be perceived as a spammer.

The problem: visible text can be considered as hidden text by some spiders. For example, the page your are currently reading has a white background, blue/black text, and blue links. Yet, it also features a table with blue-colored cells and white text (see below).

To the human eye, no text has been hidden because it always appears on a different background color. So it is perfectly visible (i.e. blue and black text is set on white background; in the table, the white text is set on blue background). But the spiders see your design differently; they see blue- and white-colored backgrounds combined with blue, white, and black text/link colors. Conclusion: we are hiding text in your page (i.e. white text over white background and blue text over blue background).

Example of table that could cause a potential problem:

Table cell with blue background and white text = spamming because the rest of the page also has white background and blue text

The solution is simple. Look at your page as whole. No background, font, or link can be of the same color. No exceptions or you will join the thousands of unintentional spammers who get penalized for submitting web pages thought to contain spamming techniques.

(Note: for the purpose of this example, we have used colors in the cell that are not exactly the same as the colors on the rest of the page although they appear similar to the human eye. After all, we could not set the wrong example to follow).

?1999 - All rights reserved.

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