BAD TRICK 1 : META KEYWORD SPAMMING
The most popular tool for a spammer is to write all kinds of words in the META KEYWORDS tag. (Explained in our HTML tutorial).
So what does the robot do? It reads the keywords, and if there are keywords listed that do not appear in the real content the robot claps its hands yelling: I FOUND A SPAMMER!!, then places the site at the bottom of all searches without further notice.
WORKAROUND: If you want a bunch of keywords listed in your meta tags they'd better appear in the content as well!
BAD TRICK 2 : REPEATED GOLD WORDS
This spam tool originates from the idea of writing a block of text with all the "gold words" at the bottom of each page - eventually in a very small font using the same color as the page background. The idea is that the robot will think the page is really about what's written in the spam-block.
So what does the robot do?
First of all most robots will only give priority to the first X number of words on the page. Things written at the bottom usually don't get priority at all (since if it was really important for the page - why is it only appearing at the very bottom?).
Second: Most search engines will not give priority to words written in a font size below a certain limit (the limit may vary with the average font size for the rest of the page).
Third: If a robot finds words written in same color as the background of the page it will clap its hands yelling I FOUND YET ANOTHER SPAMMER!, then list the site at the bottom of all searches without further notice.
BAD TRICK 3 : SATELLITE PAGES
The idea behind satellite pages is to throw a bunch of spam pages on the web that all link to the real site. If you upload 10,000 satellite pages there is a certain chance that some of them will eventually get a good listing with search engines. Now, if the satellite pages simply links to the real site, they will serve as a gateway to your real site - (kind of like catching the fish with a huge net so that you can get a better chance to pick them up by your small net).
There are a few things to say to this technique:
First and foremost - if a "dummy" satellite page can get to the top of a certain search - there can't be much competition to get there - and thus: the satellite page wasn't really needed. (Anybody can get to top of a search for words that aren't covered anywhere else on the web).
Second: If both the visitor and the robot really were tricked by your satellite page - they will come to your page, but they will leave even faster. Anyone can write "Elvis is alive!" on a satellite page, but if the "real" site is about your sheepdog "Elvis" there is no purpose in attracting the visitor - not even for you!
Third: Some engines (and the tendency is growing) rank sites by popularity - so the most popular pages appear first in the listings. A site's popularity is judged on the number of links pointing to the site.
In the example with satellite pages, we could create 10,000 pages that all linked to our real site - and thus trick the robot into thinking we have a very popular site. However, robots like Google use a weighted link method - so a link from a satellite page will only be used if the satellite page itself has a certain popularity. And no, it wont help if you make your satellite pages link to each other, cause only links from other domains count - so the only way to trick this is to register 10.000 domains to host your satellite pages - which may be more expensive than writing a site that has so much content that satellite pages aren't needed.