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Techniques employed by some Web marketers and site designers in order to fool a search engine's indexing programs. The objective is to ensure their website appears at or near the top of the list of search engine results.

Word/Keyword Stuffing
A common method is "word stuffing" or "keyword stuffing," which embeds descriptive words on the page dozens or even hundreds of times. These words may also be invisible to the human eye, such as white text on a white background, but search engines see them.

Bait and Switch
Another technique combines word stuffing with "bait-and-switch," which loads the page with a popular search word such as "sex," "travel" or "antivirus," even though the word has nothing to do with the site content.

Search Engines Are Savvy
Major search engines always try to outsmart spamdexers. For example, they may automatically give a lower ranking to any page that contains a lot of repeated words. However, as soon as one method is successfully defeated, spamdexers come up with others.

Legitimate Methods
Site designers can use ethical ways to make their site get a higher ranking, such as inserting appropriate keywords in the page's meta tags. In addition, the search engine itself may offer tips on how to obtain higher rankings. A good source of information is Search Engine Watch (, which covers the major search engines. See doorway page, meta tag, spam and Google bomb.
References in periodicals archive ?
Spamdexing, a nouveau term of art, pertains to "a modern variant on long-utilized systems of keyword indexing." (56) Specifically, the process involves the abuse of "meta tags"--words and phrases transparently implanted in web pages to facilitate their indexing by search engines.
Take care not to overuse keywords, as the site may be rejected for spamdexing. Tables should be carefully placed, because generally search engines read them first, followed by text immediarely surrounding the tables.
Spamdexing of this magnitude has led to a new submission policy: Infoseek is accepting only a single URL per site now, though Pedersen said Infoseek is also stepping up its efforts to spider other pages within a site.