Undetectable Spam Makes Cutts Laugh

    January 25, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

The concept of something being undetectable to search engines, like attempts to game them for better rankings, became a topic again after V7N announced a link buying service that would make such links impossible to detect.

Undetectable Spam Makes Cutts Laugh
Hiding Links Isn’t The Smartest Thing To Do

In looking at the service offered by V7N, it appears they plan to make money the old fashioned way: by Googlebombing for it.

Loren Baker at Search Engine Journal covered the Contextual Link product being offered. V7N includes this talking point that likely raised plenty of SEO eyebrows:

Contextual Links @ V7N are undetectable to search engines. Whether it be by human or algorithmic filtering, our links are impossible to detect. Additionally, an enforced non-disclosure agreement prevents both publishers and advertisers from revealing participating publishers and advertisers.

Such links would be wrapped around specific anchor text and pointed at a particular site. Inbound links contribute to the way sites are ranked in search engines, and in this case more is definitely better. V7N quotes Aaron Wall on this: “SEO is links and links are SEO.”

Link buying and exchanges have been around for quite some time. It’s difficult to see how V7N would be able to execute this much differently. If the links their participants display are straightforward <a> links with no giveaway attributes or JavaScript, those would be difficult to see.

Bring a hundred or a thousand of them online at once all over the Internet, all pointing to a site (or more likely various landing pages within a site) and it seems like someone like a Matt Cutts would notice. His take on V7N included an observation that site publishers should keep in mind:

Suffice it to say, if “undetectable to search engines” is listed as one of the major selling points of a particular link scheme, it probably violates our quality guidelines and the guidelines of other major search engines.

V7N also spurred Matt down Memory Lane, all the way back to 2002, when another undetectable spam attempt caught his attention. It involved a data-recovery company using multiple doorway pages with redirects to its main page.

Matt explained that to the company when they asked why they had been penalized in Google. After that, the story takes its humorous turn. The company sent Matt’s email to their search optimization pro, who replied to Matt instead of his client.

The SEO claimed to be working on a new way to make his doorway pages look real. They would be “undetectable to spiders, and humans, hence 99% bulletproof.”

That nearly caused Matt to injure himself laughing. Not to mention finding the 1 percent of the SEO’s scheme that was not bulletproof:

As you might be able to guess, I was easily able to find all of the fellow’s “undetectable” doorway pages and all of his clients with a single Google query – I didn’t even have to use any of my internal tools. I still chuckle when I hear the word “undetectable.”

V7N said in its blogger signup page that they pay $10 per text link placed in blog posts. If V7N does this at a slower pace, in order to avoid having their clients penalized for a sudden influx of link love, we do have wonder just how search engines would catch this program in action.

UPDATE!: Loren Baker has updated his coverage to note that V7N has removed their ‘undetectable’ claim. Sounds like The Fear of Matt Cutts has hit home.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.