educational

Boosting Search Effectiveness

Stephen Yagielowicz

All websites need traffic, but dramatic changes in the traffic patterns of many adult websites are causing operators to examine other means of luring in visitors. Part of this problem stems from extremely high levels of competition in the search marketing arena, where sites lacking front-page rankings are at a considerable disadvantage; another part of the problem is the devaluing of low quality sites.

With many traditional traffic generation schemes turned upside down, the problem of content discovery becomes ever more vital, especially in saturated markets such as adult.

With many traditional traffic generation schemes turned upside down, the problem of content discovery becomes ever more vital, especially in saturated markets such as adult.

As search engines continue their campaigns of fighting spam, and legitimate search marketers become better at their craft and boost competition, it is ever harder to make a particular site rise to an acceptable level in the search engine rankings and to stay there.

“Every day, millions of useless spam pages are created,” a Google rep stated, adding “We fight spam through a combination of computer algorithms and manual review.”

The search giant is weeding out sites comprised of what it considers to be low-quality pages “which do not provide users with much added value (such as thin affiliate pages, doorway pages, cookie-cutter sites, automatically generated content, or copied content).”

That includes adult marketing mainstays such as white label sites and blogs made up of RSS feeds and other sponsor content.

“Spam sites attempt to game their way to the top of search results through techniques like repeating keywords over and over, buying links that pass PageRank or putting invisible text on the screen,” the rep explained. “This is bad for search because relevant websites get buried, and it’s bad for legitimate website owners because their sites become harder to find.”

Google’s algorithms detect the majority of spam, demoting it automatically, followed by teams that manually review listed sites in order to identify spam.

“Spam sites come in all shapes and sizes. Some sites are automatically-generated gibberish that no human could make sense of,” the rep added. “Of course, we also see sites using subtler spam techniques.”

These other spam methods include cloaking and redirects, hacked sites, hidden text, keyword stuffing and the use of parked domains. While Google says it focuses on sites using aggressive spam techniques and those with low value content — such as material scraped from other websites; sites hosted on free hosting services; and those using dynamic DNS providers; or containing spammy user-generated content on forums and user profiles — it seeks to limit all instances of poor quality material from its listings.

With the old ways not working and the new ways dominated by the bigger players, how can anyone else hope to get their content and offers in front of potential customers?

Strangely enough, pirates may prove an intriguing ally — not the hardcore for-profit pirate but the casual content sharing surfer who may also be an active social media fan — spreading the word about your brand while distributing samples of your work; akin to an unofficial (and unpaid) affiliate that isn’t costing you a commission or other overhead.

Content is easier to discover when your friends are feeding it to you, rather than when you have to scout it out on your own; and with the increasing use of social media cues in search engine results, the more people talking about your brand and sending your content viral the better — so perhaps “share and share alike” might work for you.

Such an approach may be a bitter pill to swallow for some rights holders, but it may be the only way to be seen in the search listings. You can have the best content / offer / site or whatnot, but if nobody sees it, you won’t make any sales — so reevaluating your content discovery strategy, as well as sharing, may be needed for search ranking today.

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