I tried to beat the search engines and lost!

Written By Ben Johnson on 28 April 2009 4 People Commented

Well okay I didn't actually do it in the hope of achieving much other than what I expected, which was to have one of my sites pushed deep down into the depths of the SE's. So what did I do and why did I do it?

I had a WordPress site which basically wasn't doing much, I hadn't bothered to monetize it but it was ranking well for a couple of search terms; ranking on the first and second pages in yahoo.com, google.com and Live.com. But the terms it was ranking well for didn't bring it a huge amount of traffic, which, as I say, wasn't a problem because I hadn't bothered with it in any case. So what I decided to do was try a little plugin I had lying around from a while back which I had a feeling could only be bad but I wanted to try it anyway just to see how the SE's would react to it.

The plugin once installed basically claimed to make your content unique. The site I had built was using caffinated content and was automatically updated so obviously the content was not unique. So I went ahead and uploaded the plugin, activated it and volla my content passed copyscape. Looking further into it, the way the plugin worked was by inserting small snippets of meaningless Javascript directly into the source code of the content meaning that from the way the SE's view content it was truely unqiue.

Using SEO Elite I regularly check the position of my sites for certain keywords I am trying to rank for and within 2 days this site had gone from the 1st and 2nd pages of all the major SE's to......well to nowhere really, they had dropped down to position 600. Almost immediately the plugin had completed smashed any SEO the site currently had and it was dropped to the back of beyond.

Now in conclusion there would have been a couple of main reasons for this:

1) The javascript affected how the main ranking keywords were seen by the SE's, meaning the site no longer ranked well for them;
2) The site became untrustworthy and the SE's dropped it.

Either way it doesn't really matter, the fact is that it happened. The site was dropped from page 1/2 all the way down to page 60/70 in a matter of two days.

So why am I telling you this? I am telling you this because there are so many people out there who try to fool the search engines, they try to get around well designed algorithms which aren't designed to make life awkward but are designed so useless sites (like mine) are removed from the search results. So no matter what anyone tells you, you shouldn't try to fool the SE's. Your time is much better spent trying to learn how they work and what they like and don't like. Certain tricks and work-arounds may get you ranking well for a time, in my case it didn't, but eventually the SE's become wise and you will be the only one losing out.

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  • James Mann said:

    I gave Caffeinated Content a try as well. I was creating a blog network and needed some content. My mistake. It didn’t take long at all to see that my pages were just gone. I couldn’t even find them using SEO Elite.

    In Google, no pagerank, no indexing and no backlinks.

    Well I went in and removed that content and started those blogs over. I hope Google will eventually start indexing them again. It really messed up my blog network.

  • Ben said:

    Caffeinated Content can work very well if used correctly but used wrongly and you have a disaster waiting to happen.

    I think it was the plugin which claimed to uniqueify the content which did the damage, I expected it would but I had to know for myself. It certainly made the content unique but the SE’s didn’t want to touch it.

  • Patriotic plates said:

    I want to beat yahoo. I have chat rooms, polls, guestbook, a messenger, games, music, mail, and more! What eles can I use to beat yahoo. I even have my own search engine! If you want 10 points I would answer!

  • ben said:

    The main point to this post is that you don’t beat the search engines. You have to work with their algorithms, learn how they work and what they ‘like’/'dislike’ and then use it to your advantage.

    You can’t fool the search engines, some people can short term but long term it will do you no favors.

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