Just when you thought it was gone forever, online spam is back. Actually, it never quite went away, but has re-emerged recently and if undetected is likely to cause online business owners to lose prospects, leads, and revenue. Spam takes numerous forms but is essentially an undesirable element found in the content on many websites and social media outlets. It has to be identified and removed to avoid a potential issue with search engines, also to prevent the spread of viruses and malware. So what is spam? How do you recognize it? And, if it is not a positive attribute, why would anyone use it in the first place?
Spam – More Than Just a Nuisance
‘Spamming’ is a tactic used primarily by online hackers to further a number of personal initiatives, principally to increase rankings through non-organic means, or to introduce malware and/or viruses on a site. Authentic organic search engine optimization techniques yield excellent results, however these efforts take time to develop. Spam initiatives to boost site visibility and can temporarily inflate rankings. Results are seen immediately. However, these rankings will be lost once search engines index a site and identify spam within the content. What does spam look like? Today, spam is easier to identify. Google, alone, in the last year has stepped up their anti-spam initiatives and plans to label sites on the search pages they deem as ‘possibly infected by malware. For every internet user, however, knowledge is power. Here are the most widely-used spamming techniques and what to do about them:
- Product descriptions or content that may have been copied from a manufacturer’s online catalog or another unknown source, may be laced with spam. For this and other sound SEO reasons, it is always best to create original content on your site. This way it will remain spam-free as well as indexed by search engines.
- How can you determine if your content is spammy? Google’s Webmaster Tools include an excellent way to find out if your site’s content has a ‘twin’, is a ‘triplet’, ‘quad’ or even a ‘lemming’. The solution here is the same as above. Tweak the copy so that it is no longer a mirror-image of any other site’s content.
- As for the possible introduction of viruses and/or malware by opening a promotional email, generally the best way to safeguard a website/email accounts is to install the best online security software available.
- Social Media outlets are great for furthering your brand via promotions, introducing new products, etc. Sometimes, however, the spam enemy is from within. The comparative low cost to ‘get the word out’ via social media has caused many businesses to overdo it. When consumers are bombarded daily with messages from an online business, their eyes and minds glaze over. Too much of a good thing, can be too much. Avoid over posting and using the same content for all social media outlets. Instead, make sure your posts are relevant to their intended audience with worthwhile information of value to readers. Another way to prevent over posting is to know which social media outlets are best for your business, and to focus solely on building trust on those platforms.
Many Spam Techniques, One Easy Solution
If every spam technique were listed, this article would be a novel. If you are not certain what could be causing a drop in rankings, or fewer site visitors or conversions, it’s time to consult online professionals to see if spam, or other issues could be the culprit. As a leading full-service digital agency, Active Web Group’s Online Marketing pros have the experience and expertise to help you grow your business. We’ll address your concerns, including how to rout and prevent spam, then tailor solutions that meet your business and budgetary expectations to achieve greater success.
For more information, call us at 1-800-978-3417 or Contact Active Web Group and let us help you!