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Thread: CSS & Search engines

  1. #1
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    CSS & Search engines

    If search engines can see if you've got text the same as your background colour to beat spamming, what about if the background is set using CSS?
    Surely the SE doesn't read and compare every file?

  2. #2
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    Probably not, if it's external CSS but even they probably read text, which is rendered invisible via CSS, either by the 'color' or via the {display: none;}.

  3. #3
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    A search engine can't read an image.
    That goes for background images as well as normal <img>.

    Is this what you are asking?

  4. #4
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    No Stefan, I'm asking if the background is set (via CSS) to, say, blue and the text is blue so it's effectively invisible, can a search engine see this and realise it's being spammed?

    I'm figuring that it can't as it would have to tie the 2 files together and work out what overlays what.

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by Klyve1
    No Stefan, I'm asking if the background is set (via CSS) to, say, blue and the text is blue so it's effectively invisible, can a search engine see this and realise it's being spammed?

    I'm figuring that it can't as it would have to tie the 2 files together and work out what overlays what.
    A "searchengine" is not some kind of elf that sits infront of a monitor. It's a program that reads through the page source. It doesn't care what color you use.

  6. #6
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    A "searchengine" is not some kind of elf that sits infront of a monitor.
    Thanks for the patronising answer Stefan, you must feel very pleased with yourself for your witty response - if you had read my post you would have seen that I asked about colours and not images and because you answered my question about something else I was clarifying it especially for you.

    I am much the wiser for the reply from Robert, yours however..

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by Klyve1
    [B]Thanks for the patronising answer Stefan,
    You are most welcome, it was the best I could do while I picked my up jaw from the desk. I really didn't understand until then that you did in fact ask such a naive question, since I've got the impression from other posts sofar that you are resonably knowledgeble about computers.
    It was a question I would have possibly expected from my mom , not you

    if you had read my post you would have seen that I asked about colours and not images
    If you would have really read my first post you would have figured out that using an image is the "correct" way to solve your problem. If you eg place your e-mail etc on the web in an image, you are secure from searchengines picking it up.

    I would say that is the best advice you will be able to get from anyone in this area. Of cource it's entirely your decision to listen to good advice or not.

  8. #8
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    I think what Klyve1 is trying to do is to spam ... but his website will look perfectly nice and clear to all the visitors, because the background color is the same as text. I'm guessing thats where he is trying to get..no?

  9. #9
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    Well I am thankful for you deigning to help me out here... if only you had understood my actual question had nothing whatsoever to do with email spamming BUT search engine spamming.

    Let me put it again so that your mom can read it to you
    If search engines can see if you've got text the same as your background colour to beat spamming...
    In retrospect I should have explained my question in more detail.
    I.e. If my page content had sex,sex,sex,sex,sex,sex ad infinitum hidden by using CSS would the the search engine not 'see' that it was hidden, read that the META tags match the 'content', and fool the SE into a higher relevancy placing.

    There, all done and not one mention of images.

    And by the way, I find that 9 times out of 10 your responses to questions asked in this forum are excellent and are one of the main reasons I visit so often, however to patronise anyone asking a relevant, and viable, question is plain ignorance on anyone's part - yours, mine, everyones'.

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by Klyve1
    question had nothing whatsoever to do with email spamming BUT search engine spamming.
    Ahh ok, the lightbulb finally lit up here

    However since I've never tried to spam searchengines myself I don't really have a clue about your question of how the spiders are implemented (mayby there are blocks coded in the to try to avoid getting fooled?)

  11. #11
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    Anyone else care to join the fray?

    All the best Stefan, and my regards to your mom

    -_-
    Klyve

  12. #12
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    To put things in layman's terms; in the bad old day's - it still happens - typically sites of various disrepute would fill a page with keywords so that once the spider/robot had trawled the <meta> and found a high proportion of words relating to the meta description the page would be higher ranked.

    So the simple trick was to colour the words the same colour as the background so the visitor didn't see a huge block of nonsense words relating to whatever, typically they would be adult sites and have simple words like: f***, s**, plaster on the page, etc.

    I'll leave the real words that to you imagination, however the search engine developers became wise and wondered why when they searched for sites containing specific words, for example: "Britney Spears Fan Club" they got XXX, or "Concrete Weekly Magazine" . Thus they developed a scheme which would ban, or de-rank sites that used this strategy.

    However, search engines on the whole wouldn't bother to run through an external CSS file - it could be consider a blind-spot like JavaScript.

    Although you must remember the words are still there; since the file is primarily ASCII, so effectively it doesn't matter what colour you set the text it is still physically there.

    Peace and Goodwill...

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