The Search Engine Manipulation Effect

The Search Engine Manipulation EffectNetwork users usually pay attention to only the first 10 Google links, and after all whether a given site will be noticed depends on its popularity and success.

Everyone wants to get to the first page with results related to a specific query – but the number of places is limited.

What’s more – in the case of Google, the saying goes that the appetite increases as far as eating – if we are on the first page, we want to be in the first three (most-clicked) records.

Convenience (or perhaps laziness) of Internet users means that only one in ten people looks to the other side of the search results. Companies striving to gain the highest position in the search engine take up many types of activity – unfortunately, not always consistent with the guidelines of Google.

Examples of manipulation in the search engine

  • Manipulating the page index – a very important point of the search engine is an index that allows you to efficiently find an interesting website user. The search engine decides which pages will appear in response to the entered query analyzing, among other things, key words describing a particular website, phrases contained in the title, placed texts or the number of links referring to a given website.
    Unfair practices in this area are associated with an attempt to deceive the search engine, by creating a large number of websites that aim to refer to each other. Google is trying to deal with this form of fraud by assessing not only the links themselves, but also verifying their origin and how quickly the network of links has grown. By checking the IP address it is possible to check if all links come from one creator.
  • Google bomb – this is another example of unfair practices that try to be used to manipulate the search engine. This is a method of spamming Google search engines with links so that a particular site will be at the highest position among searches that are not directly related to its content. This technique is often used for joking or ridiculing a specific person. The search engine is bombarded with links that lead to the given website. These links are marked with the phrase on which we want to influence the search result.
    An example of this type of activity is redirecting searches for the term “moron” to Roman Giertych’s website, or redirecting the phrase “pathetic failure” to the George W. Bush website. In the second case for several years, the Bush website appeared in the first place in the search engine after entering the phrase “miserable failure” – which is just a “pathetic failure”.
    As you can see, Google can be used not only for purposes related to website positioning, but also for political purposes or attempts to discredit competitors.
  • False clicks – related to the use of Google AdSense and Google AdWords. The use of these programs is payable and the fee is charged by Google based on the number of clicks on a specific advertisement. The more competitive a given field of activity on the market is, the higher the fees for advertising. It happens that not only people interested in the advertisement click on the ads, but also the competition of the advertised company. The aim is to cause financial losses to competition by constantly running its website. False clicks may also apply when website owners intentionally click on the ads on their site (or employ other people) to increase their advertising revenue.

How does Google deal with false clicks?
He probably thinks the problem is smaller than it really is – and he does not agree with all the allegations. Nevertheless, the search engine has built a filter that tries to limit this type of practice and separates real clicks from fake ones. For the latter the fee is not charged by Google. The IP address from which advertising clicks are derived is also verified. Also, clicking a few times in a row in the same ad raises Google’s suspicions.

  • Using the search engine by hackershackers use search engines to find gaps in computer systems. There have been occasions when hackers inform us how to find confidential passwords with Google or find unprotected computers of certain network users. In the search engine appeared over the addresses of websites that contained specific codes – they were transferred to the computer of an internet user entering a dangerous site. Hackers infect the computer of a given internet user in this way and often gain remote access to his computer.

How Google deals with hacker attacks
First of all, it is worth noting that the Internet users themselves are responsible for proper security of their computers. Although the search engine tries to be helpful in these activities (after all, the greater number of Internet users using Google means more profits), but does not bear responsibility for possible hacker attacks. The search engine tries to eliminate unreliable and dangerous websites, investigates dangers present in the network, applies penalties for attempts to manipulate the search engine.

Other actions that violate the search engine guidelines:

  • providing other content to Internet users and other search engine robots
  • hiding links, entering words that do not concern a given page (spamming)
  • Exaggerated amount of keywords on the website posted only to gain a better position in the search engine
  • duplicate content on many pages.

Is Google punishing for manipulation
Definitely yes, that’s why you should avoid bad website optimization practices and any attempts to unfairly combat competition. Google may set up a filter for your site and lower its ranking, as well as completely exclude it from the search engine index.

An example of the fact that Google actively combats unfair practices is the introduction of the Panda and Penguin algorithms.

Picture Credit: Free-Photos

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