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How to work around Google spam filters - Part 4

Google tries to keep its search results as clean as possible. For that reason, they have a variety of spam filters in their ranking algorithm that try to remove low quality web sites.

If your web site gets caught by one of these filters, it will be very difficult to get high Google rankings. In this article series, we're taking a look a the 15 most common Google spam filters and how you can get around them.

Co-citation, too many pages at once and over-optimization

Google's co-citation filter analyzes the web pages that link to your site. It's actually not a filter but an algorithm that tries to put your web site in a themed context.

If the link to your web site is on a web page that links to web sites that deal with gardening equipment then Google thinks that your web site must also be related to gardening equipment. That means that your web site might be put in the wrong context if the other pages on the linking site are not related to yours.

Google's "too many pages at once" filter tries to find web sites with an unnatural site development pattern. If a web site has too many pages too fast then this filter will be applied. This usually only happens if a web page creates web pages by scraping other people's content or by building keyword-rich web pages through cloaking software.

The over-optimization filter is applied to web sites that try to fool Google by stuffing special keywords in their web pages. If the keyword density is too high, Google will downrank the web page for that keyword.

How to get around these filters

To avoid problems with co-citation, make sure that the links to your web site are on related pages that don't link to every Tom, Dick and Harry. Your links should be on theme related web pages.

Further information on the effect of co-citation on your search engine rankings can be found in this article.

If you seriously develop your own web pages without scraping other people's content and if you don't use cloaking software then the "too many pages at once" filter shouldn't worry you at all because it's very unlikely that your web site will trigger that filter then.

Don't over-optimize your web pages and don't stuff keywords on web pages. It's important that the keywords for which you want to get high rankings on Google are listed with the right density in the right elements on your web pages.

Next week, we'll publish the last part of this article series about Google spam filters.

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March 2007 search engine articles