How not to spam search engines

 by Martin Belam, 3 August 2003

There has been a lot of fluff and bluster about how Andi Peters being appointed Executive Editor - Popular Music at the BBC meant that the national institution Top of the Pops was going to be either moved to BBC Three, radically revamped or cancelled altogether. The Sun newspaper was even moved this week to have their page 3 girl say as part of her blurb that they should keep it, and published an article headlined "Chop of the Pops". Anyway, what with it being topical, I thought I would write a review of this weeks Top of the Pops for BBCi collective.

In researching the links about Fearne Cotton to go with the review, I stumbled across a celebrity oops site about Fern Britton which made me laugh out loud. Sure, it was the usual celebrity exposé pictures, but the joy was in the fact that the first paragraph was explicitally marked - "This text is for search engines"

screenshot of spammy fern britton site

My initial reaction was that it must be some horrible CSS error by the webmaster, who had undermined their search engine optimisation techniques by failing to define a class properly. So I looked at the source code and saw this:

source code from the web page - i thought COLOR="YELLOW" was deprecated it wasn't.

Hint: if you want to make spammy hidden text for search engines, you might want to actually hide it

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