Bing Sets Up Spam Filtering Mechanism to Detect URL Keyword Stuffing
Bing has just announced in a blog post that they have rolled out a spam filtering tool that targets a basic spam technique called URL Keyword Stuffing (KWS).
Igor Rondel, Principal Development Manager for Bing Index Quality, explained that this kind of black hat SEO technique aims to manipulate search engines so that a page gets a higher rank in search results than it truly deserves. He wrote, “The underlying idea unique to URL KWS relies on two assumptions about ranking algorithms: a) keyword matching is used and b) matching against the URL is especially valuable. While this is somewhat simplistic considering search engines employ thousands of signals to determine page ranking, these signals do indeed play a role”.
Rondel said that after a spammer has identified these perceived “vulnerabilities,” they then try to create keyword rich domains names. “Since spammers’ strategy includes maximizing impressions, they tend to go after high value/ frequency/ monetizable keywords (e.g. viagra, loan, payday, outlet, free, etc…),” he added.
The approaches commonly used by spammers to implement URL Keyword Stuffing include multiple hosts with keyword-rich hostnames; host/domain names with repeating keywords; and URL clusters across the same domain, but varied host names comprised of keyword permutations and URL squatting.
However, Rondel made it clear that the majority of URLs with multiple keywords actually aren’t spam. In order to ensure high precision, he says, this detection technique is typically used “in combination with other signals.” He adds that addressing this type of spam is important because “it is a widely used technique and URLs appear to be good matches to the query, enticing users to click on them.”
Rondel isn’t giving out all the details about Bing’s detection algorithms to prevent abuse by spammers, but he did mention that the search engine looks at a number of signals like site size, number of hosts, number of words in host/domain names/path and host/domain/path keyword co-occurrence. Furthermore, he illustrated the impact this spam filtering mechanism has had on end users and the SEO community:
- Users: This update impacted ~3% of Bing queries (on average ~1 in 10 URLs was filtered out per impacted query.)
- SEO community: ~5M sites, comprising > 130M URLs, have been impacted, resulting in upwards of 75% reduction in traffic to these sites from Bing.
What do you think of Bing’s spam filtering mechanism? Will this finally put an end to the URL Keyword Stuffing techniques used by spammers? Hit us up with a comment!
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