Startpages: ethical SEO or akin to search engine spam?

July 4, 2007

Google’s Webmaster Central blog has an interesting post detailing their position with regards to the practice of creating startpages. Startpages are webpages with a lot of links about a specific topic. The startpages are hosted on a startpage domain and each separate startpage is maintained by an individual webmaster. The links on startpages are usually ordered by categories related to the topic of the page.

Great! They’re useful starting points on the web containing a load of links and content relevant to what you are looking for.

But, can this practice be misused to spam search engines? Yes, of course it can. Create yourself a load of startpages with links into your own websites and services, make them keyword rich and highly optimised for search engine crawlers. There you go, a load of doorway pages which don’t sit on your own domain and therefore don’t get looked on as SEO spam.

A winning formula for unethical SEO’s everywhere. This practice already exists and I’m amazed that Google hasn’t taken the opportunity to frown upon this practice in this article on their blog! They do mention that link farms are against their guidelines, but no mention of whether they’ll be looking to filter them out or not.

Most savvy web folk will know better than to try that, but there are bound to be some who will see Google’s endorsement of startpages as a sign that they can try some less ethical practices to gain traffic and SEO link equity.

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One Response to “Startpages: ethical SEO or akin to search engine spam?”

  1. used vans girl Says:

    So maybe this is a technique its best to hold off trying until a little more information is known on how the search engines view the practice.


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