You have heard about the ills of keyword stuffing your content and how that is now considered bad form by the search engines. Well the same holds true for URL Keyword Stuffing. Search engines know this is done simply to manipulate the search results and are shutting it down. Bing is the latest to come out with filters to combat this type of manipulation.
In their announcement, Bing defines URL Keyword Stuffing as an attempt, “to manipulate search engines to give the page a higher rank than it truly deserves.” This is achieved by creating keyword rich domains. According to Bing, “Spammer’s strategy includes maximizing impressions, they tend to go after high/value/frequency/monetizable keywords (e.g. Viagra, loan, payday, outlet, free, etc.).”
Bing provided the following examples to illustrate the point.
- Multiple hosts, with keyword-rich hostnames: http://account.free.online.savings.samedaypaydayloansusa.com
- Host/ domain names with repeating keywords: http://loan.payday.paydayloanspaydayloansusa.com
- URL cluster across same domain, but varied hostnames comprised of keyword permutations
- URL squatting
This does not mean that keywords in domain names is now taboo, or that URLs with multiple keywords are suddenly forbidden. It is still reasonable to have a URL such as http://coloradoseo.com/local-search. These type of URLs help searchers find what they are looking for. It is important, as always, that the rest of the page matches the URL. The meta tags, the headlines and the content should all support the specific URL.
Without going into details so not to tip off the spammers, Bing shared some of the ways it detects spammy URLs. They include:
- Site size
- Number of hosts
- Number of words in host/ domain names and path
- Host/ domain/ path keyword co-occurrence (inc. unigrams and bigrams)
- % of the site cluster comprised of top frequency host/ domain name keywords
- Host/ domain names containing certain lexicons/ pattern combinations (e.g. [“year”, “event | product name”], http://www.turbotaxonline2014.com)
- Site/page content quality & popularity signals