Two Ways Web Site Operators Cheat to Attract Unintentional Page-Views by Hijacking Honest Searches
The White-on-White Text Relevance-Ranking Cheat Demo: This one can bring you to a page that seems totally irrelevant to your search. Though obscure at first, it will soon seem obvious once you remember that Google's algorithm rewards pages that contain higher frequencies of words deemed relevant to a user's search terms. Pages can "contain" text in many forms. Let's say you asked Google to search for the text of Chaucer's "General Prologue" of the Canterbury Tales and you were sent to the page linked to the "White-on-White" hyperlink above. Why in heaven's name did Google think it was "relevant"? Go to the page, then left-click and drag your mouse over the white space below the black text you can see. The Google search algorithm, looking for "relevant words," sees what you did not see at first. Why?
"Matryoshka" Strategies: This one can temporarily inflate "page-rank," Google's computed estimate of the "relevance" or "importance" of a given Web page. The higher Google ranks a page, the nearer to the top of the first screen of search results that page will be. I have to explain by a metaphor. Google rewards web pages that are referred to by other "high-quality" web pages. Those pages' quality-ranks are determined by, you guessed it, how many "high-quality" web pages refer to them. A web page operator who wants to fool the Google algorithm might "nest" web sites within web sites that are, themselves, nested within web sites, all referring to each other and all filled with acres of "white-on-white" text that attempts to simulate relevant content while vending various profitable online products or total scams. The term, "Matryoshka," refers to the Russian nesting dolls, and to Russian chess and military strategy, which is still notorious for hiding one plan within another within another, ad infinitum. Such strategies are likely to be discovered by Google and will result in a lowering of a page's rank, or removal of the operator from all Google search results (so you really are not looking at the entire Web when you use Google to search, and it's a good thing!). For more on page-rank, see Andrew Broadbent's blog entry, "How to Increase Your Google Page Ranking," Vabmedia, n.d., available at http://vabulous.com/how-to-increase-your-websites-google-page-rank/.