Are you below the radar?

Are you underneath the radar? Do you plan to stay there? This is a really good question to ask when you are thinking about your SEO strategy. Let me talk a little bit about why.

I was talking to a friend of mine earlier today. He is doing the webmaster work for a local day care center on a volunteer basis. This friend is pretty SEO aware, so it stunned him when he saw that one of his day care center’s competitors was using a massive amount of hidden text on their site.

Not through any fancy CSS tricks. Clear as day in the HTML.

And it works. The site is ranking for a whole bunch of search terms that relate only to the hidden text. No evidence of any support for these terms in the incoming links either, so it has to be driven by the hidden text.

It’s funny – I always thought that this was a slam dunk banning situation. Easily detected, easily acted upon. But I guess not. The only conclusion I can draw is that these folks are well below the radar. After all, my friend tells me that they are delighted with 10 unique visitors per day (and that’s great).

This doesn’t lead me to want to try it on one of our domains. Our job is to help our clients build sites that are leaders in their space – in other words, highly visible. No rock to hide behind there. If we did these types of things we would get reported. But it still fascinates me that banning these sites is not purely algorithmic on the part of the major search engines.


  1. srman says

    Hey Eric,
    I actually was doing some SEO work for client this week. I was digging into their competitions site and found this exact situation. It really is amazing how these sites seem to slip by and go undetected. I have faith though and know that these sites will eventually get found and will be punished. As you already know…These tricks may work for 2,5,9 months but eventually they will get found.

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