Alexander Conroy

Destroying SEO – The New Invisible Text

  • April 30, 2010
  • SEO
  • 0

Last month I noticed a website pop up on the first page of “health insurance” search term,…I had never heard of this page and always tracking my competition, I investigated further. How the hell could a website with a name like that get ranked? They are a 1 page landing page website, tens of thousands of backlinks, with a pretty form and links to various competitors in what appears to be an “affiliate” network buy.

Looking at Yahoo Site Explorer…they have 93,000 links. I was amazed. How did they do that? Even if you BOUGHT links, at $1.00 a link, 93k? Crazy! And it works! they are on the front page! What gives? I thought this was considered a blackhat spam tactic? Google shouldn’t allow this should they? I figured it was a fluke and ignored it, until three weeks later I see it sitting on the front page still, this time with a 2nd entry underneath it to another subdomain, with 30,000 links! Just BELOW it is another Website with 52,000 links. 3 Spots on the front page for a search term that gets 9,000,000 searches a month!

Today I found they were missing from the front page, however is the same landing page on the 2nd page with 58,000 links

A little investigation shows that these landing pages are on what seem to be legitimate sites, usually revolving the music industry, most of the base domain pages have a PR of 3 to 4, but every other article on the site looks nothing like the landing pages. These landing pages string together for various different insurance quotes within the same domain. Essentially, these are a small network of linked insurance landing pages jumping from domain to domain and garnering a massive amount of backlinks to piggy back from the base domain into the front page of Google. It interlinks with itself.

All the ads go through NextInsure and the Listings provided by SureHits.

The page source is weird, it has a TON of links in <li> that don’t seem to show on the front page. I am not sure what to make of this, though it looks like it is pushing links to other sites, including other affiliate landing pages even though they can’t be clicked. The entire top of the source code is full of these <li> hidden links. Upon further investigation I was right, they are text in CSS Div’s that are hidden or squished by CSS, showing only the landing page but throwing tons of spamming links in what appear to be valid lists on the page.

What is going on here? I am concerned that this new invisible text tactic has to do with some kind of malicious network feeding itself links from various higher ranked sources that already have a bunch of links.

The Google Web spam team cant possibly keep up with this either, especially if perhaps someone is spamming them with legitimate claims in order to prevent any detection.

Ideas? Advice? Am I right? Wrong? Crazy?

*Note: to see the proper links in Yahoo Site Explorer you must add “www.” to the links.


Creating a running list of Websites with the same landing page: (without giving them more links =).)

Hellz Yea

Soul Pitch Hustle

Quality Products

Also, currently doing an analysis of where they show up on Google on a Daily basis in regards to the health insurance market and keywords. Stay tuned for more info and please do comment.