Webmaster tips & trix   contact | privacylink partnersfree website content
Home » Articles » Search engine optimization

» Affiliate programs
» SE optimization
» Miscellaneous
» Newsletters & E-zines
» Promotion
» Web design
» Usability
» Domain names
» Create income
» Web writing
» Hosting
» Guerrilla marketing
» Accessibility
» Web credibility
» Data recovery

» Archive


Special articles

» Google tools/services
» Yahoo! tools/services

Seven illegal search engine optimization techniques

Last Update: Friday, October 31, 2003.

In this article I discuss seven illegal, or almost illegal, search engine optimization and related techniques.

1. Trademarked Keywords In Domain Names

If you're thinking of registering a domain name that includes a trademarked keyword, think again.

Using someone else's trademark to attract customers is illegal. It violates federal trademark law, which prohibits the use of someone else's trademark, if it causes a "likelihood of confusion" among consumers.

Take Yahoo for example. They objected to 37 registered domains, including AtlantaYahoo.com, DCYahoo.com, Jahu.com and Yhu.com. Read the full story.

2. Trademarked Keywords In META Tags

It's not necessarily illegal to use trademarked keywords in your META tags. But you could get sued, and people have.

It all depends on why and how you are using the trademarked keywords. If you used the keywords in what is deemed a deceptive manner, then you're likely to lose your case.

However, there has been one instance of a defendant who proved to the judge that she had a legitimate reason to use the trademarked keyword. Read the full story.

Here's a short story to illustrate the seriousness of using trademarked keywords in META tags.

I had a client who included the trademarked brand name of a competing product in one of his web pages.

One day, he received a letter from the lawyer acting on behalf of the trademark owner in question.

The letter stated:

"Use of [trademarked term] constitutes federal false advertising, trademark infringements, state unfair competition and is deliberately designed to trade on [trademarked term] reputation and goodwill. Placing the term, [trademarked term], in the keywords and META tags of your site inappropriately and unlawfully draws Internet users to your site."

They threatened to sue, unless my client removed the trademarked terms from the META tags. Naturally, we obliged! ;o)

What was surprising was that we could use the trademarked terms in the visible page body. So we kept the trademarked keywords in the page body.

3. Pagejacking

Pagejacking is copying someone else's web page and submitting it to the search engines as your own, in hopes of getting high rankings. Quite often pagejacking also involves page cloaking.

Pagejacking is no more than stealing copyrighted content. It beats me why people would be so dumb as to try this technique. Don't try it. You will be caught sooner or later.

4. Deep Linking

Deep linking is the practice of providing a link directly to specific content on a web site's sub-page, instead of linking to its home page.

On July 5, 2002, the Bailiff's Court of Copenhagen ruled in favor of the Danish Newspaper Publishers Association, which claimed that Danish company Newsbooster violated copyright laws by "deep linking" to newspaper articles on some Danish newspapers' web sites.

The argument is that in bypassing the newspapers' home pages, Newsbooster links deprive them of advertising revenue. Further, they asserted that Newsbooster is in direct competition with newspapers. Read the full story.

7. Deep Linking Without Permission

If a site you are linking to has stated that linking is prohibited, or requires permission first, then don't link to them. If you do, you're asking for trouble.

6. Trademarked Keyword Advertising

Thinking of bidding for competing trademarked keywords in search engines? Think again!

In January 1999, Estee Lauder sued iBeauty and Excite@Home, saying its trademarks were violated when iBeauty's ads were presented during searches for Estee Lauder trademarked keywords.

When a person searched Excite@Home's search engine for "Clinique," they were presented with a banner ad for iBeauty. In addition, the search returned a list of related web sites, including iBeauty.com.

In August, 2000, iBeauty decided to voluntarily remove the trademarked keywords from its list. Read the full story.

7. Deep Linking Within A Frame

If you link to another site's content by displaying it within a FRAME on your site, and your ad in another FRAME, you're walking on thin ice.

What you're basically doing is "stealing" other people's content to generate advertising revenue. I would recommend staying clear of this practice.


Take care with the marketing techniques you use. If you think a technique can be construed as illegal, search the internet for possible legal cases on the technique. If you can't find any, then it's a good chance that the technique in question is worth pursuing.

You may also like to read my article, "Ten Controversial Search Engine Optimization Techniques." In this article I discuss ten controversial search engine optimization techniques that should be used with caution, or even avoided altogether.

Internet marketing expert.About The Author: Michael Wong is a respected internet marketing expert, and the author of a leading search engine optimization guide, numerous marketing tips, and reviews of marketing tools and ecommerce software.
Publishing Rights: You may republish this article in your web site, newsletter, or ebook, on the condition that you agree to leave the article, author's signature and photograph, and all links completely intact. Full instructions on how to copy and upload my photo to your server.

Latest articles

» Change your mind about an eBay bid?
We have all made choices in life that two seconds later we know we should take back. Especially when there is money involved this can become a problem.

» A simple way to create 7 effective autoresponder messages
Email is the Net's most powerful marketing tool. And autoresponders are the best idea yet for marketing with email.

» 7 ways to drive laser-targeted traffic to your website
Getting people who matter to see one’s website is a difficult undertaking if he tries to consider the fact that there are rivals everywhere waiting to pin him down.

» Website valuation: Why standard website pricing methods will emerge
The market of buying and selling developed websites is becoming more and more liquid each day.

» One way links are better than reciprocal links
You probably know by now that where your website ranks in the search engine rankings dramatically affects how many visitors you have to your site. Did you also know that you can change where your site is ranked by being proactive and getting as many one way links to your site as possible?

» How to make visitors stay at your website
The very first thing which you should provide the visitors with is some free interesting reading material.

» How to make your visitors click your ads
Here is a simple solution; Convert your banner advertisement to look like a text advertisement!

» Offline advertising should be a part of your online strategy
Day by day, online business has become more & more complicated and competitive.

» How to sell traffic
Selling the traffic arriving at your site is a good method to increase profits from your portal.

» Make money from online auctions
Online auctions have the best benefit of a vast platform. Your product is viewed by loads of people & hence there is more possibility of finding a suitable bidder.

» Groupware explained in easy terms
Groupware is a term used frequently to describe collaborative software. Groupware is application software that integrates work on a single project by several concurrent users at separated random workstations.

» Timely back up can save you from disasters
Few things which people often back up are e-mail addresses, bank records, photographs, personal records, software’s, music etc.

» Why should one go for autoresponders
Autoresponders are programs which get automatically executed in particular situations.

» Become your own boss - Start your own online business today
A survey conducted by SBA states that two third of new business survives at least two year and about forty four percent survives at least four year.

» Express your thoughts - Creating your own blog!
What exactly is a blog? Technically speaking it is a journal or a newsletter which is regularly updated and can be used by any one.

» Pop-up ads - To be or not to be?
According to a study conducted by the Bunnyfoot University, “The Efficacy of Pop-ups and the Resulting Effect on Brands” Internet users feel harangues and harassed by pop-up ads.

» Why content is king on the Internet
The advantages that Internet holds over the rest of the other communication mediums should not wasted because of the inability to find a comprehensive plan that will bind all these faculties together.

» 10 niche marketing tips
In our increasingly driven consumer economies, the average customer is bombarded by choices. With increased saturation of the market, companies look towards niche marketing to search new, ever-evolving and sophisticated consumers.

» Using free traffic exchange
These days internet has emerged as both, a market and hub for marketing. Unlike the ‘brick and mortar’ world where large manufacturers manage to squeeze out the market bases of smaller companies, the internet provides haven like the free traffic exchange.

» Ten ways to drive traffic to your website
Developing a web site and then letting it grow is like planting a tree and then nurturing it.

» Marketing through keyword articles
One of the most effective tools of Internet marketing is the use of keyword articles.

» Want to make money online? Market a service to businesses
Don walked across the street from his house to mine to announce he had finally retired. "But I'm not ready for the golf course," he said. "I want to make a living on the Internet. What can I sell?"

» Web site design mistakes - Database parameters in URLs
Creating a web site takes thought, planning and execution. Unfortunately, many designs are dead in the water before they are even published as far as search engine optimization is concerned. Whatever you do, avoid these critical mistakes.

» Alexa Toolbar - The ultimate internet tool
There are numerous tools available on the Internet to assist online businesses. A valuable tool that you should use is the Alexa Toolbar. Even better, this tool is free.

» Web site design mistakes
Some wise human once said "Learn from the mistakes of others. There isn't nearly enough time to make them all yourself." Hence this article. Here are five of the most annoying and common web design mistakes.

» Abandonment - Why visitors don't turn into customers
Every good Internet business understands the value of conversions versus hits received. Far too often, businesses become fixated on the hits they are receiving instead of monitoring their hit to sale conversion rate.

» Creative search engine optimization - A case study
Search engine optimization this and search engine optimization that. You read and hear about it all day, but what about your site?

Tools & services to enhance your online business

» Site Build It!
Over 100,000 small businesses of all kinds outperform larger, well-financed competitors. Read about this all-in-one site-building-hosting-marketing system of tools that delivers results.

» Secrets To Their Success
Take a private tour of two "Mom & Pop" web sites every month that earn $100,000+ a year... and discover the exact step-by-step strategies they have personally used to generate these massive profits.