From the post:
These days, every company knows that having its website appear at the top of Google’s results for relevant keyword searches makes a big difference in traffic and helps the business. Numerous search engine optimization (SEO) techniques have existed for years and provided marketers with ways to climb up the PageRank ladder.
In a nutshell, to be popular with Google, your website has to provide content relevant to specific search keywords and also to be linked to by a high number of reputable and relevant sites. (These act as recommendations, and are rather confusingly known as “back links,” even though it’s not your site that is doing the linking.)
Google’s algorithms are much more complex than this simple description, but most of the optimization techniques still revolve around those two goals. Many of the optimization techniques that are being used are legitimate, ethical and approved by Google and other search providers. But there are also other, and at times more effective, tricks that rely on various forms of internet abuse, with attempts to fool Google’s algorithms through forgery, spam and even hacking.
One of the techniques used to mislead Google’s page indexer is known as cloaking. A few days ago, we identified what we believe is a new type of cloaking that appears to work very well in bypassing Google’s defense algorithms.
Dmitry reports that Google was notified of this new form of cloaking so it may be work for much longer.
I first read about this in Notes from SophosLabs: Poisoning Google search results and getting away with it by Paul Ducklin.
I’m not sure I would characterize this as “poisoning Google search.” Altering a Google search result to be sure but poisoning implies that standard Google search results represent some “standard” of search results. Google search results are the outcome of undisclosed algorithms run on undisclosed content, subject to undisclosed processing of the scores from processing content with algorithms, and output with more undisclosed processing of the results.
Just putting it into large containers, I see four large boxes of undisclosed algorithms and content, all of which impact the results presented as Google Search results. Are Google Search results the standard output from four or more undisclosed processing steps of unknown complexity?
That doesn’t sound like much of a standard to me.