For the search engines, links often are open to the most abuse. Link spam, where sites create hundreds or thousands of links among each other to game link popularity algorithms, is one of the biggest search-spam problems for Ask Jeeves, Palka said. He likened a site buying links to a company paying for a good review in The New York Times. "If you think about it, its like buying reviews," Palka said in an interview with eWEEK.com. "Our end-user doesnt want a site that is best optimized because [someone] knew how to buy links, but the site thats the best."While they have differences of opinion, the search marketers and search engines at the conference searched for common ground. Webmasters might be jockeying for higher placements in search results, but they also can give search engines some of their best feedback. "They are passionate about search," said Tim Mayer, director of product management for Yahoo Search. He said the communication between Webmasters and Yahoo has improved in the past year, particularly because Yahoo launched an option where sites can pay to ensure that they are included in its Web index. Its
When sites go too far in the tactics they use to boost search rankings, search engines can and do ban them from their results. Then sites have to roll back their optimization techniques to fit the engines various guidelines and reappear in results.