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Keyword spamming - just don't

Keyword spamming is the use of certain ‘keywords’ within a listing that is being sold on the site.

4 February 2021

Gucci, iPhone, Supreme and Xbox, Ford. What do all of these words have in common?

None of these brands have got anything to do with the following blog post!

Unless you are keyword spamming.

Whether you are a buyer or a seller on the site, keyword spamming is something that affects all users on Trade Me.

Keyword spamming is the use of certain ‘keywords’ within a listing that is being sold on the site. By including excessive, random, or broad words members are able to influence search results unethically so listings turn up more often and get more page views.

For instance, including the words “iPhone, Apple, iPad, ifone” in the description for a Samsung phone, or listing an item as “similar to Gucci” will mean that people searching for Samsung and Gucci will end up with unrelated products in their search results.

Repeating the same word again and again is another form of keyword spamming, and is sometimes used as an attempt to manipulate our search engine so listings appear at the top of search results.

Sellers who use keywords not only gain an unfair advantage over their competition, but also manipulate our main tool for browsing the site.

Also, keyword spamming often clutters up our categories, makes listings difficult to read, and makes it harder for members to find what they are searching for. As a site based on trust, keyword spamming isn’t in line with our core values and doesn’t belong on Trade Me.

So, as a Trade Me member, what can you do to help?

Keeping your listings as accurate and on-topic as possible is the best way to list on the site.

Don’t list every single brand or item that is similar to what you’re selling, and don’t repeat the same word over and over. When listing your item, limit your description to the relevant properties of what you are selling.

Using adjectives to describe an item is fine, but using a long list of comparable brands or labels isn’t.

As a consumer, would you buy from a salesperson who constantly (and blatantly) kept trying to steer you towards different products that you weren’t interested in?

Both buyers and sellers will benefit from reduced keywords; as a buyer you’ll have access to more accurate and relevant search results, and as a seller you’ll get better hits on your listings from members who are genuinely interested in what you are selling.

If you come across anyone using keywords, please don’t hesitate to let us know via the Community Watch function function at the bottom of each listing.

We’re definitely keen to get rid of as many of these pesky keywords as possible and ensure that buying and selling on Trade Me remains enjoyable for everyone.

Image credit freezelight on a Creative Commons basis.