oa South African Journal of Information Management - Implications of search engine spam on the visibility of South African e-commerce Web sites

Volume 8 Number 4
  • ISSN : 2078-1865
  • E-ISSN: 1560-683X



The unexpected growth of the World-Wide Web made it essential for firms to adopt e-commerce as a means of obtaining a competitive edge while breaking down the physical barriers that were evident in traditional business operations. It is important for e-commerce Web sites to attract visitors; otherwise the Web site content is irrelevant. It is estimated that 88% of users start with search engines when completing tasks on the Web. This has resulted in Web designers aiming to have their Web sites appear in the top ten search engine result listings, as a high placement of Web sites in search engine results is one of the strongest contributors to a commercial Web site's success. To achieve such high rankings, Web designers often adopt Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices. Some of these practices culminate in undeserving Web sites achieving top rankings by misleading search engines into drawing users to these Web sites. This is also known as spam, which results in search engine results being congested with Web sites that are of no benefit to searchers. This paper attempts to explore the implications that search engine spam has on the visibility of e-commerce Web sites.

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