Altavista says I'm a lousy spammer. What happened?

Altavista has recently gotten very agressive about people submitting pages they consider to be spam, and has started blacklisting sites. The things that seem to be setting off alarms at Altavista and getting sites blacklisted are:

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Believe it or not, 11.13% of the people who use support the site!
1) use of gateway or doorway pages, in particular pages generated by popular promotion tools like WebPosition.

2) use of silly tricks to include content that the search engines can see but humans can't, like comments containing keywords, text the same color as the background, small text at the end of pages, etc.

I have nothing against Altavista doing this, by the way. It's their database, and attempts to improve its relevancy are a good thing. And I say this despite the fact that I was until recently on the blacklist, most likely because I tested out a doorway page system about a year ago (and found it marginally effective, btw, which is why I've never recommended people use them).

If you try and submit to Altavista and they say "you've submitted too many pages today", or if you've been submitting for 6 months or more and haven't gotten in, you may be on the blacklist.

To get off it, first remove any doorway pages you might have installed, and any HTML in your pages that you think might be obnoxious. You might want to reread my tips on writing good search-engine-friendly pages.

Then email, politely explain the problem and also explain the changes you've made to your site, and request that they re-evaluate it.

Don't expect a quick response. But eventually you'll probably get back into Altavista. It took me a couple of months and a couple of emails, but it does work.

In the meantime, there is one other thing you can do -- submit your site using your IP address instead of your domain name. Sometimes Altavista will list such a site.

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