Chapter 8: metawebs

 

MetaWebs has been called the Cadillac of search engine optimization/traffic builder sites.  Metawebs is a server-based software which allows you to create unlimited search engine optimized web pages.   And business has been good.  Business has been so good for them that MetaWebs (MW) (http://www.metawebs.com/) has recently been a victim of its own success.  In June of 2005, they closed down temporarily after having sold out their third level of membership.  They say they will offer a higher level of membership to this popular tool.

Messages posted to user boards state that the old Tier 3 price was $500 down and $500 per month, and that the new tier will cost approximately $10,000.  Clearly, MW is a power tool designed for serious users who truly want to maximize income.

Here is their site:

How is MW able to charge such high prices, prices people are lining up to pay?  Well, because MW is a software release from SEO "expert" Nathan Anderson. The big claim is that MW is "The First White Hat Software Tool". The program is supposedly able to "(generate) non-foot-printable, traffic-generating-websites the search engines absolutely love…"

Users were understandably skeptical of these bold claims at first, and skittish of the high price of MW.   

The buzz that MW has tried to create is that TE, TH and the rest are just black-hat spam machines that create content that’s mediocre at best. 

Anderson claims that while MW sounds like a doorway page generator, his product is different because unlike doorway pages, "MetaWebs are likely to be bookmarked and revisited because of their valuable content." Meaning his product creates pages with actual content while doorway page generators just produce pages designed to trick search engines.

I talked about doorway pages earlier.  Now let me give you a definition.  As defined by About.com, doorway pages are "pages designed to be visible only by search engine spiders, and usually just have blobs of keywords all over them."

MetaWebs, on the other hand, creates websites that are highly optimized, formatted in php templates, and filled with live, active content from Anderson’s Meta search engine.

When MW was released, its connotation as a White Hat software tool was met with disbelief and disdain by many users who just didn’t want to believe. Their main criticism had to do with the potential for spam to ruin search engine results. A whole lot of users feel that SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) have become way overcrowded with spam sites and doorway pages which they view as the bane of their existence. Others blame MetaWeb for the increase in search engine spam.

The question is being asked on forums, "How long will it be before Google's AdSense team starts cracking down on AdSense accounts that are used on pages generated from keyword tools like this?"   Apparently, users who do things by hand are irked by those who use automated tools, and there is justification for this.

There is also the fear that eventually, someone will—if they haven’t already—use MW for is spam. And when that happens, everyone using MW will suffer, since MW will leave the tracks necessary for Google to eventually detect the machine generation, and then those pages or sites will be dropped."

Others say that MetaWebs has no business being called "white hat" because it is an automation tool and that, because of the misuse, software generated pages ought to be considered a black hat technique.

Anderson disputes this.  He admits MetaWebs does indeed have the potential to produce spam pages, but that's not his fault. It's the fault of people who misuse his product. It can be misused, he says, "…Especially if people don't customize the pages that MetaWebs spits out. But if they think of MW as a site-building tool, instead of a spam page machine, they should never have a problem.”

He’s right.  Any tool that humans use, from tire irons to golf clubs to guns, can be misused.  It’s all about intent.  And my opinion is that a power web tool like MW shouldn’t be penalized or banned from SERPs just because some people misuse it.  That’s like saying we should ban cars because a few people every year misuse them to run over others.

It's up to the user as to how they use MW. You could churn out pages using the advanced tools in Dreamweaver if you wanted to.  That doesn't mean that Dreamweaver is bad software. Anderson feels that he is "empowering the masses with something that circumvents the SEO."




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