Can the Google algorithm be reverse engineered to manipulate search results?, or will Google catch on so fast as to negate the activity? The phenomenon of ‘rickrolling’ suggests perhaps not, but if enough people get involved, anything is possible.

Digital State Marketing knows that this is a result of largely bait and switch tactics, with the internet surfer being baited or enticed to click on an innocent looking link, which then transpires to switch to a less than innocent article, film or URL. Search Engine Optimisation could be hurt by this, which is something that we explore further in other articles, but the practice of ‘rickrolling’ seems to be more to poke fun at the establishment and other bodies. For example, the MTV Awards, where recently Rick Astley picked up an award for the Best Act ever!

Although this example is separate to the search rankings, the potential is clearly there for increasing the number of people linking to a site and the traffic that a site gets. We also have to ask the question – although the official search engine optimisation and ranking factor indications from Google are that the number of hits to a site does not influence the rankings, some studies have shown otherwise.

Could this then lead to websites, via the attraction of thousands of links, bookmarks and increased traffic, influence the ranking in the search engines? This is something to watch out for as the Search Marketing Group continue the fight for Ethical SEO, in a sometimes murky, world wide web.