W3Schools hubbub over SEO tricks, inaccuracies

search-290x218.jpgflickr/Danard Vicente

Subdomain games keep W3Schools high in search results, quality problems highlighted by W3Fools site.

W3Schools has been around for years, building a search reputation that keeps it at the top of results pages. But Impressive Webs found W3Schools also plays games with subdomain names to bypass orders to block their main domain from future search results. After blocking www.W3Schools.com, results would show with wwww.W3Schools.com, www3.W3Schools.com, and the like. Further research found calculated domain games to stay high in search listings, that may be legal, but hardly ethical, according to Impressive Webs.

W3Fools is a site formed last year to criticize and force W3Schools to improve the quality of their information. Newer, more up to date tutorial sites have little luck breaking into the first few pages of Google search results because of the longevity and domain tricks used by W3Schools. The response from W3Schools said they "always appreciate suggestions on how we can improve W3Schools" and researchers note many corrections have been made.


Not evil SEO on their part, just a rather odd server configuration.

Daniel15 on impressivewebs.com

How about search engines let us mod down sites with low-value based on our public social networks? Then they just go away.

figital on readwriteweb.com

w3fools is doing nice job by pointing out the mistakes. W3schols should be able to use their criticizes and make the tutorials better.

Viyanur Chandra on readwriteweb.com

It's nothing black hat going on here. W3schools is just using wildcard subdomains and whenever people are accidentally linking to wwww.w3schools the Google bot picks it up.

Kiro on news.ycombinator.com

Hello, Google

It’s hard to believe with such a prominent site that Google doesn’t know this is going on.

Wayne McManus on impressivewebs.com

Very interesting indeed, but I’m not sure how they’re getting away with it. Google is known to penalize sites for publishing duplicate content in this way

Rob Schmitt on impressivewebs.com

May I suggest we all block w3schools.com at: http://www.google.com/reviews/t

trengof on news.ycombinator.com

Fans of W3Schools

Looks around guiltily - I still use their site too when I need something quick and I know they have it.

dos1 on news.ycombinator.com

I get much help from w3school.com for my concept clarification.

Steve on impressivewebs.com

for the 12 years that I've used them they have helped fill in my knowledge cracks and I've appreciated it.

softbuilder on news.ycombinator.com

When business results so often rely on favorable Google search rankings, how can we blame any company for doing all they legally can to stay on top? Or does gaming the system lessen the integrity of impartial search rankings?

For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

Now read this:

Developer declares 'I am done with the Freemium Business Model'

Khan Academy offers JavaScript as their first computer language

Study says Facebook profile can predict job performance

ITWorld DealPost: The best in tech deals and discounts.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon