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AllTheWeb and META refresh tags

Webmasters use the META Refresh tag on their Web pages to redirect users to another Web page. They often use it on so-called "bridge pages". Users access this page first and then they're automatically redirected to another Web page.

For example, the following HTML tag redirects to "" after 5 seconds:


Many search engines don't like the META Refresh tag. Webmasters can abuse it to spam search engines with similar pages which all redirect to the same page.

Four months ago, we finished the biggest search engine ranking study ever conducted: We analyzed 103,260 top 10 Web pages on six search engines to find out why they are well ranked in the search engines.

Of course, we also examined which role META Refresh tags play on search engines.

We found out that 5,1% of the #1 Web pages on AllTheWeb used the META Refresh tag.

In addition, we discovered that nearly 50% of those #1 Web pages used no delay (0 seconds) in their META Refresh tag to redirect to another Web page.

Most search engines utilize filter algorithms that will detect the META Refresh tag and they'll ignore or even ban Web pages using it. However, it seems that AllTheWeb is still vulnerable to this kind of search engine spamming and that bridge pages or doorway pages are still able to obtain #1 rankings.

Nevertheless, we advise you not to use bridge pages to obtain high rankings. Sooner or later, all search engines will detect this kind of search engine spamming.

There's a simple reason for it: Web pages that use the META Refresh tag make search engine databases cluttered with multiple versions of irrelevant Web pages.

Search Engine Ranking Study 2002

If you want to know what other factors are taken into account by AllTheWeb, Google, AltaVista and others, read the full search engine ranking study .

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September 2002 search engine articles