Blog Post

Siphoning


Siphoning: Siphoning refers to techniques in search engine optimization (SEO) used to steal another website's traffic. While it is impossible to literally "steal" traffic, these methods are used to redirect search engine users towards one website when they would normally have been guided to another. Siphoning is achieved through fraudulent means, and as a result, can cause a website to be banned from appearing in search engine results.

There are a number of tactics that are considered siphoning. One method, called cybersquatting, involves registering a popular internet address, such as a company name, with the intent of selling it to the rightful owner or posing as the company online. Another method duplicates the content of one website, changing it slightly in order to direct the search engine towards the cloned site. These techniques are considered to be "blackhat" SEO practices, as they violate search engines' terms of service. Cybersquatting is a particularly reviled tactic and was criminalized under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act of 1999, where it was described as "online extortion". Violators can be sued and made to pay money damages to the brand owner based on profits gained and lost, as well as the impact on the brand as a whole.