Heaven's Gate Still Spamming Google Even After Mass Suicide

Nov 26, 2013 • 8:38 am | comments (15) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Heaven's Gate Logo/>A <a href=Hacker News thread points out that heavensgate.com is still live after 16 years. Heaven's Gate was a religious group/cult where 39 members of the group who had committed mass suicide on March 26, 1997. It was all over the news back then and the web site is still live.

The interesting part is that it ranks in Google.

Google's Matt Cutts was the first to respond in that thread saying:

And the page still has hidden text at the bottom of the page.

Truth be told, this is one of my favorite examples of hidden text, because it shows that people don't always use spam techniques for making money.

I haven't had much luck contacting the maintainer of that page to ask them to remove the hidden text.

Indeed, here is an animated GIF showing the hidden text:

heavens gate hidden text

We know hidden text is against Google's webmaster guidelines. One example is the reverse of what this site is/was doing, "using white text on a white background."

Does it matter if it wasn't for "making money"? It was for recruiting.

Should this site rank? Of course, if people search for the site, it should come up, right? Or no, because it is a blatant disregard for Google's guidelines. The only issue, no one is around to fix it?

hidden text ranking google

Forum discussion at Hacker News.

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