Every business wants their website to show up at the top of the first page of Google search results. The techniques that get you a coveted top spot are known as search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. Some SEO techniques are simply smart branding. Others are considered unethical and can cause Google to flag your site. These are known as black hat techniques. If your site is flagged, Google removes the site from its index, and the site is ultimately buried deep into the corners of Google’s search results. It is a long process to get your site back into Google’s good graces if this happens. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the top five under-the-table SEO techniques that might cause Google to flag your site.
Keyword stuffing: Adding keywords to your site with no rhyme or reason may cause your site to rise in the rankings, but it will also confuse visitors and eventually alert Google. Instead, keep content focused, factual, and functional.
Don’t: cats youtube lady gaga kim kardashian funny kate middleton facebook
Do: Lady Gaga was filmed holding cats yesterday. This funny video can be found on YouTube.
Cloaking: Cloaking is presenting a search engine with one set of content but the user with a completely different set of content.
Don’t: Bother with this bait-and-switch tactic. Having your website appear to represent a local mechanic, only to be a personal blog detailing the evolution of mustache styles over the years will not drive any real traffic to your site.
Do: Create an online brand and find your audience. Find people who care about mustache styles and interact with them; don’t try to trick people who don’t care into coming to your site.
Hiding text: Putting white text full of keywords on a white background may seem like a clever idea. However, your site will show up on unrelated search results, which will get the wrong kind of attention from Google.
Do: Make your message something you want your audience to see and understand. After all, your site is ultimately for customers, not search engines.
Doorway pages: A doorway page is a page the user never sees; it is purely there for search engines’ benefit. Unlike information pages, which cater to the user with unique information based on search terms, doorway pages are only seen by the search engine and usually only consist of keyword stuffing.
Don’t: Put your efforts into creating doorway pages.
Do: Use your time to craft a message for people that clearly defines your site and who you are.
Social Media Spamming: Getting on a website or social media site with the purpose of sending blanket messages or making comments that promote your site is frowned upon by Google.
Don’t: Send people with unsolicited promotion for your site. For example: “Looking to burn belly fat? Try my website.”
Do: Create a network of people online through social media and other websites that share similar interests with you and your site. When appropriate, offer your knowledge or services.
Some companies that identify themselves as “SEO experts” may make wild promises about getting your website on the first page of Google search results within a week. Don’t let these companies fool you into letting them use these black hat techniques. Instead, avoid getting flagged by focusing on techniques that build your online audience in a lasting way.
If you would like help strategizing SEO techniques, or have questions about managed web or IT services, call us at 1(501)683-7229, email us at email@example.com, or visit our website at www.iprovweb.com and fill out a contact form.
Great summary Meg! It can be hard to find out if SEO service providers are selling “legit” services. Business owners could use this as a questionnaire to find out if a service provider is selling white-hat or black-hat techniques.