Beware of Black Hat SEO practices!
It’s easy to look at our post from last week, How Does SEO Work, and think you can easily trick search engines into making your website number one, but think again. Google has been around for 20 years and it’s nothing new for people to try and cheat the system.
Think about it, how often have your Google search results been clickbait? Most likely not often, if at all. Black hat practices might work for a short period of time, but ultimately Google will figure it out and your website will suffer long-term penalties because of it. Below we’ve put together a list of SEO mistakes to avoid.
Google technology is so advanced that it understand natural language, so adding your keyword five times into one sentence isn’t going to score you any points with Google. Example: We sell custom dog beds. Our custom dog beds are handmade. If you’re thinking of buying a custom dog bed, please contact our custom dog bed specialists at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the old days SEO specialists would add lists of keywords to pages and then set the color to match the background (along with many other tricks) so that it would be invisible to all except the Google bots reading the code. Nowadays Google is very aware of this practice and will again dock you.
Google wants to weigh websites based on how they perform organically. Therefore, any websites participating in link schemes; such as giving away free products for link additions, paying for people to link to your site, excessive bartering of “I’ll link to you, if you link to me,” and low quality business directories. To reiterate, Google wants you to build in-bound links naturally by creating quality content people will want to share, not by paying for it.
Some sites will add articles from other sites to their own blog to increase the content of their site, or lets face it, they just didn’t have the creative juice to write their own post that week. While they still give credit to the original site (ie: they’re not plagarizing), Google rewards unique content and ideas pertinent to your audience – not just the person with the most content.
Google will penilze your site if it’s main focus is to share affiliate links. This again goes back to Google wanting to reward original content that serves a purpose for users, so building a website where you just share product information that is already available on the original product website isn’t exactly helpful. Now if you share an affiliate link just once inawhile for a product that is pertinant to your business/visitors you’ll be fine, but be sure to share your review about the product – and don’t forget to state somewhere that you’re getting a piece of the pie, a legal requirement.
You write a great article on “How To Dress For Your Shape” and then you stuff in a list of cities at the bottom of the page you’re trying to rank in. Google knows what you’re trying to do there and she (I image Google is a she) isn’t having it. Want to rank for a city? Why not use the same article topic and then give it a twist and talk about specific clothing shops in that city which you’ve found to have great options for differnt body shapes?
Final Thoughts On SEO Strategies
If it hasn’t already been apparant, SEO is a longterm game plan for businesses and will take time for you to start reaping the fruits of your labor. While some optimizers will promise you instant results in your business, we want you to be warned that they are most likely using black-hat techniques that will ultimately do longterm damage.