SEO is a very time consuming process. This can lead many webmasters down the slippery slope of deciding to find a short cut or a quick fix to create links and higher rankings for their site. The attraction is undeniable, but the results are often lethal for their site. Some even pay disreputable SEO firms to do ‘black hat’ SEO for their site. These firms are good at selling webmasters on it being convinced that they won’t get caught. While some of the methods that respectable firms use are designed to take advantage of search engine’s algorithms and will not trigger any search engine alarms, there are plenty of SEO strategies that are outside the approved methods which will cause you serious problems sooner or later.
Black hat SEO strategies that are not approved by search engines and go against the spirit of search engine ranking have always been a problem. Search engines always try to offer the best information available on any given search – it’s why they exist. By using ‘illegal’, ‘unapproved’ or ‘black hat SEO’ methods, websites circumvent the true purpose of SEO and can prevent search engines from providing online users with reliable information. This is the most basic definition of what black hat SEO is.
Black hat SEO affects the quality of the results delivered to users, and in so doing ruins the reputation of the search engines. If a search engine is not trustworthy it is not used much and cannot generate revenue. When search engines ban sites for using black hat tactics, what they are basically trying to safeguard is delivering the best match of information and at the same time protect the interests of the other webmasters who follow approved SEO strategies. It’s not a punishment for the sake of punishment.
Some of the methods used are very simple. Some would even say they are silly techniques, while others are elaborate approaches that try to trick the search engines. Your website’s online reputation can be seriously damaged and you can even be penalized for engaging in any black hat tricks. Google is harsher than ever right now when it comes to protecting their search engine from gamification. Using black hat SEO tactics creates a negative image about your company.
Black hat techniques try to trick the search engines by making them believe something that is not there is on the page. It can also be hiding other things that are not supposed to be present; and can also trick the users through various illegal approaches including illegal redirects. Black hat SEOs may try to increase the keyword density of the page by stuffing the page with keywords (in an effort to make search engines consider a particular page to be the best match for the keywords in question.) That is a technique that has died off mostly due to the Penguin update, but some black hats will still try to convince unsuspecting webmasters their technique still goes undetected and helps.
A number of websites have attempted to include keywords in the pages but color the keyword that is stuffed on the web pages with the same color of the background. It used to work briefly, but again, Penguin has ended even the short term value it once held. This technique presents a different version of the web page to the search engines, since such pages contain text that is not visible to the eyes of a regular visitor. Just be on the lookout for it.
Stay far away from black hat SEO. It never pays to game the search engines – you always get caught eventually. Now that you know a few of the tactics, simply steer clear, and have a reputable SEO company help you do organic SEO that will give you high rankings naturally and legally.
What do you really know about SEO, or what did you know about it when you first discovered it? Likely, not much. In fact, there is a good chance that you were exposed to as much bad information as good information at the start. SEO is a process that takes planning and time to work. You can’t just hope it works out later. You have to plan ahead so you can implement good SEO at every stage of your project to get the best results. Following are the basics you need from day one to get effective results from your SEO program.
Research to find not only which keywords are good bets for traffic, but which ones you actually have a chance of ranking for is the first step. Sure credit cards gets a lot of hits, but do you really think you can get any meaningful rank for it? Chasing the long tail is the proven way to get rankings and drive traffic to your site if you cannot compete with the major sites. Find where they are weak and where you can gain an advantage – and then exploit it!
Titles and Meta Tags
You need to ensure your website is correctly formatted and that all the proper elements like H1, H2 etc have been incorporated into each web page. Any images on your site have to be tagged and keyword rich text should be surrounding them. Don’t get lazy and ignore as many webmasters do – this is one of your basic building blocks of good SEO practices.
Content needs to be more than informative and engaging. It needs to be well written and free from typos – and of course, keyword optimized. One of the biggest things to remember is that it has to be reader friendly – meaning it flows well and makes sense. If what you are putting out looks like you are broadcasting spam you have no hope. You need a balance between the relevance of the content and the keyword density. The SERPs are unforgiving about black hat SEO, so avoid it all costs. There is no need for it.
You have essential and non essential links to deal with on your site. Non essential links include the no-follow property inserted into the . This keeps you from bleeding out PageRank, or having paid ads show up as links that are causing you trouble. Distribute your links evenly and don’t waste them all on the home page. Deep linking will take you much farther than loading down your HP and won’t make Googlebot think you are a spammer. Be Penguin conscious about this.
The site map is non-negotiable when it comes to SEO. You absolutely have to have it. No ifs, ands or buts. A site map not only helps the search engines index of all your web pages, but helps in even distribution of links across the site. It should be user friendly as well with a link to it from the bottom of every page.
If you start the right way, keeping it easy to navigate and indexed by search engines should be easy. Don’t cut corners, and you won’t have to go back and redo stuff later on. The saying do it right and you only have to do it once surely applies to SEO planning. If you are serious about SEO, this is the route you take.