Webmasters should be wary of factors that not only can negatively impact a user experience but also a site’s SEO parameters that in turn can impact its position and ranking within organic search and SERPs. The following are some of those factors:
Black hat SEO techniques to Avoid
- Keyword stuffing – Some webmasters stuff their web pages with keywords hoping to improve search engine rankings. Although this may have worked in the past but search engines today have become much more intelligent to allow such types of practices. The rule of thumb is that if it’s not a good read for the users, then it won’t be good for the search engines and the site’s and / or page’s overall rankings.
- Spamming blogs with comments – Many black hat online marketers until today spam the comments sections of many blogs hoping to get backward links. This definitely is something that won’t work.
- Doorway pages – Some webmasters implement doorway pages on which they get traffic only to direct that traffic to the other sites. Search engines don’t look at such techniques favorably.
- Duplicate content – Although it’s alright on occasions to reference content from other sources, completely copying and duplicating content can land the site in trouble, especially if it’s done persistently. Websites with original content are much more likely to be placed higher in search engine rankings than those with duplicate content.
- Over use of anchor texts – sites that over use anchor text are more likely to be picked up by search engines as being unnatural. For example, repeatedly using the anchor text “SEO tips” from around the websites is unnatural. Instead, use natural expressions as anchor texts to point to relevant webpages.
- Use of hidden texts – Some webmasters hide texts and keyword phrases on web pages thinking of not being caught. They would make use of either small fonts or invisible colored fonts to hide texts from the users. What they don’t realize is that web crawlers can easily detect such black hat techniques.
- Cloaking – This refers to presenting one set of content for search engines but when the user clicks on a link, it instead redirects the user to a bad or spammy site. Although search engines have built in the necessary intelligence to detect such techniques, it’s unfortunately being used extensively by many in the industry.
- Links coming from link farms – Some webmasters post links in link farms hoping that link backs from such sites will improve their search rankings. On the contrary, search engine crawlers have become intelligent to weed out such link neighborhoods and can impact the trustworthiness of your site.
- Content or Article Spinning – This refers to taking an existing article and rephrasing it to make it look like an original content. Again, search engine algorithms today have built in a lot of intelligence related to understanding and interpreting natural languages and their syntax.
- Clickbaiting – In this technique webmasters create a headline that has nothing to do with the actual content. The idea is to try to get clicks on the link. Even though it may work in the short run, search engines will quickly detect such techniques when they analyze the page’s bounce rate and low session duration.
It’s clear that employing these black hat SEO techniques involve a lot of work and effort. Webmasters and marketers are better off investing the same times and effort on creating useful content and building a good online presence that can add to the overall user experience. These techniques, even if they are successful for the short term, eventually get caught with undesirable consequences such as dropping of ranking overnight, getting websites banned or delisted from search engines, and much more.
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