As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
While you might set out with the best of intentions when it comes to promoting your site, this isn’t going to protect you if Google doesn’t like what you’re doing and if you accidentally stumble on a ‘black hat’ SEO technique.
Search engine optimization essentially means using smart strategies to make a website in the best position to be indexed and ranked by Google. In other words, this means doing everything you can in fair play to increase the likelihood that your site will be featured at the top of Google’s search results for relevant keywords and it’s one of the very best ways to increase traffic to your website.
Unfortunately though, Google doesn’t want to make this too easy for us. If they did, you see, then the sites at the top of their rankings would simply be the ones with the most insider-information, the biggest budget or the most time on their hands.
Of course there’s nothing wrong with promoting your site according to Google’s guidelines, but if you abuse the system and are flagrantly trying to manipulate Google’s algorithms, then they will punish you by sending your site back down the rankings. And it can take a long time to recover.
Thus, some of the once-encouraged practices have become ‘black hat’ SEO, and all webmasters will be wise to steer clear of such techniques. Here are a few of them:
Buying links on other websites is one of the most obvious violations of Google’s policies and can get you into big trouble. Even big brands have been hit hard for this and that also means that all that money they spend was wasted. Don’t even think about going there!
If everyone wants links to their website so badly, then why not make a deal with every other webmaster to link to each other? You link to him, he links to her, she links to them and they link to us… That way everyone gets links and we all benefit as a result.
Well that might sound nice, but it’s also manipulation. And if you do that, then Google might find the trail of links, smell a rat and penalize you all at once. This has happened numerous times and recently they even started manually penalizing some culprits according to rumors.
strong>Bad Quality Content
Google likes content and the more content you have, the more keyphrases are likely to point to your site. This means that lots of content is good, but only if that content is also high quality. If you are only interested in the quantity of content with no regard to quality, then Google will be able to tell and you’ll get your site penalized.
This includes content that ‘stuffs keywords’ (repeating the same phrase over and over) and spun content. Spun content is a particularly despicable process of stealing someone else’s writing then swapping all the words for synonyms, resulting in gibberish text at times.
Repetitive Link Building
When building links to your site, it’s important these days to ensure you’re using a range of different keywords for your hypertext. Using the same phrase over and over again once more appears manipulative and doesn’t look very natural. Follow these link building best practices to ensure you get it right.
If unfortunately your site has already been penalized, we at SmartSites can help you tackle the penalty and help your site recover!