Despite there being many SEO practice that seem to help your rank when it comes to the search engines, there are a few SEO techniques to avoid. Here’s a list of 10 unethical SEO techniques to avoid.
There are many alternatives to these techniques, so if you are using any of the techniques listed here, you can still change your path. These techniques are considered to be blackhat SEO. The SEO techniques to avoid are listed in no particular order. If you have any questions, please leave a comment!
Misspellings of Common Words
This is a fairly interesting one. What if, instead of putting search engine optimization as a keyword, I put saerch engine optimization. I’m sure that the second keyword still gets searches when people make a mistake. The second keyword is also a lot less competitive than the first, so I could actually have a good ranking. So what’s the problem? This unethical SEO technique is against search engine rules and it could get your rank lowered for a long amount of time.
Hidden or Invisible Text
You can use text that is automatically placed offscreen, extremely tiny text, or text that matches it’s background color to try to trick search engines into thinking you have extra keywords. It won’t work. Search engines are becoming able to discover this tricks.
Similar to hidden text, you can place hidden links are links that are invisible to the user but still detected by the search engine bot. Search engines can detect these, so you should avoid them.
Sometimes people place small (1×1) images on their pages, and then make the alt=”" attributes of the images full of keywords. Again, search engines are becoming able to detect this. It might give you a small ranking boost, but it won’t help your website in the long run.
Keyword density has a lot to do with search engine rankings these days. Instead of taking the ethical approach, you can always cheat it. Stuffing your page with unecessary keywords may seem like it will help you, but search engines are getting smarter. If a search engine finds keywords that don’t appear naturally, it might lower the rank of your page.
The pages that do best on the search engines might not be your content pages. Instead, you could create doorway pages, or pages that are specifically made for search engines. These doorways pages would link to your content pages. You don’t have to worry about your content pages, only the doorway pages. Search engines can detect this, so you should avoid it.
Specific Content to Users
It’s really easy to detect when a search engine is viewing your page. It shows up in the User-Agent that is sent to the web server. Using PHP or another server-sided language, you have the ability to show different content to normal users and what you suspect to be search engine bots.
If you have two websites with the exact same content, isn’t that two chances for a better search engine rank? Not exactly. Having two ‘mirror websites’ with the same content will probably hurt your rankings in the long run.
Backlinks are good, right? Not always. If a page has an excess amount of links, it is considered a ‘link farm’ by search engines. You should avoid getting your website in other link farms and, more importantly, having a link farm on your own website.
After a page reaches a good search engine rank, people switch the code on the page. Now the page is less optimized for search engines but possibly more profitable. This practice should be avoided because it can be detected by search engines.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions/comments/suggestions, please leave a comment. Good luck with any SEO in the future!