When you build your website, you, of course, want to get high rankings in the search engines. There are lots of ways to do this and lots of ways to NOT do this. Below are 10 things I've seen listed onine to avoid if you want to be in good standing with the search engines. I feel like sharing it with all of you, and hope it will help you all.
1. Duplicate Content/Sites – Do not set up multiple sites or site pages using basically the same content with a few different keywords spread around. This does not fool the search engines.
2. Cloaking – Cloaking is when a website or webpage is set up to show different content for a search engine spider than the human visitors. The cloaked page (for the spiders) is stuffed with keywords in an attempt to get higher rankings. What it can get you is banned!
3. Linking to Bad Neighborhoods – Be careful who you link to because you can be found guilty by association. Do not link to non-family friendly websites and unethical websites.
4. Title Stacking – This is simply trying to give each page more than one title tag so you can use more keywords to get higher rankings. The search engines consider this a dirty little trick.
5. Doorway Pages – Doorway or gateway pages are pages that are set-up for one keyword topic but then they take you to different content. These pages usually have little value in the way of content and have little to do with the rest of the site. They are used solely to try to get a higher rank in the search engines.
6. Redirect Pages – Redirect pages are set up to rank high in the search engines but when you click on the page, it will take you to another page which is usually a sales page for a product or service. So, what you see isn’t what you get!
7. Automated Submission Services - Do not use automated submission services. They are against Google’s TOS and can get you banned.
8. Hidden Links – This is when a link is added to a page in such a small size that it cannot be seen by human visitors but can be picked up by the search engine spiders. This might work for a time but when the search engines discover it, you will be penalized!
9. Keyword Stuffing – Keyword stuffing or spamming is simply being too repetitive with your keywords as to the extent of your content not being sensible. For example if your keywords are cat food and your text reads something like this: When your cat gets hungry be sure to feed them this cat food because your cat will like this cat food. This cat food comes in an easy to open cat food can and contains fish, chicken and healthy ingredients that all cat food should have. So, when your cat is hungry for cat food, give them this cat food because this cat food is the best cat food for your cat!
You can easily see why this kind of keyword stuffing should not be used.
10. Invisible Text – This is when you hide text by using the same color text and background. The invisible text is meant for the search engines only and not for visitors. This is done so you can stuff a lot more keywords on your page without wrecking your content. The search engines will discover this and they will penalize you!
Be careful not to use these Black Hat SEO methods because it could cause you a lot of trouble with the search engines. Be careful as well, who you hire to work on your site because some of these things can be done without your knowledge and cause your site to get banned or penalized.
(originally writen by Terri Seymour)