SEO Tactics to Avoid
One of the biggest challenges facing almost every website owner is getting targeted traffic to visit their website. The most effective kind of traffic is still organic search engine traffic, which is the traffic that is generated when someone finds the site when using a search engine. The goal of a website is to be near, or at, the top of the resulting page for the search terms most related to that business.
There are many things can be done to optimize a website. Learning what NOT to do is just as important as learning what TO do. For example, it’s best to avoid the following tactics:
1) Door Way Pages. This is basically a page that has been designed specifically for the search engines rather than human visitors. A user that visits the page is automatically redirected to a different website – which is the page the designer ultimately wants each visitor to see. They basically make minor changes to the same page and submits each of them to the search engines over and over again. Google no longer accepts these kinds of pages and can even exclude them from their index.
2) Hidden Text And Links. Using this tactic, keywords and keyword phrases are hidden on the page. This is usually done by making the color of the text same as the background color. Most search engines can quickly recognize this tactic now. A website that utilizes hidden text and links will almost certainly be penalized.
3) Cloaking. This is a method in which the content that is presented to the search engine is different than what is presented to the human visitor. This means that the information being delivered is based on the content on the IP addresses of the user requesting the page. A script is written that detects if the ‘visitor’ is a search engine spider and, of so, displays an alternate version of that page – one that contains completely different that the page that’s visible to the human visitor.
4) Link Farms. This is basically a system where a group of members are linked to each other using a common set of link-only pages. The result is that all members have a links page with the other members’ web addresses on them. By joining a link farm, a website owner could have almost instant access to hundreds of other websites that point links to their site. This can lead to a site looking very “popular”. The problem with this is that the webmaster has artificially boosted the popularity of their site. Search engines can easily recognize these link farms now and has even removed many of them from their index completely.
5) Duplicate Content. The search engines prefer to index original content. They don’t want to index the same content over and over. If duplicate content is detected on different websites, the search engines might decided to only index the first one they see and the remaining sites might be listed as supplemental context.
6) Keyword Stuffing. It’s important to have the main keywords on the content of the website and in its Meta tags (even though some search engines don’t read the tags anymore), but it requires balance. The writing should be natural and these key phrases should be included in the content as if it was written for human eyes. Overusing them will quickly make a website look spammy, which doesn’t work for either human visitors or the spiders that crawl the site. This might not get you banned but you certainly won’t get a favorable ranking either.
7) Duplicate Sites. This is when a website is basically ‘cloned’ using a variety of different domain names, but all using identical content and are all linked together. The idea is to get a better ranking and get the top spots for the main keywords for each of the websites. This is a surefire way to get the website banned.
There are a lot of ways to improve your search engine rankings without utilizing any of the underhanded tactics listed above. Once your website is flagged by the search engines as one that uses these methods, it can be incredibly hard to recover. Don’t give yourself a bad reputation – the potential reward is probably not worth the risk.