Outsourcing Your Content How to Do it Without Losing Your Voice or Quality 2

Black Hat SEO: Avoid These 10 Techniques

You can reach millions of people with a well-developed marketing campaign if you perfect your SEO strategy. With such a powerful tool at your disposal, it is easy to see how having the best SEO techniques can lead to strong returns.

While it is tempting to use a wide range of SEO techniques to make your campaign successful, there are techniques that can have the opposite effect. Using black hat SEO techniques can guarantee that your campaign fails.

Here are 10 black hat SEO techniques that you must avoid.

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1. Keyword Stuffing

When a website uses every available keyword on each and every page, it can result in a search engine punishing the site. Robots scanning the list of keywords found on a page will not be able to effectively process the amount of data and requests associated with such an overly stuffed page.

As a result, the site will not rank high on search engine results pages. Before adding keywords to your page, make sure to research exactly what searches people are using for your site.

Keyword stuffing might seem like a good idea at first, but it only serves to make your website less visible. Using too many keywords can make it seem like you are using keyword phrases in place of proper content. This is not something that will impress anyone who reads the page, and the search engines are likely to react negatively to it. If you can’t get your message across with less than four or five keywords, then you should consider refining your message before posting it.

Always try to limit the number of keywords used on your pages, as well as how many times they appear on each page. A good rule of thumb is to limit yourself to five or six keywords per page.

2. Hidden Text

If you want your SEO campaign to be successful, you need to avoid hidden text, especially below the fold of the website. Website visitors are unlikely to scroll down to see this text unless they are determined to read it no matter what stands in front of them. Depending on the amount of text in question, hidden text is likely to be an instant turn-off.

3. Cloaking

Cloaking is a technique used to hide a poor page from search engine robots while showing a better version of the page to real people. There are several ways that this can be accomplished. Hiding less relevant content from the search engine robot, hiding content entirely with JavaScript, and showing different content to different types of people who visit the site are all methods of cloaking. If you want your site to rank well during search results pages, don’t use this technique.

4. Invisible Text

Search engines don’t take into account what a page looks like when ranking it. In most cases, it is focused on the text. They can also see things that people cannot. Invisible text is a black hat way of stuffing keywords into a page while making them invisible to readers.

The search engine’s bots still find it, even though readers cannot. Some people add lists of keywords while hiding them behind page elements or making words the same color as the background.

5. Footer Link Stuffing

If you are searching for a great way to rank your website during search engine results pages, footer link stuffing is not the best choice. When you have too many links in your footer, it makes it harder for people to find what they are looking for. It is essential that you only include pages that are relevant.

6. Spamdexing

When you use automated programs to search for keywords and then add links to your homepage that point to your page, it is called spamdexing. It is easy to avoid the robot filters if you do not mind spamming other people’s websites. Search engines have begun using advanced filtering techniques to identify this type of activity.

7. Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a big no-no in SEO because it can lead to you being penalized by search engines. You will no longer be ranked as high as you once were with plagiarized content, which may result in fewer visitors. Plagiarism links do not have a positive impact on your website’s ranking. For this reason, avoid using them at all costs.

8. Unnecessary redirects

It can be tempting to redirect a website from one domain to another. Often, you will do this as a way to avoid duplicate content. However, unnecessary redirects can lead to an issue where your page cannot be found by search engines at all. Some search engines may not even find it unless it is linked appropriately.

9. Reciprocal Linking

If you want a website to rank well during search engine results pages, it is important that people can find your page without a problem. Search engines don’t like links being reciprocal. When you link to a website in exchange for that site linking to you, it can be interpreted as a site without any original content.

To avoid problems with the search engines, wait until someone requests a link before offering one. This is also important because it allows you to only give credit where credit is due.

10. Overloading with Bad Content

This results in a website that looks inundated with unrelated content. People searching for your site should be able to find the information they need without wading through a bunch of random text. If you want people to come to your website, make sure they enjoy the experience.

As you can see, a number of things can be done to do harm to your website rankings. Don’t let these common mistakes be part of your strategy for improving search engine results. If you avoid employing any of the techniques in this article, then your website should remain above board and visible to the search engines. This makes it easier for people to find your page and increases your return on investment.

Melanie G. is a freelance writer and editor living in Tampa, Florida. She's freelanced full-time since she left her writing job at Nielsen in 2012.

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