Black Hat SEO Techniques to Avoid

 

Summary of “Black Hat SEO Techniques to Avoid”

In old Westerns, the bad guy always wore a black hat.  That is where the SEO term “black hat techniques” comes from.  Black hat techniques are things that can be done to improve your site rankings, but that violate the terms and conditions of the search engines.  If your site is caught breaking the rules, you can be penalized or banned from the search engines.  That is a big risk to take.  In this interesting video from Mark and Kurt Steinbrueck, you can learn about some of the common black hat SEO techniques and how to avoid them.

You May Be At Risk and Not Even Know It!
I’ve come across lots of sites where the website owner didn’t even know that what they were doing was black hat and risking their entire organization’s future.  Either they did something without knowing it was against Google’s guidelines or they hired a company that knowingly or unknowingly did it.  Google doesn’t care if you know, they’ll penalize you or ban you either way.

Here are 4 Black Hat SEO Techniques to Avoid:

1. Keyword Stuffing
When someone adds keywords to their content to a point where it no longer sounds natural, and in fact doesn’t even make any sense, they are guilty of keyword stuffing.  It is important to have keywords in your content a few times, but keyword stuffing is when it goes overboard.

2. Cloaking
Cloaking is anytime the content shown to real people is different than the content shown to the search engine bots.  Sometimes people may think they have a good reason for doing this, for example if they want to show the user a lot of graphics, and show the bots the readable content.  However, search engines do not like it when the content is different for any reason.

Another cloaking trick is when a site will make text the same color as the background so users don’t see it, but a search engine would be able to read the optimized keywords.  It may work in the short term but search engines can read the color as well, so they will be able to figure out what you are doing.  If a site tries to hide keywords behind an image or graphic, the bots will eventually be able to figure it out as well.

3. Buying Links
Buying links is something search engines have really started to punish sites for.  There are ways to buy legitimate links, but you need to follow the terms set up by the search engines.  If you don’t they will see you as gaming the system and can punish your site.

4. Link Schemes
There are many link schemes that usually involve spammy links to other blogs or sites.  No one likes spammy links!  If your SEO company is telling you that they are buffering you from the link building to your site, that should be a red flag.  Legitimate link building does not need a buffer.

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Kurt Steinbrueck is the Director of Marketing Services with OurChurch.Com. He also serves on the leadership of Family of Christ Lutheran Church in Tampa, FL. You can find him on Google+ as .

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