October 01

How To Not Become Google’s Enemy

By Gabrielle Bacarella

When it comes to SEO, most companies don’t understand that you can become Google’s enemy.  There are correct ways to achieve higher ranking on Google and then there is cheating.  If you use a cheating method to get you top ranking, Google will know and you will be punished for it.  Here are a few cheating methods that will be sure to not work in your favor.

What is SEO? 

SEO stands for search engine optimization which is a method for increasing the visibility of your website for the optimal search results.  So whenever you Google a keyword or phrase, the first couple of links on the page are the ones that Google thinks are most relevant to your search.

Black Hat vs. White Hat 

The most important goal is to rank highly for certain keywords in your industry.  There are ways to use SEO effectively but if it is mistreated or misused, Google will know.  The past couple of years, Google has cracked down on companies who have tried cheating the system in order to get themselves the top ranking.  Avoid practicing black hat SEO because your company will pay for it.  Black hat SEO is when techniques that are used to get higher search rankings are performed in an unethical manner.  Black hat is when search engine rules and regulations are broken which accompanies a poor user experience due to the poor SEO techniques used on the web.  White hat SEO is when SEO strategies, techniques and tactics focus on people as opposed to search engines and completely follows SEO rules.  The usage of keywords, keyword analysis, backlinks (depending on the sights they are placed in), and improving link popularity are more ethical white hat practices in SEO.

Black Hat Practices that Should Be Avoided

Staying off Google’s list of shame is actually quite simple, you just have to follow the SEO rules.  Here are some black hat SEO practices that should be avoided.

  •  Keyword Stuffing: Say you were to search for a word, for example “Roses.”  Some companies will try to cheat by moving their way up the search engine results page (SERP) by titling their link as “RosesRosesRosesRoses.” The more times the word “Roses” is used, Google would read it as a link with plenty of “Roses” content, therefore putting that link on top of the ranking page.  Same for if the actual content of the link repeated “Roses” for the purposeful reason to get more clicks thus higher ranking.
  •  Backlinks: Another thing that you should be VERY aware of that most companies don’t know is crossing the line with backlinks.  Backlinks are great to have but in small supply and only on websites that are applicable to your site/company, and vice versa.  If you decide to place your backlinks on egregious sights that don’t apply to yours whatsoever, and you do it in large quantities, you will get caught and you will get punished.  If Google catches you they will strip you of your rank and bring you down the page until all of your backlinks are removed from unnecessary sights.
  •  Fake/Doorway Pages:  A “fake” page, or a doorway page, is simply a page that the users will never be able to see.  It is made specifically to trick search engine spiders into indexing the site higher.
  •  White/Invisible Text: Branching off from the backlinks situation, this is quite similar.  Invisible text is putting keywords in white text on a white background in hopes of attracting more search engine spiders.  Hence why it is called “Invisible Text.”

Remember, SEO is an important part of your company’s marketing strategy because many of our companies are Internet based and our consumers depend on Google to find us.  So be aware of the SEO hiccups because you don’t want to be Google’s enemy.