Typically abbreviated as SEO, search engine optimization is particularly crucial for any company optimistic about digital marketing. Due to a large amount of competition from promotion-oriented blogs and websites, gaining an edge over your contenders can feel like a nightmare, especially for small-scale ventures. Nevertheless, the immense paybacks of SEO are worth the effort.
First and foremost, integrating search engine optimization strategies helps establish a strong online presence. This places your online store on the spotlight, thus enabling both existing and new visitors to quickly locate and view your content. While this is ideal for social promotion as well as boosting online traffic (it can generate significant revenue if your website is fully monetized), top search engine rankings help attract customers and keep them in the loop.
Essentially, search engine optimization is a great vehicle that not only pledges to boost sales but also takes your website to the next level. However, SEO can be a double-edged sword if done incorrectly. Despite its numerous paybacks, there are some SEO tactics that can send your digital store into a devastating tailspin in just minutes.
So, to thrive in this lucrative trade, it is important for every webmaster to perfectly understand the rules of engagement.
Methods of SEO Implementation
There are various strategies for employing SEO. However, what really determines if your website will stand the test of time is whether the search engine finds your tactics acceptable. For that reason, all search engine techniques can be grouped into two main categories. They are:
1. White Hat SEO, which includes all strategies recommended by search engines.
2. Black Hat SEO. Also referred to spamdexing, black hat SEO tactics include all strategies that are not recommended by search engines.
But what exactly are we looking at here? In this comprehensive article, we are focused on the don’ts of SEO. To perfectly understand the dynamics involved, below is an all-inclusive roundup of top four black hat SEO tactics to avoid at all costs.
However before that, first things first!
In-Depth Look at Black Hat SEO (Spamdexing)
Basically, black hat SEO is a crafty technique of boosting Google ratings of your blog through means that infringe search engine guidelines. Although significantly fruitful in the short run, most of the time black hat SEO strategies have dire penalties in the long run.
Why Is Black Hat SEO Bad?
First and foremost, black hat tactics are universally considered unethical by both Google and the digital community. Besides negatively affecting your ratings, in severe cases, these corrupt practices may land your website into search engine jailhouses.
The main drawback of black hat SEO practices is leading searchers into opening pages that they may not be interested in. Spamming is one of the most infamous black hat tactics that can land you into serious trouble with your visitors. While the people who read articles are only concerned with finding the most relevant information, inserting links that lead them to low quality pages can greatly affect the overall reputation of your website.
Stuffing keywords may also sound like an ingenious idea to impress search engine robots. Although this can quickly get you on the first page, the truth is that your content is only one-sided and is not at all appealing to the human eye.
Eventually, black hat SEO techniques can wreak havoc and trigger a spontaneous downward trail featuring catastrophic effects like:
· Leaving a negative impression on your visitors
· Significantly decreasing your website’s online traffic
· Decreasing conversion rates
· If reported, your website can be blacklisted
Black Hat SEO Tactics You Should Avoid at All Costs
Being featured on Google’s first page may sound exceptionally intriguing for any website owner. Although employing black hat SEO tactics may quickly get you there, the big question is, how long can you stay at the top?
If you are looking forward to building a sturdy digital presence and keeping a predictable sales curve as well as consistent online traffic, avoid the following 4 SEO strategies.
1. Keyword Stuffing
Using keywords is one of the oldest and most efficient techniques of impressing search engine robots. Essentially, the more your content is rich in terms of keywords, the greater your Google ranking. This makes it easier for searchers to find you.
However, to keep visitors in the loop, it is not only imperative to create informative content but also to make sure that it is attractive to the human eye. Generally, the main concept behind a blog is to provide reliable information in a way such that your readers can easily understand your mind.
Despite being exceptionally informative, indiscriminately inserting keywords all over your article can be a major turnoff for many readers. In reality, encountering the same word over and over again can be irritating and confusing. As much as keywords are vital elements of an SEO-friendly piece; it is crucial to use common sense when inserting them. Readers don’t like it, and neither do search engine crawlers.
To build credibility and natural flow in your content, keywords should be cleverly inserted and should appear at strategic junctures like at the beginning of a paragraph or introducing a concept. Generally, however, keywords should be evenly distributed all over your content and should mesh perfectly with the relevant context.
2. Plagiarized Content
One of the main roles of Google Analytics tools is to provide websites with virtual copyrights for each and every article posted. Typically in the public domain, cases of websites posting duplicate content are common.
While it may seem like a perfect plan to get away with other people’s hard work, powerful search engine tools will instantly flag down any duplicated content. Before publishing anything on your website, consider checking for plagiarism.
Pensters and Grammarly are some of the best programs to check for duplicated content for free. If you have a few dollars to spare however, a premium Copyscape account is the perfect avenue to ensure plagiarism free content.
By doing so, you will avoid getting flagged. But since borrowing from already published content is inevitable, when designing your articles, just borrow the main ideas and expound around it with your own words and refer back to the original source of the idea. However, especially when illustrating complex concepts, it seems like a good idea to directly copy a certain section of an article. To ensure originality, remember to put quotation marks around the copied part and to link back to it.
3. Hidden text
Incorporating invisible texts is another black hat SEO tactic. Whereas hidden texts are typically visible to the search engines tools but not to your readers, this technique is a great way of boosting your website’s ratings without jeopardizing the credibility and intuitiveness of the article.
Despite that, however, this seemingly ingenious plan violates search engines terms. Since this practice can greatly affect your rating, inserting hidden texts should be avoided at all costs.
4. Comment Spam or Blog Spam
With the urge to generate traffic more insatiable than ever, comment/blog spamming may seem like an incredible avenue to redirect traffic. Essentially, this black hat SEO practice focuses on maximizing inbound votes by posting links as comments on external platforms.
As covert as it may seem, the telltale signs of blog spam are not invisible to the powerful search engine tools and can land you into serious trouble.
Besides the ones listed above, there are dozens of other black hat SEO practices that should be avoided. While it may feel euphoric and an easy shortcut to get to the top, sticking to the recommended SEO techniques is the surest way of building a reputable website.