As an Internet marketer with a website, most of us would want to rank highly on Google. This motivates us to perform SEO to boost our rankings. However, as someone that has just started out, you may not know that there are some bad SEO practices out there which you should avoid.
What is Black Hat SEO?
Black Hat SEO refers to techniques that a webmaster can use to boost their Google rankings, but in a way that focuses more appealing to search engines rather than actual visitors. These techniques usually do not follow basic search engine guidelines. Google treats these techniques as a serious offense as we can see from their Google Panda and Penguin updates. These updates were implemented to punish those using black hat SEO techniques to gain rankings.
Bad SEO practices
This is considered bad practice becuase it involves trying to add too many keywords in your post. More often than not when this happens your writing would look unnatural and would steer your readers away. Also, search engines would probably be able to detect this as well. Another example that is similar would be adding keywords in the alternative text of images. This can help your rankings and some websites do recommend you put keywords in the allternative text but it has to make sense. Do not put the keyword in every single image in hopes to rank higher for a particular keyword because at the end of the day if your images can’t load you still annoy your readers.
Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your own website. Although this can happen naturally when you promote or share your website on social media, which is perfectly fine, there are some cases where backlinks are bad for you. An example of this would be posting your link on a website that is irrelevant to your own just for the sake of getting more backlinks. Also, there are some sites out there that act like a link exchange, where everyone would come along and post their own link to exchange traffic. This falls into the category of low quality backlinks.
Private Blog Networks (PBN)
Very similar to backlinks, PBNs are also something to avoid. PBNs are websites that you’ve paid for, just to post a link there to increase the amount of backlinks to your primary website. Also because you own that website you can choose your own anchor text, which is the text that corresponds to the link and anchor text can play a significant factor in SEO. The rule of thumb here is do not buy a website for the sole purpose of having it link back to your primary one.
This is like copying someone else’s homework. This is considered a bad SEO practice because Google will know if you copied from somewhere. Google doesn’t index your page or post if they find that it has been copied or even if it does you wont rank highly anyway. All search engines would prefer new and unique content because their main purpose is to give their users relevent information. Another thing to note is that you can also have duplicate content in your own website, on different pages. You can check your website for duplicate content using CopyScape.
Tricking Search Engine Spiders
Cloakiing and doorway pages fall into this category. This might be something a little more advanced and you might not come across this as a beginner. Cloaking basically means you present different sets of content to your users and search engines. An example of this might be presenting some keywords only when the one viewing your site is a search engine or showing an image to your viewers but instead you show HTML to search engines. Doorway pages are pages that you display to search engines only and not the users. Usually doorway pages serve the purpose of getting better rankings and provide no useful information whatsoever. These 2 methods do not follow search engine guidelines because they are intended to trick search engines.
Really just focus on writing good and relevant containt and don’t try to cut corners. I know as someone new to this you would want to rank highly on Google, everyone does and I have been there. All I can really say is, just keep writing good stuff and eventually you will see success.
If you have any feedback or even disagreement, anything you might want to add feel free to leave a comment below,