“Thou shalt not spam”
The Moral Dilemma
Have you succumbed to the temptation, the magnetic allure of the golden arches, perhaps taken up participating in all you can eat competitions as a new form of recreation in your downtime?
Well, ease your conscience – it’s official. Keyword stuffing is the new form of Über- gluttony. An unorthodox practice to which many Google page no. 1 wannabes have subscribed, if you like, the eighth deadly sin of SEO underhand strategies.
Black Hat + Panda + Penguin = Bermuda Triangle
The wrath of Google has been provoked and this unorthodox practice, known as “black hat SEO” led to the introduction of page layout algorithms (Panda) earlier in the year and a new algorithms (Penguin) specifically targeting web spamming and overzealous keyword consumption. Google has been relentless in acting to annihilate this practice.
The initial Panda change affected about 12% of queries to a significant degree; this algorithm affects about 3.1% of queries in English. It affects roughly 3% of queries in German, Chinese, and Arabic, but more heavily spammed languages, such as Polish can expect a circa 5% change.
The push is towards a practice of white hat search engine optimization, ethical link building with content marketing as opposed to crossing over to the murky, underworld of black hat SEO.
Black Hat Strategies incorporate: duplicate content, invisible text and stuffed keywords, “cloaking” or re-directing the user to another site or page and links from sites with non-relevant content.
Engage in these practices at your own peril! Any initial page 1 Google euphoria can be short-lived and precarious.
As is well documented the retail giant JC Penney’s brand was tarnished when it was identified for use of backwater, black hat SEO techniques which enabled them to dominate for most key phrases like “dresses”, “bedding”, “area rugs” and many more. How did they do it? Allegedly they employed a third-party vendor who created backlinks from irrelevant websites and engaged in unethical, online search practices. Hell hath no fury like a ‘Google Penguin’ scorned and the company have now vanished to the Bermuda triangle of organic search result listings.
How do you know if your company is engaging in black hat SEO techniques?
Black Hat SEO Checklist:
Examine your SEO strategist’s monthly SEO techniques against the following black hat SEO checklist:
1. Unrealistic pledges to get your company to the top of Google in a nanosecond.
2. Request for payment for a quota of backlinks.
3. Hidden content that may have been loaded on your domain site.
4. A page created solely to target a specific search phrase.
5. Any pages that are being redirected.
6. Excessive link exchanging from irrelevant sites.
Any online or e-commerce business owner will be enticed by the promise of new business and increased traffic to your site by an SEO company. Make sure the methods are ethical and accepted practices to prevent your site from being “black listed” entirely from the search engine results.
What colour is my hat?
Which hat do you wear? Is it black, white or grey? You decide….
Choose wisely my friend and may the SEO force be with you…
To be continued….
In part two of our blog we explore the white side of SEO practices, content marketing and the importance of choosing your hat wisely.
Be there or be on page 5 of Google……..Don’t miss it!
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