Rather than give you all of the ins and outs of the industry, I’d prefer to approach this topic from a slightly different angle. I think it is necessary for everyone (professionals and amateurs alike) to know about some key things to NOT do when it comes to optimizing your website for search engines. There are a few things that will get your site banned from the Google ranks VERY quickly. Obviously I am a marketing expert- so although we do run successful social media campaigns, I wanted to interview someone with much more expertise in that area. Rochester, NY has a wealth of computer and technology related business so fortunately I was able to get a teleconference with the owner of Nothing But Net Solutions, Jim Gubiotti.
I asked him to outline several black-hat SEO “tactics” that would get your site banned from the Google organic search results. Here’s what I learned:
- Hidden, keyword stuffed content is bad. Really bad. A way to do this is- putting white fonts on white backgrounds. Magic- the words just blend right in! Google engineers don’t really like it when you trick their carefully formulated algorithms.
- Meta tag keyword stuffing is also an especially terrible idea. Another way to have your site banned from Google. The difference between this and the first kind of keyword stuffing is that you’re still using keywords, but just inserting them into meta tags rather than making them different colors to blend into the background. The recently updated algorithms on Google have put less emphasis on meta tags and more emphasis on title tags and alt tags. So even if you are doing this, it probably won’t help, BUT it will still get your site booted from Google just for trying to do it. As a rule, if you are using more than 10 tags, you are stuffing.
- Doorway Pages: What these pages do is to serve as a re-direct page- only using coding that is not acceptable according to the algorithms that Google engineers have carefully developed. These “doorway” or “gateway” pages are usually stuffed with content to optimize for certain keywords. The actual Google user (the human on the end of this) does not see this page, but Google crawlers do see it, which is why they work to increase your rankings. Certain types of re-directs are allowable if you change your site for example- a clear 301 redirect is ok to do. Google will figure out that you are doing this, because eventually a real person (and not just a crawler) will see your page. Then, your site will be removed.
- Link Farms: Think of a link farm like this: If you build your house in a crappy neighborhood, regardless how nice your house is, your property value is diminished. Link Farms are the sites that you sometimes find that contain hundreds, perhaps even thousands of links to totally unrelated pages. If you participate and have your site associated with these link farms, you run the risk of your site being removed by Google. So just like real estate- location is everything. When you build your site, if you are in a “bad neighborhood,” you are the only one who stands to lose out.
Many SEO consultants use these techniques, but you will find that these are the SEO consultants who have absolutely NO clue what they are doing whatsoever. If your SEO consultant starts recommending any of these, I’d run as fast as possible.
Mr. Gubiotti does not ascribe to these beliefs and maintains that the best way to have your site highly indexed by google is by giving them credible, remarkable content. There are several SEO tactics that are allowed according to Google webmaster guidelines- but the best rule of thumb according to Jim is this: “If the site is good for the human being reading it, then it will be good for the Google crawler.” If you have questions on how optimizing your site for search engines can benefit your business, you can contact Nothing But Net Solutions and see how they can help you.
Remember, it’s not going to be an overnight thing if you are doing it the right way- it takes time. If you do things the wrong way, not only will you be penalized by Google, you will also lose a ton of credibility which can happen in an instant on the world-wide web. In short: Black hat SEO= Bad Google Karma! And as we all know… the Google karma police are always on patrol.