Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Black Hat SEO | worst SEO practices to be avoided

Well, when you are tasting sweet, you should also know the taste of hot. We had already discussed 12 tips and good practices for SEO, let's see the practices which is considered as offending during SEO process. Google considers the practice of tricking the search engines to get indexed (those websites having little or no useful content) as 'Search engine spam' also called as 'Spamdexing' or 'Balck-Hat SEO'. 

While the practice of attaining SEO through recommended and regular practice is considered as 'White-Hat SEO'. Let's look at the practices that lead to Black-Hat SEO. Knowing this is like a precaution step to avoid such practices, which will otherwise make Google to ban your site by either dropping your PageRank or by completely deleting your webpage details in their database. 

1. Page title and URL differing from the post content

Usually this is referred to as "Cloaking". Some bloggers do the trick of including the most searched keywords in title or URL of pages that has completely different content. I mean the content and titles are totally unrelated. This is to make the robots index the page and show the same in top search results so as to get more page clicks. This posts won't be useful to the users as they can't find their required information, thus leaving a bad impression on search engines. 

Ultimately, audience will lose the trust on search engines. This will affect greatly in the long run. Therefore, search engines are very keen in identifying such sites and eliminating them from their list by dropping their PageRanks or completely deleting the pages from their database.

2. False Redirects and popups

It's the process of including links with different keywords, clicking which will take one to some other (not-related) page. Some bloggers do the trick of clubbing ad links to a link so that whenever users try to click that, some unwanted ads popup. This kind of practices is to be avoided. Say if the link reads 'Justin bieber latest release songs', but clinking this will take to a page something like 'Buy one get one free in our showroom', such practices is odd and is considered as black-hat behavior.

3. Hidden cookies, Invisible links & text  

The practice of stuffing content as well as links with cookies and hidden links, in order to get clicked from visitors (without their knowledge to earn money !) is also considered as black-hat. There are some sites where even by clicking on page tabs, pictures or even text will direct one to some ads. Avoid doing such nonsense things in your blog.

4. Multiple usage of not related words, phrases

This is concerned with the content. Flooding the article with words (or any other phrase) just  intended to make it look longer or to highlight some major keywords by aimlessly repeating the same words N number of times is a waste and of course a worst practice. Your content lose readability and your audience will face poor experience with your content. This will not only reduce your sites traffic in the long run, but also drop PageRank.

5. Keyword stuffing in Titles' and meta tags 

Using only keywords in titles, headings and meta tags is a great way of getting indexed quickly and also a great way of getting drained in web world. A title should have optimal keyword must be a heading type, I mean it must read some meaning without just a plain line or wordings. 

6. Link farms or trading 

Link trading is the trick of mutually linking between sites just for getting ranks. Two or more bloggers come to an understanding, they will dedicate their pages just to put links (backlinks) of the other bloggers. The other blogger will also do the same thing by including the links of the first blogger, thinking to boost their PageRanks. Well, it's the opposite that actually happens. 

Google is not a fool to get tricked easily. Google uses spammer technology to identify such sites and punish them. So avoid trading links with anyone, just blog casually. Use links from external source only when you feel the necessity for them, that too when they offer additional information to the readers.

7. Duplicating content

Content that was stolen (copied) from top blogging sites (already published content) and using them in other sites are considered as 'duplicating content'

Google released two updates Panda (in 2011) and Penguin (in 2012) to drop the PageRanks of those sites having duplicate content. This is in response to the findings that some websites started sharing content of each other, just to get good PageRanks.

Apart from the above discussion, below is a quick list of things that has to be avoided to protect your website from getting banned

  1. Mirror web-siting - Avoid maintaining similar websites with same content but with different names or URL's.
  2. URL direction - directing users to another page without their knowledge and necessity 
  3. Broken links - broken link is an indication of site poor health. If more broken links are found, then that site will get punished
  4. Avoid including links from spam web pages
  5. Avoid over-linking in order to build backlinks
  6. Avoid going for paid links
  7. Avoid doing other black-hat SEO tricks 
  8. Avoid buying or selling links - instead focus on content
  9. Avoid having multiple homes in your blog
  10. Avoid keyword dilution in title and URL 
  11. Don't include only images with no written content

Finally, here are some supportive images to explain the phenomena of punishing websites

1. Banning of major brands by ChrisDavies -

2. Another video about SEO by Marco silva

Here is how German BMW got banned from Google for spamming from Blogoscoped

Hope this helps.

Feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions by posting a comment below. 

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