There are many firms that claim to be “experts” in search engine optimization, the process of getting your website noticed more effectively in search engines. The unfortunate part of this is the ever-increasing amount of customers, like many of you reading this, getting scammed by these firms. There are many unethical ways of getting a website noticed including but not limited to spamdexing and cloaking. SEO malpractice is serious, and can hurt your business. These unethical practices are often referred to as Black Hat SEO, manipulative practices that can and likely will get your website banned.
What are some examples of Black Hat SEO?
One example of this is keyword stuffing. When your website is found for what your business actually offers, you can count this as a success. However, when your website’s meta tags are literally “stuffed” with keywords, your website’s page loses its ability to be seen by search engines as relevant. This is a thing of the past. Be aware if a web designer or SEO “specialist” mentions that you should be cramming a slew of keywords into your site’s meta tags. This is now considered Black Hat SEO, and will hurt your rankings in search engines.
Maybe you’ve heard of sites being “spidered” by robots. When your site is spidered by Google (or Yahoo, Ask, etc.), the search engine’s robots are looking through your website for information it can use to index your site. When this is done, the search engine’s robots are essentially being lied to about what information is on the page. One version of a page is displayed to the robot (the deceptive version), and the real content is displayed to the user. This is a form of the gateway page method. This typically violates any search engine’s rules for indexing, and will likely land your page in the supplemental index. In other words, no one will find it.
As I said before, these actions alone can have harmful effects on your business and website, but are not the only detrimental factors that can hinder your website’s performance. They are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many factors that can destroy your website’s presence. Breaking the rules when it comes to SEO can have negative effects on your website, and has the potential to plummet your business’ ability to maintain any internet visibility.
How can I tell if my website uses black hat SEO techniques?
If your site has been potentially harmed by an SEO Scammer, or if you are unsure if your website efforts have reached their maximum capabilities, it may be time for an SEO analysis of your website. To sign up for a free analysis of your website, visit our services page to see how search engine optimization from Red Rocket Web Specialists can help your business.