Once upon a time, search engine optimization (SEO), was like the Wild West – no rules, and people could do pretty much anything to get their websites up to the top of the search engine listings. Those days have long gone, however, and the rule of law prevails. Search engines know all the tricks, and are not slow to penalize any website that attempts to use them. In this article, we’ll look at the things you should definitely avoid if you’re trying to optimize your site for web searches.
Copying content from another site and placing it on your site is a definite no-no. Not only is this bad SEO practice, it’s copyright infringement too. You could find yourself in trouble with the law, as well as in trouble with the search engines. Be aware that other sites might duplicate your content, so if you suspect this has happened and that your rankings have suffered as a result, contact the search engine immediately.
This is a way of directing visitors to a different website, by disguising or cloaking the information that appears in the address bar. Search engines have bots that will detect this very easily – but you can’t detect them, since they’re unnamed and come from undisclosed IP addresses. Cloaking is a very quick way to get your site banned.
This is the practice of stuffing apparently blank space on a website with keywords, written in the same color as the background so that you can’t see them. You might also find keywords written in a very tiny font at the foot of a web page. Again, this is something that search engines can easily detect, and it usually results in a ban.
In the end, you can’t fool the search engines in the long term, so why waste your energy? If you can devote all the time and ingenuity that you’ve put into sneaky SEO tactics into making your site user friendly, content rich and legitimately optimized for keywords, your site will naturally climb up the rankings and you’ll never have to worry about being banned.