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Black Hat SEOEveryone wants to get their website to the top of the Google listings. It will bring extra traffic and, if your website has been designed correctly, additional business. Competition for a top spot listing is so fierce these days that many people are prepared to do anything to get there. This is where Black Hat search engine optimization (SEO) often comes into play.

Black hat SEO is the quickest way to get your site ignored by, or even banned by, Google. Black hat SEO techniques include: ….

Hidden Content

Search engines look for keyword phrases in webpage content. Many people try to fool the search engines by adding additional content, stuffed with keywords, hidden to the user but not to the search engines. There are many ways to do this, from hiding content between comment tags within the code, to adding text in tiny fonts with the same colour as the background.

This technique is a definite no-no with all search engines and if detected can mean your website will be penalised or even banned.

Doorway Pages

Doorway, or Gateway pages, are pages designed for search engines and not for the end user. They are basically fake pages that are stuffed with content and highly optimized for 1 or 2 keywords that link to a target or landing page. The end user never sees these pages because they are automatically redirected to the target page.

Companies offering low-cost SEO services will often use this technique and try to persuade you that it is a valid way of getting your site up the rankings. Don’t be fooled.

Keyword Stuffing

This involves optimizing pages for specific keywords, which is what you should do, but using the relevant keywords dozens or even hundreds of times in visible content and underlying code – meta tags , titles etc.

Even in the unlikely event that your site’s position does get a boost from this technique, the content will be so stilted and unnatural that the site will be ineffective at turning visitors into customers.

Content should be written for users not for search engines.

Link Farms

Link Farms are websites set up specifically to provide links to other websites. Websites can get a boost from having links from other websites. If you get a request from anyone offering to add your site to their “online directory”, especially if they want to charge for it, ignore them. They won’t provide you with any traffic and you run the risk of having your site banned for participating.

The same goes for requests from people asking to do a link exchange i.e. they add a link to your site from theirs and your add one on your site to theirs. Unless you know the person concerned and their site is relevant to your then ignore such requests.

In Conclusion

Links to your site from others will give you a boost but only if the other sites are high quality and relevant to yours.

Don’t be taken in by cut-price, cowboy SEO companies who tend to contact website owners directly with unsolicited emails or contact enquiries from the site. Ignore them. You will waste your money.

You may have to pay a bit more to have the job done properly by a reputable company but it will pay off in the long run.

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