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SEO -- What You Should Know
By : Cari Haus
Like it or
not, the search engine optimization (SEO) strategies implemented by your
webmaster may impact more than your company's keyword rankings. Black Hat
SEO, as unethical search engine optimization practices are generally called,
can have negative consequences for your company's public image as well.
A relatively recent case in point would be the doorway pages utilized by
automaker BMW. Google penalized the BMW site for using doorway pages, which
trick search engines by showing them different content than what is
presented to users. BMW got a lot of free publicity out of the deal, but
probably not of the type they were hoping for. BMW quickly removed the
doorway pages from their site, and more than likely, someone behind the
scenes got their hand slapped too.
If your company is intent on building not only a brand, but a stellar public
image, the last activity you'll want to engage in is Black Hat SEO tactics.
Although there are some gray areas, certain practices are widely considered
unethical and could tarnish one of your firm's most valuable assets, your
Black Hat Techniques to Avoid
Building doorway pages into your site is forbidden with just about every
search engine. Doorway pages, which are really "fake" pages or "spider food"
that cater to search engine algorithms but are never seen by users, have one
primary goal: to trick search engines into higher rankings. They should be
avoided at all costs.
Placing invisible text on your site can also get you into trouble with
search engines. An example would be putting black text on a black background
on your site. This practice is also unethical. Keyword packing or stuffing,
which involves putting long lists of keywords on your site without anything
in the way of content, can also get you banned from the search engines.
If your webmaster or SEO firm is engaging in any of these tactics, beware.
Your site could be penalized by the search engines for these tactics, and
any gains that result from them early on could be more than offset by the
cost of being de-indexed by the search engines, not to mention the black eye
that unethical practices could give to your company.
Link farms and linking schemes with the primary intent of manipulating
search engine rankings, as opposed to providing valuable content on the web,
can also get your site dropped or banned from Google. Google also has a very
dim view of duplicate content, which involves the promotion of two or more
nearly identical sites.
Black Hat SEO is simply not worth the risk. Your best choice will always be
to engage an SEO firm whose ethics reflect the stellar image your company
has or is striving to achieve.
About the Author :
Cari Haus retails Amish log furniture and log beds on the Internet
from her website, http://www.logcabinrustics.com.