Daniel Chung dives into the seedy world of bad search engine optimisation in his latest post.
There are a lot of ways to optimise your Website for search engines. Normally, we can optimise by developing simplified site structures, link population and by using correct keywords to get a better ranking on Google. However, there are some SEO/Web Design companies that utilise “cheats” (also known as “Spamdexing“) to get good rankings on Google. Over the years Google has become increasingly observant and will analise your Website to see if you’ve been cheating. In this article, I’m going to go over some SEO “don’ts”, so make sure your site isn’t involved in the following:
Invisible Text / Hidden Links
Invisible text refers to text that can be found by search engines but not Website visitors. There are a lot of different ways to make this happen, but the easiest way is make your text colour the same as background colour.
Most of search engines have ability to detect hidden text; and will treat it as cheating which will result in your site ranking being decreased or in some cases in your domain being black-listed. Some Websites may be lucky enough to not be recognised as “cheating” and can get high ranks in search results. It is very risky however and by no means do we endorse it.
This works by creating a fake Website that contains heaps of text and keywords which is then submitted to Google. After Google has indexed your site and has given it a (possibly) high rank, the dummy site is replaced with an official version. Because Google is already indexed your Website your rank will not be affected until the next update, which may not occur for a good 3-4 months.
Some sites have a lot of popular keywords in their text, but they aren’t at all related to that actual Website. For example, the keyword “dating” on a “car dealership” Website, that when people search for “dating”, they will see a car dealer listed. It is terrible SEO behavior and Google has clever technology to block those Websites.
This is also called “keyword stuffing”, which means you are trying to over-repeat your keywords to get higher search engine ranking. For example, someone can put text such as this on their homepage:
“welcome to car dealer super cheap car dealer/budget car dealer, we are a car dealer based in Auckland, as a car dealer, we do everything car dealer can do and we are best car dealer in Auckland”
It not only looks awful but has little actual effect on search engine rankings as Google et al limit the total keywords indexed from a site.
Deceptive Redirects / Doorways
Essentially this means visitors will be redirected to another page after reaching the “landing” (or home) page. The landing page is full of keywords that aren’t related to the Website. Search Spiders are now smart enough to ignore doorway pages automatically. This isn’t to be confused with a “Splash” page which acts as a legitimate lead-in to some sites.
Typical link spamming activities include:
• Link Farms
• Bulk link exchange programs
• Mass cross-linking
These schemes have been devised to create a huge amount of pages that all link to each other. Therefore it is possible to develop the perception to search engines that “these Websites are popular because there are a lot of Websites that link to them”, which results in better rankings. Most search engine spiders have the ability to find these link-spamming pages. If your Website has been identified as a “link farm”, you will be penalised no matter whether you did it on purpose or not. In general though, sites flagged as link spamming have been so because they serve no purpose other that to spread the reach of other useless Websites.
There are lot of other ways to deceive Google, but the search giant is always evolving to protect itself and you against these Web cheats. To summarise, if you want your site optimised: don’t do it via the ways mentioned above. Either read my other SEO posts, or arrange a time to have a chat with one of us here at MaxGen Media. We’re are bonafide SEO professionals, and in the coming weeks I’ll be providing case studies and success stories of some of our clients to prove it.