5 Tactics SEO Management Companies Need To Avoid
In order to rank higher in search results, garner more organic traffic, and become a reputable trusted website, SEO management companies should maintain fair, active and high-quality optimisation that focuses only on improving the user’s experience. Anything other than this – as in, dishonest, sneaky and hindering methods – are known as ‘Black Hat’ tactics, and can severely damage your website’s reputation.
As a result, all that effort and time you invested into those black hat techniques goes down the drain as your site gets dropped from the search engines, and you painfully see your organic traffic plummet.
Search engine algorithms, including Google, are constantly changing and ever-evolving, meaning strategies that used to work for some, could now get you in a lot of trouble. And if you are up to something a little second-rate now, you’re almost guaranteed to be found out at some point in the future. Which is why the only way to successfully improve your SEO is through quality and relevant content that produces a great user experience, also known as ‘White Hat’ tactics.
So what are the five most common and dodgiest black hat tactics that SEO management companies most commonly and mistakenly use?
5 Black Hat Tactics SEO Management Companies Need To Avoid!
1. Buying Paid Links
Paying money for links that boost your search engine rankings isn’t necessarily illegal, but when used incorrectly and exploited, it can tarnish the reputation of your site. Sure, it’s easy – once the transaction is completed there is no need to bother with the quality of your content, and the anchor text is automatically chosen according to the customer’s preferences. But that’s exactly the problem that will put you in Google’s bad books – irrelevant, outdated content. Also, buying a hundred links with the same anchor text makes it obvious you are only purchasing for the sake of boosting rankings, and it’s likely that this will get you caught. All in all, it’s best for SEO management companies to avoid buying and selling links altogether – it’s spammy, disreputable and not worth the risk.
2. Hidden Text and Links
Putting illegible text and other links at the bottom of a page, or making it the same colour as your background is a big no-no. By doing this, keywords are unrecognisable on your page but still detected by search engines, meaning traffic will be directed to irrelevant content.
3. Keyword Stacking
Stuffing your content with the same keyword over and over again just to maximise its visibility is a surefire way to get your site blacklisted. In theory, the more times a keyword is mentioned on your site, the more ‘relevant’ it appears to be and the higher it will rank. However, other statistics factor into Google’s algorithm (not just keyword density), so overused, illegible content can be identified. And if it’s not user-friendly, it’s not trusted, and if it’s not trusted, well…you know the drill. It’s absolutely fine to optimise keywords in your content, but do it within reason – SEO management companies need to keep the writing natural and appealing to the user. The last thing users want to see is the same keyword being repeated every other sentence, as it appears both spammy to both Google’s spiders and people.
4. Duplicate Content
This one is a no-brainer. Imagine how simple it’s to just “copy and paste” high-quality evergreen content from highly authoritative authors and sources and then just rank for that? Google is not silly, and nor are readers.
Duplicate content refers to the ‘copy and paste’ method of creation, where content from different sources are clearly identical or very similar and are only duplicated for the sake of latching on to the original site’s high ranking. Not only is this plagiarism, but it won’t necessarily boost your status either. Search engines nowadays are designed to promote original, unique content so using this tactic to manipulate the system is a definite no-no. However, it’s okay and even encouraged to quote and link to other authority sources whilst always giving credit to them.
Ever clicked on a site that was on a topic you were looking for e.g. cooking recipes, and then got re-directed to a gambling website? If yes, you have been a victim of cloaking.
Cloaking is a highly disregarded tactic where two sets of content are produced – one for search engine bots, and the other for site visitors. It tricks the search engines into thinking your site is relevant, when in fact, it’s substantially different – and so the human visitor has to navigate away from the irrelevant content resulting in a poor user experience. Cloaking is a deceptive practice, and will make your bounce rate explode, let alone the risk of a massive penalty. Ensure you are implementing honest, engaging web pages based on what the users want (and expect) to see.
SEO management companies need to avoid shonky black hat tactics at all costs. The strategies listed above are some of the biggest culprits, and while the appeal of higher search engine rankings with little effort seems tempting, it will definitely harm your website in the long term. Focus on creating appealing, honest and active content and the organic traffic (and eventually, higher rankings) will come.
Confused and not sure how to get a start with a solid white hat SEO strategy? Feel free to contact us and have a chat with one of our SEO and Content Marketing Specialists.