Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

W WebWorks by Terry Young
SEO agent, friend or foe?



SEO AGENT, FRIEND OR FOE?


Watch out for Black Hat techniques


I'm sure that most website owners receive emails all the time from companies claiming that they can get sites to the top of the search engines.  On further investigation however, it becomes clear that these  SEO experts are using what are called 'Black Hat' techniques.

The term Black Hat originates from old cowboy movies, where the bad guys were always easy to spot in their black hats.  This term covers the more unscrupulous methods some companies use to try to fool search engines into obtaining a higher placement.
        




Rule #1 of SEO - Search Engines are not stupid.  To keep valid search results they are constantly being adjusted to recognize and weed out sites using Black Hat techniques like these.
   
    1. Keyword Stuffing - This is where a page is literally stuffed with paragraphs of keyword gibberish, like "hampton roads remodelers kitchen remodeling bathrooms kitchens" aimed purely  at the search engines.  
  
    These are nonsense, and the search engines can see right through such practices by simply checking for proper syntax, like your word processor does.
   
    2. Hidden Pages - Whenever you see the word hidden read deceptive. These are literally tens or sometimes hundreds of pages of keywords, which normal site visitors cannot see and are submitted to the search engines.

    These are designed to fool a search engine into thinking that the site is much larger than it actually is, and usually uses keyword stuffing to try and get good search results. These do nothing more than bloat the site with spam.  As soon as a search engine discovers this, your site will be blocked.

    3. Hidden Text and Links - This was one of the first SEO myths, and goes way back to the late 1990s.  It is also one of the fastest methods to get your site banned.

    As it says, this is text or links containing keywords which are the same color as the background. These are easily spotted if you click and drag your mouse over any large apparently empty areas of a site, usually at the bottom of a page.    If there are any words or links there, they will become highlighted.     Once again, these are nothing more than keyword spam, and the searches will pick that up immediately.
       
    4. Doorway or Gateway Pages - This is when a web designer puts several single pages online each with a different keyworded URL like 'chesapeakeremodelers.com'. These keyword stuffed pages have links to the real web site.  They are submitted to the search engines in the hope that they will get a high result and lead visitors to the main site. Again, this is pure deception, and the effect is that each page will be banned individually.  Furthermore, if there are enough of them, the site they lead to will also be banned.

    These are just four examples of practices which can destroy a site's reputation.  If your site is blacklisted, you have 90 days to clean up the site, or it will be banned permanently.

    We have never believed in using such methods to cheat a site to the top of the searches, and possibly damage our clients business. Instead, our clients' high results are achieved by staying within search engine guidelines.

    If you have concerns with your web presence reaching your widest customer base, now is the time to look into our WebUpdate system sites.  Not Open Source, they take advantage of advanced SEO, social, and responsive features to give your business the best competitive edge online.




Terry Young is the founder and CEO of Internet Marketing and Design,
the award winning web and multimedia design agency in Chesapeake.