We’ve been talking black hat. You can take a look at our blog from a week ago that takes a look at what black hat means and why it’s something to stay away from. In our last blog, we took a look at 5 Social Media Black Hat Tactics to Avoid. This week, we are going to dive into SEO and what to watch for when it comes to your own SEO, or if you’re having a company do your SEO for you.
1. Purchased Backlinks
There is a lot of talk around backlinks. Back in the day, these were the end all and be all for some marketing companies. For a while after that experts argued that they really didn’t make that much of a difference anymore because Google had stopped recognizing them. These days, the opinion lies somewhere in the middle. Google recognizes backlinks, but wants them coming from reliable and related websites – it builds credibility and site traffic, which are both good things in Google’s eyes.
Even at that, there are still companies out there pushing backlinks, and what’s worse, they’re pushing purchased or spammy backlinks from unreliable and unrelated sites. Not only is this not helpful to your website rank, but it can also actually cause long-lasting negative effects for your search engine optimization. The biggest problem with this is that at first, these backlinks might actually help your rank. You may see a spike right off, just to have your rank plummet when the search engine recognizes what’s going on. This will lead you to believe the company you’re working with is doing great until it’s too late!
2. Keyword Stuffing
Quality content should contain specific information on a topic. It should be rich with quality words and phrases that people may use to search when they’re looking for your content. What it should not be is stuffed with them. If it gets difficult the read the content because of how many times random things are thrown in, or it’s clunky to read because you stuff multiple keywords into a single sentence, it’s not good content, and Google will know that.
3. Hidden Content
I have to admit that this one always makes me laugh a little. We have seen companies who stuff their websites full of keywords by adding them in the background, in the same color font as the background. Here’s the thing… Google can read the colors of your site. This is one of the craziest ways I’ve heard of to get more content on your site, but I can promise you, it’s not a good one. Google will figure it out, and your rank will reflect it.
4. Excessively Long Title Tags
Google likes title tags to be formatted a certain way and to be a certain length. Google also does not like to see keywords stuffed into them. We see people, however, create title tags that put keywords they want to be found for in their title tags, even if they have nothing to do with the page, and we see them create LONG title tags so they can stuff as many keywords in there as possible. Your website title tags (the words that come up on the tab in your browser and on the search results) should simply describe the page. If you have a page about your laundry service in Lincoln, NE, your title tag should say, “Laundry Services in Lincoln, NE”. Google should be able to get the gist of what the page is about by looking at the title tag. That should actually match the content you have on the page.
5. Copying Content from Another Website
Plagiarism is never cool. Google knows this and takes it very seriously. If you are getting the content from your site directly off of other sites, Google is going to see that as duplicate content. Typically, it’ll give the authority to the website who had the content out there longer, or the website that is of higher quality in its view.
At Transformation Marketing, we believe it all comes down to trust and results, and that means doing SEO and all of our marketing the right way for our clients. We are focused on doing what is right and what will increase our clients’ bottom line in the long run. Marketing is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. If you’re ready to do marketing right, we’re ready to help you find success!