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Winston Salem SEO : Illegal Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Techniques to Avoid

By Triad SEO in : Search Engine Optimization, Winston Salem SEO // Aug 30 2010

1. Link Farms

Also known as Spamexing or Spamdexing.

A link farm is a series of websites created solely for housing gratuitous links that point to a collection of websites. It can also be a network of websites interlinking with each other.

Such websites are considered illegal in the eyes of Google and major search engines because they aim to achieve high rankings for websites that haven’t earned those rankings through good content and overall quality.

As a strategy, utilizing link farms, or spamdexing a search engine is highly dangerous. Even when your website has excellent content, when you or your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) consultant use this technique, your website will still get penalized or banned because the engines figure that when you did have good content you wouldn’t resort to such sneaky tactics designed to trick them.

How to Guard Against It –  When an Search Engine Optimization expert tells you that he or she’ll secure incoming links for you, ask them to tell you namely how they will do so.

The correct answer is that they are going to target specific, pre-existing and established web sites to gain an incoming link from them to you (in most cases without having to link back to them).

When a expert tells you that they’re going to build you hundreds or thousands of pages across different domains that will link to your web site, do NOT work with them as this will severely cripple your web site.

Also periodically search your domain name in the major search engines to see what websites are pointing to you. When you see anything out of the ordinary, such as websites whose domains are very long or jibberish (lots of numbers and random or inappropriate words) or pages that are simply long lists of links, approach your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) professional about getting your website removed from these pages and in what ways they appeared there in the 1st place.

2. Doorway Pages

Additionally known as Advertising Pages, Jump Pages, Gateway Pages, etc.

Doorway Pages are a form of landing page that is designed solely for the search engine and oftentimes is not even viewable to the human visitor.

These pages often use a redirect script that automatically points the visitor to another page on the site without the human visitor ever seeing the doorway page. That is also known as cloaking and is clearly defined as an illegal practice by Google and other search engines.

The only time a landing page is acceptable by search engines is when it is in the form of an informative, well written article that human visitors peruse and enjoy, where they aren’t tricked into clicking or being redirected to the website’s main pages.

How to Guard Against It –  Make certain you understand just what kind of pages are being added to your website and make certain to look at most of them.

Ask your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert point-blank whether any of these pages will automatically redirect to your website’s main page. If they say yes, then they’re breaking the rules and are well aware of it, and we recommend you do NOT work with such an individual or company.

It doesn’t matter if they say they use a special javascript or other redirect that is “legal” or acceptable to Google. That is never the case and though Google may not know about that particular trick yet, it will find out fast enough and your site will get penalized as a result.

3. Keyword Stuffing

Also known as Keyword Spamming.

One of the original illegal Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics, keyword stuffing occurs when you load a webpage full of particular keywords and phrases, either in the meta tags, other script tags, or in the content itself.

This is different from optimizing the page for particular keyword phrases because exactly the same words are being repeated dozens or hundreds of times in no credible or informative way.

Keywords are hidden a few ways, for instance some individuals will make the text the same color as the background so search engines see it, but no human visitors can.

Others will hide keywords and phrases in script tags. Still others yet will use CSS to position keywords and phrases outside of your visible screen area, again so that no human visitors can see it – but search engines can.

Though on the surface, using such techniques may sound like an attractive idea. Notwithstanding, search engines can detect whether a keyword is being used correctly and will penalize or ban your site for using any of the above techniques to stuff keywords and phrases into your site.

How to Guard Against It –  Oftentimes, the only way you are able to know if your website has been stuffed with keywords is to view the source code of your website (visit your website in your favorite browser, click “View” and then “Source Code.”)

A page of HTML will display. If you see the same keywords repeated hundreds of times anywhere, then your page has been stuffed and will be considered in violation of every search engine’s rules.

4. Scraper Pages or Auto-Generated Pages

Scraper pages are those comprised of search results or content automatically pulled from dozens or hundreds of websites or search engine results. This is a form of plagiarism as no part of the scraper page is original content.

Most often, such websites are used to display Google Adsense Ads or other ads that pay the website owner every time a visitor clicks on it. However search engines have gotten very good at banning such websites from their results and human visitors can detect them easily as well.

Scraper websites are easy to spot as they’re largely illogical. They are snippets of other webpage content, or search results, and therefore have no sensible point and do not make sense when read.

How to Guard Against It –  As with other illegal methods, it is important to first ask your Search Engine Optimization expert directly whether they are going to employ such unethical methods.

Then you must monitor their work. Be certain you’ve access to your website’s hosting service so that you are able to view all pages that are hosted on your website’s domain. Periodically view pages at random to be certain they don’t contain this or other illegal content.

Additionally get reports of your web site’s rankings and search the keyword phrases you rank for. Click through from the search results and check the landing page’s source code and content for anything fishy or inappropriate.

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