Don’t Try to Fool the Search Engines

linksOne way that some people try to get better ranking is by fooling the search engines. They might do something as simple as putting white text on a white background so that the text appears in the HTML but doesn’t show up on the Web page. But this is a very bad idea. Most search engines are aware of the more common hacks and have taken steps to neutralize them. So the best you can hope for is that you’ll do a lot of work for nothing. But in reality, if you do some hacking tricks, your site will be removed from the search engine lists. And it can be very difficult to get back on again once you’ve been blacklisted by the search engines.

Why You Should Not Cloak a Website

This article discusses the issue of cloaking and why some firms will recommend it as a way to improve your ranking in search engines. Web site owners who are working with search optimization firms should read this article so that they are aware of the issues surrounding cloaking.

How can you tell if a site is a link farm?

It’s not a good idea to link to a link farm or to participate in creating one unless you don’t care that your site may be banned from search engines.

Dirty Tricks that Will Get Your Site Banned ============================

These ten tips are a sure-fire way to get banned from Google and other search engines. From the Guide to Google.

1. Cloaking

You can design your website to be efficiently catalogued by Google, and you can specify which sites should be cached or ignored by Googlebots. Designing your Web site so that search engines see one thing and visitors see totally different content is called cloaking. This can be done with redirects or with programming, and it’s strictly verboten.

2. Duplicate Content

Don’t copy and paste large amounts of text from your own pages, and certainly don’t violate copyright by copying content from elsewhere. Google has been known to ban sites that duplicate too much content or at least severely penalize their ranking in search results.

3. Have a Robot Write Your Web Site
Just as it’s a bad idea to duplicate content, it’s a worse idea to get a machine to write your content for you. There are programs out there that duplicate the same content but make a few changes here and there. If Google catches you, and they’re pretty good at catching this, you can kiss your page views goodbye.

4. Add Keywords that Don’t Relate to Your Content
Meta keywords aren’t that important to Google anymore. However, when you list keywords, do list keywords that directly relate to your site, and don’t repeat the same keyword multiple times. Spamming keywords by listing every word in the dictionary is a great way to have your ranking lowered in Google.

5. Link Exchanges and Bad Neighborhoods

Linking ordinarily would make you a good neighbor and a good citizen of the Internet. However, just because someone links to you does not obligate you to link back to them. Sometimes you do get judged on the quality of the friends you keep. Google calls spamming sites bad neighborhoods, and linking to them could lower your PageRank.

6. Hidden Text
Don’t try to hide keywords by making the background color the same as the font color. This is called keyword stuffing or fontmatching. Google and other search engines are increasingly sophisticated at catching this, and they’ll likely remove any offending Web sites from their search engine index.

7. Title Stacking
Don’t try to add extra <title> tags for more keywords. This cousin of keyword stuffing is called title stacking, and it won’t win you any friends at Google.

8. Distribute Viruses, Trojans, or Other Badware
If your site is distributing a virus, trojan, or other badware, Google’s going to remove you from their index for the public good. This should be a no-brainer.

9. Doorway Pages
Doorway pages or Gateway pages are pages that are optimized for one key term but are really designed to be gateways to lead you to different content. Doorway pages usually have very little in the way of original content and often cloak or redirect users to the intended Web site. Be aware of affiliate programs, because some of these may look like doorway pages to Google.

10. Automated Inquiries
Google doesn’t appreciate robots writing your content, and they’re even less appreciative of robots checking your ranking. Automated Google queries and automated link submission are both against Google’s terms of service, and both of them can get your site banned.

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