The Dark Side of SEO – Detecting Black Hat Marketing Techniques

You’re site has been running in a hosted environment for several months now. Traffic is trickling in at a slow pace, your Google PageRank is 0, and your monthly bills are starting to mount. You are about to give up all hope when you happen upon a professional SEO service promising you top-10 rankings. You hesitate and wonder if it’s too good to be true. The SEO experts assure you that you will gain top-10 rankings and you will see an increase in traffic by using their service, for a small fee of course. Before you sign on the dotted line, take a moment to understand the techniques these SEO experts may be applying and how you can detect Black Hat Marketing techniques which can damage both your website and reputation permanently!

KeyWord Stuffing

Keywords are extremely important when it comes to Search Engine Results Placement (SERPs). If your website targets a very broad keyword with a lot of competition (ex: video games) then you’ll find it near impossible to achieve a top ten ranking on that keyword. If you target a very niche keyword or keyword phrase (ex: He-Man video game) then you’ll find top ten placement much more achievable. Many websites simply target the wrong keywords or webmasters fail to keep monitoring and fine-tuning their keyword selections. As a result, webmasters (and self-proclaimed SEO experts) are tempted to employ Keyword Stuffing. Keyword stuffing occurs when a web page’s meta tags and content are loaded with a particular keyword or keyword phrase in a repetitious manner. Not only does this repetition make content unreadable by humans (and thus worthless), it can also raise a red-flag to search engines. Although the practice may get you higher SERPs in the short-term, it’s sure to gain your site a bad reputation with users and possible banishment from search engines. If you are using an SEO service, keep an eye out for Keyword stuffing. Start your keyword campaign in an honest fashion by visiting Word Tracker and opening up an account. Wordtracker is a tool that many legitimate SEO experts use. With Word Tracker you can analyze keywords, see competition on keywords, and target keywords that gain you the most traffic with the least competition. best link tracking software

Hiding Text

Hiding text consists of shielding keywords and phrases from the view of the user. SEO companies may employ hiding of text as a Black Hat Marketing technique to help increase SERPs. There are several ways to hide text, including setting the color of the text to be the same as the background. Webmasters may also use the CSS “Z” positioning technique to place text on a lower plan behind images (thus shielding them from user view). Another technique is absolute positioning, where text is placed off the visible boundary of the main webpage content. Recently, search engines have been advancing their algorithms to try to detect pages that make use of hidden text for the purpose of rankings. If the SEO company you plan on doing business with suggests text hiding, move on and find another SEO company.

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