SEO Techniques – The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
It seems as if almost every business today has a website and is competing in the internet marketplace. To stand heads up above the crowd, a website needs to rank highly in search engine result pages. To do this, a variety of strategies are available to search engine optimizers. But not all seo techniques and strategies are of equal value in the view of search engines. In fact, some tactics can get you a black mark if you’re not careful. If you are an aspiring SEO, it is important for you to learn which SEO practices are looked upon with approval and which ones provoke suspicious scrutiny or, worse, negative, scowls from search engines.
It’s actually not difficult to distinguish good from bad SEO techniques — if you think like a search engine. The raison d’être of all search engines is to provide useful, relevant, quality search results to their users. Major search engines publish recommended guidelines for webmasters to follow. If you look at Google’s webmaster tools, for example, you’ll find they have design and content guidelines, technical guidelines, and procedures they expect good-quality websites to abide by. If you follow these principles, you’ll end up with a website that maintains the high quality and relevance that search engines seek and you’ll have a good chance of consistently ranking well in search engine result pages. In general, the techniques espoused by search engines are honest and transparent. When you use these techniques, you show search engine bots the same content you show to your human viewers. There are no tricky manipulations involved. Thus, these techniques are often called White Hat SEO.
However, some SEO practitioners prefer to cut corners and take the fast route to high SERP rankings, no matter by what means. Indeed, there are techniques that can get a website a high ranking in very quick time, but these are often duplicitous and manipulative and their results are only for the short-run. The purpose of techniques such as keyword stuffing, cloaking, hidden text, tricky link building – to name a few – is to deceive search engines by presenting to search engine crawlers content that is dissimilar from what is being shown to human viewers. These techniques go against the main intent of search engines by diminishing the relevance of search results. As a consequence, the user gets a negative experience, which is the reverse result aimed for by search engines. As I mentioned earlier, you have to think like a search engine to know good from bad SEO techniques. Search engines don’t like being duped. And they take measures to ensure that whoever does the duping gets ousted from the community of honest websites. So, sure, dishonest black hat SEO techniques can increase traffic and boost a website’s ranking, but sooner or later, the website that uses them will be outed. Search engines not only hunt vigorously for websites using unethical and fraudulent means but they also encourage other users to report such websites.
Now imagine you have a competitor who’s outranking you in search results due to his dishonest SEO methods. Wouldn’t you be only too happy to report his website to the major search engines and get his website banned? On the other hand, if you’re the guilty party, you may be able to appeal the judgment on your website but, in the meantime, it can get pretty ugly for your search ranking. You may even just disappear from the face of the internet.
So from the get-go, I advise all you rookies SEOs out there, learn good SEO techniques.