Defining which types of SEO techniques are ethical and unethical has become a vital issue within the SEO community. Practices thought to be unethical have been labeled “black hat”. Here’s what SEO strategies should NOT be used when optimizing your website for the search engines:
- Keyword Stuffing: Keyword stuffing refers to purposefully overloading a website with the keywords that a search engine’s algorithm is looking for.
- Invisible Text: Stuffing keywords into a site with invisible text is highly unethical. An example would be writing words in white against a white background—people can’t see them, but the search engines can.
- Doorway Pages: Doorway pages are fake pages that are loaded with keywords, but their purpose is to redirect visitors to other sites.
- False Promises: No one can “guarantee” boosts in rank or sales. If an SEO firm says they can, RUN!
- Duplicate Content: Duplicate content is simply plagiarized copy from another website. Websites are expected to provide original, quality copy for their visitors.
Unethical SEO techniques can boost a site’s rank in the short run, but can’t sustain any long term ranking because a site can be removed from ranking consideration if it uses black hat tactics! The best way to increase and maintain rank among the popular search engines like Google and Yahoo is to engage in the ongoing promotion of ethical search engine optimization strategies.