Every website owner wants his or her website to be indexed in the coveted top three or top five positions
of search results. Hence the fight to reach and stay at the top often becomes unethical.
There have been many instances where many websites have lost their high SEO rankings and subsequently been banned
by major search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing because they failed to rectify the unethical
practices. Now known as ‘black hat’ SEO optimization methods, search engines are now regularly
changing their algorithms to counter the numerous cheats and tricks that SEO experts use.
In the earlier days of SEO, stuffing in the keyword wherever possible was a sure shot way of getting good
SEO rankings but now with the Panda rule in place many search engines like Google actually penalize
the websites for keyword stuffing by first dropping the rankings and then banning the website if the
keyword stuffing has not been rectified. Hence it is recommended that the keyword density should be
kept between 1% and 4%.
Keyword density above 5% is considered keyword stuffing by Google. Google has now implemented
even the ‘Florida Update’ that penalizes websites for over optimization apart from keyword stuffing.
The use of keyword should be restricted to the title, first paragraphs or the headings.
You can also use a keyword density checker tool which warns you if the keyword density is high, increasing chances of
being banned by the search engines.
Using doorway pages is another common keyword scam. To counter this Google introduced the
PageRank algorithm. Before this, inserting doorways pages was a common practice and was not
considered illegal. A doorway page is generally made for the search engine and has absolutely no value
or meaning to humans, however they are extremely useful to get high SEO rankings and trick web users
to come into the website.
Hidden text works in a way very similar to doorway pages. The text is hidden amongst the content of the
webpage. For example, the text might be written in the same color as the background of the web page
and hence is invisible to the naked eye. However, these texts are not hidden from the search engines
and often fooled the search engines into thinking that the website is keyword rich. Hidden text is more
of manipulation than an optimization technique.
On the internet, fresh content is king. In terms of SEO duplication is a big NO. For SEO duplication means
that the same content is present on two different web pages of the same website or is present on the
web pages of two different websites. Hence if you are thinking that you can get away by copy, pasting
the content from a website on your website, then think again. Google heavily penalizes websites with
duplicate content. Hence do not be surprised if you suddenly see the rankings of your website plummet.
It is important to remain ethical in the SEO industry since it makes no difference to Google if you over
optimized consciously or with good intentions, you will get banned either of the ways.