There are over a billion active websites on the Internet today. The world is rapidly transforming itself by shifting any and every possible physical data into a digital form. However, with the increase of websites, the search engines have to sift through these websites in order to find useful and relevant information. Most of the businesses these days depend heavily on their rankings in the trusted search engines namely Google, Yahoo, Bing etc. The search engines are tasked with generating the most useful and relevant information that the users are looking for through their keyword input.
This simple process governs the rise or fall of a business and thus every business that has a digital marketing and PR platform prefers to consult professional SEO agencies to help with their rankings. The search engines usually create various algorithms, which enables the engine to sift through the entire websites on the net, and help place the targeted web pages on the top list of Google.
This is generally how search engines operate and assist the websites with their ranking. However, there are many techniques and approaches that are prohibited by Google in order to prevent spamming and irrelevant information being tied to the keywords; in other words, the prohibition and guidelines are promoted to increase efficiency and accuracy of the search engine and also help the end user experience.
Despite the rules and guidelines many “unethical” operators continue to use these techniques, commonly known as “Black Hat” techniques, to deceive the crawlers and rank the pages quickly. However, since all the top search engine sites such as Google, Yahoo, keep updating their algorithms and security procedures, the techniques are eventually revealed and those pages are either dropped from their ranks and or the sites almost always gets blacklisted till they correct their techniques. Algorithm updates from Panda and Penguin keep track and measure the causes of the recent penalties that have occurred once Google discovered that black hat techniques were being used.
Without going into further details, let us see what are the techniques that one must avoid in order to stay ethical and prevent themselves from being black listed or banned.
‘Cloaking’ often refers to a technique where the information displayed to the crawlers (programs that search and sift through data to bring out relevant results) are different as compared to the content that the user originally requested for. This is usually achieved by using various keywords, and descriptions that are misleading from the original content. Avoid Cloaking at all costs as the penalty for cloaking is a straight up ban.
Doorway pages technique refers to a an unethical technique where a random page is generated to spam the search engine index and then eventually leads to a completely different site or page. Doorway pages are made with a specific search engine and its crawlers in mind so as to deceive its tracking pattern and achieving a higher page rank. Needless to say, avoid it.
Link Purchase and Exchange
The process of purchasing links from another site to generate a back link to the original website in order to boost link amount and reach of the website is known as Link Buying. The philosophy behind this is that the more number of inbound links from different websites helps the original website reach out to more users and as a result achieve a higher page ranking on the search engine. However, the purchased links or dubious link exchange ploys are often used to deviate and bypass Google’s funnel in order to reach higher. Manipulating Google’s search indexes is illegal and excessive link exchanges are forbidden as per the Google guidelines.
Ever thought that using many keywords or titles (irrespective of relevance or not) in a page would help you get more traffic and help your page ranks. Well guess what? This technique is known as Keyword Stuffing and is a prohibited technique. Keyword stuffing often leads to many misleading and misleading sites and affects the overall accuracy rate of the search. Too much of malpractice and Google will take actions, pushing you down to the bottom of the ranks.