2/25/2011

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Don’t play with Google with dirty SEO tricks

Yes, I mean it!!! Don’t play dirty SEO tricks (AKA black hat techniques) with the big G to capture those sweet top spots. If you do so, then you’ll be nowhere on Google’s search result again. I can substantiate my statement with a recent SEO scam that was published in NY Times. I am sure all of you must be aware of it. 

For those who are not aware of the news, here is a glimpse of it…

The retail giant JCPenney was identified for implementing black hat SEO techniques that ideally dominated the top spots for most of the umbrella phrases like dresses, bedding, area rugs, and more. So, how did they make their way to the top? The company was getting its SEO done through a third-party vendor who allegedly topped the Google results by getting backlinks from websites which were irrelevant to JCPenney or any of its pages. Though JCpenney said that they did not authorize this campaign as this is against their natural search policies, at the end of the day it was they (JCPenney) who had to suffer. For more info you can visit here

Generally speaking, to gain top position on Google a site must have…

  • Good site architecture - Crawler friendly site for easy crawling and indexing
  • Relevant content – Information rich and useful content fortified with words, users type to find sites/pages-
  • Quality backlinks – A link from a site is considered as a vote for a linked site. Ideally, it has to be relevant and trustworthy. 

These techniques are obvious white hat practices and an ethical way of conducting search engine optimization, and it definitely takes time to yield result. While on the other hand, the so called black hat techniques will get you a quick result, but only for a short time. Black hat techniques involve paid links, page cloaking, keyword spamming, doorway pages, content spamming, hidden text, etc. These techniques are illegitimate and are regarded as dirty tricks which basically spam the search result and violate the search engine guidelines. 

Remember, Google is very much concerned about its search result because they want to display the most relevant sites/pages when their users use their service.  They will never tolerate if a site is found employing questionable SEO tactics that have spoiled their search result. 

If you or your SEO vendor is using any of the black hat techniques that I mentioned above, then be on high alert, who knows you could be the next victim of Google. 

How to identify black hat SEO techniques?


  • Ask your SEO vendor to disclose their monthly SEO activities/strategies. Don’t get fooled by SEO companies that claim to bring you on top in short time, get xx no. of backlinks for x$, etc. Be aware of SEO scams and false promises
  • Check your website’s backlink profile. To do this, you can use opensiteexplorer 
  • Check if your site has been loaded with hidden content
  • Check if a page has been created solely for targeting a specific search phrase 
  • Check if a page is getting redirected 
  • Check for excessive link exchanging from irrelevant sites 

More on this in the next post…