When offering any council or advice, it is wise for those receiving it to consider the source. For example, if someone tells you to eat more avocados because they are healthy, are you going to take that advice and immediately apply it? Perhaps it is coming from a health expert, or perhaps it's coming from your older cousin you only see at your family Thanksgiving or Christmas. If someone is taking advice, it would be wise for that person to do some investigating themself to find out where that advice is coming from. When we look at Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Google is king. Google has published guidelines called Google Search Essentials which provide in-depth documentation about their search engine. Image Management uses these guidelines as a reference when making SEO recommendations for our clients. We do that because we know understanding the fundamentals of how Google Search Engines work is essential to helping our clients see the best results from the search engines for their business.
Within these guidelines, there are a number of articles to be found regarding search engines, SEO, and how it all works. For this topic, we want to focus on a section called spam policies. If you’ve done any research on SEO, you have probably heard not all SEO is good SEO. Yes, unfortunately there is some SEO that is bad. Very bad at that, as some of the consequences of these bad practices could not only dramatically hurt your Google ranking, but also get your website banned from appearing in search results. In some stickier situations, that could only be the beginning. But here are some poor SEO practices, with their verbiage, to help you know what isn’t helping your Google ranking.
Cloaking is a method which gives search engines the impression that a website carries content that is different to what users actually see. This practice in itself is centered around trying to game the search engines. It doesn’t work and Google is catching on. Content should be created for the human user and not to appease the search engines to improve rankings.
This looks a few different ways. Similar to cloaking, it is the practice of grabbing keywords and putting them into content without any intent to improve the content with the user in mind, but instead to game search bots into ranking content higher. Unnatural uses of keywords is an example of keyword stuffing. Some people take this practice as far as creating pages on the website with white backgrounds, then adding white text to those pages to blend in and go unseen, while having that text be stuffed with keywords.
This is basically the term used for copyrighting content. It's taking content from other pages and republishing it to your page without adding any original thought or value to web users.
This is a sneaky practice that actually requires skill. Web pages are created for the purpose of generating results for different search queries then leading the searcher to content that is completely different than what they were searching for. It is a doorway link to different content than the intended search.
Like many industries, there are unethical practices when it comes to the web. A Search Engine Optimizer is not able to guarantee specific results on Google. If someone is, that is a red flag. Google search results cannot be guaranteed, but there are ways to vet out and identify an SEO expert that is worth their weight in salt. SEO experts that ask a lot of questions and take a genuine interest in how your business works holistically is usually a good sign. It is difficult to optimize a website properly without understanding the overall goals of the business. At Image Management, we offer no obligation consultations where we systematically drill down and find out everything we need to know about your business in order to best optimize your website. We focus on your goals to help you get the best results. We do this by performing monthly audits and providing monthly SEO email reports to keep the communication open and make adjustments when they are needed. We’d love to help you optimize your website and reach your business goals!
Published on November 18, 2022