Over the years, many so-called “SEO professionals” have spammed the Internet with poor-quality content and links, under the guise of search engine optimization. As search engine algorithms have become more sophisticated, they have become immune to these unethical practices. Known as “black hat” search engine optimizers, these individuals are oftentimes difficult to discern from their ethical, skilled counterparts.
Participating in “black hat” SEO not only puts the client at risk of not seeing a return on their investment; many websites risk algorithmic or, worse, manual penalties that can cause organic rankings and search traffic to disappear overnight. In addition, the worst offenders are permanently banned from appearing in search results.
You should get concerned if your SEO strategy includes some of these common spamming techniques:
- Stuffing keywords into on-page content or meta data in unnatural ways, making the content difficult to read;
- Building hundreds of low-quality backlinks;
- Cloaking or hiding content on your website to influence search engines.
Google’s mission is to provide the most relevant search results to users. What many people don’t know is that Google employs a team of web spam specialists that manually penalize websites each and every day. When search engine algorithms suspect that a website is participating in web spam or abuse, it can queue the website for manual review and ban your website from its search engine.