Maximizing the visibility of your website is a great goal, but not if you’re going about it in such a way as to actually penalize yourself in the eyes of search giants like Google.
Just in case you’re unfamiliar with what is known as “black hat” SEO practices, Silver Teede at Social Media Today has seven strategies to avoid if you want to honestly build a name for your website.
1. Link Commerce. Search engines, especially Google, value websites based on a number of reputation factors including the sites that link to it. The quantity and quality of links can raise a website’s visibility tremendously.
Links pass PageRank, a Google method for ranking web pages. Links that pass PageRank are in violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and can adversely affect that site’s ranking in the search results.
Google does permit you to sell links as part of your advertising strategy, but not for helping others game their PageRank position. To avoid being penalized by Google, you’ll want to add a “no follow” attribute to the link tag. Google states that you can also redirect “…the links to an intermediate pages that is blocked from search engines with a robots.txt file.
2. Link Exchange. The difference between link commerce and link exchange seems, on the surface, to be small. With the former, money is exchanged between two parties; with the latter, no money changes hands, just links.
The problem with link exchanges is that they’re typically done to impart PageRank artificially. Google calls these practices “link schemes” and may penalize your site accordingly. Links that Google deems as intending to manipulate PageRank, including links to bad neighborhoods or known spam sites and are used in excess, can cause your site to take a hit. Avoid reciprocal linking that appears unnaturally such as a list of blogs that you follow in your sidebar.
Full story at Social Media Today.
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