Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Black Hat SEO - Crime and Punishment

You have a website. You want to promote it and generate traffic.
You try Search Engine Optimiztion or SEO.
And then you find out that there is black SEO magic and white SEO magic ( "white hat" and "black hat" SEO)!
You understand that no ethical entity should ever go for Black Hat SEO, but what is it?

Black Hat search engine optimization refers to techniques used to get higher search rankings in an unethical manner.

The most commonly used ones are:
  • Keyword stuffing by packing long lists of keywords and nothing else onto a website.
  • Inserting invisible text (white text on a white background) thus attracting more search engine spiders.
  • Inserting doorway pages (“fake” pages) that the user will never see, but search engine spiders do.

Using Black Hat SEO is a short-term gain but a long-term loss.
According to Google's webmaster guidelines, using hidden text or hidden links are discouraged to increase search engine ranking of a certain website.
Sites found to violate these guidelines are blocked from the search engine's search index.
Google ruthlessly punishes websites that us any of these tactics, no matter how big and powerful.

The website www.bmw.de was banned from the Google index for using doorway pages.
While BMW almost immediately removed the pages after the news broke (after having them live for almost 2 years), it was too late to avoid the “Google death penalty” - a ban from almost any imaginable top search result, and a degrading of the PageRank to the lowest possible value. After complying with Google's guidelines, the website was put back online.

A local e-commerce website (www.myAyala.com) was briefly banned from Google after it was found violating the hidden text rule.
The company subsequently took down the hidden text and Google took them out of the blacklist.

The most recent “casualty” is the company Jollibee Food Corp.
The company not only used hidden text to increase its ranking in a Google search, but also loaded the website with metatags or comment tags of repeating keywords.
The developers of the Jollibee website also created "doorway pages" to spam the index of a search engine.

To find out more about Black Hat SEO, check out Aaron Wall’s website: www.blackhatseo.com

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