SEO is essential for your website growth but black SEO techniques are not! Best practices of SEO are essential for ranking but invalid practices are dangerous! These are highly affected by the recent Google updates. Therefore besides SEO strategy, it is also vital to know which SEO techniques should be avoided. Here you get a good collection of all the practices which can harm your website. Read carefully each of them and grow with your healthy website. Let’s jump into the topic.
Which SEO techniques should be avoided
There are lots of techniques that fall into this category. Here most popular things are discussed. Look at the first one.
1) Keyword stuffing
Putting excessive keywords in an article or putting a keyword in an unnatural position is known as keyword stuffing. It is used to trick search engines for more visibility on the internet without providing enough value to the users.
Long years back these tricks work well. Those time algorithms are not so strong. But things changed over time. Now it may be a good strategy to be penalized by Google. Therefore, It is better to keep keyword density optimum.
It is not recommended to keep keyword density beyond 3%. Some websites prefer 1.5-2.5%. The most popular is 0.5-1.5%. 0.5% is safest. However, 0.5%-1% is recommended from this site.
Cloaking is a technique that delivers a result to the search engine spider which is different from shown to the user. Some popular cloaking techniques are mentioned below –
i) Cloaking by IP address:
It is the most popular method. Every User has an IP address. Search engines produce results based on IP address location, etc. A separate page is designed to improve search ranking based on it.
ii) User agent cloaking
The user agent comes to crawl on behave of the user. Here a code is sent to the browser if it is a crawler bot and not the user. In these cases, a separate page is displayed then the page is created for actual visitors.
iv) Cloaking through HTTP_REFERER:
Based on the HTTP_REFERRER request separate page is shown here.
v) HTTP accept-language header cloaking:
HTTP accepts language as an indication of Users or Search engines. Based on that cloaked or uncloaked pages are served.
Any types of the above practices are strictly avoided. Matt Cutts (former head of Google’s webspam team) said Google has no exception for “white hat” cloaking.
Cloaking is popularly used as a Black hat SEO technique. Google discovered these websites with strong algorithms. It results in a website ban.
3) Paid backlinks
A paid backlink is the most used strategy ever for manipulating the ranking. There are lots of different ways people manage it. Some are –
i) Facebook groups
ii) Via Digital Marketing Agency
iii) Via moderator.
Why are these bad things? Backlinks refer the trustworthiness. It is assumed that you get the backlink because of content quality and not for investing money. Another side, Buying a bulk of links fulfills spammy criteria. For example, getting a backlink in an unnatural position, from an irrelevant website, a separate page for providing backlinks, etc.
You may get quick results with this technique but it is for the short term. In the long run, traffic will decrease drastically. With the recent spam update, significant websites lose enormous amounts of traffic. This hurts more to fall from above. Once traffic drop, it takes enough time to recover. Therefore avoid collecting backlinks randomly.
The right strategy for that manually pitches the reputed websites. Do guest posts and get natural backlinks. Competitor analysis, broken link replacement, etc are good ways to get relevant backlinks. You can check out these 31+ tactics to get a free backlink for more.
4) Hidden or not recognizable text
It is another SEO technique that should be avoided. Here text is placed in a way that is difficult to recognize. One example is putting a permalink with the default writing color. These prevent the users from recognizing it. Another side, the backlink game is played. Although, it is still discovered by search engines. If Ii is done unknowingly on your website then must correct it. These signals will increase the flag for banning the website.
5) Using flash movies
Flash movies refer to using animation on the website. It can be a flash-based website or partially used for flash movies. This is used to grab the attention of users by showing animation between the content.
It is easily viewed by users but search engines cannot read it directly. Search engines can crawl text most efficiently. Therefore some website tries to trick engines through cloaking. They create a content-rich webpage and show it to the crawler. The other side provides flash pages to the users. These hidden practices are chances of displaying irrelevant content/movies. Therefore, it violates the guidelines.
Some best practices are used for using flash but get the pros and cons of flash movies first.
Pros of using flash movies
i) Providing eye-catching content
ii) Spending longer time for animation lovers
iii) Diversifying the content format. It can display feedback forms, audio, video, photo slide show, movies, charts, etc.
iv) Effective expression to users. The whole matter can be expressed as a whole.
Although it has many pros, cons are also positioned strongly.
Cons of using flash movies:
i) To view it “Flash player plug-in” is needed which most users do not attach just to looking flash on websites.
ii) it is awful for visually impaired people in terms of accessibility and usability. During flash running backward and forward button is not worked properly. The lack of alt text makes it complicated for them. Efficient coding is needed to minimize it.
iii) Flash movies do have not separate URLs. Here only the home page can be bookmarked.
iv) Most mobile does not support flash movies
v) Here On-page optimization is poor. Meta title, meta description, anchor text, header, etc opportunities are compromised. It is also not easy to index by a crawler.
vi)Flash movies make the website speed slower. Therefore it is difficult to rank in search engines.
vi) Getting a search engine preview is not easy. Good enough coding is required for that.
vii) Performance metrics users cannot be tracked easily. Google Analytics is not much helpful as content-based websites.
You are now familiar with flash movies. If you want to use it on your website make sure all best practices must be followed. Some are mentioned here.
Best practices for using flash movies:
i) Use multiple files for flesh content instead of one big file.
ii) Add HTML files properly to your flash files so Google can index them.
iii) Use a proper sitemap for it.
iv) Avoid flash for using site navigation purposes
v) Optimize for all browsers properly
vi) Use of efficient coding for best result.
vii) Comply with Google webmaster guidelines
Let’s know more about which SEO techniques should be avoided.
6) Doorway and Gateway pages
Doorway and GateWay pages are defined when an article is designed for ranking providing little or no value for the search query. It is somehow a modified form of redirects. When a user clicks on it, they find different pages which are not completely relevant to them. Generally, these pages are very rich in keywords and CTA.
After using this technique, BMW gets blacklisted and experiences a massive de-indexing of the page.
Sometimes google rank it by mistake. However, with the updated algorithm google can discover it and can ban it.
Therefore, these types of pages must be deleted. Besides, These types of Black hat SEO techniques must be avoided.
7) Making “Code to Text ratio” high artificially
A long form of content has a greater “Code to text ratio”. However, some niche has a very short form of content. Sometimes a website has its style of having less content. In these cases, the ratio is very less.
Some websites create content-rich pages for crawlers to show a good Code to text ratio. Other side user visits another page. This trick does not like by google and causes action for that.
To solve it, you can use valid practices for it. Some best practices are –
i) Reduce or remove the code which is not necessary.
ii) Increase the text on a webpage. In other words, you can write long forms of content.
iii) Keep commenting system on. These comments will be considered as text. Some social plugins provide the opportunity to comment without adding information. Facebook, Google+, Disqus, etc comment boxes are examples of it.
iv) Use a forum on your website. Add corresponding threads where you like to add text. It also helps to increase the interactive time of users.
8) Replacement of Java Script
9) Duplicate content and images
Among new bloggers, it is a very common thing. I am not telling about copying the whole article. It is about the portion of the article. a lot of bloggers enter into this profession without much basic knowledge. At that time it is tempting to copy good content. Over time bloggers realize and find the track. If you are in the previous stage, stop to think about it. It delayed success and hinder future possibilities.
You can use a very little portion of the good content on your website. It must be properly linked with the source. Although copying any portion cannot be the first step. It has always had risk associated with it. Make deep research and write a good quality article on your own.
There are many tools for plagiarism checkers to identify copy content. Small SEO tools are popular tools for it. It can provide exact or similar matches from billion of websites with specific sources.
Getting random images and using those is another problem. Make sure, only websites with copyright-free images should be used for that. Some popular sites are Pixabay, Pixel, etc. Make sure, you have a proper license before using any copyrighted images.
Apart from that avoid copying images directly from another site. If it is needed do it with the proper link. This is a serious issue. To avoid it some websites give credit for even screenshots. For example, “Screenshot from the canvas home page”.
10) Bait and Switch
Here quality content with proper Keyword optimization is produced. Over time, it is ranked on Google. After that, it is modified to a project or product page. Here users have a different experience than getting the answer to queries. It is also called page swapping. That is an unethical practice and google punishes the site for it.
There is more to know about which strategy should be avoided. Look at the below.
11) Private Blog Network (PBN)
That is primarily used for link building. They link to the main website in one direction. It tricks the search engine.
Here some expired domains are purchased. These domains have relatively good authority. Linking it to the main website help to manipulate ranking. These types of strategies should be avoided. It worked in the previous but now it causes red flags to the website.
12) Mass blog commenting with a link
It is a strategy where users try to acquire do-follow backlinks. Even it is good as no-follow backlinks. Therefore, some bloggers do mass comments with website links on different websites. After consecutive google updates, these links are identified as spammy links.
Neither do these things nor accept these things. It will be harmful to both websites.
13) Deceiving through redirects
Redirects are used to replace the URL with a new URL. It is created for changing the location, replacing 404 pages, etc. Two types of redirects are mainly used. 302 redirects for temporary location change. 301 redirects for permanent location change. It is common practice and nothing harmful in it for relevant replacement.
The URL which is redirected cannot be indexed. Therefore a valid URL is provided for indexing. Once it is indexed deceptive techniques are used. It redirected to another bad URL which is irrelevant to the queries. Here search engine gets tricked and later users are also tricked.
These are the severe things. Google can consider heavy penalizing for it. Therefore, redirect carefully to the relevant URL only when it is needed.
14) Using Spun articles
A spun article is one of the most popular black hat SEO techniques. It is also among the popular reasons for highly penalized websites.
Spun articles are those articles where quality articles are copied. It is rewritten through the computer program using synonyms and rephrasing. It is not a properly unique article. Generally, these things happen in a bulk manner and are posted on thousands of websites. Most of the time it cannot be read properly.
It is just a waste of time who thinks for a long. With this strategy, people used to get AdSense or trick people in short term by selling the website.
15) Clickbait titles
Here titles are designed in such a way that people click immediately. After entering the page they do not find relevant content. Therefore it has a high bounce rate. It decreases the ranking possibility.
One more case is found here. A title is very big and keyword rich. These things are common on banned websites. To make a healthy website avoid these deceptive processes.
Instead of it, learn here about how to make great blog post titles.
16) Generating Google queries by software
Here a particular software is used to increase the search volume of a specific keyword. If it exactly matches then there are higher chances to show the particular article as a result. In that way, few articles can be considered high-ranking articles. It is an invalid practice. Without permission from Google, these types of queries cannot be generated. Any practices like that can cause penalizing of the website.
17) Applying negative SEO
These are very notorious techniques to harm the competitor’s website. Some examples of it are website hacking, building spammy links to the website, creating external links using multiple keywords, etc. These are the fastest way to be banned by Google.
18) 301 redirect
301 redirect is used for a permanent location change for a specific URL. In a new website, google takes the longest time to start crawling. On some websites, it is found that it may fast by doing 301 redirections. Although, using 301 redirects without any reason will affect negatively your website. Keep things as it is and use 301 only when it is needed.
19) Lending page for keyword variation
Previously it is a tactic used by SEO specialists. They make different landing pages for all related keywords. It is done even for almost similar content. This lead to bad navigation and bad user experience. Now things are changing. You can find google can display the relevant page even if it is not fully optimized.
To solve it, not down related keywords in notepad. Search related keywords in Google. If the search result is completely different for a related keyword then make a separate post. Otherwise, make a comprehensive high-quality single post. After that optimize related keywords in this single post.
20) Lazy link acquisition technique
Without considering the link value randomly “link-building” falls under lazy link acquisition. One popular method is link exchange. Here the number of links is increased without doing much. Doing it harms ranking in Google. It is found heavily with the recent updates.
Apart from that taking links from anywhere unrelated websites, links from spammy websites, links from low-value websites even with unnatural positions, etc can spoil the future of your website. Check your backlink properly to get rid of it.
21) Publishing too much content
Website performance is increased with the increasing number of posts. Do you think the same? It is true but when this number is full of quality articles. The randomly published article will not make any changes for increasing traffic. Instead, it can be the major reason for the increasing bounce rate of the website. More bounce rate refers to when a user leaves your website without spending much time. Moreover, bad content can make a website’s reputation doubtful. Therefore, publish only high-quality post which is meaningful to your website.
22) Over-optimizing keyword
Yes! You heard it right. Some SEO experts are so busy with the optimization processes. It is like keyword-rich titles, URLs, snippets, etc. If it is for one keyword then it’s fine. But it is written for search engines targeting multiple keywords. It does not provide enough value for the respective keyword. Over time, it is identified as a Black hat SEO technique and reverses the ranking.
Good keyword optimization is needed for ranking. However, It must be for the user first. Provide enough value to the users on all keywords you are targeting. It is a simple process to get rid of it.
23) Accepting poor-quality guest blogging
When you post an article on another website is called guest blogging. There are many guest posting sites available for it. Here both sides find benefits. One side gets high-quality posts without effort. The other side gets a few backlinks for relevant articles.
There is a huge disadvantage if it is not audited properly. Sometimes here money enters. People post low-quality content and manage random links. It causes to build spammy links. These days bulk order of guest posting is utilized just as paid backlinks. It affects negatively both sides. The guest posting site becomes spammy over time and the particular link drawn from this site becomes spammy.
Therefore, do a guest post only high authority quality websites. If you are accepting guest posts do a proper audit before posting. This way both sides can create a healthy website with two sides benefits.
wrap up for which SEO techniques should be avoided
Here broad coverage is discussed to avoid bad SEO techniques. Common, uncommon, basic, advanced, etc are covered. The main purpose is to familiarize yourself with these terms and keep a distance from them. If you use the black hat SEO techniques it may work for a shorter period. In the long run, it has a severe effect. Even the recovery process is also slow enough. Another side, With the White hat SEO technique it may take a little longer time. Although, it is the only way you should go ahead. After a certain period, it will give a consistent winning result. Therefore, make your website healthy by avoiding these worst techniques.
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