Beware of These Black Hat SEO Tactics!

Although Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was originally designed to provide the best search results on your website, it quickly became a game to manipulate Google’s ever-changing algorithm. Now, as Google’s algorithm has become more advanced, the same SEO tactics that might have worked in the past could really hurt your website. Even if you just searched your own name or your firm’s name (which is really the only SEO you *need*) and you’ve been relying on some of these “black hat” SEO strategies, your website may not even show up.

1. Keyword Stuffing

We see this one the most on many lawyer websites. Does this sound familiar?

When you’ve been injured in a Long Beach Car Accident, you need the Best Long Beach Attorneys to handle your Long Beach Personal Injury Case. Call the Responsive Attorneys at the Long Beach Injury Firm of…

That was painful, wasn’t it? Keyword stuffing like that attempts to improve your site’s ranking on a specific search phrase by unnecessarily jamming it in places it doesn’t need to go all over your website. The result is usually a terrible user experience.

2. Duplicate or Mass-Produced Content

We love content, but not this kind. This SEO tactic involves the creation of dozens, if not hundreds, of duplicate or mass-produced pages in an attempt to get your site to rank for a variety of keywords. This often appears in the form of several pages containing the same content but with, for example, a different location for each page. Alternatively, it could be mass-produced blog pages stuffed with keywords that don’t provide any sort of value whatsoever.

While we don’t ever claim to provide SEO work as part of our service, our blogs provide the unique content that Google’s algorithms love. Contact us to see how we can help.

3. Hidden Text

Hidden text is simply text on your website that is the same color as the background. This text is also usually coded off screen or behind an image so no one will be able to see it except for Google’s indexing bots. This is an easy way for SEO marketers to jam all of the locations and keywords they want into a website to try to trick the algorithm. However, Google has gotten wise to that and has made its processes sophisticated enough to spot and ignore this text.

4. Link Schemes

This might be the most prevalent black hat SEO tactic still in use today. You may have even received several cold sales saying something like this:

“We excel in the creation and execution of highly customized link campaigns in all niches. We have established connections with more than 20,000+ influencer bloggers in 100+ categories and also have a huge range of country-specific sites.”

DON’T DO IT! This is spammy black hat external linking and Google isn’t going to drive your page up the rankings just because other sites link back to it. In fact, there could be an ethical issue here as well, since your site could be linked to other websites that you do not endorse.

In the end, relying on SEO for your marketing’s success isn’t the wisest move. While there is a place for it in your strategy, it shouldn’t be the foundation, nor should it be the primary focus. Instead, build your marketing foundation on content that speaks directly to your human audience, not search bots.

We can help with that. Contact us today to see what we can do for you.

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Spotlight Branding

Spotlight Branding is a content marketing and branding firm for lawyers and other professionals. Our goal is to help you create an online presence that positions you as a credible expert in your field, keeps you connected with your network in order to stay top of mind and increase referrals, and to become more visible online so prospects can find you!