SEO hacks can have negative and long-lasting effects
Every single online business faces the personal challenge of reaching the top of their local and industry SEO. Between SEO and inbound marketing, search engines are the new foot traffic and the population is millions thick, meaning that any company that manages to achieve the dream of SEO, first page recognition, is likely to see a massive increase in online traffic and lead conversions. It’s no wonder everyone strives for it but some people aren’t satisfied with hard work, keyword research, and a lot of targeted copywriting.
Why are SEO hacks a bad thing?
If you’ve been researching how to improve your SEO strategy and results, you may well have come across more than a few ‘hacks’ that will supposedly boost your SEO without creating a lot of new and valuable content. Don’t be fooled. In response to this attitude of cheating the system, Google and other lesser search engines are constantly tweaking their algorithms to recognize and penalize companies that try this.
Just in case you’ve been tempted to engage in one of the classic forms of SEO hacking, take a quick look at the following list and steer well clear of any of the tactics mentioned. Google knows how to identify these tricks and anyone caught implementing them will be sent to the bottom of the page listing.
SEO Hack #1: Keyword Stuffing
It is a commonly believed myth that simply repeating your favorite keywords over and over again in a portion of content will massively increase your ‘relevancy’ for those keywords and thus boost your page position in response to these searches.
Don’t do it!
More often than not, keyword stuffing is used in a clumsy way that does not add to the quality of the final product in any way. In order to discourage this kind of behavior that manipulates without adding value, Google crawlers now count stuffed keywords and tend to penalize pages that use keyword stuffing and websites that employ this practice frequently.
SEO Hack #2: Link Listing
Having other websites link to yours or linking outward to external sources are also two great ways to boost your SEO, as long as the links are legitimate and helpful. However, one older method for artificially increasing your SEO points from links is to build or buy a slot in a link list.
Don’t do this either, Google will track you back through links and penalize the website.
SEO Hack #3: Duplicate Content
Another trick straight out of the ethically questionable SEO history books is to simply copy-paste optimized content over and over again as a way of creating large blocks of text with embedded keywords. This too, however, has become incredibly easy to recognize and in most circles is considered a worse form of SEO stuffing because you’re not even bothering to try to create new content anymore. Not only should you avoid duplicate content on purpose, be careful not to do it on accident with product descriptions and the like as well.
SEO Hack #4: Low-Quality Guest Posts
Guests posts became an incredibly popular fad for a while but, like most things, a few bad seeds went out of their way to make it more questionable for everyone else.
Some blogs started hosting guest posts that were incredibly low quality or had nothing to do with the website’s theme just as a way to buy and sell links sites to artificially boost SEO.
This is a bad idea and any guest posting at all should be researched and done carefully to avoid Google penalties for suspicious activity.
SEO has changed a lot over the last two decades since search engines were just becoming a thing. In that time, the search engine algorithms have become much more complex and responsive, with a lot more protection against scammy tactics that aim to get an unfair advantage.
While you should be looking for any practical way to improve the impact of your SEO efforts, remember to stay away from ‘hacks’ that are meant to game the system. Even if they aren’t banned yet, they will be soon.
For any business that wants to participate in online marketing, SEO strategic plan is crucial. If you want to test out your SEO yourself, we have a Site Audit to show you where you and your website stand.
If you’d like some help putting a strategy together, contact us today.
Cassandra is the Content & Social Media Strategist at ThinkFlame. There is no challenge too big or too small. She enjoys creating, integrating and managing online communities and working with clients to building up their social footprint.