Last month we talked about Black Hat SEO and how to pick the warning signs that an SEO company isn’t operating legally or ethically.
The response to this blog was fantastic and we’ve spent a lot of time over the holiday period chatting with business owners about how to better spot and act against Black Hat practices.
So overwhelmingly positive was the response that we felt like it’d be a great topic to revisit every month, helping shed a little more light on these shadowy practices.
We’ll go through two tactics every month, providing information on the warning signs to look out for, as well as what to do if you suspect your website may have played host to one of these strategies unbeknownst to you.
Let’s start with a very common strategy, keyword stuffing.
It does what it says on the tin, repeating the same word or phrase far too many times in a sentence or paragraph.
Here’s an example using the keyword ‘marketing software’.
“We provide the very best marketing software for all of your marketing software needs. Our marketing software is always a cut above other marketing software, making it the best marketing software for every business.”
To the casual reader, this sounds odd, repetitive and can shatter your engagement in seconds.
Keyword stuffing used to be the norm of very early SEO, but it’s become one of the most dangerous techniques as Google’s algorithms now despise it, and for good reason. It’s cheap, nasty and disregards consumers outright.
Moving further into the subject of Black Hat key-wording, the second tactic we’ll discuss today is irrelevant keywording.
This practice goes one of two ways, either the content is irrelevant to the keyword, or the keyword is irrelevant to the content.
An example of this practice would be if you operated a tourism company and included keywords for locations you don’t offer tours to, solely to rank higher on Google.
This is a lazy practice, and not only will your conversions drop as potential customers quickly they’ve been duped. But Google’s search algorithm will also eventually see this and punish your site accordingly.
For a complete rundown of how to combat these tactics and restore your standing with Google, check out part two of our blog here.