Making a List…Checking it Twice: Why You Can’t Fool Google

Okay, so maybe drawing a comparison between Santa Claus and Google is a little bit of a stretch, but there are far too many businesses and private practitioners out there who believe that they can get away with black-hat SEO (search engine optimization) in order to increase their search engine rankings faster. And even if your website rankings were to increase due to unethical techniques, your claim to fame won’t last long. After all, Google sees you when you’re sleeping…

Using unethical Internet marketing strategies doesn’t benefit anyone. While the idea of surpassing your competitors and being on the first page of search engines could definitely be considered the best Christmas gift of all to some, the consequences of having your website removed from a search engine index, also known as “delisting,” or otherwise being penalized by Google just isn’t worth it. Also, what would your clients think if they discovered that you had reached the top by cutting corners?

Another unethical technique that some people will use on their website is cloaking. This is when a website is presented in two different forms: one version of content that the user sees, and a different version of content that the search engine sees. And how do the search engines “see”? An automated program, most often referred to as a “spider,” indexes websites on the Internet after being sent out by search engines.

A website can also be penalized for appearing as spam when one or more keyword or keyword phrases are used or repeated within meta tags or web page content that the search engines determine to be excessive. An Internet marketing consultant should be able to help you establish the proper balance and mixture of keywords and keyword phrases so your site doesn’t get penalized.

Some individuals also succumb to using link farms, which are web pages designed to only receive incoming links. This can be viewed as spam by the search engines and can even cause your site to be banned.

Now that you’re more familiar with what’s on Google’s “bad” list, make sure you get on the “good” side of the scroll.

Happy Holidays from SLS Consulting!

Susan L. Sipe

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