Have you come across a site from a search results page that had nothing to do with what you were looking for? For instance, you wanted to find recipes on healthy eating and ended up on a page that’s trying to sell you some magic weight loss pills. Or maybe you stumbled across a page that has a lot of “healthy recipe” keywords but the content is full of mumble jumble that makes little sense. Why are some of these sites so misleading?
Some people are trying to trick search engines, such has Google, into thinking that their websites are highly relevant by using underhanded techniques known as black hat SEO. They present false or misleading information to Googlebots, crawlers that index web pages, in order to rank higher on the Google search results page.
There are various black hat practices that people have tried, but none of them will likely work in the long-run. Google thrives on users having a good experience by giving them the most relevant, quality content that best matches their search queries. Any website that is misleading will be caught, marked as spam, and will drop from Google’s search results page.
To help businesses develop user friendly websites, Google has created webmaster guidelines to ensure that you know how avoid the most common forms of misleading practices, which include the following:
- Automatically generated content
- Participating in link schemes
- Creating pages with little or no original content
- Sneaky redirects
- Hidden text or links
- Doorway pages
- Scraped content
- Participating in affiliate programs without adding sufficient value
- Loading pages with irrelevant keywords
- Creating pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware
- Abusing rich snippets markup
- Sending automated queries to Google
Many of these bad practices are deliberate such as manipulating code or using keywords that dont have any value. So chances are, if you are practising black hat SEO, you probably know that you are doing it. In some cases, people might be making an honest mistake, so be sure to follow Google’s guideline when it comes to creating content on your website.
The best way to avoid falling under Google’s radar and to rank higher on search engines is to deliver content that is genuine, unique and relevant to your audience. Some tips on how to do this include: tailoring your pages for users instead of search engines, and capturing people’s attention with valuable information that is different from your competitors.
Get help from Yellow Pages
Yellow Pages can create a website for you and build content that helps more customers find you on Google, without resorting to any underhand techniques. Learn more about our services by talking to an expert.