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Unethical SEO Practices to Avoid
SEO, or search engine optimization, is how search engines are used to maximize the chances of getting a high ranking. As most Internet users know, you have to have a high ranking among the search engines if you want to get visitors. Anyone who is searching for something online isn’t going to waste a lot of time by going through several pages of results before they give up and try a different search. That second search may not even locate your web site, and your potential visitor becomes a lost visitor.
So, search engine optimization is used to boost page rankings with the search engines. Search engines look for sites and rate them upon the number of the keywords searched appear within content on pages on the site. They also look for lots of links.
The desire to have a high ranking with the search engines is great. As everyone knows, you have to have a high ranking if you want to get visitors. And let’s face it, the whole point of having a web site is to get visitors! If you aren’t getting visitors, you aren’t improving business and you aren’t getting customers. And your web site is totally worthless if no one is looking at it. Search engine optimization becomes very, very important when you think about it and everything that it means.
Some may be so determined to get those high rankings that they do unethical things with their web sites in order to boost rankings. These unethical practices are best avoided. These practices can be changed, these unethical motives turned into ethical ones, and you can boost your site’s rankings the way you’re supposed to. First, identify the wrong things that you might be doing.
- Using your keywords improperly
Search engines are very clever, but they aren’t so smart that they can’t be tricked. Search engines do search sites for content, but they can’t exactly read the content the way that human beings can. Some web sites bury their keywords around a bunch of other words, in text that has no form and makes no sense. Long strings of text with random words like “boating fishing hunting outdoor adventure fish boat hunting the great outdoors forestry fishing rock climbing boating water onboard Alaska” come up all the time. Search engines may only be looking for the words “fish” and “fishing” and since those keywords appear within what seems to be content, a false ranking is given. But don’t do this! Customers don’t like this, and in the end “tricking” a search engine is never a good idea. Your keywords should appear within real content on your web site. Then you will get a genuinely high ranking.
- Improper use of META tags
META tags are part of the html code that is used to create a web page. The META tags are what you use to tell search engines what keywords are on your web site, what keywords you want potential visitors to use when searching for your piece of the Internet. Some may use META tags to try and “trick” search engines in a similar way as described above. This won’t work long, however, and search engines do not look by META tags alone. Search engines always search content.
- Having false content
“False” content are long strings of text that make no sense, that are only on the site to make use of keywords for search engines. While it’s important to impress the search engines and get that high ranking that’s so valuable, it’s more important to impress your visitors. Visitors like great content, too, and they’re going to be put off by a bunch of text that doesn’t make sense and isn’t a good read. While it’s true that most of the content on web sites is only skimmed over briefly by viewers, you still want that content to make a little bit of sense to them. Have good content, at least real content, and make the most out of your keywords using that content. That’s how to get a truly high ranking with a search engine, ethically.
About the Author: Charles Preston is the president of Click Response. Click Response offers small businesses a search engine optimization service that guarantees 1st page ranking at an affordable price.