Black hat SEO methods may sound tempting for a quick surge of traffic but will probably get you in trouble — maybe bigger trouble than you bargained for. Just look at what recently happened to US retailer JC Penney, whose SEO company didn’t help them excel with Google but instead got them in some hot water. JC Penney says they didn’t know what their SEO company was doing. As a business owner or someone responsible for marketing and e-commerce at your place of work, you need to be sure that you know what’s happening with your website so that your website doesn’t fall off the face of the Google earth unexpectedly due to what’s perceived as inappropriate SEO tactics.
Black hat SEO really doesn’t pay off. Search engine algorithms are continually tweaked to help them stay ‘honest’ in letting the cream rise to the top. It’s best to start as you mean to go on, even if it takes a bit longer to rise to the top of the search engines. So, how do you identify black hat SEO methods so you’re sure to avoid them?
Avoiding Black Hat SEO – Tips:
- Be careful about dealing with SEO companies who make outlandish promises. If they’re telling you that you can buy your way to the top with paid links, this is a red flag.
- Look into the reputation of the SEO company that you’re talking to. Make sure they’re known as legitimate and have good testimonials from real clients to back up what they tell you.
- Be sure your website navigation is transparent. No doorway or cloaked pages. No hidden text in an attempt to keyword stuff, and so on.
- Ask to see your reporting. The single most important thing you can do as a website owner is regularly review your traffic reports. A good indication of black hat SEO is, for example, an excessive number of high PR backlinks from non-relevant sites.
Effective SEO, especially in a competitive niche, can be like a full time job and that’s probably why you want to get some help. Hire an expert SEO consultant but look for transparency in their methods. If something doesn’t sit right, ask questions. It doesn’t hurt to brush up on basics of white hat and black hat SEO so that you can carefully monitor what’s happening with your business. Search engine optimisation is an evolving world and a reputable subject matter expert can help your company make the most of it through proven and ethical strategies that work.