In the world of Internet marketing, there is one thing you never want to happen: get banned by Google. It rarely occurs if you’re sincere in your marketing tactics, but banning could be in your future if you use less than stellar black hat or deceptive techniques. Here are a few methods that could really get you in trouble:
- Using hidden text or hidden links.
Placing colored text on identically colored backgrounds is a big “no-no” in Internet marketing. This method in particular not only deceives Google, but also misleads your potential customers and readers. Adding hidden keyword text about fire engines into a website about chocolate covered pretzels is a seriously sneaky way to get page results for something completely off-topic. Deception helps absolutely no one. While it may get you some results at first, the results will certainly not last.
- Dwelling in those “bad neighborhoods.”
Oh sure, it does sound tempting, doesn’t it? You might think that link farms or low quality sites that can get you zillions of easy links appear to be a simple way to really push up the ranking of your website. But, keep in mind these kinds of sites automatically generate links, which tends to mess with true organic search results—and that makes Google very unhappy. Google knows about these sites, and if you’re caught meandering around and posting links in them, you’re going to get caught.
- Put keywords EVERYWHERE!
Keywords are an incredibly important part of any SEO marketing campaign—there is no doubt about that. However, do not go around stuffing thousands of keywords into your page content and into the alt tags of your images. When Google crawls pages with content overflowing with keywords, these pages will be flagged as spam and your site won’t show up anywhere on the SERPs.
- Automating any of your content.
No one wants to read computer generated copy. Google doesn’t want to read it either. Part of Internet marketing is creating high quality content that is both readable and useful to your target audience. Google has its ways of finding out if your content is auto-generated and then quickly slapping a ban on your website. Sure, it takes a lot of time to create excellent content, but it’ll be worth the extra effort. You really don’t want to be the one asking Google to remove the ban.
- Click on your own Pay-Per-Click ads.
It could be tempting to click on a Pay-Per-Click ad you have setup yourself. But, the reality is that Google is always policing PPC advertising. They’ll know if you’re clicking on your ads and you’ll be quickly banned from using Pay-Per-Click if you’re caught. Messing with PPC campaigns in this manner makes PPC statistics inaccurate and is, therefore, highly deceptive.
So how do we stay on Google’s good side? What Google wants in its organic search results is high quality content that’s linked to other reputable sources. It’s as simple as making sure your website is something potential customers actually want to see. As for PPC, the key is to create a well-targeted and thorough ad campaign where all of the clicks come from your target audience—not you, your friends and coworkers.