As an online business owner, you invest a great deal of time and money on search engine optimization services to improve your ranking on top search engines. However, you should be very cautious when hiring SEO firms to handle your website’s optimisation to ensure that they are not using black hat SEO tactics. It is not uncommon to encounter SEO firms these days that offer you ranking on the first page of Google. While it might sound tempting to take the offer, you need to look closely into their methods of optimisation so you will not be penalised for it.

black hat seo

Keyword Stuffing

This worked for a while… until Google updated its search algorithm. Keyword stuffing is basically what it says: you stuff an article or blog with keywords related to your website in the hopes of ranking higher on Google search engine results page for a related search. Today, this trick won’t cut it anymore. Google sees pass the number of times a keyword appears on a web page but rather its authority and the freshness of the content.

To avoid hiring an SEO firm that employs keyword stuffing, you should ask for a sample of their content marketing efforts. Make sure you evaluate their use of keywords within the content. More importantly, the content should be geared for human readers, not search engine bots.

Unrelated Keywords

The use of unrelated keywords is considered one of those grey hat SEO strategies. Although it is not entirely against the rule of SEO, the fact that you use keywords that are not related to the content of your website is still enough to raise the alarm for Google. It is alway better to stick to a specific topic and avoid adding unrelated keywords for extra page hits. Even if you do get traffic from these keywords, the bounce rate will be high anyways.

Cloaking

This is another one of those black hat SEO tricks to be avoided at all times. This method works by allowing search engine crawlers to see one version of your website but then present the users with a different version. This technique results to a very poor browsing experience. You would not want to deceive your users by offering a snippet of one content but find a different content when they go to your actual website.

A reputable firm will not be using the same trick either. Cloaking, when discovered by Google, can cause you to lose your search engine results ranking. Delisting can also happen if Google has determined that your website has consistently used this technique to obtain higher ranking.

On top of the ones mentioned above, other SEO methods that you should avoid when looking for a firm to work with include the following: article spinning, link farming, doorway pages, comment spamming, and many more. There are also new strategies emerging that you should be aware of. Therefore, it pays to educate yourself about white hat techniques for search engine optimisation to guide your decision.

Is your SEO firm using these black hat SEO strategies? Stop now before Google finds out and penalise your website for it (causing you to lose your ranking entirely). The worst that could happen is for Google to ban your website! A reputable firm like Ardor Media Factory will utilize only white hat SEO strategies to produce organic but authority links to your website and provide placement that lasts.

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