Advanced SEO

Avoiding SEO Spam

Not to be confused with the canned, processed meat, SEO spam is the use of redundant or unethical techniques to improve search engine optimization. Since time immemorial –or at least since the Internet first began– webmasters have been using these stratagems to dupe search engines into giving irrelevant pages high search engine placement. These are called black hat techniques.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, search engines keep up with spam techniques and therefore you should avoid them. You should also set up a Google Search Console account to monitor how Google is indexing your site and to be made aware of errors and penalties.

Here are some classic examples of spam techniques to avoid.

Search Engine optimization: Spamming Techniques

Invisible Text: Hiding keywords by using the same color font and background is one of the oldest tricks in the spammers’ book. User’s may not see it but search engine spiders do and now they also recognize the lack of contrast.

Keyword Stuffing: Repeating keywords over and over again, usually at the bottom of the page (tailing) in tiny font or within meta tags or other hidden tags.

Unrelated Keywords: Never use popular keywords that do not apply to your site’s content. You might be able to trick a few people searching for such words into clicking at your link, but they will quickly leave your site when they see you have no info on the topic they were originally searching for.

Hidden Tags: The use of keywords in hidden HTML tags like comment tags, style tags, http-equiv tags, hidden value tags, alt tags, font tags, author tags, option tags or other tags.

Duplicate Pages: Avoid any duplicate content. If you choose to have similar content on different pages for legitimate reasons, like A/B tests, use norobots tags or canonical links to let search engines know which page to index.

Link Farms: Search engines consider the use of link farms or reciprocal link generators as spam. In fact, any links that you pay for are supposed to have a nofollow tag to be identified as an advertisement, as opposed to an organic link.

Redirects: A redirect has many legitimate uses to send users from one URL to another. However, redirects can also be used in ways to trick search engines by redirecting a search engine to one page and everyone else to another page. Keep your redirects for legitimate uses.

In summary, stick to white hat SEO tactics.