Harmful SEO

In this post I will outline some of the things to avoid when optimizing your site. These are guidelines defined by Google and are considered Harmful SEO.

1: Avoid auto generated content. Some SEO practitioners programmatically generate content that makes no sense to a reader but contains search keywords.

2: Participating in Link Schemes. Link schemes are systems where people try to manipulate the PageRank and a site’s ranking in the results. This is considered a violation of Google’s Webmaster’s Guidelines and could result in lower positions or removal completely. When google detects excessive links to a site (“You link to me and I’ll link to you”) with unrelated content a link scheme flag is raised.

3: Little or no original content. When creating content make sure it contains good information with relevant keywords appropriate for the subject matter of the content.

4: Cloaking. This is the practice of presenting content to users different from what they expected. Fooling the search engines with html text the presenting flash or javascript that are hard for the search engines to detect.

5: Sneaky Redirects. This process is similar to cloaking, sending the user to another url other than the one they visited. In the case of moving your site it is better to use a server side 301 redirect.

6: Hidden text and links. When you use white text on a white background or font size=0, although the reader will not see it , the crawler will pick it up. This is considered a violation.

7: Doorway Pages. These are pages designed for Search Engines to rank well for specific search queries. So you ending up having multiple pages that leads to the same destination.

8: Scraped Content. Some people “scrape” content from popular sites and add to their own hoping it will lead to higher rankings. To benefit from this you must also add you own original content to benefit your visitors.

9: Keyword Stuffing. This is the practice of adding keywords that do not flow as natural prose but appear in groups.

These are some of the most important things to avoid when optimizing your site. If your site is found in violation of 1 or more of these guidelines , Google says they may take manual action against your site and you will then have to correct it and resubmit .

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