Small Business Owners Should Be Aware of Black Hat SEO
There are unethical SEO techniques specifically banned by Google and other search engines that are known as "Black Hat" Seo. People who do this are taking a short term view to get a huge boost and then typically they get out. If you are a small business and want to stay around, the best plan of action is to slowly build up your website with approved "White Hat" Seo techniques.
I had a business who would not listen to me on this. When its SEO salesman told the owner he was going to do this and wanted them to pay for it, I advised against it. At first this firm got a huge boost and everyone was happy. In six months they began slowly loosing its ranking and inquiries, where they sunk so low they were heading into the sandbox. Google disavow tools were its only savior.
Here are a few examples to try to out rank your competitor in an unethical way:
Google Map Scam
Faking multiple listings with fake local addresses ( some firms have purchased "virtual" local addresses) just to show up on local Google. You can get a listing you have access to with a phone number and get it up on Google Maps.
Deliberately hiding additional text or links by hiding them into the color of the page, or the images, and many other ways. If you have a page with a white background and you stuff it with white text, links, or additional keywords that only the search engines can see, you are cheating. Google, Yahoo, and the other search engines can detect it. If you are spamming them like this you can get permanently banned.
Don't copy your competitors content and put it up as your own. Not only is it unethical, it is illegal to copy your competitors words. I've read horror stories where competitors have copied not only the text of other websites, but actually copied the entire website style, graphics, all of it. Create your own content in your voice. Again, don't copy your competitor and put it up as your own.
Don't go out to every blog under the sun, whether related or unrelated to your content, and comment on them only to push a trackback to your website. Only post insightful and constructive comments on websites that are related to you.
Don't buy links. Bad links from tons of low rated sources are more harm to your website than no links. Do keep your content fresh, original, and people will gradually find you and link to your site. Take a long term approach to your website and the growth will come naturally.
There are many more black hat techniques that are technical (Cloaking, Doorways,Gateways,Meta Tag Refresh - etc) but these are not techniques a small business owner typically understands or might try to employ to get his or her website ranking.
Strands Designs has never employed black hat techniques to get a website to rank, and never will. Taking the long view is the mission.
Simple Clean Website Design. Solid Trusted SEO Marketing. Creative tested marketing messages. These marketing and design elements are what makes good website design and online sales. Strands Designs is here to help your small business online needs.