Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical to rank your website in search engine. But you must play by the book instead of trying to rank by hook or by crook if you want to avoid the dreaded search engine penalty.
In SEO terminology, tactics that are allowed by search engines to rank a site are known as White Hat SEO techniques. On the other hand, tactics that are not allowed by search engines are known as Black Hat SEO techniques.
The focus of this post is to shed light on activities that are regarded as Black Hat SEO activities based on the most recent search engine updates and policies.
1. Creating Doorway Pages
Doorway pages refer to the website that are dummy pages to dupe search engine bots. The pages only contain keywords pointing to the main site. These pages are hidden from the user’s sight.
A doorway page is created to target specific search queries. The pages lead to the same pages in the search results. Google has laid out three criteria for a page to be considered a doorway page.
- Webpages have multiple domain names that lead users to a single domain
- Webpages run parallel to search results instead of a browse-able hierarchy
- Webpages aim to funnel online visitors to a specific site
To avoid your site from being penalized, you should only publish pages when content is available.
2. Destroy Empty Pages
You must destroy all empty web pages on your site. Any page that does not add clear value to users should be removed. These sites may not target search engine but may harm the online ranking of the site.
A trait of a doorway page is that they don’t have navigation links. If you have a page on your site that doesn’t have a navigation link or menu, you need to edit or remove the page.
In addition, if your site has user-generated galleries or content pages, you should remove pages that are sitting idle or fill them with valuable content so that the pages don’t get flagged as doorway pages.
3. Have Unique Content on Each Domain
If you have multiple domains for any reason, you should make sure that each domain has unique content. Having same content on each domain will get your pages penalized as doorways pages.
Google ‘Medic’ update that was released last year particularly targets sites with bad quality content. If your site has been penalized by the update, you can learn more here on how to regain trust and authority of the site.
4. Paid Links
Paid links used to help boost SEO ranking in the past. But this is not the case anymore. Buying links may help your site temporarily. However, ultimately search engines will penalize your site for paid links.
You should disavow all unnatural links to avoid your site getting penalized by a search engine.
5. Spam Comments
Spam comments are another black hat SEO activity you should avoid. The main intent of spam comments is to get quality backlinks for free. While quality backlinks help, you must do it the right way such as contacting the website owner to put your link on the site.
Remember that there are a right and the wrong way of ranking your site. You should adopt a long term approach to rank your site. Shortcuts won’t get you anywhere when it comes to SEO of your site. Instead, it will make your site drop deep down the search rank page.