The Biggest Sin in SEO

No matter where you look, there will always be competition.

In the world wide web though, competition is fiercer than in the real world.

You will be competing for a place in the search engine listing for your customer’s attention.

Back in the old days, you can get the attention of your customer easily because there are simply not too many websites around. Nowadays, your customer probably only has a fraction of time to devote to your site.

In many cases, they will search on Google and see only the top 3 results and move on. If your website is buried down in the search engine ranking positions (also known as SERPS) then you will probably not get too many attention from your customers.

This condition of too many competitions and too few attention span can sometimes lure people to commit the biggest sin of SEO: Spamming.

No matter what you do, you should always avoid spamming at all cost.

Let’s begin with the definition of spamming. Spamming is simply manipulating or cheating the search engine so that it offers high ranking to your site but your site offers no real information to the users. It’s a short lived shortcut that will be washed away over time with Google algorithm updates.

There are several things that can be considered spamming and here they are:

1. Cloaking

Cloaking is simply the act of presenting totally different information to the user via search engine manipulation. What usually happens is someone tries to rank for an easy keyword but when a user click on the link to visit the site, he will be presented with a totally different information.

For example, a gambling site might use the keyword “how to grow a tree” because it is easy to rank and then when the user click on the result, he will be taken straight to the gambling site.

2. Artificial Link Network

It is OK to create links from other relevant sites as long as they’re related and provides useful information to the users.

However, since a link counts as a vote to your site, spammers see this as an opportunity to create some “fake votes.” This will create an illusion of popularity to a site which can result in higher search rankings.

If you only put up 3 or 5 pages of content and then bombard your site with links, then it is considered spamming.

3. Blog and Forum Spam

I’m pretty sure you’ve seen this kind of spam and you’d agree with me that they’re some of the most annoying ones.

Comments such as “I like it” or “Useful post” for the purpose of creating a link back to a site which are automated using a spam software are very annoying to see.

This kind of spam really violates the online spirit of sharing and providing useful information to the users.

Behaviour like this not only interrupts the blogging and forum community, but it also downright rude.

4. Hidden Text

This one is similar to cloaking in which you load a page with invisible text of keywords, usually using a white font on a white background to manipulate the search engine rankings. By putting a lot of keywords on a page, then a search engine will think that you have relevant content, thereby increasing your rankings.

Back in the early days of the internet, this tactic works very well until Google changed its algorithm and put those kind of sites out from their index (they deserve it).

The above four tactics are just some of the spamming that exists on the SEO world.

They all have the same method and motivation: to make their site rank high in the search result as quickly as possible using unethical method.

The user do this to get more traffic to their site and unethical SEO company use this to generate more money for their service.

Now after you know how spamming is done, here are some reasons why you should avoid them at all costs:

1. It provides not value at to the users. The whole point of the internet world is to create a source of information that anyone can access to. And we don’t want information, we want quality information.

When you spam, your motive is to manipulate the search rankings to get more customers. However, if you manipulate the search engine are you acting in your customers best interest? Search engine seems to believe that if you cheat one person, you’ll cheat another one and I can’t argue with this.

2. It speaks poorly of your site, business and attitude. If you only want to sell, sell and sell to your user without providing useful information, who would buy from you? Would you want to buy from someone like that?

Like anything else, business is about building a relationship. And your website should do the same to your customers. Build a strong relationship with them and it will all come back.

3. You are hurting people who really takes the time to produce quality website (only for a while). You might be able to get away with a short period of high rankings when you spam, but it will not last long.

Search engine are continuously developing their search algorithm to help quality content ranks better while penalizing spammy sites at the same time.

In conclusion, building fat, juicy and helpful content for your users will give you a long term competitive advantage in the eyes of the Search Engnes.

Spamming on the other hand is just a short lived, dangerous tactics that might increase your rankings for a while but not in the long term. Once the search engines figured out what you did to them, they will not let you come back because you’ve committed the biggest sin in SEO.

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