3 SEO Hacks That Don't Work

Avoid these supposed “hacks” if you want to hit the mark with Google.
Pleasing the search engines can seem like a never-ending job. Google, Bing and other search engines are constantly changing up their complex algorithms in their quest to provide internet users with relevant and helpful content. It’s their job to weed out the bad from the good in the website world, and no business website wants to end up on the blacklist.
There’s a wealth of information available to you on the web which claims to hold the secret to boosting your SEO, but not all of it will help you climb the rankings. There are several practices which at one time would allow sites to “cheat” their way into the top rankings that Google has since cracked down on; websites trying to fool the system can be struck off the ranking all together.
Investing time and effort into boosting your search engine ranking is important for businesses large and small. Many webizens will conduct a simple Google search to find the site they’re looking for, or to compare the varying options available to them from different websites. If your business website isn’t searchable you are losing out on valuable website traffic, so your search engine optimization efforts are vital.
Below are three SEO tips and tricks that you should avoid:
Ranked as the worst offending SEO no-no by SEO software firm SEOmoz, “cloaking” is the act of disguising your content so that search engines see one version while your site visitors see something else entirely. This is technically quite complex, and examples from Google are as follows:

  • Serving a page of HTML text to search engines, while showing a page of images or Flash to users
  • Inserting text or keywords into a page only when the site visitor requesting the page is a search engine, not a human visitor

Ensure that all your content is available to both the search engine spiders and to your users, for if they’re not getting the content they were searching for originally the search engines will know about it, and your site will be blacklisted.
Link farming
The search engines favor sites that are refutable, and full of relevant, truthful content. For many years they correlated truthfulness with popularity, and any sites that had abundant links directing traffic to their site were ranked higher. The logic behind this is that content which had several links to it was seen as more credible, as multiple other sites were referencing it. This led to an onslaught of what’s known as “link farming”, with companies launching empty websites filled with links back to their own content. The search engines soon wised up to this though, and now all links to and from your content are crawled and analyzed for their authenticity.
Keyword stuffing
In the same way that links to your website content highlight its authenticity, the presence of relevant, industry specific keywords in your website content will score points with Google. This doesn’t mean that you can just fill up your site with SEO keywords, though, as Google et al now penalize sites for what’s called “keyword stuffing”: using an unnecessary amount of keywords that detracts from the quality of content. While you should keep in mind that the search engines will be scanning your site for its relevance, you should stay away from overusing keywords and writing the content to please just the search engine. Good quality content is written for your audience, and is informative and useful to site visitors.
Our new Website SEO Guru tool will scan your website completely free and let you know how well your search engine optimization efforts are performing. Following this it can provide you with simple step-by-step guides to improving your ranking, without using any of the above methods. Scan your site for free here.