This is a guest post by Michael Tomlinson. You can read the guidelines to guest posting at our write for us page.
Thriving SEO services stay abreast to changes on Google’s search algorithm, keeping their clients’ sites at the top of the SERPs. Professionals stay on Google’s good side by refraining from the use of tactics that are questionable or violate Google’s terms. Here are five tricks to avoid violating these terms:
1. Page cloaking
Cloaking is the act of using clever programming to redirect and show Googlebot one page, but visitors a different one. An example would be showing Googlebot a page about pet clothing, but when visitors click a link to that page, they see a political blog. A closely related tactic is using fast meta refresh to redirect visitors to a page they had no intention of visiting. Cloaking is admissible when displaying a page in a different language based on visitor location, but there are other ways to accomplish that. Cloaking is a dangerous technique that Googlebot has learned to recognize.
2. Duplicate content
Claiming another’s work as your own is a bad idea. Stealing from others can result in a lengthy and costly litigation process of intellectual property rights. Scraping content and rewriting it to pass it off as unique doesn’t work either. Bots exist that attempt to rewrite content, but they perform horribly. Googlebot indexes millions of pages and runs latent semantic indexing (LSI) checks on them all. Replacing a few words here and there with synonyms and reconstructing sentences is simply ineffectual.
3. Distributing malware
Unless you keep your blog’s security as tight as a drum, crackers will compromise your site given enough time. Always install the latest patches and security updates. There is little worse than discovering, all too late, that your blog has been infecting computers, and getting banned for something you did not intend to happen. Years of effort can vanish quickly unless you stay on top of security. Intentionally handing out trojans, spyware, or any type of malware is not the greatest way to market your blog.
4. Use your competition’s trademarks
In 2008 a flower dealer in the UK, Marks and Spencer Group, was caught using the Interflora trademark through AdWords. Interflora took them to court, and in March 2011 the court stated that trademark owners have the right to prohibit competitors from using their trademarks. If you are selling soft drinks via your blog, for example, do not use trademarked names like Coke, Pepsi, and so on.
5. Join an Independent Backlink Network
Google has cracked down on the users of click rings for years, and members of Independent Backlink Networks (IBLNs) are suffering the same consequences. IBLNs are expensive, and they do yield the results they promise: 8,000 backlinks in a week in some cases. Google does not ban members of IBLNs immediately. Rather, it waits until large amounts of money have been deposited into an IBLN and your rank climb has climbed higher. Then Google bans proceeds to ban IBLN members.
Cloaking doesn’t fool Googlebot. Avoid fast meta refresh. Write your own content or hire professionals to add high quality content for you. Keep your security updated by checking for patches as often as possible. Use AdWords with care and stay away from trademarked names. Finally, build links naturally. Keep Google satisfied and Google will return the favor.