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SEO Methods to Avoid

When a person searches either a keyword or sentence into a search engine such as Google, Yahoo! or Bing, they want the the results displayed to be relevant to what they were searching. With hundreds of millions of websites and articles on the web, search engine companies had to create a way to sort through the millions of pages and determine which pages should be displayed first. To do this, each search engine created a “recipe”, if you will, to determine each web page's relevance to certain key words and popular searches. This recipe, called an algorithm, takes into account key things about web pages relevant to the searched words, most notably the number of times a keyword is used on a page, the popularity of the page and the number of links throughout the web that link back to that page. The more of these components that the webpage has, the higher up the web page will rank among search results. Since a webpage’s search results ranking is crucial (if potential customers cannot find a website and thus buy the goods offered on that website, the online business will die), web page creators had to come up with a way to try and make their pages display as highly as possible. This solution is called search engine optimization, or SEO. Using SEO, web page creators try to insert keywords into the page’s content and title and create links back to the site. Although SEO is important, there are some practices with keywords, links and cloaking that should be avoided.

While a webpage designer want to make sure that there is a sufficient amount of keywords related to the business/purpose of the site so that search engines know the site relates to certain keywords; it’s important to not overkill the use of the keywords in an attempt to boost SEO. This method looks bad to future viewers and can hurt your sites’ reputation. Additionally, the use of placing keywords on to your site in invisible text should be completely avoided! Although web creators may think that placing additional keywords onto the page in invisible text will help their site by optimizing SEO (without creating a keyword overkill visible by viewers), search engines can detect an invisible text. Google has threatened to remove websites from their search engine that use this tactic. Therefore, just avoid inserting invisible keywords on to your page.

A link to a site is supposed to represent a recommendation for the site. For example, if I have a blog about shoe stores, and if I had a really awesome experience at a particular shoe store, I may place a link for that shoe store in my blog with some comments explaining why it was so great. This link, especially if I linked a keyword relevant to the endorsed site, such as “shoe” would help improve that sites’ SEO. After all, I had had a great experience with that site, so presumably another user would too. However, since links increase a site’ SEO, web creators have found ways to create links that are not recommendations. Some people purchase links, or pay to have people link content to their page. Other creators go through chat forums and randomly posts links to their website and others go as far as creating bonus websites that link directly to their main website. All of these damage the integrity of the website, and could thus cost the website traffic and business; and thus should be avoided.

SEO techniques, such as keywords and linking, are important to web designers. After all, website owners want their websites to rank as high among search results as possible, hopefully earning the site more traffic. However, although it may seem easy to boost a site’s SEO through creating invisible keyword texts and bogus links, these practices should be avoided because in the long run they not only hurt the reputation of the site, but can cause the site to be removed from search engines.

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