Good/Bad SEO Strategies

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With online spending on the rise and social media profits growing for the sixth consecutive quarter, it’s understandable that black hat SEO strategies can begin to look tempting. After all, they require very little effort and often provide a high return on the investment. However, cheaper isn’t always the equivalent of better, and using black hat methods could leave you to face a Google penalty.

Black hat strategies can manifest themselves in a number of different ways, but commonly include spun articles and shady backlinks. In fact, major retail company JCPenney was recently caught in hot water after Google discovered that the site was ranking at the top of search engines for thousands of keywords. As it turns out, JCPenney was accused of hiring an outside source to place thousands of backlinks across the web. Google responded by manually lowering rankings of the site.

Content Spinning

Content spinning is a common black hat strategy that many small business will implement on the belief that it will classify as original content. Unfortunately, this simply is not the case and is widely regarded as plagiarism. Content spinning means taking articles from another website or blog and altering them to pass Copyscape. Additionally, articles that have been spun are rarely engaging, often hindering credibility of the business.

Doorway Pages

Another common black hat SEO strategy is the use of doorway pages. This is done by stuffing an “invisible” page with keywords. Although the public readers are unable to see this page, search engine spiders are still able to crawl it and will often improve website rankings.

Choosing Long-Term ROI Over Short-Term Gains

Although using black hat methods can provide a high return on the investment, any success is likely to be temporary. Internet users are naturally drawn to content that is engaging and stands out, but a spinning software is unable to provide either of those things. It may not be illegal, but it is still very much frowned upon. Business owners that choose to take advantage of black hat SEO may not see immediate consequences, but it can ultimately destroy the company’s credibility.

Understandably, creating unique content for a business website isn’t always done with ease. It requires focus, attention to detail and an understanding of search engines. It also requires a considerable amount of time – something that is just not available to everyone who already has a full plate. However, it will have a much higher long-term return on the investment to hire a professional content curator.

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