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We have blogged before providing tips on how you can get more visibility on search engines for your site. Indeed there are numerous helpful guides that will teach you what to do when you are starting to put together an SEO strategy. But if you have no previous knowledge of SEO how are you meant to know what is legitimate and what is ‘cheating’?

You will often hear ‘experts’ talk about authentic and non-authentic SEO practices, more accurately referred to as ‘Black Hat SEO’. In essence this refers to techniques that either fools the user, the search engine or both to enable a site to leap-frog others who have done things correctly. If this is not a problem for your business morality and ethos, it is worth noting that once caught (and you are likely to get caught eventually) search engines such as Google will actually black list and block your site.

Here are 3 SEO techniques to avoid:

1. Keyword Stuffing

Getting relevant content and active keywords into both your site copy and code is a great way of ensuring your visitors are engaged, as well as helping you climb the search engine rankings. However you have to make sure your text makes sense! Simply cramming in as many keywords into each sentence or meta description not only makes for an unfriendly site that will turn your customers away, it will result in Google actually dropping you down the list.

2. Content Cloaking

What a customer sees on your website should be what Google sees. Also what a customer sees on your Google description should be what they get when visiting your site. Trying to hijack keyword search terms and using Javascript redirects to get the user on to your site might seem like a fast-track to high web traffic, but your users will be irrelevant and Google will block you.

3. Link Schemes

You probably get countless emails every day offering you a ‘link share opportunity’ or prompting you to buy relevant links to your site. Having a depth of relevant back links is a good thing, but without confirmation of where these people will be placing the links (and what they will say) you will never be sure how relevant the sites will be that are advertising your own site. What’s more, Google will notice and block you.

Use authentic SEO techniques and don’t try to skip them. Not only are they not helpful, they will result in your site being removed from search engines.

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