Online marketing is a very competitive world.
Everyone wants to be on the front page of the search results, but rather than working hard and building a solid base of informative, relevant content and good links, some marketers still try to find short cuts.
However tempting it may be, there is no substitute for hard work because if you do try to cut corners you will incur the wrath of Google.
So what sort of activities are we talking about?
There are quite a few, but for this particular post we shall concentrate on 7.
Nope, it’s not something out of Star Trek.
Cloaking means you’re showing the search engines one thing and your visitors something else. So you could be promoting a site for an activity such as fell walking in the search results, but when someone clicks on the link, they’re taken to a pornographic site.
A very deceptive practice, which is completely forbidden by Google.
2. Duplicate content
Yes, unbelievably this still happens. People attempt to boost their page views by creating many pages with the same content.
If you inadvertently duplicate content on your own site through the use of categories, tags or archived pages, you’ll be OK although it could still get you penalised.
3. Scraping content
Everyone knows that good rankings come from the creation of great content. But for those who really can’t be bothered and think it’s OK to scrape content from other sites, tweak it a bit and then publish it, Google is watching you and will come down on you like a tonne of bricks.
4. Unrelated keywords
The only keywords that should be used for your site are those that are actually related to the content in your site. It really isn’t rocket science.
Of course, stuffing your keywords (related or otherwise) is also a huge no-no, but you knew that, right?
5. Link exchanges
The best way to develop your links is to do it carefully, manually and with integrity. If you pay for links you’ll get banned; if you link back to everyone who links to you, you could damage your reputation.
Basically, Google will check out your external links and incoming links for the quality of the linking sites. If they have a low reputation it will have an effect on you – so be careful.
6. Hidden keywords
The below will get you de-indexed or penalised:
- Plastering your site with keywords in the same colour as your background
- Keywords in really, really tiny font size at the end of your site
Guess what? They show up in your code so it really doesn’t take much for Google to spot it.
7. Stacking your titles
There’s a simple rule to follow: one headline per page.
Writing more than one and stuffing them with your keywords will hack Google off. Do it properly and make the most of your heading my placing your important keywords at the start of headline, making the most of the 70 characters available to create one that is meaningful.
Over to you
The 7 scenarios above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to getting yourself de-indexed by Google.
Can you think of any more?
If so, write a comment below and let’s see how many we can find.
Sally Ormond – professional copywriter, founder and MD of Briar Copywriting Ltd