The “No Nos” of SEO
n. pl. no-noes
1. Something unacceptable or impermissible.
2. A social blunder; a faux pas.
3. Anything that is forbidden or not advisable a because of being improper or unsafe.
When it comes to the tricks and tips of Search Engine Optimization, it is important to not only make note of what to do, but it is also vital to understand what not to do. Any website owner should have a basic understanding of the “dos and don’ts” of SEO, with the “don’ts” ranking highest on the list of things to remember. After all, what good is having an awesome website only to have it banned? Here is a simple list of things to avoid in order to keep that from happening.
When a person searches for “tires,” he or she may see a list of web pages for sites which sell tires. The first few sentences of each page should show up in that list under each link. When a visitor clicks that link, and instead of seeing the rest of that paragraph, he or she is taken to a page which seems to be more like an ad, they have found a doorway page. These pages are made to redirect visitors without being discovered by spiders. While doorway pages will draw search engine visitors to a website, they will also get that website banned.
Hidden Text and Images
Another forbidden trick of SEO is hidden text. How does one hide text? There are a couple of ways to accomplish this. Some do so by making the hidden text the same color as the background so that visitors cannot see it. Others may make the text so small that it is not visible to visitors. Why would someone want their text to be hidden? Many use this technique to add keywords and content to their site which will cause it to rank higher in search engines. It does not work very well, because search engines understand background colors as well as font size. If they pick up on text which in unreadable to visitors, they will ban the site.
The same is true of images. If a website displays images which are too small for visitors to see, it will be banned. Some web site owners may try this trick because links can slightly increase the site’s ranking in search engines. Linking to images which are too small to see, or single pixel images, will cause a website to be banned.
Don’t Be Sneaky
Basically, anytime a website presents different content to the search engines than it does to its visitors, it runs a high risk of being banned. Whether that content is in the form of fake web pages, hidden text, hidden images, URLs, and more, the search engine spiders will pick up on the trick, and ban the website for spam. Redirection, cloaking and such are considered to be “no nos” in the world of SEO and should be avoided. Once a website has been banned, it is extremely difficult to get recognized by search engines again.
Angela Kaye Mason is a syndicated writer, copywriter, and editor from North Georgia, USA. Contact Angela at [email protected] Follow on Twitter, @AngelaKayeMason, find her on Facebook @ facebook.com/AngelaKayeMason.Writer
(Information taken from Wikipedia, and About.com. Photos cited separately.)