To make sure your website and web pages do well in search engine optimization (SEO), you have to do two simple things: play by the rules and don’t cheat—don’t even try.
Cheating or hacking to make your website rank high and get more traffic may seem like a good idea, but Google can detect them. Google also severely punishes websites that cheat. We recommend to go the legitimate way, the way reliable SEO agencies in the Philippines and the world do. To give you an idea of how others try to circumvent search engine rules, here are five common SEO cheats people do.
- Overusing Keywords
This is commonly known by SEO experts as keyword stuffing. This is done by repeating your keyword in your web content multiple times, in an effort to rank high and appear in search queries. Unfortunately for keyword stuffers, this is a very old cheat that doesn’t work, and can even backfire. People who read the content will be put off by the awkwardness of having too many keywords, and search engines will detect it as an attempt to trick their algorithms. Once detected by search engines, the keyword-stuffed website won’t appear in search, undermining the effort. This is lazy, foolish, and a waste of time. You’re much better off working to implement an effective form of SEO strategy.
- Cloaking Your Website
Cloaking is a cheat where programmers show the search engine a different page and hide the main page that viewers see. An example is when a web page is set to display an HTML page, while visitors to the website see different content, like a bunch of images or blogs. It is a considerable risk, as the penalty for cloaking is a permanent ban. Google will not only ban the cloaking website but will also blacklist it so other search engines won’t show it either. If any SEO practitioner or firm recommends that you use cloaking for your website to rank, don’t hire them. They may try to convince you to do it and claim you won’t get caught, but search engines are always getting better at detecting these cheats.
- Creating Clickbait
Another cheap tactic is to bait users to click and view posts or articles that offer no real value. Clickbait articles are those which sound like tabloid pieces. You can spot them quickly as they use sensational words like “shocking” or “unbelievable” in their headlines. The content is unnecessary gibberish, and what passes for information from clickbait can be replaced with one word—usually “yes” or “no.” While Google and other search engines don’t punish clickbait, you won’t get authentic engagement with this type of content if you use it. Users will eventually avoid your website and might report you to volunteer anti-clickbait groups and steer away traffic.
- Paying for Links
A shortcut to getting your website or blog to rank higher is to pay for links. By doing so, you might get more traffic in the short term. It sounds like a bright idea, but when the search engine detects that the websites you’ve linked your content to are weakly related, you will lose your rankings. The best way to get good backlinks to your website is to earn them the honest way. Generate valuable, trustworthy content, and other relevant sites will link to you.
- Copying Content
Those in the writing profession have a word for this: plagiarism. Stealing and copying another website or blog’s content is low-brow, yet some people still do it in a desperate bid to get traffic. This is both dangerous and not worth the trouble. You should be aware that plagiarizing web content is now punishable under Philippine law.
These are only a sample of the bad SEO practices unscrupulous people might use to get higher rankings and increased traffic. You should never resort to any of these tactics, and they’re listed here for information purposes only.
Never forget that lousy SEO practices can mean worse trouble or even land you in jail. If you want your website to do well in SEO, put in the work, and hire SEO experts to help you do it.