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When we say “SEO Mistakes,’’ we’re talking about using unfair and aggressive search engine optimization techniques to try to improve your position in search results. Such unethical techniques are often referred to as “black hat SEO” and by using these methods you risk being penalized and losing your website’s position in search results altogether. Read on to see the top 5 “black hat SEO” tricks and why you NEED to avoid using them ASAP.

1. Keyword Stuffing

This one is simply when you fill your web pages’ visible content, meta tags and backlink anchor text up with too many keywords. It is problematic when keywords appear in a list or group, or completely out of context.

In addition to being a dangerous trick for SEO improvement, keyword stuffing is a nonsensical act because it will be driving visitors not needing your content straight to your website and straight to a negative user experience.

2. Duplicating Content

Duplicating content is directly copying content from another website or your own. Not only is this plagiarism, but it will be noticed so quickly by search engine bots that your website and the website that you’re copying from will be punished in no time. Of course you can be inspired by content from other parts of the web, but be creative with your reinterpretation or repurposing of this content. Anything longer than one sentence of the same content is going to put you at risk. Don’t confuse Duplicate content with Syndicated content (including blog articles you may incorporate in your newsfeed with proper citation).

3. Doorway Pages

The black hat trick of creating a doorway page, also known as a “jump page,” “bridge page,” or “portal page,” refers to redirecting visitors to a page different from the link they’ve selected. If a visitor clicks through to a doorway page that they’ve found in the search engine results page, typically they’ll be redirected with a ‘fast Meta refresh command’ to another page. This doorway page tactic is known as “cloaking.”

One of the most common doorway pages is made by using adding an additional domain name to pages to help your site rank in different regions, but still being the same page for the user. For example, if a website wants to rank for “Australia,” you might use a site or domain name like “Hottest Trends in Australia.” According to the word “Australia”, search engines will rank the site for this term.

4. Unrelated Keywords

‘Unrelated keywords’ are an example of our first point of keyword stuffing, where you add many keywords to different areas of your website, even ones that do not fit in the context of your page or website. As we mentioned before, the only consequences of this practice will be negative user experience and Search Engine ranking penalties.

5. Paid Links

While purchasing paid links that have strong keywords for SEO in them sounds like the quickest and easiest solution to optimising your ranking, it can often be more risk than it’s worth.  You can’t be guaranteed that the links that you have bought are qualitative and if bots find out then your website’s ranking will plummet.

Instead of wasting money paying for links, you should instead spend a little extra time and money on developing your website’s SEO with “white hat SEO” techniques.

Using ‘White Hat SEO’ Techniques to Ensure an Ethical Approach

“White hat SEO” techniques are the safe, fair and effective approaches to SEO. Unlike its evil sibling “black hat,” “white hat” practices are designed to improve the long-term sustainability of your website. Tried-and-true methods of white hat SEO include using relevant keywords and keyword analysis, writing accessibile content for human readers, updating and adding content regularly, relevant backlinking and link building to improve a link’s popularity. Check out our Five Simple Rules to Increase Website Visits with Outstanding On-Page SEO blog for more advice on SEO best practice.

If you don’t know what kind of SEO techniques, if any, have been applied to your website then let us know and we’ll give it a quick review today.