There are a number of SEO techniques that have been used over the years that you need to avoid completely. Amazingly, people continue to recommend several of these techniques. In many cases, there is no faster way to get a Google penalty.
In the past one thing that worked amazingly well was keyword stuffing. In keyword stuffing you put your chosen keyword onto your page as many times as possible. The concept behind keyword stuffing was recognition that Google’s program would see repetitions of the keyword as a prime factor in determining how relevant that page was to that keyword. After all, if having some references to the keyword was good then more would be better.
Keywords were stuffed into many different places. They were placed on the page itself either within the content or often at the bottom of the page. Many times the keyword stuffed under the page were displayed on the page using an extremely small font or in a color which caused the text to be the same color as the background rendering it invisible. Another place keywords were stuffed were in the HTML meta-tag which is specifically devoted to keywords. We’ll talk more about this tag later on but in general this tag has been rendered useless by people over using it to gain Google ranking.
The next thing that came up was sites that masqueraded as directories were actually places that allow people to buy links to their site to raise their ranking.
Cloaking has been popular for some time. In cloaking one page is shown to the search engines while another page is shown to humans who come to the site. That way you could easily show Google a page that is highly optimized for a keyword and show humans a page that is more appropriate for them. Google hates this, because they want to see the real content so their program can judge the actual relevance and quality of the page.
Link swapping became very popular for a period. Link swapping is the link equivalent to "you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours." In other words, if you put a link on your site to me I will put a link on my site to you. This is reasonably easy for Google to detect and so they penalize sites which have done this excessively. Certainly there are natural occurrences for sites on the same topic to have links to each other. Google detects a problem when sites that are completely unrelated have links to each other, especially if they all end up pointing to your site.
Next on the list of SEO dumb ideas is using various automated tools especially if you don’t know how they really work. Many of these tools just blast out comments or links in ways that will just get you in trouble with Google. Let the user beware. When paid Link directories became obsolete the next attempt was called link farms. A link farm consists of a bunch of sites where every site links to every other site. For a time this raised the page rank of every site in the network. The farm was then able to sell links to other sites as well. Google’s updates have effectively shut this method down.
In 2012 Google has taken major steps toward shutting down blog farms. These are sets of blogs which are established only to provide link juice to the sites which have paid them money. Google shut down the effectiveness of a number of particularly visible and popular blog Farms. Sites that had been using these farms got penalized heavily as well.
Indeed there’s a bit of a catch-22 for black hat SEO firms. They develop new techniques which are useful in the short term. Some of these techniques have been outstandingly useful. They then advertise for customers, and have a lot of success ranking sites in the Google search results. But they never know when Google themselves becomes one of their customers and is then able to use the links to a fake site owned by Google as a way to catch and shut down the black hat activities.
The bottom line is that if you want solid SEO results over the long term you need to be extremely careful when people promise fast high rankings with no work. Today’s miracle is tomorrow’s penalty.
Author Bio: Fenix Raw is a freelance writer from Fiverr. You can find on Fiverr.com http://fiverr.com/fenix_raw.