Playing By Googles Rules

As the undisputable leader in search engines, Google places a very high importance on the quality and relevancy of its search results, especially now that the company is public. The know that in order to keep the shareholders and users of the engine happy, the quality of returned results are extremely important. For this reason, doing the wrong thing, purposely or unintentionally could result in a severe penalty or even get you get you banned from the listings. Below is a short list of ideas to consider when drafting your search engine optimization campaign.

Hidden Links

Link PR is becoming a hot topic among seo firms, however whether or not incoming/outgoing links still play an as important role as they used to, it still considered a "blackhat" technique that can and most likely will result in a ban or penalty from Google.

Hidden Text

Stuffing your pages with text to small to read, same color as the background, or using css to push the text of screen for the sole purpose of loading your pages with content rich keywords and copy will also get you awarded the same penalties as hiding links.

Page Cloaking

The practice of using browser or bot sniffers to serve the bots a different page then your human visitors may see. Loading a page specifically for a bot that a human user may never see will most certainly get you banned from the listings.

Multiple Submissions

Submitting your domain and pages thereof is also a big thing to stay away from. For example if I submit http://www.seohype.com and http://www.seohype.com/resources.html as two separate urls, I may be looking at a ban, penalty or at the least; a very long time before my pages get submitted. This is another reason to avoid auto submitters. Make sure you check if your domain is listed already in the search engine you are submitting too, if it is? move on to the next.

Link Farms

Be careful who and even what you are linking to. Links in to your site will not hurt, even Google knows you cannot control your links in. However you can certainly control what you link to. Link farming has always been a bad apple in Googles eye and should be avoided at all costs. Google also suggest that your own link pages should not contain more then 100 links, assume anything higher then 100 links on a single page will get you classed as a link farm and avoid doing it.

Selling Your Sites PageRank

Time and time again I come across sites selling there pr7 links or ONLY trading links with certain pr sites. This will cause a ban or penalty as well. Its okay to sell the advertising, or the gain the link, but doing so based on direct advertisement of your page rank is a sure way to get the bad end of the stick from Google.

Doorways

This is similar to cloaking pages. The practice of having one page loaded with your choice keywords that simply re-direct to another more "user friendly" page is also a big issue for Google. My clients get offers all the time from other seo firms offering these kinds of "services". If you get these offers, avoid them at ALL costs.

Same Content on Multiple Domains

Google looks at domain IPs, dates they were registered, etc. Having multiple domains serving the exact same content is a no no as well. This also applies to serving the same content multiple times on separate pages, sub-domains and forwarding multiple domains to the same content.

Conclusion

Many of the above techniques apply to most search engines. By following a mind set that you are building your pages for your human users and not bots, you can insure you will get the most important things from your site: Qualifying links, clicks and a higher ROI. For more information also see "Googles information for webmasters", http://www.google.com/webmasters/.

This article was written by Wil Rushmer, founder of http://www.seohype.com - A resource for internet marketing and website promotion tutorials, including search engine optimisation techniques.

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