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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Don't Get Banned

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN have quality guidelines in place to prevent the unfair manipulation of search engine rankings by website owners practicing “black hat” techniques. These guidelines change frequently to overcome the emergence of deceptive practices. Websites found engaging in these unscrupulous practices are consequently dropped from the search engine rankings – sometimes without notice.

Being banned from the top search engines can have a traumatic effect on your website traffic and online sales. If you want to stay in the good graces of the major search engines, then keep your search engine optimization above board. Avoid engaging in any of the following practices and you stand a good chance of coming out on top.

'Website Cloaking' or sneaky redirects - displaying different content to the search engines than shown to your normal website visitors including hidden text and hidden links. Often this is achieved by delivering content based on the IP address of the user requesting the page, when a user is identified as a search engine spider a side-server script delivers a different version of the web page to deceive the search engine into giving the website a higher ranking.

'Doorway Pages' created specifically for the search engines that are aimed at spamming the index of a search engine by inserting results for specific keyword phrases to send the search engine spider to a different page. With doorway pages a user doesn't arrive at the page they were looking for. Similarly avoid 'cookie cutter' approaches that direct users to affiliate advertising with little or no original content.

Avoid 'broken links' or '404 errors', your site will be penalized for them. Check your links frequently using link checker software. You can download one for free or use a utility that may be available in your SEO software.

Don't overdo 'cross linking' to artificially inflate a site's popularity. For example, the owner of multiple sites cross linking all of his sites together, if all sites are hosted on the same servers the search engines will pick this up and the sites will be penalized.


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