Are You Making These Deadly SEO Mistakes?
Black Hat SEO: Web Spamming and Linking to Bad Neighborhoods
So you want to exchange links with other web sites in order to get higher search engine rankings?
So you want to create hundreds of auto-generated, keyword rich pages for your site?
Before you go and link to every website that is willing to exchange links, it would be a good idea to know where not to link to. Sometimes it can mean not linking to your own sites.
Firstly, lets take a look at the Google webmaster guidelines page which states:
"Don't participate in link schemes designed to increase your site's ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or "bad neighborhoods" on the web as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links."
I know that Google is not responsible for all search engine traffic, but it is a good guide to follow because other engines seem to be following along the same lines.
So what is a web spammer?
A web spammer is someone who creates hundreds or thousands of keyword rich pages in order to create the illusion of a themed site with related pages. These sites can be composed of sneaky redirect pages, doorway pages, gateway pages and now the latest craze seems to be auto generated directories. SEO circles call these types of pages "search engine clutter".
The Professional Web Spammer
The aware, professional web spammer places the search engine clutter on a secondary domain and looks for link partners. If you exchange links with these webmasters, you will be at risk of getting a penalty if one of those sites gets banned.
These sites are created on disposable (secondary) domains and they all link or redirect to a main selling website which does not link back to the spam pages. Usually, all the secondary domains link to each other too.
This professional knows all about not using the standard web page templates that come with the auto directory generation software. This webmaster is clever enough to realize that common templates will be easy to detect by search engines which means that the web spam site will get banned very quickly. This webmaster will rebuild the pages from scratch which is usually a good way to avoid detection.
The Amateur Web Spammer
The amateur web spammer, hungry for high search engine rankings will purchase software which creates search engine clutter and make the mistake of not creating a disposable domain to serve these new pages and they will use the basic easily detected templates to generate the web site.
They upload these pages to their main site and link to them. The problem with this is that if a search engine perceives these auto-generated pages as spam, it will penalize, the site that links to them as well as remove the clutter from the index.
Sometimes these sites do not get detected straight away which means that they could have a decent amount of Page Rank, but is it worth taking that chance? Your biggest challenge will be to develop the ability to detect these types of pages with the naked eye.
One Linking Myth Exploded
Please understand that you will not receive a penalty if web spam or a bad neighborhood links to your site. It is the other way around. It is only if you link to web spam or a bad neighborhood that you risk getting penalized.
There is much misunderstanding regarding this issue. Look at it from a logical point of view. If this were true that you would get a penalty, all you would have to do to eliminate all your competition would be to create some web spam and link to your competitors. So it is plain to realize that you cannot get a penalty if web spam links to you. It's the other way around.
So what is a bad neighborhood?
I do not know how exactly to define a bad neighborhood because a bad neighborhood is not a bad neighborhood until it gets defined as such by a search engine. Examples include Free For All Links pages (FFA s), Link Farms and useless directories designed to do nothing more than create the illusion of a themed web site.
A good guide to follow would be not to link to any site which does not contain useful information or relevant content. More info about bad neighborhoods here: http://www.v7n.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11376
The Obsessive Compulsive SEO practitioner
The obsessive compulsive SEO practitioner will go to any length to get top search engine rankings quickly. It is sort of like gold fever. The bug bites and it becomes difficult to let go of the insanity.
This webmaster is always looking for the easier softer way. The delusion is strong. The insanity has got a grip of the obsessive compulsive SEO. In the end, when they get sick and tired of getting banned, they swear off Internet Marketing altogether claiming that everybody in the industry is a rip off artist.
The problem is that they got exposed to rubbish before they discovered the good stuff. They have been permission marketed by someone they trusted and ended up wasting a lot of time. (and I do mean a lot of time)
Why not create a legitimate web directory?
Here is some good stuff. In the long run, it seems to me to be a lot easier to go to a script archive like hotscripts.com or scriptsearch.com and search for terms like "toplist", "directory" "community" and "portal". These single one word search terms will produce many results which contain scripts which will do a much better job of creating a directory than the latest auto-directory generation software sold by Internet marketers who own big mailing lists of newbies.
Many of these scripts are free and there is some really excellent ones you can buy. The point here is that you can create a useful web site with these scripts which you will be proud to link to.
Copyright 2004 Ed Zivkovic
About The Author
The author, Ed Zivkovic owns his own website which contains articles, tips, tricks, free downloads and more. Here is the site: http://www.ezau.com.
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SEO is a never ending battle!So is SEO over-rated? I don't think it is. Some say that Google's automated PageRank? system and Alexa's Traffic Rank system are losing ground. This may be may be true to some point but the fact still remains that we want at the top of the search results. And to achieve this we need to educate ourselves and do the work or hire someone else to the work for us.Search Engine Optimization "SEO" is a term we see all over the net. For those of you that are unsure exactly what is meant by SEO, it's simply adjusting many characteristics of your website to conform with what the major search engines deem important. That's where the simple stops. It's complicated only because no one other than the developers themselves know all the rules and even then the rules are constantly changing.What I'll try to do here is cover the basics that have fairly consistent lately. Keep in mind however there will always be inconsistencies when it comes SEO. For example, I recently read an e-book that said to imbed a few of your primary keywords in the "alt" tag of your logo graphic. The same day, I was reading an online article of equal quality and this author cautioned against such a tactic due to possible penalties by the search engines. So which did I do? See for yourself by hovering your mouse over the logo. I don't mind a little risk as long as the risk is low and there may be nice benefits, but don't get carried away. We certainly don't want to get banned by any search engines. I get the heebie-jeebies just saying it. That would simply end many of us. Because Google's PageRank? and Alexa's Traffic Rank systems are really two different animals, I will focus primarily on Google's PageRank? system for now.So lets get started in no particular order.Link Popularity: I guess we can start with the hardest part of search engine optimization. Link popularity. The ultimate goal here is to gain the respect of the search engines. And how we do that is by who we know or at least associate with in the spiders eyes. We want as many quality incoming links as possible with as few low-ranked outbound links as possible. We need to consider several factors when we approach any site to request a link exchange.1. First of all, we want to focus only on sites that compliment ours. By that I mean directly on indirectly are in the same category or field or relating field as our site without necessarily competing with our site. I say not-necessarily because personally I have no problem linking to competitors site as long as we both mutually agree benefits. Some fear they'll lose some of their site visitors but I feel the best way to keep visitors on your site and get them to return is by providing a high quality site with great original content.2. Second we want to pay attention to their Google page rank. To do this if you haven't already done so, download Google free toolbar http://toolbar.google.com/ Once installed, you can see the PageRank? of any site you go to. You want as many sites as possible with high PR's. Set a goal of getting a few PR6 or PR7 sites. This will do wonders to your rank. In fact one PR7 might do more for you than hundreds on no or very low PR sites.3. Third, the engines like to see incoming links from what they consider on authoritative site. So aggressively go after well established, high ranking sites that share the some focus as your site.4. Fourth on our list are the sites to stay away from. Sites that generate artificially created links. Link farms and even huge link exchange sites can even get your site banned. I don't mean to make anyone nervous here. The fact is, if you are generally doing the right thing for the right reasons, you probably have nothing to worry about. If you find yourself trying to hide something or hoping an search engine doesn't catch something, then you may want to re-evaluate your strategies. Requesting a link. The first thing you should do when requesting a link exchange is little research. Glance over the site in question and consider where your site link might hold the most relevance one their site.This will benefit both parties. And then don't be afraid to offer the suggestions when you contact the site administrator. I have had sites accept my link on a suggested page even though they have a section designed just for outside links. I have even accepted links that I would have normally rejected because the fit would have seemed wrong if they hadn't shown a better fit.Always add their link to your site before you make the request and include the page url of the link when making contact. Keep track of the contacts you've made and if you haven't received a reply. Do a simple search on there site to see if they added your link and forgot to reply. At most, send one more request and be sure to include the words link exchange in the subject line so they don't delete your mail as spam. Then if you still don't get a reply within a week simply remove theirs from your site and move on. Don't send any more mail. Consider the lack of response as a rejection and accept it. Don't take things personal and send a negative e-mail. I have actually received a couple of these and there's really no point. If you do get a reply and a link send a short thank you note. Always include the exact text of the link you want on their site. Again, before you do this it helps if you look at other links on their site. If they have a 3 or 4 word description with each link, you don't want to send a whole paragraph in your links description. What you do want to do is include your best key words. 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