Avoiding SEO Spam
So spamming a search engine isn’t the best idea in the world. When you are caught spamming one,
the penalties will differ according to the search engine, but most will delist you from search results.
Being delisted isn’t the worst thing in the world that could happen to your site. In most cases, you
can get your site reincluded.
It may take an explanation to the search engine of the tactic you employed, why you employed it,
and how you corrected it, followed by resubmission to the index. Then it could take a couple of
months (or longer) to get reincluded. Then you have to work your way back to the top of the
results. The whole process could take six months to a year or longer.
Time is a valuable commodity when you’re talking about the Internet and the possibilities that it
brings to your revenues. Time lost on the Internet is easily as expensive as if you had a bricks-and-
mortar store that you just didn’t open on one of the busiest days of the week.
What’s at stake makes it especially worrisome that you could possibly spam a search engine and
not know it. It wouldn’t be intentional, but the results would be the same. So, how do you avoid
this? How do you rank well without falling into the black hole that leads to search engine spam?
That’s an easy question to answer, really. There’s only one way to avoid accidently (or purposely)
ending up labeled as a spammer. Build your web site for your audience and not for a search engine.
Really, it’s that simple.
Here’s why: The purpose of a search engine is to find, index, and serve content to people who use
the search engine to find something. The search engine’s target audience is those people. And in an
effort to do the best job possible for those people, it’s going to look at every page it indexes in the
scope of what’s best for the searcher.
So, if you approach creating your web site in the same manner that a search engine approaches serv-
ing content to its users, your goals will automatically align. And that natural alignment will keep you
out of trouble with search engines.
You should already know how to design your web site with the user in mind. But you can keep
a few guidelines in mind to make search engines see that your site is exactly what searchers are
Provide users with unique relevant content.
The most important element of your site is
probably the content that you put on it. Provide the information that users need to help
them understand, compare, or make decisions. Make it useful, and users (and crawlers)
will love you.
Use links appropriately.
You want a good balance of links into and out of your site. You
can’t necessarily control all of the links that come into your site, but you can influence them
by participating in your industry. And when you build links that lead away from your page,
make sure they take users to other sites that are relevant and useful.
Optimizing Search Strategies
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