Despite knowing that black-hat SEO will result in penalties, some SEO experts resort to underhanded techniques. Link farming, cloaking, keyword stuffing, irrelevant content, and spamming are black-hat techniques that are still in use. The results may seem positive, but eventually Google and other search engines realize that they are being duped, resulting in a penalty.
Let’s consider the cloaking black-hat SEO technique. It is akin to spamdexing , where the content presented to search engine crawlers is different than the content presented to human users. It is a deceitful way of achieving higher rankings: the content delivered is different depending on IP addresses or HTTP headers. This manipulative technique tries to trick search engines into believing that the content is the same as what users see.
Content is king. However, if you use duplicate content or inappropriate methods such as keyword stuffing in your content, you are bound to be penalized. Content must be relevant and must engage users. Fresh content is also an essential factor, because the search engines show an affinity for fresh, quality content. Write content for users, and then tweak it to optimize it for the search engines.
Targeting the Wrong Audience
Your SEO implementation must be optimized for an appropriate target audience. If you do not target the right audience, your efforts will be wasted. For example, gaming consoles, portable music players, and MP3 gadgets are appealing to youth, whereas longterm retirement plans are better suited for middle-aged users.
Small- and medium-sized businesses do not have a huge budget for advertising their products and services. Therefore, they need to ensure that they do not try the same approaches as large-scale enterprises that have a panel of SEO experts, funding, and expensive advertising methods. You should also avoid using metadata and content similar to that of large-scale enterprises, because doing so will hinder your SEO process.
Using keywords prevalent in the web pages of enterprise-grade organizations is detrimental because small enterprises do not have the budget, web presence, and reach for mass-scale advertising to outperform large adversaries. You can use Google My Business and other Google tools (as well as third-party enhancements) to gain visibility. You can also use keywords that have less competition and target a niche market. You may see your website gain prominence on SERPs using such low-competition keywords.
Overlooking Social Media as a Medium
Social media marketing is no longer an optional method. It is mandatory to take advantage of the scope and reach of social media to create awareness of your brand. Many organizations neglect social media, and this limits exposure to your site. This doesn’t mean you should over-optimize social media strategies by using every social media app in the market. You also have to be relevant.
Ignoring UX for Your Website
Your site may have lots of jazzy features, but if your users cannot navigate easily or find it difficult to access content, then the result may be a shabby UX. For example, the Add To Cart button on an e-commerce website must be easily accessible to users. UX is a crucial factor for search engines because they like sites that are popular and have a high degree of usability.
Missing XML and HTML Sitemaps
XML and HTML sitemaps are designed for search engines and users, respectively. Your site may have the latest updates and game-changing features, but if the search engines are unable to crawl and map your site, that is detrimental to your SEO workflow. You must submit XML and HTML sitemaps to the search engines, so your deep web pages can be crawled more easily.
However, they are not set in stone. More obstacles will arise as time goes by, because SEO is an ongoing process. You also looked at the concept of AMP pages, which are a diet version of a website tailored for the mobile platform. The next chapter looks at HTML and XML sitemaps and how they help the SEO process.