5 sure-fire ways to get your website banned by Google

I’ve got another feature running in .Net magazine in June (I’ve had quite a few now) but this one’s something of an annoyance. When I wrote the article it was titled: ‘5 sure-fire ways to get your website banned by Google’, but they thought it wasn’t a good idea to run a story like that as people might think it’s advice to be followed, rather than the tongue in cheek style that was intended.

Subsequently the article was watered down to what you see below.

Naturally the original article was better and carried more gravitas. It stated that many SEO websites and forums (including some SEO companies and professionals) offer advice that will get your website banned, and the 5 ‘tips’ presented were all the sort of gems of advice that you could receive that, should you follow, could end in your website being banned.

How to avoid getting your website banned

You can also download the PDF here.

But, if you’d rather read the original article (perhaps just to compare) here it is:

5 sure-fire ways to get your website banned by Google

In the world of SEO and online marketing, everyone looks for a way to get ahead of the competition, something that will give them that extra edge. With many SEO companies, SEO websites and SEO forums offering advice on improving your rankings, you don’t have to look far for tips. However, just how trustworthy is some of the information you’ll find?

Far from increasing your rankings, you could find that the SEO advice you’ve found actually hinders you to the point where you are banned from Google. Here are some basic tips that you may well find online that will get your website banned. Use them at your peril.

Stuff your site with keywords
The more you mention your keywords on your site, the higher it will rank! By repeating your keywords over and over again in your content, you’re sure to increase your ranking for those keywords, surely?

Copy content from your competitors’ websites
If your competitor’s website has some great content and they’re ranking for search terms, you could copy their content and paste it on your website. This means your site will rank for those terms as well. You could even find articles written on free article sites and reuse those, so you’ll have loads more pages on your site. Isn’t this a great way to get free content?

Hide text on your website
Sometimes you won’t want ugly text on your website, especially when it hinders your fluid design. You can always hide it on the page, maybe by changing the text colour to the same as the background, or by using CSS to hide it off the page. This way Google can index it and your website won’t be spoilt by its presence. Loads of SEO companies do this, so it must work?

Create doorway pages
How about creating special doorway pages focused on a specific keyword that are designed to rank in Google, and when they’re visited by a user they redirect to your front page? This allows you to create dozens of pages, all targeting different keywords, without harming your site’s look. You’ll have loads of listings within Google, vastly increasing your traffic, won’t you?

Add affiliate links
Linking to other, more established websites is sure to help your rankings. What could be better than adding hundreds of affiliate links to websites and the product descriptions for the products themselves? This will earn you money as well as improve the amount of content on your website.

All of these tips can be found on various SEO websites and are even offered by some SEO consultants, yet following the advice can lead to your website being penalised by Google and even banned from the index entirely.

Darren Jamieson, aka MrDaz, is the Technical Director and co-founder of Engage Web and has been working online in a career spanning two decades. His first website was built in 1998 and is still live today.

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