Byron Tip #7: Avoiding Black Hat SEO Strategies

Content optimization is the science of optimizing content for readers and search engines.  Success depends on finding the important keywords, hot topics, and scoring content for SEO strength.  It also includes page optimization, content testing, directory submissions, link building, sitemap architecture, and much more.

However, a lot of SEO wisdom is dated and dangerous.  It’s important to understand which strategies are acceptable (“white hat,” as they’re called), and which are not (known as “black hat”).  Here are some “black hat” strategies to avoid.

1.) Keyword stuffing.  Writers (even SEO professionals) might overdo the use of keywords in a misguided attempt to appeal to search engines, not realizing that search engines can detect when keywords are overused.  So write content naturally.  The best reader experience turns out to be the best strategy for search engine optimization as well.

2.) Invisible links.  Another bogus tactic is to embed text/links that are invisible to readers but picked up by search engines.

3.) “Cloaking.”  Cloaking is an attempt to trick search engines by serving them an SEO-enhanced version of a webpage that is different from the version served to readers.  As you might suspect, cloakers are often found out and penalized.

4.) Link exchanges.  Many companies neglect ethical linking standards, instead offering seedy link exchanges.  Avoid them.  Do due diligence.  Again, do not fall for any strategy that builds links strictly for SEO purposes.

For a more in-depth look at content optimization, click here to download a copy of my book: Content Strategy Game Plan.

Hope this helps.

Look for more tips and advice coming soon!

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