SEO Practices That Can Harm Your Google and Yahoo RankingsPerhaps you've received a call from a shady telemarketing representative who has promised to get your business to the TOP of every relevant Google results page under the sun. Or maybe you picked up a book on /"search engine secrets Yahoo! doesn't want you to know./" Either way, you're going to come face to face with frankly, some pretty tempting solutions for your SEO challenges. But be forewarned: using illegal or "black hat" SEO practices will land you on a black list at Google or Yahoo! that is hard to get off of. Here's a quick look at bad SEO practices that will get you kicked off of Google in a heartbeat:
Cloaking. Don't cloak! Cloaking refers to the practice of telling the search engines one thing and showing people another. So for example, you write code that makes Google think it is sending people to a United Nations charity website, when in fact your site actually displays information about Canadian Rolexes for sale. Very bad.
Hiding Extra Copy. Also known and "keyword stuffing", this practice involves adding TONS of keywords to your pages - and (not so) cleverly hiding them using a white font on a white background. Sophisticated computers at Google have been on to this one for awhile.
Using your competitor's good name. Once upon a time, companies could leverage the good name of their competitors and steal their traffic. But now, loading up your HTML with the names of your rivals is the fastest way to upset your own customers. It's also a fast-track to a lawsuit.
"Borrowing" Content. This one should be obvious, but don't steal content from other sites. If you see a highly-ranked site and think "Hey, I'll use their content to raise MY rank," then think again. Google will catch you. And ban you. And heap shame on you.
With SEO, as with life, there are no shortcuts. Do things the right way and stay on Google's good side (they've got a bit of money you know).