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There are many misconceptions that have emerged about how search engines operate.  There is confusion on what is required to perform effective SEO. In this article you will see many search engine penalties and what they mean for you.

Content

Ads / Top Heavy Layout

Not too long ago searchers would come across sites that would be difficult to find actual content. Websites were filled with ads. It was nearly impossible to find anything that was of true value. Since Google was tired of hearing complaints from users, they made it so such sites would not rank as highly going forward.

HTML

Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing is one of the oldest SEO spam tactics in the books. Search engines say to use words that your pages want to be found with. The best way to explain keyword stuffing is with an example.

“ The best laptops in the market. Our laptops have the lowest price, and the bestquality, the best laptops for business and the best laptops for home and personal use. Buy our best laptops and get the deal of your life. Buy the best laptops in town and showcase your best laptop to your friends.”

Hidden Text

Search engines don’t like anything hidden. They want to see everything that your viewers are seeing. Hidden text usually goes hand in hand with keyword stuffing. Website owners deliberately hide text to provide more words for search engines.

Oftentimes users will pace white colored text, so it blends with a webpage background. Doing this will spam search engines and the return will hinder your SEO results.

Architecture

Cloaking

A basic guideline for SEO shows that the same content created for search engine crawlers must be visible to an ordinary visitor. There is a huge penalty for companies that rig their site so that search engines see a completely different version than people.

Search engines don’t like anything hidden. They want visibility to everything viewers are seeing. Most websites are unlikely to have this type of structure on their website unless it was a deliberate attempt- hence the hefty penalty. If you haven’t deliberately structured your website with clocking then you are just fine! To those who have- it’s just a matter of time.

Links

Paid Links

Google acts aggressively to those who pay for links. Don’t believe me? Google banned itself when the Google Japan division was found purchasing links.  The consequence was an 11 month ban. This problem has been going off and on for many years. Google explains their rules clearly stating that there is no buying or selling of links.

Whether you choose to ignore Google’s rules or not is up to you. Be prepared to be shown very little mercy if caught. Bing, on the other hand does not penalize paid links though it is frowned upon when practiced.

Link Spam

There are a handful of business that go around and drop links on forums and blogs, while using a highly optimum anchor text. This is not SEO, though sadly many people believe it’s a common practice. I personally don’t know too many bloggers who like random people spamming their website.

Since Google knows websites hate spammers, search engines hate them as well. This penalizing has been given more weight since Google has made efforts in penalizing link spam.