If you are a serious online entrepreneur you probably have a website and want to see it at the top of the search engine results. You know that SEO – search engine optimization – is what it takes to see your dream come true, so you decide to hire a company. You browse the web and read: "top 10 position guaranteed". That's exactly what you've been dreaming for, that's exactly what you should not buy!
No one, but no one could ever possibly guarantee you a top ten position in the search engines. There are no secret SEO techniques; no magic tools that can make your site reach the top over night. There are, however, some tricks. Many so-called SEO firms still use them, to make money fast. But their techniques will only hurt your site. Let's say your site will, indeed, appear in the top of the search results for a while. With a little bit of luck it will even stay there longer. But once the search engines discover it, they will seriously penalize it. Using tricks to fool the search engines is called black hat SEO – and if you want to have success in the long-term and promote a serious online business you should stay away from black hat SEO techniques. In short, here is what you should avoid:
Stuffing your pages with keywords. Do not stuff your web pages with keywords or text of the same background color. Guess what? Search engines can detect that and the result will be catastrophic for the website. For example getting parked out of Google.
Invisible text. That's about the same with keyword stuffing. Even though the invisible is not keyword rich, it will still be considered "spammy" by the search engines. What's the use of invisible text anyway?
Doorway pages. Do not use them. Doorway pages are "fake" pages, customized for a particular keyword or phrases and programmed to be seen solely by the search engine spiders and not by visitors. This is bad SEO. All the philosophy behind search engine optimization is related to improving user experience. Building web pages no one will ever see is not an unethical approach to SEO. Google, and all the other search engines, have strict policies against doorway pages.
Linking farms. Again Google: Google does not like artificial linking (link farms and link stuffing). Linking to spam sites may get your site penalized.
In conclusion, using any techniques considered spammy and unethical by the search engines could damage your site. Many of these techniques might work in the short-term but, unless you want your site flagged or banned, do avoid them. On the other hand, black hat SEO raises questions when it comes to the general credibility of your online business and website.
Instead of going for black hat SEO, fix your site and optimize each page. When you do it, do not think solely about the search engines. This should be your second thought. Your main concern should be whether the visitors find the site useful or not. Bottom line: optimize your website for the users and the search engines, using ethical tools.