SEO means different things to different people. Some companies focus solely on white hat tactics, meaning they write and design their website for human eyes rather than machines. Black hat tactics aggressively optimize and target a website to be seen by the computer programs that crawl websites instead. Other businesses may use the aptly named gray hat tactics that fall somewhere in between.
Black or gray hat tactics have the potential to get you banned from Google or Bing because search engines want websites that are built for humans, not machines So why would anyone purposefully break (or bend) the rules that a search engine has carefully laid out? It’s because they have been shown to work when used correctly. Find out more about why these risky gray hat techniques may be for you.
Microsites are new sites that are directly related to your business, but with a different domain name and theme. They’re hard work to create and search engines don’t necessarily encourage them. However, it does give your business more related content to display on the first page of the search engine. Major companies like IKEA and Toyota have used microsites to promote various campaigns with success. As long as your microsite gives valuable information to viewers, it should help rather than hurt your ranking.
Adding More Content
Adding another 1,500 words to all of your articles may sound exhausting, especially because you probably assume no one is reading your blog anyway. But as long as that content speaks to your audience, it’s a way for search engines to recognize the educational value of your website rather than just a tool for selling. And your audience will love it too if you’re giving them real tips they can take to the bank.
Make Small Changes
When you update your website, you get a tiny SEO boost. The fresh content attracts the attention of Google, but it’s a bit of a mystery as to how much you need to change on the site to make a difference. Some businesses have reported success by just switching up the fonts or by improving their navigational tools. Google may penalize you though if they think you’re trying to game the system by making needless changes, so be careful.
Negative SEO is when you look at the SEO practices of your competitors, and report them to search engines if they’re doing anything questionable. This way you can climb up a notch or two higher on the rankings page. You can report unethical behaviors (e.g., paid links, Google product abuse) here.
This is an excellent way for you to get more fresh content to your site. You’re essentially rewriting an interesting or viral article that’s already been published. To avoid plagiarism violations, the article will need to have different wording (of course) and possibly new insight or formatting.
Buy Expired or Available Domains
Find domain names that are related to your website (e.g., besttires.com if you sell tires), and use them to redirect traffic back to your website. Expireddomains.net or domainsbot.com can help you find the options for either expired or available domains. The risky part of this practice is that search engines may not give you the link credit you were hoping for, especially if the expired link you’re using is rather old.
This is a specific type of link building, and a practice that involves adding and sharing bookmarks of your web documents so you can find more interested people in your product or service. Too much tagging though, and you’ll be penalized for spam. But the right amount can increase your visibility to your target customer.
Let’s say most people who find your business via Google are typing in ‘tires near me’, but a select group of people find you by searching for ‘cheap tires’. Doorway pages are a way to add content to your site that specifically speaks to the infrequently used keywords. Search engines have been clear that they don’t appreciate doorway pages, but if your page is giving real information (rather than just repeating the keywords), you shouldn’t be penalized.
When you link your page to the keywords that customers search for the most, it increases the association between your business and the target search words. It’s also blatant link building that search engines frown upon. But sprinkling this practice throughout your website pages may get you more exposure without the penalty.
Use Link Directories
This is strictly a practice that’s done specifically for machines, which is why it’s risky. But the popular link directories can give your site a valuable backlink on a heavily ranked page. The more backlinks you have, the more likely it is you’ll get a higher placement on search engines.
The more you make the effort to experiment with SEO techniques, the more likely it is you’ll find the right combination for you. Some of these tactics may work if used with caution, but some may not work at all. The only truly bad decision would be to stay where you are.
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