Search Engines, SEO

4 SEO Tactics to Avoid

The world of SEO is a strict place. A number of years ago when people realised that there were things they could do to make their websites appear higher on search engines and they could literally get away with doing anything to make this happen.

Fortunately for today’s internet user, Google has worked hard to improve the quality of its search results, and has done this by making certain techniques difficult to get away with. These tactics, known as ‘black hat’ within the SEO industry, can work for a certain amount of time but are usually only for short term gains.

If you really want a long-term SEO strategy without any of the risks then you should avoid doing the following things:

Duplicate Content

Content is good for a website. However, when this content has been duplicated and copied from another site then Google frowns upon it. Since the search engine introduced its Panda algorithm update in early 2011 it’s important to have completely original, good quality content on your site. If you start scraping or duplicating from other sites or blogs then you run the risk of being penalised in the future; maybe to the extent of being completely de-indexed from the search results.

Keyword Stuffing

It’s likely that you’ll want each page on your website to appear for certain keywords and phrases, and you will optimise your content and meta tags with these. However, this can go too far until the point where the keyword is being used too many times in the content that you have written. This is known as ‘keyword stuffing’ and although it used to be an effective technique, it is now seen as spammy and can lower the authority of your website in Google’s eyes. It is always better to write content for human readers first and foremost, and place any keywords you use naturally in context with the rest of the copy.

Hidden Text

Another content-based tactic which used to have a positive impact was hiding text on webpages. This would involve writing a block of anything between 300-500 words of highly optimised, keyword-stuffed text and ‘hiding’ it behind the theme of the website. In other words, if the background colour or you site was white, you would also change the font colour of the content to white so the user could not see it, yet it would still be crawled by the search engine spiders. The keywords in the text would then help the site to appear higher for the target terms. Fortunately this no longer works – if you are offered this as an SEO service then you should run a mile!


Links are the biggest ranking signal for Google so any way to increase your site’s backlink count would be seen as a goal for webmasters. Another black-hat tactic to achieve this would be to build lots of your own websites and link them all together to manipulate how many links you actually have. There are still ways around this but most of the time it is very risky to attempt such an approach.

Beanstalk Inc offers an SEO service which incorporates numerous techniques. They prefer to use ethical SEO methods to improve a website’s organic performance.