This week, many of us became informed of the lyric-posting website Rap Genius for the first time, notably because they were punished by Google for attempting to manipulate rankings through the use of link schemes. As of right now, rapgenius.com will not come up on the first page of search results for its own name– being barred from showing up will surely hurt their ad revenue.
What was the scheme? Rap Genius offered to pay blogs to insert keyword rich anchor text at the bottom of posts, which Rap Genius would then tweet. Google caught on pretty quick, and responded by removing the website from search results.
It Can Happen to Anyone
Can this sort of thing happen to you? Yes, and it’s not always the result of an obvious manipulation. Many people unfamiliar with the intricacies of search engine optimization end up shooting down their website’s Google ranking because they have no idea what Google thinks is an illegitimate practice.
It’s no secret that the internet makes it easier to create fake identities, which can be used to promote businesses in multiple ways. The Huffington Post, for example, points out that up to 46% of a company’s Twitter followers could be robot generated, and Mashable estimates that 25% of all tweets are not created by actual humans.
What is SEO? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and you should stay aware of where the ever-shifting line is regarding illegitimate SEO marketing techniques. Ten years ago, for example, you might have gotten away with keyword dumping at the bottom of webpages; today, doing that will not help your ranking at all, and can actually cause Google to demote you.
If Google blacklists you from results, you will see that all of your search engine traffic– which for most businesses, is 80% of total web traffic– will disappear overnight. It can take days or even weeks afterward to amend your site and petition Google to stop punishing you.
What SEO techniques can cause a blacklist? As noted with Rap Genius, link building schemes are frequently busted. This is why you should be wary of anyone offering you, for example, 500 inbound links for $100. You don’t want just any inbound links leading to your website– you only want to be associated with quality, real content relevant to what you’re selling.
Similarly, link directories are a bad idea. Google sees the internet as consisting of website “neighborhoods.” If your URL is often associated with “good” websites, you get the benefit of a doubt. By listing your website in random directories, however, your name will appear alongside good and bad websites alike.
The Benefits of Good SEO Marketing
For these reasons, it makes sense to work with professional website SEO services. SEO companies with extensive experience in working with Google are unlikely to get your site penalized for bad links.
What are your thoughts on SEO marketing? Let us know in the comments. To learn more, read this: Salem oregon seo