Avoiding Black-Hat SEO For Plumbers

Plumber Black-Hat SEO GraphicSEO is always changing. The “O” is dependent on the “SE”. To put it more clearly, the optimization is dependent on the search engine, what it values, and what it discourages. If we’re being honest with ourselves, SEO could easily be called GO, as in “Google Optimization”. Although other search engines exist like Bing and Yahoo, they are secondary considerations at best. Plumbing companies know that Google is the source for their lead generation, and therefore is the platform which must be optimized for.

Because Google has evolved its algorithms, optimization techniques that were once effective, are no longer. Many of those techniques are now considered “Black-hat SEO” which indicates a manipulative tactic used for the sole purpose of tricking search engines. Websites caught using these tactics can suffer in multiple ways. First, the algorithms can drop their ranking significantly. Second, they can be slapped with an official Google penalty. For a list of black-hat SEO tactics to avoid, see below:

Tactic #1 – Keyword Stuffing

The most infamous and prominent form of black-hat SEO is keyword stuffing. This tactic places keywords unnaturally throughout a page’s content, hindering readability, and compromising user experience. Keywords in general have become less valuable as Google’s algorithm has evolved. Since user intent is what Google works to understand and accommodate, usage of keywords in the wrong context is anti-Google. You’ve probably seen instances of keyword stuffing on web pages. It’s easily noticeable because it disrupts the flow of the content. Examples of keyword stuffing include:

  • Content Automation: Developing a program to write content with a certain number of keywords
  • Exact Match Domains: Naming your website an exact keyword
  • Hidden Text: Flooding web pages with invisible text keywords
  • Frontloading: Placing keywords in front of other words in sentences in an unnatural manner

Tactic #2 – Link Scheming

Stay scheming… or don’t — if you want to preserve rank position on Google SERPs. Links have historically been the primary indicator of a website’s credibility. This dates back to the inception of search engines. The presumption used to be, that websites with the most inbound links were the most credible and authoritative.This criteria inspired marketers to acquire links in any way possible, for the sole purpose of ranking higher on search results. Needless to say these links were completely unnatural and only hindered user experience. After Google’s penguin update in 2012, manipulative link building tactics have been disallowed. Examples of these methods include:

  • Link Exchanges: Two websites exchange inbound links
  • Link Farms: Web pages that exist for the sole purpose of establishing inbound links
  • Link Networks: Entities that sell links to websites for the sole purpose of increasing rank

Tactic #3 – Cloaking

Attempts to display separate content to web crawlers and users is known is cloaking. The idea is to lure website visitors under false pretenses, only to provide them with completely different content upon entrance. This content is mostly irrelevant, and usually spammy. Google has cracked down on this method and can penalize any website that engages in it. The irony of this method is that it doesn’t really work, even if executed. Irrelevant traffic is not easily converted into sales, and will raise the bounce rate of your page more than anything else. Once visitors realize they’ve been had, they will angrily exit your website. Examples of cloaking include:

  • Descriptions: Writing misleading meta descriptions
  • Keywords: Optimizing for irrelevant keywords
  • Titles: Misleading title tags

Tactic #4 – Doorway Pages (Sneaky Redirects)

This method is similar to cloaking in that it aims to mislead users and market them something different than they are expecting. In this form, the page itself is optimized to target specific consumers, but it automatically redirects the user to a separate page… usually one that attempts to sell something. The concept behind doorway pages is to attract a wider range of users and funnel them to a destination site. In theory, it is more effective than cloaking, but it still hinders user experience overall, and complicates the crawling process for search engines. Examples of doorway pages include:

  • Funnel Pages: Pages created to funnel visitors to a different destination
  • Location Targets: Pages that exist only to target locations
  • Similar Pages: Nearly identical pages that confuse a website’s hierarchy

Plumbing Webmasters

If your plumbing website has utilized any of the tactics used above, it’s not too late to make a change. Plumbing Webmasters will ensure only ethical SEO tactics are used on your website from this point forward. We will also design a brand new website to eliminate any bad habits that have been ingrained into your search engine optimization. White-hat SEO is the term used for optimization that is ethically sound and adheres to Google Quality Guidelines. Our design team and content team work collaboratively to optimize your website.

Choosing a SEO company can be overwhelming, particularly in this day and age. There are so many options available, and it’s hard to know which is best. Plumbing Webmasters separates itself from the competition by specializing in the plumbing industry. Our narrow-minded focus gives us a leg up on general SEO firms who have to account for all types of industries. Our service agreements are month-to-month so you’re never locked into a long-term contract. Call (877) 388-9884 for SEO services from Plumbing Webmasters.