By SEO Team Member
In a recent blog post, I explained that there were a few different practices which are either ignored by search engines or can lead to your site getting flagged as spam. In that post, located here, I explained comment tag abuse in a fair amount of detail. A lot of the reasons which lead to comment tags being ignored or punished also apply to other SEO techniques. This post explains the other two examples mentioned in the earlier post: abuse of alternate text for images and keyword stuffing in meta descriptions.
Alternate Text Abuse
When a user loads a page they are presented with images and content. However, sometimes an image does not load correctly, or the user has turned images off in their web browser. In either case, there is a way to tell the browser to display text instead of the image. These tags are very important for SEO purposes, even for us white hats. It is important to tell the search engine what the image is about, as it helps improve relevancy of the page in a fairly easy way. However, black hat SEO involves stuffing these tags with keywords based on the assumption that no one will ever see them. Search engines have grown wise to this trick, however, and have developed ways to separate descriptive tags from keyword stuffed tags. Of course as a above board SEO company we do not implement these tactics.
Meta Description Stuffing
Meta description tags used to be the best way to point search engines to your website outside of your website’s content. By giving the web crawler a “snapshot” of your site, it was able to quickly figure out what your site was about without having to go through pages of content. However, since most sites were keyword stuffing in these tags, search engines have now de-emphasized these tags when calculating a site’s keyword relevance.
This black hat technique simply will not provide much in the way of results on its own. However, that does not mean that the meta description should be left blank. Meta descriptions are often used by search engines as the teaser text that accompanies each link. As such, it is now incredibly important to make meta descriptions easy for a human to read, with just a few keywords sprinkled in. Today, rather than being a place to stuff keywords, the meta description is a great way to give a person referred to your site an “elevator pitch” before ever clicking on your link.
As tempting as it is to attempt to trick search algorithms with keyword stuffing in this way, it very simply is not likely to attract business to your site. At best, you will increase your hits temporarily until the search algorithm flags your site as spam and effectively banning your site from a user’s sight. To make matters worse, those hits which do come in that short window will likely be poor-quality leads as people looking for another product find your site and are subsequently frustrated that Google gave them an irrelevant link. Black hat SEO techniques may look like a quick and easy way to get to the top, but in reality tend to have the opposite effect, crippling a business’s online presence once the techniques are found out.
If you are looking to take your business to the next level through online marketing and want it done right, give RevBuilders a call. Our clients rank well in their searches because we provide quality, relevant content. Rather than trying to trick the search engines, let us work with you to build an online presence that will last. Know the power of a professional SEO company.