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"Gaming" Search Engines to Win Ranking assures You Lose

Larry Stopa
by Larry Stopa on May 7, 2009 2:23:00 PM

Stuffing keywords is NOT Search Engine Optimization

Many self-proclaimed search engine optimizers believe the way to win search positions is by stuffing keywords in meta-tags and hidden content. Many buyers of search engine optimization believe meta-tag keyword stuffing IS search engine optimization. The problem is these techniques do not work.

This week I was asked to review a Web site's search optimization. I found hidden keyword links set up in place of quality search optimization. There were three levels of programming used to hide the content on this particular Web site.

1) DIV tags set up to hide content

2) Comments tags

3) White font on white background

Hidden content to win search visibility was effective in the mid-1990s, but stopped working by 1999 with search engines' automated detection of these techniques. Some search engines such as AltaVista actually banned sites using unethical techniques such as these.

Yahoo may still ban sites practicing such "gaming" techniques, as Yahoo does not include the site I reviewed last week in its search index. The site is indexed by Google. But the only search position is for the site's unique name. MSN indexes the site but gives it zero search visibility as the site does not appear even for searches of its name.

The hidden SEO on this Web site is the work of a Web developer who touts its search engine optimization expertise. Where did these faux search optimizers learn these ancient techniques? What made them think these outdated tricks work?

When you are seeking search engine optimization experts, make sure the people you are considering are transparent about the techniques they will use. If they tell you they win search visibility through strong visible content and linking, then continue considering them. If their SEO focuses on stuffing keywords and meta keywords, cut your losses and look elsewhere.

Successful search engine optimization today needs to go beyond the use of keywords. SEO requires content that enriches the user experience. "Gaming" tricks do not do that.

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Larry Stopa
Written by Larry Stopa
Since establishing E-Power Marketing® in 1998, Larry has grown it to become a highly successful business focused on generating the results that impact our clients' bottom line. Larry oversees all client programs, new business initiatives and leads the team to continued growth and ongoing education.

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