Avoiding black-hat SEO practices and keeping an eye out for bad neighborhood IPs are two important elements in keeping your reputation clean, something which these days is one of the most significant essentials of small business management. Sadly, your reputation can get dinged without you doing anything shady.
But let’s start off with something you can help. There are some unethical tricks out there to make your site come up higher in search ranks. This is something that’s within your power to avoid. Now, once upon a time, these tactics weren’t considered all that bad. But as more people starting employing them, the less acceptable they became.
These techniques including keyword stuffing, which is placing large lists of keywords and phrases on your site; invisible text, which is white text on a white background so as to catch search engine spiders; and finally, there’s doorway pages, which is a fake page that visitors never see, but that snare search engine spiders.
Staying Out Of Shady Neighborhoods
It has been said that there is so much specialized adult content on the Internet that you could plug in the phrase “having sex with goats on fire” into a search engine, and you’d get back a reply saying “specify which breed of goat”. All of that specialized content needs to be hosted somewhere, and a lot of shared IP addresses out there host a number of these, shall we say, less than savory sites. Little do you know, they could possibly be hosting yours as well. That’s what’s known as a bad neighborhood IP and it’s definitely not a place to take up residence. You need a dedicated IP address, one that’s exclusively yours, not a shared one. Otherwise, you may end up getting painted with the same dirty brush.
The Company They Keep
If your company’s site has a bad neighborhood IP, or employs Black-Hat SEO techniques, you will inevitably end up getting a bad reputation, and consequently placed on a blacklist as a spammer, since spam goes hand in hand with these sort of negative attributes. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and where there’s Black-Hat SEOs and bad neighborhood IPs, there’s spam. If your site is characterized by these things, no one who compiles a spammer blacklist is going to give you the benefit of the doubt. And so, one of the most crucial marketing tools for twenty-first century businesses is suddenly denied to you, much to your business’ detriment.
What to Do?
Well, in terms of Black-Hat SEO usage, that’s simple. As attractive a short cut as it seems, make sure that this practice is forbidden, because make no mistake, it will catch up with you. If you use an SEO consultant or content provider, ask them what methods they employ.
In terms of bad neighborhood IPs, if you don’t use a dedicated host, consider using a reverse domain IP checking tool to see if your IP is clean.
Your online reputation is crucial. Avoid the Dark Side and bad neighborhoods, and keep your company in the light. Tolerance for spam is low; don’t alienate potential customers by having even a hint of associating with these unsavory elements.
About the Author
John Terra is a freelance writer stays out of bad neighborhoods and definitely doesn’t wear a black hat.
Photo credit: http://www.photos.com/royalty-free-images/view-of-a-black-cat-looking-up/