Search Engine Optimization has been around online a while now, but we thought it might be a little fun to take a look at what would happen when some SEO techniques were attempted offline in the real world. We don’t recommend actually trying these yourself. If more people thought about the “real world” equivalents of Black Hat SEO a lot of the problems would go away. Well, maybe. Who knows with human nature involved.
Real World Black Hat SEO
Imagine some black hat SEO techniques if they were used in the real world. We don’t recommend you try any of these online or offline.
- Link Spam – Having your address published in the phonebook is normal and something most people do so they can be found. If signs pointing to your house were links, you can easily see why black hat linking techniques are so annoying and harmful. Imagine if you had thousands of cardboard signs pointing to your home or business. Now imagine everyone else doing this. It would quickly become hard to navigate anything.
- Infographics – If infographics were considered graffiti in the real world, many people would be throwing up simple lines and colors and calling it art while others would put in the time necessary to come up with something that looks a lot better – like a mural for instance. The difference between spam graffiti and art is easy to tell when you see it.
- Spun Content - If you take someone’s content and change it slightly and publish as your own, it’s like being that guy everyone hates at the party. You know the one. He or she listens to what’s being said and parrots it – only their version is infinitely better. This can become annoying real quickly in the real world – and online. Stop using spun content. Use content you have spun no more. And so on.
- Cloaking – This is a dark art that only a minority use, but it can fool even experienced web surfers. In the online version, visitors are shown something different than the search engine bots see in most cases. In the real world this would be like putting a large sign outside a building saying you were a bookstore for the general public but when people entered they saw an open air drug market with a bunch of shady characters selling pills and potions.
While some of the examples above may be extreme, their purpose is to get you to stop and think about what SEO methods you use to market your website. Black Hat techniques may work for the short term, but if you want to be around longer, you’re going to need to do things the right way. This means quality over quantity, always remembering that content is king and community is queen of the realm. If you have content that people interact with, it’s worth its weight in virtual gold.