How to avoid Black Hat SEO techniques

SEO is an often misused art.  When you optimize your site and aren’t sure if you should be doing something or not, a simple rule is to ask yourself if you would be doing such a thing if SEO did not exist.  If not, then it isn’t natural and it probably isn’t a good idea.  If you were working on a new website and had never heard of SEO, you wouldn’t shrink a pile of keywords to the smallest of fonts and put them somewhere out of sight (a method of keyword stuffing), would you? No, because it makes no sense whatsoever and wouldn’t help anybody.

Now, looking at what best serves your users, if you have an article answering SEO related questions, it would make sense to also put links to other related articles on this page and it would make sense to use keywords relating to the linked to content in the anchor text as the user is likely going to be looking for more articles on the topic and you want to help them along their merry little way.  This will not only benefit your pages SEO, but will actually help users and make them stay on your site for longer, potentially increasing your ad revenue (unless you’re not in this business for the profits, yeah, right!).  Similarly, outbound links (dofollow) on your pages to more reputable websites will also be deemed helpful to users.

Search Engines are constantly getting more complex in terms of how they rank pages, so they are not easily tricked.  Although they can be “tricked” to an extent, the process usually involves a little hard work on your part to make any developments on your site seem natural. Google’s algorithms work on the basis of how helpful your site is to the visitor.  This is all you need to think about.  Do things that are going to be helpful to your users and you can’t go far wrong.

Obviously there’s a lot more to SEO than what I mentioned in the first paragraph, but using that rule is a good place to start if you’re a beginner.