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Mr. Cellophane Shouldn't Be Your Name

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Let's talk Black Hat.

"Black Hat SEO" refers to any search engine optimization technique that is considered misleading for users, or for the purposes of tricking the search engines into showing your website to more people.

In one of Google's training videos, they explain that they can now process all CSS, HTML, dynamic HTML, XML and JavaScript code. This not only allows them to discover functionality on your website, but also if you are trying to use one of those methods for Black Hat purposes.

Before Google started processing code like this, you could get away with several nasty little tricks to hide extra words on your website and sway the search engines toward your favor.

One such example of hiding text is to have a white background with several extra paragraphs of repeating white text at the bottom of your pages. You might notice this as a suspicious long page with "blank" space at the bottom.

Another example of hiding text is to put it in a box that is not visible to the user. Sometimes these boxes are told to be invisible; sometimes they are told to appear "off the screen" in virtual space. The user does not see the extra paragraphs of SEO words, but the search engines would eat it up, and love it!

Now that Google can read a style sheet (that's the CSS) it can tell when there is a white background and white hidden text. And it can tell when a box is hidden off screen or made invisible.

Some smart programmers have even written large blocks of sales copy and make it appear for a split second, then be hidden by a JavaScript. This is a very Black Hat technique.

So what happens when you engage in Black Hat techniques like this? Simply put: *Poof!* You are removed from Google.

If ever you are penalized and have your site removed from Google, you will need to clean up your site and fill out the "Reinstatement Request" form. This form allows you to grovel to Google, admit you were wrong, and beg for forgiveness. The requests are all reviewed by real people that will look at saved copies of your bad website and compare to the new site. Depending on the level of Black Hat previously employed, they might allow you back into Google's search engine. No guarantees.

Bottom line: stay away from any black hat techniques. They don't work, and you will lose business.
AT: 03/30/2011 12:53:53 PM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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