SEO in getting your website ranked for Google, Yahoo and other search engines across the Internet. Although there are several organic ways of getting your website ranked with the search engines there are also techniques that are illegal for SEO.
These techniques can easily get your website banned from Google and other search engines and can even lead to criminal prosecution. If you are guilty of any of these SEO techniques will, you should cease and desist immediately. Here are five illegal SEO techniques to avoid all costs.
The domain that you use for your website should be original. If you are registering a domain through a trademarked keyword you’re asking for trouble. Using someone’s trademarked keyword for a domain name is illegal. Although this is a thorough method of attracting customers, you will be in violation of federal trademark law and this would also create confusion for them.
One example of this could be GoogleDetroit. While Detroit is not a trademarked name, Google is. If you have the domain GoogleDetroit.com you can expect to hear from Google’s lawyers. Never register a domain with a trademarked term or keyword in it. You will lose all of the hard work you put into building your website and you can pay thousands of dollars in legal fees.
Pagejacking is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Pagejacking involves copying a competitor’s web page and inserting your own links to products within the page. Not only is this a copyright issue, it’s also a duplicate content issue. Even if you do copy the page and have all of the optimization of your competitor, you will be flagged for duplicated content and your website will likely be banned from the search engines.
Never pagejack from a competitor. Pagejacking also includes the format of the page so avoid re-purposing their website for your own by just replacing certain keywords or reformatting sentence structure. Be original with your copy and you will never have to worry about illegal SEO.
Using Trademarked Keywords In Your Meta Tags
Although it is not necessarily an illegal action to use trademarked keywords within your major tags, people have been sued in the past and you could get sued if you partake in this particular SEO technique. This is where the law kind of gets murky. Much of the nature for a lawsuit would depend on how and why you were using trademarked keywords in your META tags.
If you were using keywords in a deceptive manner for your META tags you will more than likely lose any legal battle that you enter. More than likely you will not go to court, you’ll be on the other end of a cease and desist letter from the company. However, the company could get in touch with the search engines and have your website banned permanently.
Trademarked PPC Keywords
If you’ve ever thought about bidding for trademarked keywords throughout the search engines in PPC advertising you’ll need to rethink your marketing strategies. While PPC is more of an SEM issue than SEO, many people use PPC to get traffic to their website. Trademarked keywords are trademarked for a reason. That reason is so you will not be able to use them.
Companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to trademark their own keywords so you will not be able to outrank them. When you use a trademarked keyword for PPC, more than likely your account will be flagged by Google or another PPC broker. Getting banned from PPC is never a good idea when you are trying to gain as much exposure as possible online.
Although spun websites are not as common as they once were, they are still around. This is very similar to pagejacking except the user will scrape the website from the Internet and then run it through a content spinner. Usually, the page will come out as gibberish. This is actually what the website owner is going for.
The whole concept behind spinning websites is to have a website that doesn’t make any sense but still ranks for the keywords in the niche. Since the scraper is smart, they have probably chosen a very low competition niche in order to get ranked fast. The site will be filled with advertisements for the niche so that when the reader gets fed up with the gibberish on the page, they will click on one of the ads. There is not a fast way to get sales or clicks online and this method can get your website banned within a couple of weeks of going up.