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Watch out for SEO snake-oil salespeople

If you have been following along with this blog, you will know that Search Engine Optimisation is a key part of marketing your website. If Google can’t find you, you may as well be invisible.

But did you know that there are two types of SEO – good (or white hat) and bad (or black hat). Good SEO takes time and will see your website slowly creep up in the rankings, while bad may get you immediate results, but it is also like to raise Google’s ire, which will likely mean the search engine blacklisting your site, resulting in you having to build a new site – with different content – from scratch.

Some examples of the kind of things that black hat SEO providers engage in include:

Hidden text: White text on white background that can’t be seen by a human, but can be seen by the Googlebots. The text is usually just keywords repeated ad infinitum.

Cloaking: This is where coding shows human beings one site, while Google sees another key-word stuffed one.

Keyword stuffing: Google’s latest Panda update can see when a word (or words) is used to excess, and ignores it.

So how do you if the SEO “expert” you are planning to engage uses black hat techniques? There are a few dead giveaways.

Too-good-to-be-true guarantees

If your SEO person tells you they can get you to number one in a week, then run away. This is the biggest red flag. Google is very secretive of the algorithm it uses to determine rankings and a good SEO expert knows this, so will not offer a guarantee (Direct Sites Online’s guarantee is that we use techniques that we know work on standard sites). If your SEO “expert” does offer a guarantee of a meteoric rise in the rankings we can guarantee he or she won’t be using legitimate strategies.

Link buying

Natural, organic links on directory sites, through blog commenting, article writing or guest blogging, are a great way to build backlinks to your site. Buying links – or using software to automate link-building – is not.  For one, Google does not like the practice (it recently banned an entire site – Build My Rank – created purely for the sake of backlinks) and bought or automatically generated links are often poor quality.

Client base

A reputable SEO consultant will have a good solid client list of established companies. So do your research.

Direct Sites Online offers genuine white hat SEO. Call us now on 02 9557 7623 or email

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