Blacklisted by Google: Is Your Company Next?

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Working with the wrong SEO firms costing some big.

Qualified shoppers and profitable returns have made search engine advertising and optimization the darlings of the online advertising world. But choosing to work with the wrong search engine optimization (SEO) firm can get your company banned from some search engines, including the industry’s giant, Google.

A new book, Search Engine Advertising, Buying Your Way to the Top to Increase Sales (New Riders Publishing 2004), sheds light on a few tactics that endanger web site owners of losing the rankings they currently have, or having their sites completely removed from the search engines’ databases. Companies that outsource their optimization campaigns are at risk of hiring firms that engage in search engine spam.

“While there are a number of great SEO firms available,” says author Catherine Seda, “there are some involved in practices that search engines don’t like. The problem isn’t that the SEO firms get banned. It’s their clients who pay the consequences.”

In a recent forum on WebProWorld, one user stated that her web site, as well as 10 others, has been banned by Google because of the alleged use of doorway pages created by an SEO firm. Doorway pages are loaded with keywords and often contain hidden links then placed within advertisers sites, and are discouraged by Google in its online Webmaster information.

According to Seda, another common spamming tactic of shady SEO firms is to post thousand of links to client web sites inside guestbooks or classified ads. Search engines, such as Google, place significant weight on the link popularity of a web site.

“There is a right way to boost your site’s link popularity,” says Seda. “Secure links from content-relevant site that have already achieved high rankings. Think quality, not quantity. And if you want to hire an SEO firm, ask how they get rankings for their clients.”

Catherine Seda is teaching a groundbreaking search engine seminar series in several U.S. cities this fall. For more information, visit:


Catherine Seda


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