by David Bungay
SEO has helped your website achieve an enviable ranking. This has helped your overall marketing campaign and you are happy. But this is not the time to be complacent. The internet is full of scamsters. There are many webmasters who use unethical methods to cheat search engines to think their website is popular.

Search engines have figured this out. Now special software is used to detect such sites and then these sites are either given lower rankings or banned altogether. However this system is far from perfect. Some good and legitimate sites have also been banned by search engines mistakenly. You must take measures so that your website is not caught mistakenly as unethical.

First of all, check your back links. Your back links should come from pages that are not unethical. They must not be coming from Link Farms and other such sources. Quality Links from sources that are relevant to your site and business are preferable and offer you protection from penalties. Your links should, in short, come from respectable sources so that you do not fall under the bad neighbourhood criteria of Google.

The easiest way to check this is to download the Google toolbar. Check your backlinks against the Pagerank feature. Greyed out pages are penalized. Ones that show green are safe, even if it is a tiny little bit of green. These pages are relatively new, and who knows, they may grown in value slowly.

You should continue to monitor your links regularly.

Cloaking is another dangerous practise indulged in by unethical webmasters. This means inserting keywords in pages that cannot be read by human eye. Using white text on white background is a common way of cloaking. This means that visitors do not read the text which is kept for the benefit of search engines. However, if search engines get to know this, the web site page ranking does not get a boost. It plummets down or the website gets banned.

But the search engine bots are not human. If you love grey fonts and use them liberally and have a greyish kind of web page, the bot might mistakenly assume you are being unethical and ban your website. Do not, ever, use same background color and font, even though you think it looks lovely and artistic. Play safe.

May be you have researched and found the perfect key words for your site. You love them. It is easy to go overboard and sprinkle them a bit too generously in your text. This is quite understandable. But understand that search engines have a set formula or ratio for keyword density. If your key word ratio is high, you may be penalized for key word stuffing.

Ensure that your content contains key words, but the flow is natural. Using 3% of keyword density in a page is enough.

Another way of cloaking is when human visitors are directed to one page and the search engine bot to another page that is unintelligent to human eye. Here the bot is fed with key words, links and other things the webmaster deems necessary for high page ranking. This can get you banned permanently.

If you are serious about your reputation and standing as an internet marketer, you will ensure that such practises are not employed in your website. Do not resort to trickery and deception to artificially boost your ranking.

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