The – now rather inaccurately-named – search engine optimisation (SEO) business has been very hard at work for the past few years generating content to populate the internet and thereby raise search engine ranking. This is how it works.
A manufacturer of, for instance, vapour barriers and damp-proofing membranes writes an article containing all the relevant keywords. This is submitted and published by third party web sites – in this instance construction industry web sites and ezines. Prospective customers searching for the keywords “vapour barrier” or “damp-proof membrane” find the article, maybe they even click on the link to the manufacturer’s web site. But that’s not the only benefit of writing the article. The manufacturer’s web site is also rewarded with additional points towards its search engine ranking because the link is from a highly-regarded web site.
So you might think that if you plaster the internet with blogs containing keywords but any old content which is designed only for search engines, you can push yourself up the rankings. Well you might succeed, but you might also damage the real reputation of your company or brand because real people will read it. You may also incur the displeasure of the search engines. It really isn’t worth it. Unfair ranking manipulation will always eventually be countered by the search engines, so you could waste a great deal of time and money. Honesty is by far the best policy, because SEO is a moving target. Good, well-written content on influential third party web sites does work if you do it properly.
As for silly comments on other people’s blogs, videos and forums, it’s known as ‘comment spam’ and search engines can easily see patterns like this emerging. If you don’t believe me check out Google’s take on it.