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Identify fraudulent websites and Prevent Your Site From Looking Like A Scam

Posted on February 17, 2012 by Leave a comment

I’ve had a lot of requests regarding spotting the difference between a legitimate websites and a scam websites.

First of all, why would you need to know this? Well it could be for a number of reasons for example you might be contacted by a company offering a service and you may need to check there website for credentials. Or you may be a company that wishes to avoid looking like a scam website.

Either way, here are the main issues that need to be looked into when checking out the legitimacy of a company.

Is the website poorly constructed?

You need to look out for the structure and not the colour and attractiveness of a few buttons. E.G is the page layout organised? Or does it have stuff scattered everywhere?

If the layout is organise you should be able to notice a pattern whereby the content is aligned appropriately in columns of 3 or 2 or sometimes even 1, but if you find that pictures and text are scattered everywhere then it might be a sign of a quickly and poorly constructed website attempting to scam its clients.

Some websites due to their old age may have a dated design so it’s worth noting how old a website is before jumping to conclusions. To find out how old a website is simply read the next point.

How old is the website?

If you have been contacted by a website, ask them how long they have been in the industry. Sometimes they tell you “we’ve been doing this for over ten years” and so on. Then simply go to this website http://www.whois.net/ and type in the URL. You should have a list of information about their website including their registration address although sometimes that may be hidden. However it will most definitely reveal the date of which the website was created.

If you find that the company hasn’t been active longer then they say they have, clearly they have been lying to you, so would you trust this company?  Some companies are also aware of this and tell you that this is a new website and that they had a website previously. If this happens then simply ask them to show you that website and re-do the same steps I have mentioned here. You may ask yourself, why would they create a new website if they had one before? Are they trying to hide something? If all of this applies to you and the service they provide also sounds too good to be true, then I’m 99.9% sure it is! GET OUT FAST!

Does Google trust it?

Some websites look very professional, and have been active for a long time, but looks can flatter to deceive and age is nothing but a number if Google itself doesn’t trust it! To find out Google’s opinion of a website you need to go to the following website http://www.prchecker.info/check_page_rank.php and enter in the URL of the website you wish to check. It will then reveal the rank of the page in the eyes of Google on a scale of 1-10. If the websites rank is only 1 or bellow, then the website clearly hasn’t had an SEO service which isn’t a good sign as all the big companies will do SEO for their websites. The only time you should find a website ranked 1 is when a website is younger than 6 months, again you can use the “http://www.whois.net/” website to find out the age. The ideal page rank should be at least a pr 2 if younger than a year but preferable 3 and above, especially if it’s older than a year!

If you’re an internet user who wanted to know how to identify frauds from realists than the above should be a very useful bit of info for you to use.

If however you plan on creating a website for your company then the above should highlight the main issues which you must avoid. The web designers At WebArtistUK not only design websites but also market and advice their clients to ensure all of the above criteria is addressed.


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Difference Between White Hat And Black Hat SEO

Posted on September 11, 2011 by 2 Comments

Everybody in the search engine optimization industry knows that black hat SEO is a risky business, but some think it’s worth the risk. There are a couple of reasons for this, one of the main reason is, that it requires less effort and saves a lot of time. Some of you SEO newbie’s are probably wondering what black hat SEO is and have never heard of the term up until now. If I was to explain it in one sentence I would say, it is a form of search engine optimization that in theory reduces time and effort by using tactics of which are frowned upon by the Google corporation, as opposed to WHITE HAT SEO which as you can imagine is the correct way of optimizing your website. However, in theory white hat SEO is a longer process and requires a lot more time and effort put into it. Or does it?

To answer that question we need to first understand the difference between white hat and black hat SEO. So let’s first find out in a little more detail, what black hat SEO is and how it differs from white hat SEO.

The term black hat is basically used to name the dark side of SEO, as it is seen as the “evil” way of doing search engine optimization, hence the term BLACK HAT SEO. Therefore, the opposite of evil would be good and therefore the colour white was naturally selected as the name that represents the “right” way of search engine optimization. Now that we have differentiated the good from the bad let’s find out how each process is done.

There are a number of techniques used in search engine optimization, which are identified it as black hat SEO, one of which is the usage of link building software’s. There are so many different types of link building software’s available, such as article submitters, blog comment submitters, forum signature creators and social bookmarking submitters. If your using these tools, then I’m here to tell you, no matter what it say’s on the box, its definitely black hat SEO.

However black hat SEO doesn’t just come in the forms of submission software’s, there are also content extractors which automatically gets content from other content providing websites only to use it on their own website, and is without a doubt another black hat SEO trick.

Black hat SEO isn’t just limited to these techniques; just about anything that is corrupt and frowned upon by Google is deemed as black hat. For example if you repeat a phrase constantly within your website without it making sense just so that you can cheat Google’s algorithm then it is too a form of black hat SEO.

So how is white hate different?

Well that is very simple to answer, everything that black hat SEO does as described above, is simply NOT used in white hat SEO.

Perhaps I should go a little deeper? Ok here it goes. A big part of SEO service requires link building; it is one of the key ways of ranking your website in terms of page rank as well as positional. This is why black hat SEO provides you with software’s as people can then automate link building and create 100’s of links to your website in a matter of minutes. However with white hat SEO you will submit your links manually to websites such as blogs, forums, articles, and social bookmarks.

There are loads of advantages to the white hat way of doing this, the first which being the fact that because you submit manually you know the state of the website you’re submitting to. You know whether it’s relevant to your topic, how good the page rank of the website is, and most importantly, whether or not it’s in the language your targeting (i.e. English or French). This is something that cannot be guaranteed by automation software’s.

Another important aspect to consider is the fact that you have no control over the text of which you are submitting. Text is very important when you submit your links to other sites, it’s not just a description used for enticing a visitor to click your link. It is also used to ensure Google views your back link as unique link and not a spam link.  The programmers that work for Google are coming down on automotive submitters, and this is one of the ways Google identifies your website as using an automotive submitter, so if you’re caught using it then you face the formality of being de-ranked.

I’ve experimented with automation (black hat) and I found that the results are not as good as manual submissions, even though I managed to get 100 times more back links using these submitters! What’s worse is that some of the website I experimented this with ended up having good results very quickly (within a couple of weeks), but ended up being de-ranked a few more weeks later and ended up with a lower page rank then it had prior to using the software!

When you take everything from above into consideration, you will realise that one manual link submission, if done correctly will be more valuable to you than 100 spam links that the automation software provides.

Another technique commonly used in black hat SEO services includes automotive content uploads as mentioned above. The theory behind this is to show Google your website is updated on a regular basis which should increase your websites crawl rate and increase the rank of your website.

The difference between white hat and black hat SEO service is that with white hat you would upload your content manually. I bet you saw that one coming right? This has the advantage of you knowing what content your website will contain as opposed to automotive which will extract garbage from around the web. What people fail to understand is that Google’s algorithm analysis the text and will punish your website for not containing relevant content. I.e. if your website sells phones and you have pages on your site that talk about dieting pills then that would be deemed as non-relevant and you will be penalised for this.

There is another issue to consider, and that when using automotive content you will be using content that already exists somewhere else. This is a huge mistake and can be fatal to your business. It will cause your website to lose both page rank and SERP (search engine ranking position). There is even a possibility of your website being excluded from Google’s database altogether!

Now I’ve experimented with automotive content and although I’ve never been excluded from the database, I have seen websites losing its page rank and SERP’s dramatically. With white hat SEO the content uploaded will be created by the author of the website or a person hired to create content which is unique and un-identical to any other content available in the web. This will be rewarded handsomely by Google as it not only increases page rank, but SERP’s for your keywords. I’ve actually had good SEO results by having regular unique content without even using back links, which shows how important this is. In fact, since the panda update (Google algorithm tweak) there has been further emphasis put into the requirement of relevant content than ever before.

So in conclusion you can see that although in theory the work load is reduced when using black hat SEO service, it doesn’t necessarily increase the results. In some cases you might see early positive signs which may indicate that it is working, but this will eventually balance itself out once Google works out what you’re doing and it’s a process that doesn’t take long to occur. What you will then find is that although you spend less time and effort using the black hat method, it actually ends up working the opposite way as the amount of effort you put into black hat SEO is completely wasted whereas if you used white hat SEO then your search engine optimization service will go slowly but SURELY!

Remember guys, Evil never prevails! The good guys always win!

If you don’t have much experience with SEO and would like to hire professional SEO consultants for your companies search engine optimization service requirements, then look no further then WebArtistUK for a professional UK based Web Design and SEO Service.


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