Welcome to SEO Boy, the authority on search engine optimization -- how to articles, industry news, insider tips, and more! If you like what you see, you can receive free and daily updates via email or RSS.
Print This Post Print This Post

3 Unforgiveable Sins of Local SEO

February 23rd, 2010 | | Local SEO

There’s a lot that SEO experts put up with. Link baiting, optimizing on competitor’s names and brands, doorway pages, tricky little dynamic search insertion ads – we roll our eyes. But there are three things, particularly in Local SEO, that will bring the wrath of the Search Industry down upon you like the Book of Revelation without the happy ending.

If you want to invite the scorn of the Search Gods and other business then by all mean perform these unforgiveable sins. There is no giggling, there is no “my bad”, there is no saying “I’m sorry, I was wrong.” These will earn you a swift kick in your IP address.

Unforgiveable Sin of Local SEO #1: False Reviews

Pumping up your review numbers with fake reviews from fake accounts is not only low and sneaky, but misleading and and treacherous to your local community. If, somehow, the fake reviews were suddenly identified to be generated by the business owner, how would people respond? Amazon has information for you on that. Remember the Belkin reviews? Fake reviews will be found out and you will be penalized – maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but one day.  Don’t take the chance.

Unforgiveable Sin of Local SEO #2: Claiming someone else’s listing

Local search business centers, like Google’s,  have made great pains for this to be less of an issue. Because of that, the attempt to claim a local listing not your own will incure that much more wrath. If someone owns someone elses listing, that locks out the real owner from fleshing out their profile with descriptions, coupons, keywords and descriptions.  The only thing more heinous would be to optimize a site of your competitor’s and rank it higher than the official one.

Unforgiveable Sin of Local SEO #3: Copying Content

One could argue this is just a business tactic. No, sir! It’s plagerism. Besides the penalties for duplicate content on the web, you come off as unimaginative and … well … lame. It’s also apparant that you did just happen to type the same thing with your brand in its place.

Is this Black hat SEO? No.  Black hat is simply using technology to increase gains artificially.  These techniques are just in bad taste and are beyond cheating.

Do you have any other sins that should be on this list?  What have you seen that you would consider “shady” or “gray?”

Facebook   IN   Stumble Upon   Twitter   Sphinndo some of that social network stuff.
  • http://blog.abwebsitedesign.com Chris @ AB Web Design, LLC

    Hey Eric. Great article! And thanks for the mention.

    “These will earn you a swift kick in your IP address.”

    -Haha. So very true. These types of violations are definitely NOT taken lightly, and nor should they be.

  • http://seoptimizacija.com/ Optimizacija

    You wrote most important mistakes for local SEO. That’s right. And that counts for local online PR, too. (public relations not Google PR :) )

  • http://www.poddcorp.com web marketing strategies provider

    One of the oldest issue in SEO and we cant totally avoid is copying of content, for other out there its ok to copy content but please take credit to the owner, a link form the source is enough.