In the wake of several high-profile incidents of companies that have been discovered seeking to unfairly manipulate their search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy, one writer has highlighted tactics that must be avoided.

Writing for PC World, Katherine Noyes said that the top SEO technique that could result in a site being delisted from Google is cloaking – where a search engine is shown a page heavy with text and keywords, while a human user is sent to a different page.

She highlighted the case of BMW a few years ago, who used such a tactic to top searches for used cars, while those who clicked on the link would be redirected to the company's home page.

This resulted in the site being removed from its index when the deceptive technique was uncovered.

Another method to avoid is paying for links to your site from a third party broker, which is also in direct contravention of Google's webmaster guidelines, Ms Noyes added.

Recently, US retailer JC Penney was discovered doing this by the New York Times, which was described by one expert, Damon Pierce, as "the most ambitious attempt I've ever heard of".

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