What the text didn’t show are two other links, hidden from the viewer but in place for search engines to find. Matt showed the source code for the page, which included the crafted links.
Passing the mouse over the links would not change the cursor or the text. It would not display anything in the status bar of the browser. The links are functional, and clicking on one of them would send the visitor on to the linked site.
“If you happened to click on just the right word, you’d get whisked away to a hardcore porn site,” Matt wrote. “In my opinion, this is a good example of a link that crosses over into deceptiveness and violates our quality guidelines.”
Not only does such a practice violate Google’s quality guidelines, but it goes against anything that is decent and violates clear business ethics.
This type of hidden link practice is an example of a type of black hat SEO that will not only get you a bad reputation but will get you banned from the search engines. All of them. If you hide links, keywords, and engage in other type of black hat techniques then your website will be de-listed from the search engines. That will be the end of traffic to that website. That’s a pretty heavy price to pay.
There are plenty of white hat and viable methods of SEO to practice that webmasters don’t have to resort such tactics. There is no reason to hide links or keywords from human visitors just to get people to your website. The porn industry seems to be one of the biggest perpetrators of this type of SEO and for that reason alone I would stay away from it. Online, reputation is everything and once you get a bad reputation for engaging in ruthless, unethical practical it will be difficult to overcome.