I don’t think that I have seen the term, camouflage SEO, used by anyone other than myself so there may be other phrases people are using for this particular aspect of SEO… or I'm totally batting crazy and the only one that uses this process when ranking a website.
Camouflage SEO is not some kind of neat cool process, or a tool that is white hot or some kind of method to supercharge your site so it ranks in Google. In fact, it is just about the opposite and I use it on every site I build. It is actually building backlinks that have no value and writing content that is not ever going to make me a nickle. It is not doing negative things to my siteoff-siteff site but rather doing neutral things.
Now, before you click that X in the top right hand of your browser, let me explain.
As an example, I’ll write content that is related to my niche but it won’t be targeted, keyword density will be all but ignored, focus on a particular phrase will be out the window… it will be just some generic, almost filler content. I won’t do any keyword research either… it will be what I refer to as conversational content. That content has no obvious SEO value and that is my intention. To the average eye that makes no sense but we do not build sites for the average eye, we build them to placate the search engines algorithms.
The content does add value but not in the form of targeted keyword content but it does add value in terms of the overall picture and offers a camouflage that works well to hide the fact that I am working to rank sites for particular keywords. It adds in a human natural aspect to the site which is good for my visitor and good for Google as it does not see me slamming home keywords every time I pick up my pen. I do not believe that every time you put something on your site that you need to slam home a message. I think that does work but I don’t think it is the best way to build and I’m not so sure that it is something that Google appreciates long term. In fact, I think it is perfect if this were 2008 but we have turned the calendar.
The same goes for my off-site SEO; I use camouflage SEO there as well and that is actually easier. I’ll have backlinks created that have little to no real SEO value and will make sure that they get seen by Google, crawled by Google and indexed in Google. I want the search engine to see that I am not all about just private blog posts, EDU links, guest blog posts and such. Let Google see that I have some forum profile links that have no value at all (Sorry Angela!), some random links from various Wordpress comments and other nonsensical links so that it looks like I am not trying to game the algorithm system.
I do not backlink those links, I do not tier them, I don’t care if they do nothing but sit there and look pretty. I want Google to see that my sites have a variety of backlinks and that those links are not just from top-tier sites that are backlinked by top-tier Web 2.0s, Doc Share sites, powerful parasite pages and such. Neutral in power, they are powerful in that they hide the fact that I am trying to rank a site using quality links and thus a mainstay in my backlinking.
I’m really big on diversity in my backlinking structure and this is a part of that diversity. Backlinks that do not carry any punch at all are like salt in your soup. You don’t taste it but it does the job and makes the soup just a little bit better.
Is this a huge part of Google’s algorithm? Probably not but that is really not that important. What is important is to cover your SEO tracks properly and to keep it looking like you are trying to game the system because if you are caught you’ll get slapped by Google and that is no fun at all.