Succeeding at SEO takes commitment and investment. You will need to invest both money and time and remain committed to the cause even when the results do not match the effort you’re putting in. If you’ve tried optimising a website or blog for SEO, then you know what I’m talking about.
SEO can be compared to building trust… actually, it is building trust – between you and the search engine, in this case, Google. It takes time to develop and build trust, and everything can come crumbling down in a fraction of the time it took to build. It just takes a few mistakes.
Here are 5 common mistakes that will cause your SEO ranks to tank quicker than you can say “Google penalties”:
1. Prioritising Backlink Quantity over Quality.
Backlinks are important for improving your SEO rankings but only if they come from quality sites. Having hundreds of backlinks from sites with a poor reputation will actually harm your rankings instead of helping them. Google takes this as a black hat SEO practice and may penalise you for it. So instead of buying links that are unnatural, manipulative or deceptive, build them organically for sustainable SEO.
2. Making Your Site Slower.
A website can run slower due to a host of reasons ranging from poor hosting services to issues with certain elements of your website. Whatever the reason for the slowdown, the result will be that the user experience will be greatly hampered. Because Google aims to direct its users to sites that offer a good user experience your site – regardless of how good the content is – will be overlooked in favour of other sites with acceptable content but quicker loading speeds.
3. Posting Thin, Crappy Content.
They say content is king, but not all content is made equal. The content you put up on your website not only needs to be relevant but also needs to be “meaty” enough to provide value to the user. Google handles thin and poorly written content the same way it handles overt spam techniques; by dishing out penalties. Content that’s auto-generated, including automatic translations, scraped content, and content that has been put together from various sites without any significant value addition, will also fall under this category and will probably cause your site to drop in rankings.
4. Placing Too Many Ads.
Having a website that is “Top Heavy”, i.e. containing advertisements which make it difficult for users to navigate, will see your SEO rankings drop rapidly. An overabundance of ads that come before content frustrates the user experience – something that we’ve already established is very important to the search engine. Also, in this category of obstructive ads are “intrusive interstitials” that cover a significant portion of the website.
Cloaking is a type of sophisticated content hiding that shows a different version of your website to the search engines and a different one to human visitors. Google sees this as a deliberate attempt to manipulate its search results and, therefore, dishes out a heavy penalty to those found implementing this practice.
All these things will cause you to lose your SEO ranks in a fraction of the time it took you to build them. Avoid doing them to maintain your rankings and work to improve your SEO position using methods that are acceptable to Google.
For some tips on what SEO strategies ‘to do’ check out these recent Marketing.com.au articles:
- 5 Awesome SEO Tips to Boost Your Search Rankings
- 11 SEO Tips for Beginners to Boost Website Traffic
- 5 Simple Tips to Optimise Your WordPress Website for SEO and Increase Conversions
- A Beginners Guide To An SEO Audit
- Why Does SEO Take So Long?