We all have come across sites that follow lousy SEO practices, that do more harm than good. Some businesses walk the extra road (read unwanted) to improve their site performance. While some marketers readily employ these techniques, others dabble in malpractices due to a lack of knowledge.
SEO practices are ever-changing. What worked yesterday, maybe redundant today.
Let’s get down to tackling the biggest mistakes you must avoid in your website SEO:
1. Keyword stuffing
The first-word individuals associate with SEO is keywords. While keywords are essential for ranking in search engines, keyword stuffing is a practice frowned upon by search engine algorithms. Keyword stuffing involves using the keyword repeatedly in content. Earlier high keyword density was deemed excellent, but now this practice can land you in choppy waters.
With Google’s algorithm getting smarter by the day, you need to incorporate keyword topics, long-tail keywords, and related keywords to rank on search engines without getting penalized. Focus on the sub-topics and related information to produce high-quality content.
2. Writing for robots
The key is to understand that you primarily have to write content for your audience and not search engines. Nobody wants to read an article that misses the human touch and seems to be written by a bot. The content should be kept authentic – in a natural language. Google Webmaster guidelines outline the best optimization techniques to rank high in its search engine.
Search engines value high-quality content that provides relevant information to your readers. Writing content solely for SEO without focusing on its value or quality is detrimental to your efforts. As elucidated above, avoid keyword stuffing and follow a seamless language while writing your content. Remember your audience and write for them.
3. Spamming the comment section
This is classified to be one of the most annoying SEO techniques. The comment section provides insight and different points of view on a blog topic. But seeing it inundated with meaningless spam comments and backlinks is annoying. Earlier SEO professionals used to spam the comment section of popular websites like Reddit, YouTube, Quora, etc with generic comments and backlinks to their websites.
There was a time when these cheap tactics worked, but no more. However, on relevant sites talking about similar topics, you can post intuitive comments with necessary or appropriate links to your site. This tactic does not yield any results and leads to a loss of reputation and time.
4. Using invisible or hidden text
What a reader sees on the web page is not the only thing that the search engine sees. It is possible to hide content through some programs that users cannot read but can be deciphered by search engine robots. This technique allows for keyword stuffing as SEO professionals can mask the keywords and show just the authentic text to customers. This technique though a boon earlier has today proved to be detrimental to a site’s rankings.
Other techniques employed include making the font size zero or using various CSS properties to hide the viewable content. However, this tactic will lead to a penalty as crawlers will identify this as illegally hiding the text. You can alt-text your images but using this otherwise, black-hat SEO technique will lead to more harm than good.
5. Content spinning
SEO professionals have often adopted the technique of “content spinning” which involves refurbishing old content to produce newly spun content to avoid direct plagiarism. This process also involves AI for rewording and tweaking content. This technique has enabled even non-native speakers of the language to produce content that is written by them. But with search engines evolving with time, such techniques are no longer working.
Search engines like Google and Bing have bought strong measures to curb the menace of content spinning. The sophisticated tools identify duplicate content and can penalize your website. Use unique content that communicates your distinct brand identity without directly lifting topics and content.
6. Swapping backlinks
Backlinks play a significant role in how a site gets ranked by search engines. You need to practice caution while linking back and forth between sites. This link-building exercise can result in penalties for both parties. Unnatural activities of link exchange get flagged down. The quality of the content should be high to organically attract backlinks. Link swapping is the practice of exchanging links with sometimes completely irrelevant websites to create a backlink. Though the move may temporarily improve rankings, it will get your site penalized once it gets recognized.
Along with this, there are several other black-hat SEO techniques like running a Private Blog Network that is created solely for link-building or operating a link farm whose goal is to direct people to your site without serving any useful role. New site owners often engage in these techniques without realizing the repercussions they can hold for your site.
7. Not considering mobile SEO
The surge of mobile search popularity has been unprecedented in recent years. With the number of mobile searches, not performing mobile SEO for your brand can be disastrous. Focusing only on desktop optimization while completely ignoring mobile can turn away potential customers. This also hinders the user experience of the site on mobile, making costumes switch to a competitor brand.
Design responsive sites for mobile users, avoid popups, use Google AMP, and ensure that all elements of your website work properly. A seamless user experience on mobile will guarantee high traffic to your website.
Black hat SEO techniques are a waste of time and valuable resources that can otherwise be spent on building the rank of your site through accepted norms. The constant updates that search algorithms go through keep SEO professionals on their toes, but is worth the effort in the long run. Don’t fall for easy traps like keyword stuffing, link swapping, over-optimizing anchor text, etc. for quick but unsustainable traffic. Focus on methods that bring dividends and make your site a top choice for customers of your niche.
At Citytech, we optimize your website programmatically and rank higher on search engines like Google and Bing. Our Certified Digital Marketing experts will review your keywords, enhance your visibility, and earn high-quality traffic to your website. Get started with a professional SEO consultation today: https://bit.ly/3MNWhma