SEO Practices That Can Kill Your Rankings
Good SEO is all about optimizing websites and content to achieve the best rankings in organic search results. As things online are constantly changing, so are the requirements for positive SEO. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of what SEO tactics will actually kill your search engine rankings rather than build them.
In this post, we’ll cover some of the more common SEO bad practices so you know what to avoid.
In the “olden days” of the internet, Google algorithms were much more simplistic. It used to be a case of just jamming as many keywords into a piece of content as possible and getting ranked largely on keyword density.
As this got grossly taken advantage of, Google had to refine its search algorithms to deliver much better results, or the platform was in danger of losing people in droves. There were so many low quality, keyword stuffed sites appearing at the top of search results that no one was getting any valuable content delivered.
A better practice in today’s world is focusing an article or website page around a particular keyword phrase, using that keyword just a few times in the content, while naturally interspersing the content with LSI keywords – keywords that are similar.
The key here is natural writing, not overdoing keywords, using only keywords that make grammatical sense and, the bottom line, delivering quality content that gives the visitor value.
Buying Low-Quality Backlinks
Backlinks still play a role in helping a website and its content rank, although the role of backlinks is not as powerful a ranking factor as it once was. Again, in days gone past, if you could get hundreds (or even thousands) of other sites linking back to yours, it would skyrocket your rankings.
Once again Google was forced to make changes when this fact was exploited to the max. These days backlinks need to be more of a natural process and preferably come from quality authority sites.
If you go out and purchase 1000 backlinks from some freelancer on Fiverr, these are all likely going to come from poor quality sites, perhaps even sites that are selling scams. Google’s algorithms will pick up on this sudden influx of low-quality backlinks, putting your website at risk of a penalty, or even being de-indexed.
There used to be a lot of duplicate content on the internet, and you’ll often still find duplicated news stories on syndicated news websites. However, for the average website, adding duplicate content is not going to help you when it comes to showing up in organic search.
Google won’t rank the same piece of content twice. If you copy content from another source and simply paste it into a page on your website, it’s not going to be indexed. It’s also against copyright laws if you haven’t first been given permission to “reprint” the content on your website.
It’s not necessary to always try and come up with completely new ideas, but if you want to rehash and reuse some of your own content, or content you’ve seen elsewhere, it’s always best to write something new and original.
Aggressively Monetising Your Website
Some websites seem to be able to get away with this and still rank well, but generally a website that is plastered with advertising and riddled with affiliate links is not going to fair well in search results. Google will consider a site like this too aggressively monetised; particularly if every single post and page contains ads and affiliate links.
There’s nothing wrong with having some advertising or affiliate offers on a website, but promotions need to be intermingled with helpful posts that actually don’t sell anything. Keep the affiliate links and ads down to a bare minimum and produce quality content. Your site’s rankings will improve, and income will be a natural result of the process.
Direct people to specific pages on your site that advertise promotions, rather than adding outbound links in every piece of content.
These days more people are using mobile devices to access the internet than people are using computers to do so. Therefore it’s vital that your website is responsive in nature so all text and images displays correctly on smaller screens.
Google will soon be rolling out its Mobile-First index, where websites that are mobile-friendly will be first in search results.
Sites That take Forever To Load
Nothing will turn a visitor off more quickly than a website that seems to take forever to load. People have become accustomed to speed and expect instant results. If your website is slow on desktop and mobile devices, guess what? The visitor will simply click away and go elsewhere.
Google doesn’t like slow loading sites any more than visitors do, and pages that load super slow will not rank very well.
Speed can be dependent on your hosting service, but there are also many tweaks that can be done to speed up a slow performing site. This is where a web design company or SEO firm can really help put your site and your business in the right path.
Whether you are doing your own SEO or hire professionals to take care of it for you, always be sure to avoid poor SEO tactics that kill rankings. SEO is all about achieving high rankings and not negatively impacting them.