Bad SEO practices can hurt your website’s ranking in search engine results through Google penalties. Imagine spending months and wasting all your energy optimizing your site for nothing. Don’t turn it into reality. Learn the SEO tactics you should avoid here.
You might already be familiar with the best SEO practices, but what about the ones that can be dangerous to your website?
If you’ve been using SEO for quite some time now, yet your site’s failure to drive a lot of traffic, chances are, you’re applying the wrong strategies.
In case you’re not aware, there are several tactics, known as black hat SEO, that can actually damage your site’s ranking. That’s because they’re either outdated or they violate certain Google policies. Once Google discovers that you’re implementing unethical SEO practices, it will devalue certain web pages, or worse, remove your entire site.
So, what are these SEO practices you should stay away from? What mistakes should you steer clear of to avoid punishment from Google? Let’s take a look at them below!
Cloaking is a search engine optimization tactic that provides search engines the impression that a website carries content that’s different from what users really see.
With cloaking, search engines get high-quality content, whereas the audience will see nothing but poor content. In other words, it only focuses on ranking high, rather than providing a great user experience.
This practice violates Google’s terms and conditions. If a search engine crawler recognizes cloaking, it will penalize the site by removing it permanently from the search engine index. This means that the site will no longer appear in search results.
It’s no secret that keywords play an essential role in website optimization. Using the right keywords is one of the best methods – that is when done in moderation.
If you’re guilty of loading up your web pages aggressively with keywords to the extent that your content’s no longer making any sense, you’re committing the crime called keyword stuffing.
Keyword stuffing is one of the oldest tricks in the book.
Digital marketers and webmasters use it as a way of tricking search engine bots to rate their websites higher. They stuff their pages with the same target term in hopes of boosting their search visibility.
Examples of keyboard stuffing include:
- Repeating the same words or phrases that it sounds unnatural already.
- Adding words that are out of context.
- Using keywords that are irrelevant to the topic.
- Inserting blocks of the same keyword.
Such a practice often discourages visitors to return to the site because let’s be honest, who enjoys content that has little to no coherence?
What most of these keyboard “stuffers” don’t realize is that search engine bots are aware of how the technique works. As soon as a bot detects a site trying to manipulate search results through keyboard stuffing, it will automatically demote the content.
Keep in mind that the ideal keyword density is 1.5%. Exceeding the number will only hurt your ranking.
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Exaggerated words and sensationalized titles are frequently used by marketers and brands to capture the attention of users. Little do they know, click-baiting can leave a negative impact on their brand’s reputation.
Many businesses use catchy titles to gain more clicks despite their site’s bland content. Internet users who visit a particular website get annoyed once they realize that they were duped by a misleading headline.
If you’ve been victimized by a clickbait headline before, we’re pretty sure you felt betrayed and you promised yourself not to go back on that site ever again. That’s exactly how your audience would feel if you did the same.
A website promoting excessive titles that are completely unrelated to its content will not only result in lower clicks in the long run but will also increase the bounce rate. Plus, Google will eventually find out from their crawlers, and if they do, any effort to enhance the site’s SEO will be deemed useless.
Years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for marketers and webmasters to spend their money buying a high volume of links to direct users to their sites.
Fast forward to the present, we’ve learned the information that in order to boost our website’s visibility and authority, we need to EARN links instead of paying someone to build them for us.
There’s no point in having so many links when you’re not maintaining and optimizing them. Low-quality domains with an abundance of backlinks can be hazardous to a website.
What’s more, Google can easily identify sites that are purchasing backlinks. Will there be a punishment if you get caught? Absolutely.
Article spinning is another SEO practice that might get you in trouble with Google. This black hat technique involves recreating quality content using different words, phrases, and sentences to build dozens or hundreds of new “original” content.
Almost everyone has done article spinning before, and others continue to do so. It provides unique output, produces large quantities of content, boosts search engine rankings, and helps build backlinks. Since it’s typically done with software, you get to save a lot of time, and it isn’t really that expensive.
However, spun content is still spam – and Google can quickly recognize that. What’s more, anything generated by a machine is still inferior to what a human can produce. These articles usually end up as unreadable, and you might even stumble upon some words or sentences that make zero sense.
It doesn’t come as a surprise that Google is against article spinning. They don’t like the idea of having their search results filled with plagiarized content, particularly those that are obviously made by an AI.
No matter how busy you get, you have no excuse to copy an article you see from another site, or even from your previous posts, and simply reword or rephrase them. Besides the fact that Google will punish you for a spun article, you’ll be damaging your credibility as a brand.
Every time you visit a website whose content looks like it hasn’t been updated for over a year, do you find yourself going back to it again? No? That’s what we thought.
If adding content to your site is something you seldom do, don’t expect your ranking to go up anytime soon.
Writing and producing more content is the way to go if you want your rankings to skyrocket without lots of extra work. Additionally, you can make revisions or updates to your older articles for an improved freshness score. Then again, if the content looks completely obsolete already, you have no choice but to remove it from your site.
Once Google sees plenty of new and relevant content from your site, you’ll get a spike in traffic. Other than that, you’ll be getting new viewers every day, your existing audience will always have something to look forward to, and everyone will see you as a trustworthy source.
Knowing the right SEO tactics is just as important as knowing the practices to avoid. If you want your website to rank high in the search results, which we know you 100% do, be sure to stay away from the SEO practices mentioned above. Good luck!