Most website or blog owners are always thinking of ways to get their pages higher in the search rankings, to score more organic traffic, and to be the number one choice of companies in their niche. There are endless resources on the internet devoted to search engine rankings, but among the great tips and advice that many do offer, there are some tactics that are not such good suggestions.
Here’s our list of things that you definitely don’t want to do on your site, if you want to avoid being penalized by Google (and other search engines!)
1. Keyword Stuffing
A long, long time ago, when the internet was young and SEO was a system designed to “fool” search engines, keyword density was a big deal. Site owners would create content that was little more than a vehicle for their keywords and phrases, and making sense was nice, but not essential.
If you still believe this, stop now! Search engines are much more sophisticated these days, and semantic search and all sorts of other smart techniques are designed to read all your content, look for related terms, and catalog your site accordingly. Quality matters far more than keyword quantity these days!
2. Buying Links
Another dubious SEO trick that belongs well in the past is the practice of purchasing links. Whether through link farms or link wheels, or any other system, this strategy is deader than a doornail.
In fact, if your incoming links are coming from known spam sites, or from sites that have nothing to do with your niche, you’re doing more harm to your site than good. Do a link search, find the big red flags, and request removal of your link, before they get you into deep water!
3. Article Marketing
Posting masses of low quality articles on shady article directories used to be a smart link building strategy. Then search engines realized that actual humans don’t really care about articles that are so badly written they’re barely recognizable as English, and they closed that loophole. Overnight, all the biggest directories virtually disappeared, and sites that used this strategy took a huge hit.
Content is still king, but make it sound value, high quality, and post it on your own site.
4. Dubious Anchor Text
The last great faux pas you might be making on your site or blog is to use anchor text that’s not actually true to the content, in an effort to game the search engine system. Not only will this get you in trouble with search engines, but if you’re getting traffic to your site that isn’t looking for your products or services, it’s a waste of your time, too!
A Simple Rule
The simple rule for internet success in 2017 and beyond is to be honest, and to give users who reach your site as much value as possible. Not only will this endear you to search engines, but you’ll also become a valued resource, and that is truly the essence of modern inbound marketing.
It’s not about beating the system. It’s about working within it to provide value to your visitors in exchange for their time and presence.