Google can literally make or break you in the online world. And it all depends on how you optimize your site.
If you do search engine optimization or SEO “right” then you will see an increase in rankings and traffic. Any wrong move will pretty much doom you with the dreaded Google penalty.
In this article, we’ll talk about site optimization techniques you shouldn’t be doing.
Top SEO Mistakes to Avoid (If You Don’t Want A Google Penalty)
1. Bad content
Content is the primary factor which determines a site’s value. One reason why Google constantly improves its algorithms is so it can better identify websites that are cheating their way up the ranks. You don’t want to get caught plagiarizing or spinning content. Moreover, you should also avoid stuffing your content with unnatural-sounding keywords. Unethical content strategies are a surefire way to get flagged.
2. Placing too many ads above the fold
When readers click-through to your website, you want them to stay there for as long as possible and explore other pages. In SEO, this is called retention. But if you have too many ads especially above the fold, it will give them a terrible impression and cause them to bounce off. High bounce rates won’t just lose you potential customers. It makes Google think you have a low-quality website and slap you with a penalty.
3. Hiding texts or links
Years ago, black hat SEOs were using hidden texts and links to stuff websites with keywords and backlinks. It was an obvious attempt to cheat Google considering that they have policies against these practices. So take our advice and don’t try them at all. Otherwise, Google will impose a penalty.
Cloaking is yet another SEO practice that could get you in trouble. It’s when you create two or more versions of a website that show different variations of the same information. These websites are intended to look unique for a reason – and that is to attract as many customers as possible through various channels. Cloaking is illegal. If you’re caught doing it, rest assured that Google will give you a lifetime penalty, making it impossible to rank.
5. Spam comments
Many site owners mistakenly leave their comments section into a public free-for-all buffet. Unfortunately, shady SEOs use them to “piggyback” on more authoritative websites. They will often leave unrelated comments and link back to sites as part of their link building strategy. Having too many of those outbound links will make Google suspicious. Which leads us to the biggest SEO mistake…
6. Negative SEO
It’s not actually something that you do, as with others on our list. Rather, it’s what you don’t do with it that could send you straight to Google jail.
Search engine optimization is a dog-eat-dog world. Everyone is always trying to compete with others for rankings. Sadly, you might have competitors who will try to target you with “negative SEO” which does the opposite of helping you climb up the ranks.
Competitors may try to point as many bad links as they can to your website so they can fool Google into thinking you’re the one doing bad SEO. Alternatively, they will try to leave spammy links on your site. The only way to prevent this is to watch out for signs and proactively combat them.