You would think that any SEO strategy would help you get higher up in Google and get all of the following benefits:
- Improved online visibility
- Increased site traffic
- Better engagement
- A higher position on search results
But that’s not true.
The reality is that not all SEO tactics are created equal. While some will help you surge up Google’s rankings, others can see you get severely penalized and plummet like a stone. These are the SEO strategies that are worse for your business.
The Worst Things You Can Do for SEO
Plagiarize other content
Not creating unique content is a cardinal sin when it comes to SEO. I know it can be hard to create unique content day in day out but the simple fact is that copying other content can see your website hit with a duplicate penalty content by Google.
Not only is plagiarism unethical and illegal, it also goes against Google’s policies. Plagiarizing won’t just mean you don’t create great content for your readers, it can result in a penalty or having your website taken down completely.
2. Keyword stuffing
It’s important to use keywords in your content in order to rank for the right search phrases. But over-optimizing your content, putting too many in, is bad for SEO. The result is poorly written, unnatural posts that don’t offer readers value. Google can tell when you are intentionally keyword stuffing and will penalize you if it finds you guilty. It’s also not a good experience for your readers, either, which will result in high bounce rates.
3. Crappy backlinks
Everyone knows that backlinks are one of the most powerful tools in an SEO’s arsenal. They are a great way to improve your website’s authority and boost rankings. But all backlinks are not created equal.
While good backlinks from high authority websites are worth their weight in gold, dodgy backlinks can seriously harm your business. Bad backlinks are any low quality, spammy or bought backlinks that aren’t created naturally. If Google catches you creating these kinds of links, expect a penalty.
Trying to trick Google into thinking your website is something it isn’t is another bad SEO tactic that will have you expelled from the rankings. Hiding keywords on a page so that Google thinks you should rank for a phrase you don’t mention is a trick used by some Blackhat SEOs, but it rarely works anymore. Google is too smart to be tricked.
5. Placing too many ads
While this isn’t an SEO strategy per se, it is a way that Google could tank your business website. Many websites rely on online ads for revenue. This can lead them to stuff their pages with ads or put loads of ads above the fold where people will see them. This creates a bad user experience and can lead you to getting punished by Google. Use a couple of ads on the page by all means, but don’t stuff them everywhere possible.