Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the key foundations that helps to keep your website at the top of popular search engines for particular search terms.
But, without using the best SEO techniques, it’s almost impossible to rank higher in search engine result page.
In spite of knowing that, there are many online marketers are still using some worst SEO techniques that are destroying their overall marketing efforts.
You are probably wondering by now: what are the SEO techniques I must avoid?
Well, today I am going to explain nine worst SEO techniques that are still being used by so many online marketers which can negatively impact your rankings.
Let’s get started!
#1. Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing means using a keyword several times in your content in the hopes to get the better ranking for that particular keyword.
For instance, let’s say you want to rank for “wrist watches”. This is what keyword stuffing would look like for this keyword.
Keyword stuffing will not only discourage your audience to read your content but it is also a signal for the search engines that you are trying to manipulate their algorithms.
Stuffing your site with an excessive number of keywords will make your site looks spammy, which doesn’t sit well with either your visitors or the spiders that crawl your website.
I absolutely understand that you want to rank for a specific keyword and the more you use your keyword, the more likely you will rank for it. Just don’t go overboard.
My recommendation is that, your keywords should be used in the title, opening paragraph and once in every 100-200 words throughout the content. You need to ensure that your content looks natural which is good for your visitors as well as for the search engines.
Cloaking is one of the worst SEO techniques that allows you to show different content to the spiders that crawl your website than you show to your actual human visitors.
Let me make it clear by giving you an example here. For example, your web code makes search engines think you are directing users to live cricket updates sites, but your website in fact publishes information about mobile accessories.
Google deploys bots to scan such activities, and if detected, such websites will be slapped with a penalty which includes hurting the website ranking or even banning it from search engines.
As search engines don’t like deceptive approach, you must only keep one version of a page for both users and search engines.
Check this video about cloaking how beautifully Matt Cutts explaining this here-
#3. Link Exchanges
Link exchange is like a site offers other sites to add their link and in exchange adds others links to itself. In other words: I will add you if you add me.
This technique was effective in the early days of the web until Google devised algorithms to avoid such activity. Link building should be as natural as possible instead of exchanging links.
Link exchanges may help you to get lots of links within a short period of time but this won’t help you to improve your ranking in search engines.
Even, excessive link exchange could negatively impact your ranking in search engine. Check out the guidelines here for link scheme.
#4. Optimizing Content for Search Engines not for Reader’s
Writing content for the search engines is not a crime but many websites use spam methods to publish post. They generally copy the article text from others blog and by using the article spinning software they spin the article and publish it to their own blog.
Google’s panda algorithm can now detect such kind of useless content and remove them from ranking.
Remember, even though we write content considering SEO and rankings but in the end it’s for the visitors. Make sure you keep that in mind while writing.
Try to connect to the visitors. Once you strike a perfect chord with them, they will help you getting a better ranking unknowingly. So, write for your audience not for the search engines.
#5. Purchase Links
Link building is mandatory to rank on the search engines. This process is not straight and requires a lot of efforts and hard work to get natural backlinks.
But, the site owners often choose the shortcut way for link building like they pay few dollars to purchase thousands of links.
By doing this, you may see temporary success at the beginning and soon enough huge failure. Google’s Penguin Update works in finding such websites who purchase links in exchange of money.
Once it is detected (sooner or later) by the search engines then the consequences could be severe and most probably you will end up losing your rankings.
Google has a very clear view towards their stand against paid links. Matt Cutts shared his opinions on why paid links violate Google’s guidelines here-
#6. Accepting Low Quality Guest Posts
There is nothing wrong accepting guest posts. But, accepting and publishing low quality guest posts can dramatically lower your SEO efforts and ranking.
Publishing new content on a regular basis is a good SEO practice. Therefore, you need to set some guidelines for accepting guest post on your blog to ensure the high quality and relevant content. I will outline here some of the common rules here-
- Your article must contain at least 1000 words
- The post must be relevant to our topics
- Your post must be original
- Add some images or videos to make your post visually appealing
I will show you an example image of guest post guidelines.
#7. Duplicate Content
Publishing duplicate content is another bad SEO technique that really affects so many website rankings right across the World Wide Web. This is simply stealing others content. You copy others content and put it on your website.
The search engines are always looking for fresh and unique content.
If the content have already been published somewhere and indexed by the search engines, there is absolutely no reason to index the same content again as it has nothing new to offer.
So, you need to stop publishing duplicate content and aim to create unique content.
If you really need to put some duplicate content, you should signal to search engines to ‘no follow or no index’ so that they do not have a negative impact on your SEO.
Matt handsomely explained about what Google thinks and how they react to duplicate content here-
#8. Invisible Text
This is one of the keyword stuffing techniques. People use white text on a white background so that more keywords can be used on the page.
You might not be able to see them as the text and background color is same but the bots can. Google bots have automated systems that can track the tiniest flaws on the page. Once you get caught by google, you will be penalized for it.
Therefore, make sure you keep your website “invisible text free”. By following this technique you may see some benefits initially and you might be out of World Wide Web sooner you get caught.
#9. Link Farms
There are many sites or a group that serve and exist for the sole purpose of increasing the link popularity of another website through link exchanges. It is called link farm. It is also one of the most commonly used black hat SEO techniques.
Usually, their websites contain poor quality content and irrelevant to your content and brand. An endorsement from a bad site is much harmful than not having any endorsement at all.
It’s a serious violation of Google’s link scheme. If tracked you may likely be penalized and your site can be banned.
So, just say no to link farms.
To rank higher in search engines it is important to follow the good SEO techniques and avoid the worst SEO techniques. By following some shortcut techniques you may find some good outcomes at the beginning but you will definitely be looser in a long run.
What other bad SEO techniques you recommend others to avoid? Please share with us via comments. 🙂