Most Harmful SEO Strategies to Avoid in 2013 and Further

Nobody wants to work months and years on their site, and then have Google penalize their page or drop their SERP rankings. This costs money, time and frustration. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll have to start everything from scratch. In fact, it could even mean the end of your business, particularly if all (or most of) your traffic relies on organic results.

 

Harmful SEO Strategies

Keyword stuffing

Keyword stuffing occurs when a site is crammed with keywords in order to increase a sites search rank. There are several ways in which you may (and perhaps by accident) be participating in keyword stuffing.

Here’s a list of ways in which this malpractice can occur:

  • Unnaturally repeating keyword phrases throughout content
  • Stuffing keywords in anchor text
  • Creating keyword lists or blocks of keywords
  • Adding irrelevant keywords

You can avoid this tactic by simply creating useful content in which your keywords occur naturally.

Bad Links

Yes, you can have links coming to your site that are bad for you. You’ve probably seen websites that offer no value to anyone and have been created just for link swapping – sometimes called link farms. They encourage you to switch links with them for “SEO Benefit”. Don’t be fooled!

Also, don’t take part in schemes where people will create 100’s or 1000’s of links for you overnight for a cost.

While these sites can seem tempting, beware that a link from a bad site is much more damaging than having no link at all. Google themselves make it public that link buying as an SEO tactic does get punished.

Duplicated content

When you have the same content on several pages on your site, this will not make your site look larger because the duplicate content penalty kicks in. But in some cases (but less, or no penalty risk) duplicated content applies to pages that are also on other sites. For example article syndication. In this case you will not get penalized for using duplicated content. But the ranking of the page where this content is published will be low. Unless you are the original writer of the article.

Solution: keep you site up with only unique content also approach top rated SEO Company.
Risk: ranking penalty, or the risk to get banned from the index.

Cloaking

This is the practice of showing different content to the crawlers than you show to the user. It’s really easy to come up with legitimate ideas as to why you might want to do this. But it does not matter. It’s an emotional issue with the search engines, and they do not accept responsibility for determining your intent. It’s emotional because it was a very popular technique with the Spammers in years gone by.

Search engines periodically implement new bots that they send out for the explicit purpose of detecting cloaking. There is no known technique for cloaking a bot whose name you do not yet know, coming from an IP address you currently don’t know. These new bots easily detect a cloaking implementation.

Link Exchanges and Bad Neighborhoods

 

Linking ordinarily would make you a good neighbor and a good citizen of the Internet. However, just because someone links to you does not obligate you to link back to them. Sometimes you do get judged on the quality of the friends you keep. Google calls spamming sites bad neighborhoods, and linking to them could lower your PageRank.

Link exchanging programs, paid link placement, and other schemes to manipulate Page Rank are far worse sins. You may get away with it for a while, but eventually Google will catch onto the sceme, and your search results will drop like an anchor.  This is essentially what happened in the JC Penny’s incident. The SEO firm they hired (and subsequently fired) created an artificial web of links.

It’s easy to think that some of these tactics will benefit your search engine optimization strategy but they will definitely do more harm than good. If you willingly choose to use these unfavorable techniques you will be killing your credibility and your businesses trustworthiness. You can also assess the credibility of SEO companies buy measuring their practices and standards against what has been outlined above.

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