There are many so-called SEO pundits who claim that they possess all the effective SEO strategies and tactics that every website owner should employ to rank high in the search engine page results (SERP). But their claim is definitely unimportant and quite difficult to substantiate, for SEO strategies and tactics have been radically changing throughout the years, and it is safe to say that what may be true and workable today in SEO, may no longer be effective tomorrow. The reason for this is that Google, as a huge search engine is really evolving. If Google wants to be true to its original goal—“to organize all of the world’s information and make these information accessible and useful to everyone”—then, Google will always be upgrading its algorithms to weed out the web of black-hat SEO tricks and websites with useless and bad contents.
The almighty Google, from time to time, has rolled out various updates to improve searches and to weed out the web of duplicate and “not-so-informative” contents. Hence, anyone who wants to master the art of SEO should also know how to figure out and understand the ranking algorithms of Googles. SEO is like having a keen insight into Google ranking algorithms, and the keener your insight into Google ranking algorithms, the better you can engage in search engine optimization.
Yet, Google ranking algorithms, as said earlier, are also changing. Since 2003, Google had already rolled out updates such as Florida, Big Daddy, Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, and Pigeon. These updates have greatly improved searches and have slowly weeded the web of websites that have been engaging in black hat SEO practices. When Penguin, for example, was released in October 2012, it affected websites with too little content and too many ads. Hummingbird update, on the other hand, improved contextual searches. Now, it seems that every new update of Google is shaking up the search engine rankings. With Google algorithms constantly updating from time to time, it is easy to understand how difficult it is for a website owner to perfectly figure out Google’s ranking algorithms. However, it is always advantageous for a website owner to know which bad SEO practices to avoid.
SEO Mistakes You Should Avoid
SEO is basically pleasing Google! It implies configuring your website in such a way that Google will be prodded to rank your website high in the SERP. But why is it necessary for a website to rank high in the SERP? The answer to this query is quite obvious—the higher your website ranks in the SERP, the greater your website chances of being clicked upon by searchers. This is basically the main reason why website owners vie for the first top three rankings in SERP, because seldom do searchers click beyond the top three results in the SERP whenever they search for information, service, or products online.
There are basically two types of SEO—off-page SEO and on-page SEO, and any website that wants to reach the pinnacle of SERP should utilize the important off-page and on-page SEO. Websites basically reach the top ranking by avoiding SEO pitfalls, and here are some common on-page and off-page SEO mistakes that usually sucked a website into the vortex of oblivion:
On-page SEO mistakes
On-page SEO plays a critical role in the ranking of your page. Hence, it is necessary to create a good website, while avoiding some of these on-page SEO pitfalls:
• Failure to create a highly optimized meta-description tag.
• Overstuffing your web pages with keywords.
• Inability to optimize your URL.
• Failure to improve your site by adding images that can bolster the attractiveness of your site.
• Failure to individualize your pages.
• Not stuffing your site with informative and useful contents.
• Inability to create a mobile-friendly and dynamic website
Off-page SEO Mistakes
Off-page SEO complements on-page SEO, and if you err or fail on off-page SEO, you may end up having a website that is flagged down by Google. Hence, it is important that you know which off-page SEO practices to avoid. Here are some off-page SEO practices that you should avoid.
• First, you should avoid black hat SEO tricks. There are many devious SEO experts who always want to circumvent the Webmaster guidelines of Google. Webmaster guidelines are very succinct in telling website owners about the basic principles that they should comply with. The webmaster guidelines say that you should “make pages primarily for the end-users, and not for search engines.” Hence, if you use black-hat tricks, Google may slap your website with penalties and even flag it down.
• You fail to add your business to important directories. It is the usual tendency of a website owner to feverishly engage in SEO practice like adding one’s business to every directory that comes to sight online. This may be inappropriate and may not be helpful to your ranking. You should instead choose the directories that will really help your business and website, and you should only add your business to directories that are popular and relevant to your business.
• Hesitating to create awesome blogs for your site will surely be disadvantageous to your website. Some website owners have the tendency to create awesome blogs that they usually post on other sites with links going back to their websites. These may be great for link building purpose, but your site also needs awesome blogs that are capable of drawing people to your site. If you can create awesome blogs for other sites, then you should also create fantastic blogs for your site.
• Inability to create links to High PR Sites will not help your website ranking. Despite the warning by some pundits against creating artificial links to other websites, it is still very important—if you want your site to be ranked higher by almighty Google—to create links to high PR websites. These links will surely bolster your website ranking and create an impression in the eye of Google that your website is reliable and informative. Moreover, it will increase the link juices that flow towards your website, for it is these link juices that are highly considered by googlebots whenever they assess the merit of a website.
• Leaving spammy comments on some blogs or forums is not a good SEO practice. If Google algorithms are primitive, Google will definitely not figure out if your comments are spammy or not. However, Google algorithms are constantly improving, and there are new Google updates every year that further improve Google algorithms. Likewise, the googlebots—those virtual robots that are tasked by Google to search the web for spammy comments and websites that use black hat tricks—have greatly improved. For this reason, if you still practice leaving spammy comments on other website, you should relent, and instead focus more on using other SEO tactics and strategies that really work well to improve your website ranking.
by Aia Laser, CEO Inter-Dev Web Marketing Ltd