10 SEO Techniques That Are Destroying Your Website
by Vedh Jagadish on Friday Apr 28
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a digital marketing practice that focuses on improving the visibility of your website by increasing the page traffic and page rank through organic and paid methods.
Search engines organise the internet and help bring in targeted traffic to your website. This means that the visitors brought to your website are the ones interested in your offering. And if your website is not recognised (indexed) by such search engines, you miss out on a big opportunity. Hence, to help search engines understand your website and also secure the top spot on the search engine results page (SERP), search engine optimisation is carried out.
SEO techniques may seem straightforward and easy but they’re more complex than you think. You might be completely unaware of the fact that the SEO strategies that you are executing are slowly killing your website.
If you have been executing your SEO tactics and still don’t see your website metrics improving, this article is for you!
Search engines like Google constantly make algorithm changes to help improve the search experience, rooting out the websites that carry out some of the following SEO techniques. Your site can be flagged or blacklisted if you carry out any suspicious SEO techniques.
Being recognized as the top SEO Agency on DesignRush, we definitely understand that there are certain things that any SEO should stay away from. The following are the common, most critical SEO mistakes and Black Hat SEO techniques that you must avoid-
1. Keyword Stuffing
As said earlier, SEO helps search engines to identify or categorise your website as per your offering. One of the prominent ways to identify your website is through keywords.
Keywords are nothing but the words or phrases that strongly represent what your website stands for. This prominence is brought about by its repetitive usage. So this means that the more the keywords, the better right? WRONG!
Search engines easily identify such sites and may not take your website into consideration. There is an optimum number of keywords that you can use for your website content, blog articles, website images etc. This depends on the number of words being used, the search frequency, search trends and more.
2. Short, Keyword-rich Articles
A great way to help your website rank for relevant keywords is by blogging. Writing articles relevant to your offering also helps show your expertise in the field.
Blogging is an art and blogging for keywords is an added ordeal. You need to strike the perfect balance between using the enough number of keywords for search engines and providing an interesting article for the readers.
Often, people end up authoring 300-500 word, keyword rich articles which might not have any effect on the website’s SEO. The optimum length for an article is about 600-700 words. This provides you with enough real estate include keywords and also is an optimum length for readers.
3. Buying Links
This comes from an SEO concept known as “link juice” where, when your site is linked by another site, the dominance, thereby ranking, of your site increases. It is as though the well-ranked site is passing its credibility (juice) to your website by providing a link.
Often, people end up buying links with the notion that the more websites links to yours, the higher your rank will be. DO NOT fall a victim to this idea. Having irrelevant backlinks not only diminishes your website ranking but also brings in irrelevant traffic. This means that your website will not be recognised for your offering, but will be indexed for something entirely different.
4. Comment Spamming
Buying links is a hassle, so why not get links from the comment sections of websites, which is hassle-free and does not cost money?
Comment spamming refers to posting website links in the comment section of several websites for link juice.
Search engine developers are always on the lookout for such groundbreaking SEO tactics and will quickly tweak the search engines to have a negative impact on your website. A majority of the search engines, with their latest algorithm update, do not even consider the links from the comment section. Moreover, the websites themselves screen the comments for such spam.
5. Spammy Outbound links
Your website’s outbound links are also significant factors that affect your website’s SEO. Quality outbound links have proven to have a positive effect on SEO.
The quality of the outbound links is not solely judged by the external website’s rank. It is also determined by the content that appears on your website. Having a keyword rich article with the right amount of words linking to a few relevant websites is better than having a small article that links to many websites.
Website owners often end up selling outbound links in order to monetize their website. This is a very bad practice as in reality you’re just willing to kill your website for money. Search engines often blacklist sites to help protect the internet user and if you end up linking to such websites, it can be fatal.
6. Hidden Keywords and Links
This is a common black hat SEO technique used by many in the 2000s and surprisingly is still being used!
This involves hiding pieces of content from the website visitors by having its colour merge with the background or by code. The intention behind this is to stuff the content with keywords without affecting the visitor’s readability. Thereby you are able to have a keyword rich content and also an interesting article for the reader. These keywords are easily traced by search engines and such methods do not go undetected anymore.
People often resort to altering the meta content of the websites without it being visible to the website visitor through code. These codes are easily identified by the search engines and your website will be quickly penalised.
7. Publishing Duplicate Content
Why go through the ordeal of finding the right keywords and authoring the right content when there are plenty of websites that are already ranking at the top for the same keyword which you can copy?
As easy as it seems, you are completely unaware of the damage that this does to your website. This has severe consequences both from search engines as well as the original owner of that content. Plagiarism is not at all entertained by search engines and is an easy way to get your website blacklisted. The original author of the content may sue you for plagiarism or report your website.
Using plagiarism checking tools helps detect duplicate content to a certain amount that you may also have published unknowingly. It helps you quickly rectify the duplicate content before being penalised by search engines.
8. Article Spinning
So republishing content does not work. What if you could still republish content by changing words, phrases and sentences? Better yet, what if you could automate and use the intelligence of online tools for this process?
This technique of reposting existing content with moderate changes is known as article spinning. Search for “article spinning” and you will find a host of online tools that help you restructuring content. This SEO technique is often used to produce backlinks from external sites or web 2.0 sites.
Search engines strictly do not entertain such content duplication techniques and will easily harm your website metrics.
9. Social Media Spamming
Social media traffic does play a significant role in improving your website metrics but again, it all comes down to the authenticity of the links.
Posting your website links all over social media will not help you fetch relevant traffic to your website. In fact, many times, users will report such spam activities which will further damage your website’s credibility.
Using automated bots to post such website links all over social media impacts your website as well as your social media profile. Social media platforms also take very good care about user experience and if you are detected as a hindrance, your profile might be blocked completely.
10. Link Bait and Switch
This practice evolved from the SEO technique of link baiting. Link baiting is structuring content in such a way that it attracts other websites to link to your content. This is a very successful white hat SEO technique.
Link bait and switch is where you’ve already procured a link from other websites and then go ahead and change the content of the website. This was proving to be a great workaround method for ranking unethical websites.
But search engines caught up real fast and if the anchor text (the word or phrase linking to your website) does not correlate with the content on the website, it will neglect such a link. And if such scenarios occur continuously, your website might be flagged.
SEO is a continuous process and requires constant effort. You will have to regularly conduct SEO audits and keep updated your website. As it is a long-term process, you must certainly stay away from resorting to any black hat SEO techniques. They might prove to be a quick fix to your SEO problems but such SEO strategies harm your website more than anything.