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10 SEO Sins That Will End Your Google Career Forever!

Many of us take our appearance in Google search results for granted. While it requires a lot of effort to rank #1 for popular queries , ...

10 SEO Mistakes

Many of us take our appearance in Google search results for granted. While it requires a lot of effort to rank #1 for popular queries, it doesn't take rocket science to get your site into Google's index. Well, getting into the index once isn't difficult, but doing it again is after your site has been kicked out. Yes, the biggest bully on the internet could decide to remove your website altogether in a day. But not without reason. If you know anything about SEO in 2014, you should know better than to make these mistakes.

1. Buying Links

Need we even discuss this one? There are tonnes of so called 'SEO firms' out there promising to sell quality links. The tragedy isn't in the existence of such firms - it is in people falling for such scams more often than not.

Most often, the links these companies 'sell' are from cheap or spammy sites. Even if they promise high-quality links, changes are good that these links won't even be relevant. It's like having a doctor write up our letter of recommendation for your IT job interview - it just doesn't work, and definitely doesn't help. And that is the best case scenario. Often, these links are from cheap and spammy websites.

Best stay away from them because Google takes the strictest action against buying links.

2. Bad Link Directories

This is a very common mistake people make - submitting their sites to whatever link directories they can find. Google's Matt Cutts recently addressed the question in a video, and we elaborated on that quite a bit. I'd highly recommend you read the following article.

The bottom-line is, most link directories are not relevant, and hence links from them will only hurt you. Even if they are relevant, the effect of the link diminishes with as the total number of listed sites increases, in which case they're still not helpful. Only rarely do link directories help (read the article for our insight!)

3. Article Marketing

The idea is you could write an article, “spin” multiple versions of it, making small adjustments to the wording, and then submit those versions to different websites that collect free articles in exchange for a link back to your site. Back in the 2000s, this method worked very well, and sites like Ezine Articles and Articles Base rose to popularity. But today, the technique is no longer useful.

Google used to think that the different links from the spun articles were really unique. But over the years, their algorithm has gotten better and better at sniffing out articles with small variations. Articles that used to rank for years are now plummeting, because Google recognizes them for what they are: spam.

4. Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing is one of the most common SEO mistakes. One of the most common SEO mistakes that looks dumb too. I am sure you hate most common SEO mistakes too.

See what I did there? Not only is the above sentence wordy and redundant, it also has the key-phrase "most common SEO mistakes" stuffed three time when once was enough. I wrote like that to make a point. People put in excess keywords to get attention from search engines. But as you know, Google now knows better. You’ll attract Google for sure, swiftly followed by a kick down the results pages.

5. Unnatural Anchor Text

Anchor text is the text that has a hyperlink attached to it. Anchor text helps Google determine the relevance of a link. For example, the link "Blogger widgets" should be about widgets for Blogger. But some people try to best the system by building spam links, and using the terms they want to rank for as the anchor text, hoping it’ll increase their chances of getting ranked. For example, using the "Blogger widgets" anchor text for a link to an ad.

Some people also use the same anchor text over and over again. If I wanted to link back to this site, I wouldn't use the "Blogger tricks" keyword every time. Duplicate and irrelevant anchor text will definitely land you a Google penalty.

6. Broken Links

You have some content, maybe a product review that has won over a reader, who now wants to become a customer. They are enthusiastic and click on the link that should take them to the purchase page.

Poof, 404!

Aaaand, you've lost a customer.

Sites naturally accumulate broken links: however they’re a major nuisance to your visitors and Google doesn’t like them either. But, if they’re so natural, why does Google penalize you for them? It’s because bad links will earn you a bad reputation. And people with online reputations aren't viewed as authorities on anything (apart from getting bad reputations, that is).

Anyway, Google downgrades rankings of sites with lots of issues like this, so don’t be a rebel without a cause. Do some regular housekeeping on your site.

7. Content Cloaking

Cloaking content is a ruthless black hat SEO technique. Cloaking means hiding some content from the search engine, or displaying a version of some text to the search engine that is different from the one presented to the user. This is usually used in over-promotion, phishing, etc.

Hidden text is text that is made invisible to the readers so that they can't see what they're clicking on. This trick can be achieved by playing around with colors. For example, white text won't show against a white background. These techniques are unethical, and cheap. And by now, you should know better than to use them.

8. Excessive internal-linking

Interlinking content within your site is a great SEO practice. We always recommend people to interlink more often. But there's a catch. In an attempt for over-optimization, some webmasters interlink so much that there are more than a couple links in any given post pointing at the same page. And to make matters worse, they might even link repeatedly to their home pages. Well that, my friends, is a recipe for disaster.

9. Duplicate content

It often happens that those who are unable to write good quality content themselves resort to underhand means of obtaining such content. Since they don't have much content to write about, they re-use content from others. While quotes and stuff are okay, copying entire paragraphs off others' posts and rephrasing them is just plain wrong.

10. Non-unique title and meta descriptions

Sometimes CMSs like Drupal and WordPress auto-generate page titles, but that doesn’t mean you should let this continue. The title tag is one of the most important on-page SEO factors, and so is the meta description. Both these tags describe your content to users on search engines, so naturally they get more attention from Google than your other content. Make sure each page on your site has a unique title and meta description, otherwise you'll have a lot to pay for!

Do you make these 10 SEO mistakes? If not, then let's see if you can pass the next challenge. Head over to the link below and see where you belong!

Further reading: Correct vs Wrong SEO Techniques for Bloggers



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Experience Lab - Online business creation and development guide for bloggers and startups: 10 SEO Sins That Will End Your Google Career Forever!
10 SEO Sins That Will End Your Google Career Forever!
Experience Lab - Online business creation and development guide for bloggers and startups
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