Businesses use several methods to attract customers and improve brand presence online. Driving targeted traffic to the company's website remains one of the most effective ways to do this. SEO still remains one of the most effective and sought after methods for driving traffic to a website or blog.
How we do SEO has changed significantly in the past few years. Recent updates to Google's algorithm have changed the way businesses build links and do SEO in general. In this article we take a look at SEO tactics that have a negative effect on your SEO efforts.
Here are ten SEO tactics your business should avoid at any cost. These methods harm your ranking on prominent search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
1. Keyword Stuffing
It is generally accepted that keywords should occur a few times within your web page content. Some businesses however take this too far and attempt to stuff the web page with multiple occurrences of keywords at the cost of natural language. Businesses should avoid stuffing keywords This can damage your optimisation efforts. Try to use synonyms instead of repeating the same phrase and spread them throughout the page instead.
2. Low Quality Blogs
This occurs when a business set-up several low quality blogs on free blog platforms with the sole intention of generating back-links or diverting traffic to their company's website or to their primary blog. On many occasions, software or online services are used to post or replicate content automatically to all the blogs. The result is usually multiple low quality blogs with duplicate content and tons of back links. Although this technique can get you a lot of back-links, these links will be of a low quality and can actually harm your ranking on Google. It is also bad for branding.
3. Content Spinning
Content spinning is an SEO technique whereby multiple low quality versions of the same content is created and published on multiple sites to obtain back-links and dive referral traffic. Spinning poor quality versions of the same content to trick search engine crawlers into believing the content is unique should be avoided at any cost. If you want to reuse content, spend some time to offer a different spin or cover the same topic from a new angle.
4. Comment Spamming
Blog commenting is a very effective way to build back links and drive traffic to your website. It also gets extra exposure for your brand and gets your business noticed online. However, it is important to comment on quality blogs only that are relevant to your niche and to make sure your comments add value to the discussion. Comment spamming i.e. commenting on irrelevant blogs or leaving poor quality comments purely for the same of back links should be avoided.
5. Domain Squatting
Domain squatting is a technique where a business registers several domains to benefit from referral traffic and back links.
Some businesses purchase many exact match domains that are easier to rank for the desired keywords and then use to redirect users towards their company's website. Others get domain names that contain popular branded names with the intention of benefiting from the association. It is important for businesses to avoid this practice as Google has recently updated its algorithms to penalise businesses for using exact match domains with this intention.
6. Leveraging Misspelt Domain Names
This happens when a business tries to take advantage of popular, high traffic domain names by registering commonly misspelt versions of the original name. This technique is not only frowned upon by Google but is also damages your company's credibility and brand.
7. Buying Links
Some businesses make the mistake of buying links from other websites in order to influence their website's rank on search engines. If not done correctly, this has a very high likelihood of getting penalised by Google. Google recommends using the"no-follow" attribute with your purchased links to avoid being penalised whist still benefiting from traffic. This informs search engines not to pass link juice that influences the rank on search results.
8. Multiple Mirror Sites
Another common SEO malpractice is setting up multiple mirror sites with identical content. This is typically done in order to build an online presence for each of the mirror sites and then divert users back towards the primary website, or to obtain back-links in bulk. Google treats this as duplicate content and can penalise your website for this practice.
9. Content Scraping
Content scraping occurs when content is scraped in bulk from other external websites in direct violation of copyright laws. In most cases, this is done without crediting the author, and without linking back to the original source which is. In addition to getting penalised by Google, you can be fined for copyright infringement, if the owner of the original content decides to pursue the matter legally.
10. Social Media Automation Overuse
If done correctly, social media automation can prove very beneficial for businesses. While there is nothing wrong in using tools to automatically post new content from your website or blog to your social media profiles, overuse of automation can be detrimental to your brand and have a negative effect on your Internet marketing efforts.
The perfect example of overuse is automatically sending a tweet or posting to your Faceook page every few minutes, with the intention of profiting from back-links and referral traffic. Automation should be used alongside manual updates, and not as a replacement.
11. Lack of Anchor Text Variation in Back-links
Building quality back-links to a website is one of the most important factors for improving your search engine rank. The use of keywords in the anchor text of back links is a common SEO practice to improve the rank for that keyword. However, recently Google has updated its algorithms and has started to penalize websites for using identical anchor text as it appears unnatural. It has hence become essential to use variations and synonyms where possible.
SEO is still one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to a website. However, the way we do SEO is changing. Search engines are becoming increasingly inept at recognising practices that are aimed solely at influencing search engine rank and have started penalizing websites for it. Discussed above are ten such SEO practices that your business must avoid at any cost. This will ensure a natural improvement in your search engine rank over time and reduce the risk of such penalties.