It bears repeating that search engines want to find and offer quality content. Search engines hate to see web pages that don’t meet their searcher’s needs or worse: attempt to scam or defraud them. Without these rules, the internet would not be where it is today! Search engines look for a cluster of signals that indicate if a web page is unreliable or not good value for their customer.
Don’t get on Google’s “unreliable” list; avoid these 6 SEO mistakes when creating your new, awesome SEO strategy!
1. Keyword Stuffing
10 years ago, marketers thought that if search engines are looking for keywords and phrases, then you should stuff your text full of these words and phrases!! Brilliant right? That was early SEO thinking. This approach produces meaningless content that does not match the searchers’ intent. Google uses AI (RankBrain and now BERT) that look for the context and natural use of keywords and phrases throughout text.
So, what does that mean for keyword stuffing?
Don’t use keywords for the sake of it – use natural language that explains the intent behind the searchers’ query. This approach means using a variety of words and phrases that relate to the key topic rather than obsessing about putting one work in every sentence, title tag, and alt text. You need a percentage of keywords and phrases in your content, but an excess will work against you and downgrade your site.
2.Link Buying or Excessive Link Exchanging
What’s wrong with buying a link to your website?
A link is a vote – a politician buying votes is rightly hounded from office because a vote is a voluntary decision by the voter. Plus, a website that is in the business of selling links to other websites isn’t an authority website – how can it be? Its business model is to sell links rather than to provide an excellent user experience. You have a website, and your friend has a website – you vote for them, and they vote for you because that’s what friends do, they support each other. One link between friends is reasonable, but constantly exchanging pats on the back. Publicly? Not so reasonable. Also, one link is worth more than many links. Too many links from and to one website downgrade your ranking because it looks and feels suspicious and false. The best links occur naturally – you can promote your content and encourage others to link, but don’t try and rig the system.
Ads make money for site owners, and it makes sense to capitalize on your web traffic. For SEO purposes, you need a balance between ads and their placement and how your users feel about them. If the first item a user sees when they arrive on your page is an ad rather than the content that attracted them, they are likely to bounce away. The same applies if they need to fight their way through the ads to get at the content. Annoying ads are bad SEO and reduce your ranking. You can run ads on your pages, but not at the expense of user experience if you want a top ranking.
4.Mobile App Interstitials
An interstitial ad covers the full screen. Sometimes you can close it down straight away and get back to what you were doing. Other times you must wait for a suitable point to break free, which can be up to five seconds. Mobile app interstitial ads are not only irritating to the user; they can result in your website downgraded as less mobile-friendly than other websites.
Some mobile app interstitials do not penalize your rankings because they are necessary:
- Legislation – cookie usage, for example.
- Verifying your age for adult content.
Interstitial ads are a useful marketing tool, but only if you apply best practices, and avoid damaging your mobile-friendly status.
Duplicated content is the same block of text that appears multiple times. Ideally, all your content is unique and different from other web pages. Having the same content on two separate web pages may mean that neither page ranks as well as it might if there was only one version.
Duplicate content is an issue, but there is no reason to become excessively concerned other than the fact that it is damaging to your page ranking.
Plagiarism or passing off someone else’s work as yours and breaching their Copywrite is a crime. If another website copies your content, you can sue if the breach is damaging to your reputation. If you use someone else’s content without permission or indicating source, you risk legal action against you. You can repost material that is in the public domain.
6.Hidden Text and Links
If you are contemplating using this technique, you are deep in black hat territory, and the long-term penalties outweigh the short-term gain. It was a popular strategy in the early 2000s. It acted to present the search engine crawlers with different information for ranking to the content from the user experience – a bit like writing with invisible ink. Some hidden content is essential to run a responsive website and to make the pages user-friendly. These hidden texts and links do not damage your search engine rankings because they are known to have a practical rather than a fraudulent purpose.
Interested in partnering with an agency to get your SEO up and running?
Connect with a Varga SEO expert regarding a custom strategy today.