SEO has been around a long time, quite possible as long as search engines have. The origins have been traced back as early as 1991, which is when the first website was born. Ever since then, it has been growing in an exponential rate as more and more people and companies look to get their content to the top of search results.
With this has come many methods and techniques of how best to do this, along with guides and experts claiming they have the best method and that they can get you to number 1 the fastest. The industry has exploded, and search engines have been working hard to keep up with the latest SEO methods, resulting in countless updates to algorithms and search results.
Along with this comes a long list of things you should not be doing when it comes to SEO if you want to keep your website in the results. Spam has become a major issue, and as a result, all kinds of rules have been imposed to put a stop to spam sites displaying in results. This, however, means that if you have been using what are considered spam techniques, your website could be penalised. So, what should you avoid?
These are the 10 commandments of SEO that Google released as a guide on what not to do:
- Unnatural Link Profile – Forum or blog comment spam as well as exact match anchor text links will lead to suspicion and could see your site go down in ranks, not up. Hacking into sites to inject links is also obviously against Google code.
- Cloak And Use Hidden Text – Using cloaking of content, such as putting white on white text and using hidden divs, will get into trouble with the Google bot and could also see your site going down the ranking ladder.
- Stealing/Duplicating Content – Copying other website’s content is going to see you in trouble as well. While using information with proper citations is fine, but direct copying complete pieces of content, or even worse, whole websites will not get you far at all.
- Spinning Content – Spun content is content that is rewriting to not resemble the original piece and contact specific keywords that are to be targeted while making it look like and original piece. Google is getting much better at detecting spun content, so this no longer works like in the good old days.
- Stuffing Keywords – Filling your website with certain keywords doesn’t help Google to understand what your site is about, and can actually cause it to drop in ranks due to Google classing it as spam.
- Spam Google Maps – There is no point in trying to make fake listings on Google maps, and if you are discovered doing this you will be penalised.
- Creating Microsites – This became a popular technique a few years ago, to build a bunch of small sites targeting a specific area and linking them to your main site. However, Google put a stop to this with the Panda update, and now these can lead to a penalty.
- Selling Links – Selling links, as well as buying them, can lead to a penalty from Google. Obviously, not advertising that you do so would be a good idea, but there are patterns which can reveal it anyhow.
- Go Overboard On Ads – If your website is overstuffed with ads, and particularly if it is light on content, Google will not be happy. Recently they have become very good at detecting if not enough space has been devoted to content, so don’t expect to get away with this.
- Creating Multiple Websites To Rank For The Same Business – This is a very common practice, and it involved making multiple websites so that your business occupies more spots in the results. Google has developed multiple methods for detecting this both manually and automatically. If you are found to be doing this, all your sites will lose their ranking.
Are you new to SEO and need some assistance? Maybe your website has had some of these techniques used on it in the past, which has led to it dropping in ranks. We at YHP are experts in Search Engine Optimisation and we can help you get your website ranking!