EVERGREEN, COLORADO- Recently one of our clients started losing his #1 positions we helped him achieve. Slowly, his ranks dropped to #5, then #7, and so on until he was dropped to the second page. He constantly complained that our team was incompetent and we needed to do more to get his ranks back.
This phenomenon is rare in our company and we couldn’t figure out why this was happening. Finally, the truth was revealed: our client was “helping” with the SEO process by doing what he “read” on the Internet.
What he had read was outdated and now wrong. We quickly identified his SEO missteps and made the necessary to corrections to restore his rankings. However, during the two to three months our client was busy “helping” us, he was missing out on the opportunity to continue his reign at the top position of Google for his keywords.
If you are hands-on with your site’s SEO or want to help your SEO company and make the process faster, you should be aware of what is good for SEO and what is bad. Beware of the following techniques and know that they WILL damage your rankings:
- Reciprocal Linking
Links are the backbone of your site’s SEO success. Everyone knows that without back-links, your site cannot rank well on Google. There are dozens of ways to get links for your site, but you should be aware that reciprocal linking is a practice that has been looked down upon by Google for many years now.
- Buying back-links
This is a big no-no. If you participate in any “scheme” to buy links for your site, including what are called “sponsor listings,” you will sign yourself up to be penalized by Google. Stay away from paying anyone to place a link to your site.
- Using your keywords as text-links
We know that if you want to rank well on Google for a particular keyword, you need to have that keyword as text link from sites that link to yours. But overdoing this WILL PENALIZE your site for that particular keyword.
Anything that looks unnatural to the human eye or to Google’s algorithm is bad SEO practice. There are many examples of over-optimization, but here are a few:
- Keyword stuffing
- Redundant blog tags
- Redundant image tags
- Same header and title tags
- Multiple Google profiles
Having your Google profile is a must, but if you have multiple Google profiles or Google Places accounts, you will certainly damage your rankings on Google.
We all learned in school that plagiarizing results in an “F.” But for some reason, we think copying someone else’s text and putting it on our site is OK. This is very true in the case of e-commerce sites. Most have products that use the same description as the manufacturer or another competitor’s site. After the Google Panda update(s), sites that are plagiarizing are no longer ranking well. So, hire a copywriter and re-write your site’s content, even if it has 10,000 different products. That’s the only way your SEO efforts will succeed.
These are the most common mistakes people make when trying their own SEO. But the story doesn’t end here. There are other things people could do wrong and possibly damage their rankings.