Knowing how to do SEO effectively is vital for your ranking in Google. But if you do it wrong, your site will suffer in the numbers. In the worst case, it could be delisted.
Below are some of the worst SEO practices on record, so be sure you’re never guilty of doing any of these!
1. Generated Content
A common black-hat SEO strategy is to have a bot write your content. You’ve probably seen content that a content generator produced. You know it’s not from a human because it’s hard to read and makes little sense. But it contains keywords!
This is an awful SEO tactic that saves the website owner time, but the results are nothing but bad. First, everyone who sees the content knows it’s spam. Second, Google will penalize you harshly.
2. Linking To Bad Sites
Link building isn’t dead; it still achieves a respectable rank in Google if you do it right. But if you link to bad sites, you’ll have problems.
Google will look at the links and text on the page around the link. If most of your links are on sites with irrelevant content or spam, your site may be penalized. Even if you wrote good content, the quality of the sites you’re linking to matters a great deal.
3. Stuffing Meta Keywords
Like adding backlinks in comments, this SEO technique doesn’t work anymore. It’s unclear why people still do it.
When the Internet was “little,” the keyword metatag was effective for boosting your rank. But this method hasn’t worked well for years.
4. Copying Content
Even if you wrote the best post about dishwashers ever, you can’t reprint that content on ten different pages on your site to build size and save time. Some people believe if they wrote the content, they may reuse it.
But Google notices when you repeat the same text on your site several times, and it cares. You need to take the trouble to create new content for each page, or the search engines won’t trust you.
5. Copying Another Person’s Content
The only thing worse than copying your own content is duplicating someone else’s. Google regards copied content as plagiarism and a display of insufficient effort. For ideal results, write new content all the time and do an excellent job.
This is the term for showing one form of content to Google and another to your site visitors. Site owners who use this technique want to hide something from search engines, such as ads, spammy links, and auto-generated content. Search crawlers can figure this out and will penalize your site when they catch it.
7. Keyword Stuffing In Links
This is one of the worst things you can do in SEO land. It’s essentially holding up a flare and begging Google to penalize you.
The most blatant way you can commit this crime is to do it on another person’s site with a guest post. It’s recommended that you insert about one link for every 125 words, at most.
Remember, if you stuff keywords, you’ll be hurting both your site and the other guy’s. So please don’t do this.
8. Buying Links
Google frowns upon link buying and website owners selling links. Link buying is an excellent way to get a harsh Google penalty.
Links should be about connecting readers to helpful content and, essentially, voting for sites that have the most value to them. Buying your way to top rankings is cheating, and Google will nail you.
SEO has changed a lot in the past few years. What worked at one time doesn’t anymore. If you are doing SEO that attempts to take shortcuts, save time, and deceive, you’re going to get caught, and all your work will be for naught.
Instead, focus your efforts on legitimate link building and quality content for long-term success.