Search Engine Optimization - 10 things to avoid
Sometimes, even after creating really useful and unique contents and doing search
engine optimization, your web page or website may be getting ranked poorly in google
search results. We keep on wondering what went wrong and invest a lot of time on
keyword research and further optimization. We also try to get back-links, post in
social networking sites and wait for good result to come but still if your search
engine ranking is not improving, you may have been penalized by google. Here are
10 most common mistakes people commit while doing search engine optimization:
For creating an attractive and catchy website, you may use a lot of images, flash,
scripts, frames, etc. which increase your page size and eventually loading time.
Search engines tend to ignore the slower websites. Also if you are putting a lot
of contents or links in images and flash, you are hiding this information from Google.
Try to limit the multimedia files and do keep a watch on your page loading time.
While search engine optimization is alright, don’t overdo. Remember, you are creating
the website for humans and not for search engines. If your web page is filled up
with keywords and a lot of links, Google considers it as spamming and may penalize/permanently
ban your website. Put appropriate ‘alt’ tag for describing the image, not to just
pass a ‘keyword’ with it.
Multiple pages with same contents
Do you have multiple pages with same or almost similar contents? It may be possible
that you are putting the same content on your regular site and in blog post. You
may have different versions of the same page – regular, printer-friendly, text-only,
mobile-friendly, etc. Remember, Google will consider these as duplicate contents
and may penalize you for doing that. The solution is simple – tell search engines
that this is my preferred version and others are duplicate ones by using <rel
Non-genuine search engine optimization services
Don’t get into trap of SEO companies which claim to put you on top rankings in search
results. While few good companies may actually help you with legitimate optimizations,
others use deceptive methods (like cloaking, non-genuine back-links, search engine
only pages, etc.). While your ranking may improve overnight with these tactics by
these SEO companies, your website can be banned or heavily penalized if google establishes
your affiliation with these services.
Participating in affiliate marketing
After Panda update, the websites which heavily promote products or services by affiliate
marketing are being ignored by google. While I am not advising you to stop affiliate
marketing, try to avoid or minimize it on your home page. Your website should add
value to the visitors by displaying unique and helpful description about the product
or service. If google finds that you are using the same description or content as
other affiliate websites of the same network, your search result will definitely
Make sure that your website is not affected by virus or Trojans. If it is so, Google
may believe that you are trying to pass malicious programs to your visitors and
can permanently ban your website. You should regularly visit 'Google webmaster tools'
website to ensure that everything is alright!
Participation in Link building schemes
Don’t get involved in link building schemes or purchasing back-links. Generally
these back-links are from websites which are not related to yours and add very less
value for getting you better ranks. Google gives less importance to the reciprocal
links. Some website offer group linking services (A links to B, B links to C and
C links to A), don’t get fooled. Search engines can now detect this tactic and penalize
your site for doing that.
Use of query string or session parameters in URL
If you are using ‘query string’ or ‘session’ parameters in URL, your web page may
actually be inaccessible to search engines. Try to use static URL, free from any
session object where possible. The studies show that search engines tend to rank
static websites better that dynamic ones because of complex URLs. Try to keep your
URL simple and easy to understand.
Redirecting to new or other domain
Try to avoid redirecting as far as possible. If absolutely necessary, use ‘301 http
redirect’ instead of ‘meta-refresh’ to redirect your users to other domain. Use
of ‘301 http redirect’ informs the search engines that the web page has moved permanently
to the specified domain. Avoid redirecting to any new domain, as it is commonly
used by spammers and search engines always have an eye on it.
More common mistakes
Some common mistakes to avoid for search engine optimization are:
- Use of same title and meta-description for many pages
- Short or long title or meta-descriptions
- A lot of broken links
- Linking to a blacklisted website unknowingly as the original site is no longer available
- Use of invisible or hidden text or content
- Linking to an invisible or 1 pixel image
- Excessive advertisement
What do you do to avoid getting penalized while doing SEO?