In this short space of time, the playing field of getting your site noticed and having quality content has grown exponentially.
Early on, the process was simple.
You would stuff your page with meta-tags and keywords, telling the search engines spider program (or bot) what it contained. But, as the amount of websites grew, certain developers got devious, leading to ‘black-hat‘ SEO manipulation. Essentially, this was all about fooling the search bot into thinking that the content was exactly what was requested.
All to often however, it wasn’t, and this led to google deciding to stop relying so much on meta tags .
However, a persistent myth in SEO revolves around the concept that keyword density ( the number of words on a page divided by the number of instances of a given keyword ) is used by the search engines for relevancy and ranking calculations.
Now, I’ll cover all the things which you shouldn’t do with SEO:
Straight up is duplicating content. New and unique content are essential to ranking well with search engines, such as Google, and copying work can, at best, be seen as SEO manipulation and, at worst, plagiarism.
Every new post you create should be a breath of fresh air on a subject. Non-unique content is not good for SEO.
The reason is that if any search engines already have the same content in their index, there is absolutely no reason to index your web page since it has nothing new to offer.
There are times, however where you will need to duplicate content. In these cases, you should explicitly tell the search engines by using ‘no-follow and no-index’.
A touchy subject, aggressive advertisement can negatively effect your site, sometimes even blacklisting it from servers.
Nobody wants to be flooded with more adverts than content, and on smaller sites it is all too easy to swamp your site with more and more adverts working on a commission or pay per click (PPC) model.
This will drive customers away, not attract them.
Once your site has become known as a heavy advertiser, a lot of search engines and even users will avoid you.
Some servers will even block you. Technical users will even install anti advert software such as Ad-Block.
A more serious problem with advertisements is when you join an affiliate network and are provided with dynamic adverts, something which is common in mobile phone apps.
Unfortunately, you have no control over the adverts and malicious code can slip through – putting you in the dreaded sandbox if you’re a serious offender. This is a dangerous position to be in for any company.
It takes time to build a successful network of trusted and reliable links, and a lot of patience and hard work.
If, instead of doing that, you prefer to take shortcuts, you may see temporary success at the beginning and soon enough huge failure (see #2 about the dreaded sandbox).
Buying links at any point is bad practice – you cannot guarantee the quality of the links or the source.
With so many options these days for speeding up your website, It is inconceivable that you should run slow.
A poorly written website is a security risk. It can make a user frustrated, impatient and angry waiting for a site to load. A typical web user will commonly stay for 8 seconds on a website before they leave (covered in this blog very well).
There are many caching options available. Both a browser cache and a server cache are critically important for serving a webpage to the user. If your site uses a large amount of images, then you need to use a CDN, or content distribution network.
We recommend Cloudflare, a CDN that also has a third level of protection against very serious DDoS attacks. An additional feature useful very monitoring facilities for traffic and bandwidth.
All too often you see a page stuffed to the brim with keywords.
Repeating the same keywords over and over again to optimise your copy, is a very bad SEO practice.
It will discourage your visitors from interacting or reading the content. It’s also a signal for search engines that you are trying to manipulate (trick) their algorithms.
Mentioning your keywords in the title, description, opening paragraph and a couple of more times naturally in the text is enough.
And, despite being disproved time and again, this myth has legs (many SEO tools still feed on the concept that keyword density is an important metric).
Ignore it and use keywords intelligently and with usability in mind.
If you would like help with your sites SEO please contact one of our digital team at [email protected]
Author: Nick Holland, Web Developer, Serendipity2