If you’re investing in SEO for your website, you want to make sure you’re doing so in the right areas. It can sometimes be tempting to try shortcuts but this can often lead to negative impacts once search engines pick up on them and either give you a manual penalty or update their algorithm to negate the shortcut.
What Is Google’s Aim?
One of the best questions to ask when deciding whether a technique is good or bad is ask whether it meets Google’s aims. This can be found on their how search works mission page.
In short this looks at 3 areas which will affect how search engine results pages (SERPs) look like:
- Deliver the most relevant and reliable information available
- Maximise access to information
- Present information in the most useful way
If the improvements you’re making to your website aren’t around this the effects of your SEO efforts may be limited or may be removed in the future.
Top SEO Techniques To Avoid
With Google’s Aims in mind here are some of the top SEO techniques that you’ll probably want to avoid.
You want to rank for a keyword? Let’s put it on the page as many times as possible.
This is a technique that worked a long time ago, but no longer. Search engines have improved vastly over the years and now have a good understanding of language and have implemented different natural language models into their algorithms.
This means that you can focus on writing for the people visiting your website rather than for search engines. As long as you understand the search intent and what the user is expecting to read about, you can write the rest normally and search engines will have enough understanding to try and rank the content for relevant keywords.
Cloaking is a technique where you show one thing to search engines and another to the end users in order to try and improve rankings. Search engines have had to get around this and will punish your website if they find you’re trying to do this. Rankings are based upon what search engines see and they want to make sure that the end users are getting the same.
Poor content can mean a various number of things. Some of the worst techniques come from people trying to get mass content onto their websites and essentially use machines to write content. This uses things such as spun content to get the content from other changes with it being changed slightly by a program.
This can lead to some pretty poor content that doesn’t read well to humans. We’d suggest making sure all your content is written by a person and also get at least one other person to read it through for you. This way you can make sure it reads well and can help avoid having poor content.
Low Quality Links
“I’ve heard I need links to rank”, this is something we hear over and over and we often find that people not within SEO think this just means quantity by any means. Link building should be seen as quality over quantity. Techniques you should avoid are things such as adding links to comments and paid for guest blog posts. (There are other reasons why you may want to pay for a guest post, but not just for links)
The main thing to remember when building links is this is used by Google to see if a page is “relevant and reliable”. If you get a link from a relevant and reliable website it is going to help prove that your website is also relevant and reliable.