This is intended to help business owners and webmasters avoid a few of the more costly and common SEO mistakes when promoting a web property. The online marketing landscape is filled with information to assist beginners and experts alike. However, one of the more difficult aspects is determining the validity of the information provided. There are a plethora of websites that provide tips on search engine optimisation techniques. Many times the details in one guide conflict with those in another. Distinguishing between truly valuable insights versus guidance that could result in a penalty from Google is akin to navigating a minefield. Listed below are a few of the more common SEO landmines to avoid when optimising a website.
There is no such thing as quick or easy when it comes to SEO. Rather search engine optimisation is a time consuming and often arduous task. Avoid any entity that states otherwise. Let common sense act as a guide with regards to mistakenly falling into a snake oil salesman’s trap that only a few quick tweaks are all that is required. Do not engage in any offerings that promote submissions to thousands of directories or search engines. The truth of the matter is there are only a few major search engines and reputable directories. Google also allows anyone to submit a website for free in their webmaster tools section. Please keep in mind that submitting a site for inclusion within the search engine rankings is quite separate from obtaining top results for specific keyword phrases. The key takeaway here is to avoid the mistake of falling for an offer that sounds easy. Companies would not hire professionals for SEO if they could simply spend a few hundred dollars and use quick and easy techniques to obtain top rankings.
Google’s terms of service specifically advises webmasters not to use automated software. A quick search for SEO software will return millions of results and a few heavily promoted products. Unfortunately, these products tend to target the less educated or beginners looking for a low cost solution. Many of the software programs offer money back guarantees. However, who cares about receiving a few hundred dollars as a refund if Google bans the entire website for violating its terms of service.
Using link networks are a sure-fire way to promptly receive a Google penalty. The Penguin update targets this in an even more aggressive manner than beforehand. There are numerous websites on the internet that promise to assist with search engine optimisation by simply participating in a link network. There are many variations of such networks that range from a basic reciprocal link marketplace to the more sophisticated three-way and paid networks. However, at the end of the day all of them are equally ineffective. Avoid the common mistake of signing up for one of these programs as part of your search engine optimisation efforts.
Another common mistake is for business owners to apply a few older search engine optimisation techniques that worked a decade ago, but are entirely ineffective and perhaps harmful to the dramatically advanced algorithms currently in place. A quick example of this is the placing 30 target phrases in the Meta keywords component of a website’s source code. Apart from the fact that this does not work, it can potentially harm a site’s rankings if keywords are placed in the tag that do not appear on the page itself. Stuffing keywords into a few places of a web page certainly is fast, but the impending harm caused to the website is likely to take place just as quickly.
Avoiding these common SEO mistakes is an excellent starting point. These are of course only a small handful of the numerous pitfalls involved with search engine optimisation. There is a steep learning curve for SEO that requires years to master. During that time competitors generally take advantage of any potential business opportunities. One of the initial steps to creating an effective website is to realise that it is not an easy venture. Search engine optimisation that works focuses on Google’s best practices, which avoids these and other common mistakes.
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