When performing SEO on your website there are no shortcuts and no way of cheating the system. The goal is to provide great content for your users and to make your website and copy as easy to navigate and identify as possible for Google.
Bad or “Black Hat” SEO practices can quickly send your website plummeting down the ranks of Google’s search results if Google notices what you’ve been doing. We can’t stress enough the importance of practicing good SEO methods.
Below are a list of the worst things you can do when performing SEO and that you should avoid at all costs.
We all know that backlinks are helpful for SEO as they boost the credibility of your website in the eyes of Google. Purchasing links however is a big No!
Many companies offer quick SEO boosts by providing a mass of links to your website, however these always come from poor quality websites that effectively act as giant link factories, spamming out links to anyone who pays for them.
Google quickly picks up on these websites and “fake links” and will in many cases penalise your website if you purchase links.
Backlinks should always be organic. Links will come in time if you keep providing relevant and informative content that is useful to those who read it.
In the early days of websites many developers or webmasters would spam their websites with desired keywords to increase their ranks. Initially this worked well, but Google soon realised what these websites were doing and put a stop to the method.
Your copy should flow organically. If you find yourself trying to jam keywords in where they don’t fit, you are likely keyword stuffing.
In most cases keyword stuffing simply won;t help your cause, however if Google pick up on heavy keyword stuffing across your website as a whole you may find your website is quickly penalised and pushed down the ranks.
Hiding text within your website
More copy on your pages can help your SEO, but often text heavy pages are not great when it comes to the look and design of your website.
Many website owners are enticed to hide text for example placing keywords in white text on a white background, or by placing very tiny text full of keywords at the bottom of their pages where it can’t be seen.
These methods are very deceptive and are in most cases a one way ticket to the bottom of Google’s ranks.
Stealing Content & Duplicate Content
Writing website copy can be hard and time consuming. This has encouraged many website owners in the past to simply copy and paste text from other websites.
This is outright plagiarism and in the eyes of Google is a very big “No No”.
At best plagiarised content will simply be ignored by Google and you will receive no benefit to ranks.
At worst Google will heavily penalise your website shooting you to the bottom of it’s search engine ranks. This can be very hard to come back from, even if you decide to delete the plagiarised material.