What SEO tricks must I avoid when optimizing my pages?
I think I'm doing all the "right things" to increase my page rank in Google, are there some "wrong things" that I can make sure to avoid?
Oh, you bet there are. Indeed, sometimes I think that there are more things you should avoid then there are things you can do right, and since so many people in the online world (read "SEO consultants") believe that shortcuts are the golden path to success, it's no surprise.
But the general rule is that anything you do on your site or with your pages that isn't "natural", that you couldn't explain to a Google investigator with a straight face, that's something you should avoid. For example, the TITLE tag is important for categorizing a page's content, but Web pages should have one TITLE only. If you've been advised to slip a few dozen extra TITLE tags in so you can load up on keywords, well, that's wrong.
Another common mistake: if you aren't producing text that's intended for a person to read, why is it on your page? You know what I'm talking about, you've seen pages with paragraphs of keywords or key phrases in ever so tiny print on the bottom of the page. Worse, sometimes you don't see these because the Web site developer -- or their dubious SEO consultant -- has advised that having your text the same color as your background is a savvy way to trick the search engines without bothering your visitors. Oh, what a bad idea this is.
Finally, the third of my top three bad ideas is to use gateway or doorway pages. The idea is that if you want to rank highly for a dozen keywords or key phrases, why not produce lots of duplicate pages, each customized for that exact keyword? Not terrible, but when coupled with another common trick, of instantly redirecting the visitor to the standard home page, well, you can see where that's really pretty dirty pool and not at all something you'd do normally.
Why is it such a problem to do these wrong things? I could say that you'll be adversely affecting your karma and that your kids won't look up to you, but that's not a strong motivator for some people - rather inexplicably, if you ask me -- so instead I'll tell you that optimizing your pages with bad or disreputable SEO tricks can result in your getting BANNED from the search engines completely.
Gone, *poof*, with no recourse.
Makes being #317 of 4 million sound like maybe it's not such a bad place, doesn't it?
My book Growing Your Business with Google has an entire chapter detailing lots of different bad ideas from the world of shady SEO and Google itself has a very good summary page aimed at Webmasters that is nonetheless a must-read for any Website owner: Google's Quality Guidelines.
Hope that helps you stay on teh straight and narrow!
More Useful Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Articles:
✔ How do I restructure my Wordpress blog without losing SEO?
I have a wordpress blog that was using categories in the url structure like this: /category_name/post_name/ Then I had read somewhere that if...✔ Change in Web site navigation drops PageRank to zero?
We changed our website recently and also changed the menus on it so some of our pages have a different path now. For...✔ How do I implement add rel=author for Google serps?
I notice that sometimes on the Google search results that the author of the article is displayed next to the match in the...✔ Add a new site to my Google Webmaster Tools account?
Thanks for your earlier blog entry about how to verify my account with Google Webmaster Tools! Now I want to add an additional...✔ How do I verify my site with Google Webmaster Tools?
I've heard that one of the best ways to improve my Google search ranking is to fix anything that's marked as incorrect in...
Let's stay in touch!
Sign up for my weekly AskDaveTaylor Newsletter and you'll receive even more tech and gadget help right to your inbox, along with exclusive news and industry updates. It's good stuff. I promise!
I do have a comment, now that you mention it!
Check This Out Too...
Look for Answers
All Our Categories
Apple iPad Help
Articles and Reviews
Auctions and Online Shopping
Blogs and Blogging
Building Web Site Traffic
Business and Management
Computer and Internet Basics
d) None of the Above
Google Gmail Help
Google Plus Help
Industry News and Trade Shows
iPhone and Cell Phone Help
iPod, Sony PSP and MP3 Player Help
Kindle Fire Help
Mac OS X Help
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Shell Script Programming
Tech Support Video Help
The Writing Business
Twitter, LinkedIn and Social Network Help
Unix and Linux Help
Video Game Tips and Help
Windows PC Help
Find Me on Google+
ADT on G+