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WORST PRACTICES THAT HURT YOUR SEO RANKINGS

SEO can enhance your website’s standings in search engines such as Google. Bringing you more traffic, more clicks, and more conversions.

However, poor SEO can harm your search engine standings and visibility. Costing you time and money.

Fortunately, subpar SEO is under your control.

To prevent it from harming your website’s standings and reputation, understand these seven typical poor SEO practices. And how you can correct or evade them.

But first, let’s describe poor SEO and its repercussions.

What is Bad SEO?

Poor SEO is any strategy that damages your rankings, delivers an inferior user experience (UX), or violates Google’s guidelines. These practices are frequently obsolete SEO strategies.

However, inadequate SEO can also occur inadvertently. For example, your website contains numerous duplicate content instances that were previously unknown to you.

Or, deliberate. Such as attempting to manipulate a search engine algorithm through unethical methods.

What are Unscrupulous SEO Techniques?

Unscrupulous SEO methods are strategies employed to boost your site’s standings which defy search engine rules. These methods are employed to manipulate an algorithm of a search engine.

Conversely, moral SEO methods are strategies utilized to enhance your website’s rankings that adhere to search engine rules.

Attempting to capitalize on vulnerabilities in a search algorithm will probably catch up with you. As search engines progress, unethical SEO practices are becoming simpler to detect. And the consequences for being caught frequently aren’t worth the gamble.

What Is a Google Penalty?

A Google penalty (also called a manual action) may occur when the search engine concludes your site isn’t adhering to its search directives.

Essentially, it’s a consequence if Google believes you’re employing unethical SEO methods.

Google maintains stringent guidelines regarding technical prerequisites, spam regulations, and optimal methodologies. Your capacity to achieve high rankings in Google—or even appear in search outcomes in general—relies partly on compliance with these directives.

A Google sanction can be exceedingly detrimental to your enterprise. And must be evaded at every expense.

7 Worst SEO Practices

Acquaint yourself with these typical SEO errors. 

  1.  Low-Quality Content: High-quality information is one of the foundational pillars of SEO. So, naturally, subpar information can result in poor SEO.

Generating inferior information in an attempt to save time or money will probably achieve the opposite outcome. It can lead to subpar search standings, minimal conversions, and a blow to your brand’s reputation.

A piece of information might be of lesser quality if it:

  1. Isn’t unique
  1. Doesn’t address the user’s search query (i.e., what they entered into Google before arriving at your page)
  1. Doesn’t substantiate claims with evidence and references
  1. Contains numerous grammatical or spelling mistakes
  1. Has low readability
  1. Lacks E-E-A-T

E-E-A-T signifies Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

It’s particularly critical in “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) content—such as health and financial guidance—which can impact someone’s well-being.

E-E-A-T isn’t a formal ranking component. However, it is part of Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines. This document is a guidebook Google’s Quality Raters utilize to evaluate content.

2. Duplicate content: Copy content refers to pages constructed with identical content. Or nearly identical, with a few words altered here and there.

By its nature, copied content is not original. And lack of originality can indicate substandard content.

There exist several potentially adverse outcomes of copy content, such as:

  • Reduced page rankings
  • Inaccurate rendition of a page appearing in Google outcomes
  • Indexing challenges

All of the aforementioned can result in a decrease in site traffic.

Duplicate content can occur unknowingly.

For instance, if unintentionally generating a new piece of content on a subject you already possess a page about. Or publishing variations of pages (like distinct U.S. and U.K. versions of a page).

Uncover the tool and select “Generate project.”

Modify your settings and commence an examination of your site.

Once your audit is complete, you will see an overview of your site’s status. 

Click on the “Issues” tab and look for the term “duplicate content.”

Here, you’ll observe a warning message for any copy content problems on your website.

Tap on the hyperlink in the error notification to obtain additional information regarding your copied content.

Once you’ve identified the issue, you can prevent it from impacting your SEO.

3. Too Many Ads Above the Fold: Exhibiting excessive ads above the fold may adversely affect your website.

Advertisements can serve as an excellent method to monetize your website. And positioning them prominently where more individuals are likely to view and interact with them is frequently prudent.

Nevertheless, possessing a “top-heavy” webpage indicates you have an overabundance of ads above the fold—the initial visible section of your site before a user scrolls down.

For instance:

Top-heavy pages might face penalties in search engine standings. Additionally, an excess of ads above the fold could dissuade users from remaining on your website.

4. Keyword Stuffing: Keyword stuffing involves artificially cramming your content with keywords.

This tactic renders content unnatural and challenging for users to read. Furthermore,  it may provoke a manual intervention from Google.

It’s an obsolete SEO technique that was previously widespread for manipulating the Google search algorithm. However, the algorithm has advanced to identify stuffing, and this practice can hinder rather than help your SEO endeavors.

Keyword stuffing compromises the quality of content. Writing simply to insert keywords often produces lackluster—and occasionally perplexing—content.

5. Toxic Backlinks: Harmful inbound links are links that might impede your site’s visibility in Google outcomes.

These potentially damaging inbound links are usually obtained through what Google terms “link spam.”

In its link spam directives, Google provides these instances:

1.  Purchasing or vending links

2.  Trading links for currency, items, services, or examples

3.   Extreme link exchanges 

4.  Partner pages solely for linking purposes

5.  Utilizing automated programs or services to generate links to your site

6.  Mandating a link as part of an agreement

7.  Paid advertisements with optimized links

8.  Low-quality directory or bookmark site links

9.  Keyword-rich, concealed, or low-quality links embedded in widgets

10.  Links in the footnotes or formats of content that appear on other sites

11.  Discussion board comments with optimized links

Having links that seem to originate from one of these spammy methods might result in a Google sanction.

6. Content Spinning: Content spinning (also known as article spinning) happens when you adopt another person’s content, adjust it slightly, and then release it on your personal site.

Essentially, it’s thinly masked appropriation.

Therefore, even if you’re astute in modifying words occasionally, posting rotated content can impair your SEO.

  1.  Over-Optimized Anchor text: Anchor text is equally important for user engagement.

Here’s a demonstration of a link where “rankings on Google” is the anchor wording.

An illustration of a link where “rankings on Google” is the anchor wording

Links assist Google in crawling and indexing your site. By guiding crawlers from one page to another pertinent page. And anchor wording also aids those crawlers in comprehending the subject matter of the linked-to page.

Anchor text guides users to pertinent resources. And informs them of what to anticipate if they click on the link.

However, some SEO experts misuse anchor wording by excessively optimizing it.

Excessively optimized anchor wording is packed with keywords in an effort to elevate the ranking of the linked page for those keywords. Here’s a demonstration from Google of excessively optimized anchor wording:

An illustration from Google of excessively optimized anchor wording

These anchor wordings are keyword-rich terms—and obscure. They depend on using high-value keywords to the detriment of the user experience. They fail to distinctly indicate what lies beyond the link.

Conclusion

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