When it comes to Digital Marketing, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tops the list for improving your website ranking, on various search engines (predominantly Google). However, there are some bad SEO practices that are not very uncommon but can damage your website ranking and reach severely. Before moving on to knowing what those bad SEO practices are, let’s shed some light on what Search Engine Optimization is.
What is SEO?
To put it simply, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a process through which you can improve the visibility of your site to attain better quality and quantity of traffic. When we talk about SEO it directly means organic traffic and not the one which is gained through paid ad search. This is where an SEO expert comes in. A good SEO strategy gets you a higher organic ranking on search engines. The question arises, ‘how does it work?’
We all know search engines like Google uses spiders (bots) to crawl content, websites, and web pages and put them on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Which is then analyzed based on how well structured and precise it is (also how well the guidelines were followed) the website is ranked in the search results. A good SEO strategy is usually laid out by communicating with the search engine through title tags, links, and quality content
Introduction to Bad SEO practices
Practices that are unethical and are not in accordance with the Google webmaster guidelines are usually considered bad SEO practices. In contrast to how SEO generates better results on search engines, bad SEO destroys the ranking of your website. Therefore, it becomes highly important to know some bad SEO practices for you to be alert all the time and be able to recognize them even quicker.
Top 5 Bad SEO Practices
Let’s take a look at the top 5 bad SEO practices:
The most common bad practice used black hats to trick into higher rankings, however, this may lead to high penalization. Using a keyword an unnecessary number of times in order to gain a better ranking is one of the worst SEO practices. Google crawlers catch this practice easily. On top of that, it makes your content almost non-understandable due to the out-of-context and overuse of keywords.
Bad Website links
This apparently, is important and is overlooked by the majority of SEOs and gets you standing on slippery grounds. Googlebot crawl, not just the links and text in your content but your links on other websites also. So, if those websites contain spam and digitally hazardous content, Google will most likely de-rank your page as a punishment sooner or later.
Content Duplication: Your own and of others
Well, this goes without saying, DON’T COPY! It is one of the worst SEO practices which comes with a high price to pay. Google does not tolerate copying other people’s content as well as your own. Google wants to deliver its users with unique content to elevate their experience. So if you are copying content from other websites, you are just inviting trouble (google hates plagiarism). Search engines do not want you to post content just because you want higher visibility but want to share information. Your SEO strategies should be more inclined towards knowledge sharing.
Cloaking is a practice of deliberately showing different content to the crawlers and whole different content to the users. Surprisingly some black hat webmasters were able to pull this out in the past but not anymore. Ads, spammy content, and computer-generated content whatever you try to hide from crawlers will fire back at you.
It simply means giving a headline to attract users and the content following it has no relevance to it. This practice may not lead to penalties by google but gives your user a bad experience. This bad SEO Practice will ultimately affect your ranking. For example, a headline like, “Eating tips that will transform your life” and the content is just about “benefits of diet” can disappoint a user badly enough to report you as spam.
Bonus Point: Don’t Underestimate Search Engine Crawlers!
Lastly, for a bonus point, never underestimate search engines. Even if you have a trick to go around its crawlers you will suffer from the consequences in the future. Be fair and rewards will be sweeter and long-lasting.
We learned how bad SEO practices do not just come with short-term penalties but also affect your website in the long run. We learned about Keyword stuffing, and how duplication of content and lead to high penalties. However, taking help from SEO service providers is a good option. It is the easier and efficient way to hike up your page ranking and get organic traffic.