Remember that one guy in math class who would spend twice as much time finding ways to cheat on exams just so he wouldn’t have to learn the material? Bad SEO can be very similar to this.
Commonly referred to as Black Hat SEO, some techniques may boost your ranking for a period of time, but cause it to plummet once Google discovers them. Instead of having to go do the dirty work yourself, you can find all of your shady SEO strategies in one place. They more than likely will eventually lower your page rank and possibility even get your site banned for breaking Google’s quality guidelines. On the flip side, if you want a site that will hold a strong online presence and ranking and boost your business, here are SEO practices to avoid.
Easiest Ways to Lower Your Page Rank or What NOT to do:
- Poor Content encompasses any practice which reduces the usefulness of the page content to the reader and serves only to increase ranking. This includes automatically generated content which makes no sense and doesn’t help the reader, but instead is stuffed with keywords or duplicated, meaning it’s copied from another more reputable site.
- Link Scheming is the practice of obtaining links inorganically. Link building in earned SEO consists of having reliable content that others want to share and reference on their own sites. Link building in bad SEO consists of buying links or linking on poor quality websites.
- Cloaking is coding to present content to the search engine that is not actually reflected in what the viewer sees.
- Abusing redirects in order to get users to a different landing page than the one they clicked on is frowned upon by Google since it misleads the search engine and viewers.
- Keyword stuffing in title tags, meta descriptions and image alt tags will generally signal a spam-y site to Google, thus lowering page rank.
- Hiding text so that it’s visible to search engine bots but not human viewers with methods such as using white text on a white background, setting the font size to 0, or hiding links in small unnoticeable character, in order to manipulate rankings will send red flags to Google that your site cannot be trusted.
- Misusing rich snippets with fake reviews or using rich snippets for irrelevant or misleading content rather than using them to improve user experience is a poor SEO practice.
Much like cheating on a test, cheating search engines always comes of the possibility of getting caught. And it is much more difficult to get back into Google’s good graces once you’ve been caught violating their policies.