The harsh fact of the matter is that no less than one in three websites is punished for not adhering to a series of established search engine optimisation rules. In our experience as a web marketing company, we have seen the effects of this directly. There are times when you may not fully understand why the damage occurred, not to mention the right way to remedy the situation. In the end, it is the use of risky techniques that gets people into trouble, and it makes good sense to realise that search engine optimisation is a realm filled with pitfalls for the unwary.
By way of further explanation of questionable optimisation methods, it should be pointed out that they are primarily the ones that are highly technical in nature as well as outlawed by Google. In some ways, they disregard audience needs and instead prioritise search engine outcomes. The problem is that while they are strongly disfavoured, many still used them because it is thought that they generate positive outcomes in rapid fashion. But, there is great risk in such a strategy, because Google is likely to impose strict penalties and bans. The following SEO tactics are some of the ones that should be avoided if at all possible.
1. Duplicate Content
This technique has been used to excess in recent years, and it will probably retain a significant number of adherents. The fact is, though, that it should be eschewed in 2018. There is no doubt that stellar content makes for fruitful links, and therefore it makes little sense to simply lift work that has been created by others.
Everyone should remember that spinning can sometimes produce the dreaded outcome of duplicate content. Many website operators take existing pieces of content and rewrite them by adding a slight twist to the material. Those who do this need to realise, though, that content spinning often hinders the quality of the work, no matter how efficiently it is accomplished. Search engines utilise algorithms capable of easily detecting duplicate content, and sites that are found to have employed this technique will surely pay the price in penalties.
In order to make vast improvements in 2020, site owners must break the old habit and start generating high-quality, truly unique content of their own. When used effectively, this type of content is shareable and easily cited by others, something which will be positively viewed by search engines.
2. Purchasing And Trading Links
It is difficult to dispute the notion that the building of links is something every site developer has to do. The task, however, is not always an easy one. The process tends to be laborious and time-consuming, and not everyone has the patience for it. Not surprisingly, there are site owners who would rather take the easy route and acquire links in other ways. Higher volumes of visitor traffic can then get to the desired website, thus driving up search engine rankings. This may work in the short term, but once the trick is detected, the detrimental consequences will begin to accumulate, and site rankings may plummet.
Reciprocal linking is yet another method in this realm, and it is attempted by many. The idea is to trade links with another site operator so that both parties realise a certain degree of benefit from the transaction. There can be positive results, but they may not be outweighed by the risk. Behaviour of this sort is detectable by search engines, and the price to be paid can be heavy indeed. Therefore, there really is no need to continue utilising this technique in 2020.
3. Stuffing Of Keywords
All website owners want to attract the most possible attention. Many of them utilise certain types of keyword methods that are directed more toward search engine algorithms than toward those who actually read the site. Their content is stuffed with keywords and targeted phrases in order to secure higher rankings. The trouble is that these keywords are regularly pointless in the context of the site itself. Other developers go further and hide keywords so that they are invisible to readers but are still detected by search engines.
The difficulty lies in the fact that stuffing keywords gives readers a terrible experience, which in turn lowers traffic volume. Further, it tells search engines that the site is attempting to tinker with the effectiveness of their algorithms. Google now penalises sites who do this, placing them lower in search results. In 2018, it is advisable to limit the use of keywords to the title, first few paragraphs and no more than once every 200 words of content. Following this advice will keep website owners from incurring penalties for keyword stuffing.
The path to higher search engine rankings may not be the most thrilling or instantaneous. However, that is not to say that business owners should resort to cutting corners. Solid methods are certain to provide the desired results and prevent onerous penalties from being imposed. By taking the time to do things right, it is possible to reap the rewards in the form of ever-increasing rankings.