When you first begin the long and rewarding journey into the world of Search Engine Optimization, people tend to be a little overzealous. Sometimes they can go overboard. I’ve seen this, especially with first timers or newbies who think they have found loopholes or shortcuts to ranking really well. Ah, the folly of youth.
Because people attempt to do this, they can get penalized by Google and the search engines. I’m going to walk you through these “tricks” and show you how and why even though they look appealing, they will turn around to bite you in the digital behind. Here are 5 SEO mistakes most people make.
Following The Trends
What are you attempting to do with your web site? Are you a leader, or a follower? Be honest, now. The purpose of Google is to reward those sites that provide bold, fresh, creative content, and if you’re just plodding along with the herd, there’s really no reason to reward you, is there?
Gaming The System
For example, in 2005, everyone was talking about the concept of “Keyword Density.” That buzzword caught on like wildfire, and site operators spent hours, months, and even years trying to game the system by stuffing their text with keywords.
So if you widget to widget people to your web widget so you can sell them your widget widgets, you stuff your widget page with words like “widget,” “widget,” and “widgetesque.” You may think yourself clever, but all this ends up doing is making yourself look like you have a digital speech impediment. Widget.
Forgetting The End User
This tends to be the number one mistake new sites make. They are so focused on “beating” Google, they forget to make a site that anyone would want to visit in the first place! The fancy term for this is “Lack of Value Proposition.”
Keep in mind why you’re creating a web site in the first place—is it to sell products? Inform people? Get your name out? Whatever the purpose, all the Google shenanigans in the world won’t amount to anything if you get everyone tricked into visiting a shabby site.
Follow The Rules
Have you heard the saying “rules are made to be broken?” Well, it’s a dumb saying, at least in this case. Rather than spending time, energy, and resources developing “hacks” to work around the Google policies, focus on following the rules, and make your content the king.
Think of it like this: Who has better resources: You, or Google? They have teams of people countering hacks every day. But if you really think you’ve got what it takes to beat Google at their own game, go for it.