SEO is one of these things that, when done right, can bring extraordinary benefits to your site, and preferably some healthy profits as well.
Search engines often provide the best kind of traffic possible. That’s because people use search engines to actively search for things that interest them. So if, for example, you have a site on “guitar playing” and someone searches for “guitar playing,” given that you have a nice spot in the rankings you can get a highly targeted visitor.
Additionally, if you rank for some buyer keywords, this sort of traffic can be very profitable for you.
However, SEO is not always easy, and there’s a lot of things you can do, which will inevitably hurt your rankings instead of improving them. Here’s the list.
1. Keyword stuffing
This one has quite a beard. It was a major problem back in the day. Now it’s not that common, but some people still take part in it without even realizing it.
You see, you should always have a good density of keywords on the subpages of your website, that is true. However, it’s quite easy to overdo this. In such a situation Google will notice that something is not right, and as a result penalize your whole site.
2. Link buying
Link buying is one of those practices that seem undetectable. If you’re taking part in this, you probably think that Google has no way of telling whether a link was paid for or not. This is essentially true, but not always.
There are sites already flagged by Google that are known for selling links. If a backlink to your site appears on one of these sites, this can be enough to get you in trouble. You need to be careful and get links via the natural way only.
3. Link farms/directories submissions
Everyone who’s starting to play the SEO game immediately learns that SEO is mainly about links. So seemingly the most natural thing to do is to find a way to build as many backlinks as possible.
Various link farms and link directories online offer you the possibility of building thousands of backlinks in a matter of days. This sounds attractive, but only initially.
In practice, such technique can get you penalized by Google very quickly. Google likes links to be built organically, not to discover 1000 links one day and then none the next day.
4. Duplicate content
I’m sure you know that publishing duplicate content is not a good idea from an SEO point of view. However, you may be publishing duplicate content right now without even realizing it.
It’s all connected to the structure of WordPress – the web management platform you’re most likely using. By default, WordPress creates a lot of duplicate content pages (categories, tags, posts). Thankfully, you can fix this by installing one particular plugin – WordPress SEO by Yoast.
5. Automatic content
This is even worst than duplicate content. Here’s how it works. The idea is to have some sort of automatic script installed on your site, and have it go to other sites, take their RSS feeds and republish the content on your site.
As a result, you end up with a direct copy of someone else’s site. Some people do this to get some initial content on their sites, but this is not a good idea. When Google gets a grasp on what you’re doing they can even ban your whole site.
Do you know of any other SEO practices that can kill a website? Feel free to share.