You understand the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your website. But some types of SEO are harmful, such as blackhat strategies and negative SEO. Sometimes damaging SEO is something you do without realizing it is detrimental to your rankings. Today, we are going to discuss the ways your website could be damaging your SEO efforts.
Google likes for the content it indexes to be new, fresh, and original. If you have articles on your site that are also repeated on others sites, you will look bad to the search engines. Make sure everything you place on your site is only on that site. You can find out if your content is elsewhere by using duplicate content detection software like Copyscape or Siteliner.
Too Many Keywords
Keywords are essential for higher rankings in search engines. However, you need to be careful not to overdo the use of keywords. This is called keyword stuffing, which will get you penalized by the search engines. You can place your main keyword in a title, heading and in the first paragraph. After that, you typically don't want to repeat your keyword more than 2-3 times in most cases. A good average is 1-2% of the total page content. Most readers will pick up on content that has been stuffed with keywords. It's sentences like the following that can get you in big trouble with Google. "A Cute Puppy is a good pet and Bills Petshop has a large selection of Cute Puppies, small Puppies, large Puppies, Beagle Puppies, Pug Puppies...." I think you get the point.
Accepting Poor Content
It can be challenging to give the search engines the ever-changing content they want. Accepting guest posts is one way to accomplish this. You need to be careful of the quality of the posts you accept. Search engines would rather see good content that doesn't get updated often, than poor content that has nothing to do with your site. If you accept guest posts, make sure they are relevant and high-quality.
Too Many Ads
If ads are what power your site, and they take up the majority of your website, search engines will rank you lower. This is especially true if the ads are above the fold. Although you may not be able to avoid having some ads on your site, search engines would love if you could avoid it altogether. If you need to place ads, try to keep them below the fold of your page and try to keep them relevant to your content.
Paying for Links
Paying for links can get you banned from Google and other search engines completely, and they always seem to find out. Search engines do like a lot of links to point to your website, but they want those links to be from high-quality sites that have some connection with your content. It is the same concept of trying to get backlinks by making superficial comments on blogs and in forums that have nothing to do with what you are trying to sell.
Too Many Outgoing Links
You want to include outgoing links to places your visitors will find useful. Those links are actually viewed positively by search engines. But if you include too many outgoing links, you may be seen as a directory or link farm. This is especially true if the links you include don't add value for your visitors. While there is no "magic number" of outgoing links, try to limit them to one or two per page. Make sure the links give valuable content to your visitors that relates to your site.
Improper Internal Linking
Internal linking not only helps search engines find pages on your website, but they also help keep visitors on your site longer. When the links relate to the page content, all is well, and your SEO efforts are helped. Misusing internal linking can damage your efforts. Here are some rules to follow:
You want your internal links to point to many different areas of your site, not the same few pages. You can do this by creating a lot of content. The more content you have, the higher the number of places you have to link to.
Avoid common pages
Pages such as your homepage or contact page already have a lot of links. They also don't change. Try linking to pages that are not easily found by the links you include on most pages. Dig deep and find "lost" content.
Only link to pages that actually have relevance to the current content. For example, you are posting a page on raising chickens. You could link to a previous post on incubating eggs or building different coops. Linking to a gardening article would make no sense to either your readers or search engines.
SEO can be very helpful and its proper implementation is necessary to be found on the internet. If you aren't sure about how to go about it, take the time to study the subject or hire someone who does understand proper techniques. Your success depends on it.
Other Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Resources
Here are a few other blog posts that we have written on Search Engine Optimization.