If you’re new to SEO, you may be tempted to try some of the tactics you’ve read about online. However, not all of these practices are effective – and some can even hurt your website’s ranking. In this blog post, we’ll discuss five bad SEO practices you should avoid. By following these tips, you can improve your website’s ranking and avoid penalties from Google.
Guest Post Farms
One of the first bad SEO practices that you should avoid, and probably one of the most harmful, as digital marketing agency Cozab explains in this article, is engaging with guest post farms. What is a guest post farm? It’s a website that exists that only links to other sites and is what you would call “buying links.”
At all cost, you should avoid guest post farms at all costs since these websites won’t help you to increase your ranking at all. These sites link to any website that purchases from them and has completely unrelated content, not to mention poor quality. As such, not only will this bring down your ranking, Google can identify these sites quite quickly, and you don’t want to be associated with them.
Writing Thin Content
On the topic of links: while building links is an essential part of any SEO strategy, since it helps sites build authority, you should never write thin content just for the sake of adding a link. More importantly, you should never write thin content just for the sake of puffing up your site’s content bank.
Why? The sole purpose of a search engine is to solve the search query of the user, and that is only done with high-quality content. Not only will thin content not help you to improve your ranking, but Panda, Google’s first major update, can identify thin content. Always ensure that your content is high-quality and relevant, and aims to solve the search query of a user.
Not Optimizing Your Site
Another bad SEO practice that you should avoid would be not optimizing your site. Many websites spend a lot of time and effort on off-site SEO; using social media, guest posting, hiring influencers, participating in forums, and more, whilst ignoring on-site SEO.
What is considered on-site SEO? lowering your site’s load speed; creating high-quality content; ensuring a streamlined user experience; optimizing meta descriptions and title tags; and more. Optimizing your site using on-site SEO is just as important as off-site SEO, and one is not greater than the other. Imagine ensuring that your site receives great traffic, but the site takes 6 seconds to load, or when the user eventually gets into your site, it’s an unorganized mess they can’t traverse.
One of the worst SEO practices that you should avoid is something called “keyword stuffing.” As you might know, using keywords is an essential part of SEO. If you aren’t aware, keywords tell search engines what content can be found on your website or the pages of your website. Essentially, when someone searches for those keywords, this is what helps your site be suggested in the SERPs.
However, a big mistake you should avoid is stuffing your site, or a page on your site, with as many keywords as you can, in the hopes that this will improve your ranking. Worse than this is using the same keyword or keywords again and again. Google’s algorithm can detect this, and will penalize you for doing this.
Ignoring Mobile Users
Finally, the last bad SEO practice you should avoid is ignoring your mobile users. Did you know that half of the search traffic last year was conducted using mobile devices? More importantly, did you know that Google will first crawl the mobile version of your site before your desktop version?
Google and other search engines have begun to realize just how important mobile users are and are giving priority to sites that have an optimized mobile version of their sites. In other words, ignoring your mobile users is not only bad from an SEO point of view, but you are also reducing the accessibility of your site as well as the traffic you might be receiving.