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SEO Mistakes that Can Destroy Your Online Presence

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SEO has changed over the years. One area where Google has changed everything is in how strict they are with users. No longer will they allow grey or black hat practices to slide. It may seem obvious how to avoid falling foul of Google’s rules, but it can happen by accident.

Many websites have been de-indexed from the search listings because they unknowingly participated in a scheme that was against Google’s terms and conditions. This doesn’t mean you should stop using Google. A huge
55% of B2B marketers say it’s their most effective lead generation method.

This article is going to show you some of the schemes you should stay away from.

Link Schemes

Link schemes can trigger both algorithmic and manual penalties against you. The main damage that can occur is to your organic search visibility. However, ‘link scheme’ is a general term that can apply to both grey and black hat SEO techniques.

What they have in common is that they are designed to artificially boost your rankings. Some of the link schemes include:

  • Link wheels.
  • Exact match keyword anchor text.
  • Bought links.
  • Excessive link exchanges

As you can see, not all of them are blatantly manipulative. Simply asking for link exchanges with too many bloggers can trigger Google’s penalties.

The number one way to avoid any penalties with links is to make sure that you are not doing anything to trick or deceive the search engine.

Keyword Stuffing

Keywords remain a part of SEO, even if they have diminished in importance in recent years. Once you come up with good content ideas, you have to sprinkle selected keywords within them. But if you use more than one or two mentions per piece of content, you are risking the wrath of Google.

Avoid sticking anything in that can be considered unnatural. You no longer need to include exact keywords because long-tail keywords and semantic keywords are more effective than ever before. A similar match that sounds natural is always better than trying to force an exact sequence of words.

Google Panda’s algorithm is responsible for monitoring keyword stuffing.

Bad Content

Believe it or not, bad content can do far more than just hurt your reputation among your target audience. Sites publishing continuously bad content can be hit by Google. But it’s important to define what “bad” content actually is.

Google defines it as content that’s overly short, inaccurate, badly written, and unhelpful. It used to be the case that sites would publish lots of bad content stuffed with keywords in order to make it to the top of the search engines. Google wants to reverse this trend.

Think about the effect of each piece of content on your customers. Ask yourself if a piece of content is helping someone solve a problem or not.

Being Unnatural

Variety is important for a successful SEO campaign. If you are constantly using the same inbound links and talking about the same things, your organic reach will suffer. Search engines use sameness as a way of flagging sites that are potentially trying to inflate their rankings.

More importantly, if you are not varying your content you are not giving your audience a reason to keep coming back. Everyone wants to see something different. You wouldn’t recount the same conversation in-person every day, so why would you do it with your website?

Not Migrating Your Site Correctly

Every website migrates and redesigns itself sooner or later. It’s the only way you grow as your brand expands. But Google has firm requirements in place for what you have to do when completing a migration. That includes updating your sitemap and putting 301 redirects on every old page. You also need to update all meta data.

Without following this transfer process, you are sabotaging your website and making it harder for Google to index your website. The sad thing is many companies don’t realize that there are rules on migration until it’s much too late.

Google doesn’t care if you did something maliciously or accidentally. They will penalize you.

Can you Recover from a Penalty?

A penalty doesn’t have to be inevitable. If it does happen, you do have a chance to recover. Unless you were running a large scale campaign that maliciously inflated your rankings, Google is usually willing to give you a second chance. But it’s a long road to recovery.

First of all, you need to find out what you did and rectify the problem. Then you need to notify Google online that you have made the changes. You can then ask for your site to be reviewed again.

But the best advice is to not get penalized in the first place!

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