Search engines keep getting smarter. In fact, they make some of the SEO “tricks” used to fool them into improving rankings seem plain dumb. There’s no real mystery to improving your search rank, but there are some definite do’s and don’ts for using SEO effectively. Below are five techniques to avoid as noted aptly on SocialMediaToday.com by Eva Grzybek:
1. Keyword Stuffing: Anybody with any knowledge of SEO will tell you that if you have a keyword you would like to rank highly for in the search engines, then you need to make sure that it features prominently on your website. However, many choose to take this advice too far, placing the crucial words and phrases all over their pages. This can not only put Google or Bing off, but will certainly not be popular among the actual visitors.
2. Hidden Content: This can be done either by placing those crucial phrases in the background and making it the same color in order to make it invisible to the human eye. Another technique involves publishing of keyword stuffed content on pages accessible to the search engines, but not to users. Both methods are hugely disliked by the search engine operators.
3. Purchasing of Links: Links are said to be crucial to achieving good SEO results. This has meant that many people try to cheat and buy them, rather than spending large amounts of time trying to gain them legitimately. Links are meant to be created because others like your website and its content and search engines are getting increasingly good at spotting any links not gained in this way.
4. Spammed Meta Data: Meta information is one of the many ways in which you can tell the search engines what your website is about. Most of it cannot be seen by users and includes things like titles and descriptions of pages. It is yet another area exploited by those who are looking to trick the system. They do this by stuffing meta’s with keywords, hoping that it will help their rankings for those phrases. This may not affect the user experience as much, but is nonetheless seen as cheating.
5. Duplicate Content: Search engines love fresh and unique content. A common way of bending the rules in this area is to republish the same pages or articles over and over again. Although it could win you some credits at the start, all the search engines can easily spot duplicate content and it is almost certain that this honeymoon period will not last.