SEO Strategies That Can Backfire and Hurt Your Website Rankings

There are a lot of people out there offering advice for good Search Engine Optimization. The question is: how do you sort out the good advice from the bad?  To avoid becoming an example of what NOT to do when it comes to SEO, learn from and steer clear of the mistakes below.

Buying Links

There are all kinds of sites and services that will try to persuade you to pay for getting sites linked to yours. For example, people buy links on the site Fiverr because for only $5, they can get hundreds of links directing traffic back to their sites. However, this brings up an important concern: what are the sites that will link to you? Will they be relevant to your field or industry and, for that matter, will they even be credible?

Obviously, getting well-known, reputable sites to link back to yours can be good for your SEO, but if Google discovers that you are paying for backlinks, they can de-index your site from their search results. In other words, your site won’t appear in any search results at all. The moral of the story is this: don’t pay for links. Refuse to participate in networks that sell links and enable you to disperse your articles to different sites. If you do, it will come back to haunt you.

Publishing Content That’s Irrelevant

When you’re developing content for your website, you should focus on what matters to your business, industry and consumers. For instance, if you’re a doctor, you don’t need to talk about restaurant chains on your site. Seeing irrelevant content on a site can be confusing to Google, and if you’re aiming for good SEO, the last thing you want to do is confuse the search engine.

Instead, keep in mind your consumers’ needs and your business goals as you create content. Plan your content strategically around that need for comprehensive information. Think of every aspect of your products as it relates to your customer, and use that as the basis of your content. This conveys to Google that your site is an authority and it’s helpful for getting ranked with keywords and terms.

Spam Comments

Some business owners choose to pay services to spam sites across the internet with comments that have a link back to their website. The intention behind this is to spread links across other sites that relate to their business, but severe damage can occur to a brand if customers or potential customers see links with poorly written comments that suggest spam. What does this mean for you? On your own site, don’t approve all the comments you see; only approve the ones that have actual value for your customers. This allows you to maintain the value of your comments and the integrity of your website.

Overusing Anchor Text Links

A specific keyword or phrase in the text of your site that is hyperlinking to a website URL is an anchor text link.  An example of this would be the phrase “awesome recipe website” linking to Even though keywords can be beneficial for SEO, they should be used with caution. In the past, webmasters were able to build up thousands of anchor text links featuring specific keywords, and as a result, their website would rank for those keywords.

Your keyword ratio should appear normal in order to cultivate the best ranking. In other words, if you have 10,000 keyword links for one keyword phrase that you’re aiming to rank for, but no other keyword links for phrases appear on your site, Google will see that as a red flag. When it comes to keywords, variety is key.  You should have all kinds of links for all kinds of keywords. Build keywords with people and their intentions in mind. Your customers (who, by the way, you’ll likely start seeing more of) will thank you.

BIO: Alicia Lawrence is a content coordinator for various clients. Her work has been published by the Association for Business Communication, Yahoo! Small Business, and Spin Sucks. Find Alicia on Google+ or to her blog.

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3 Responses

  1. I thought anchor text variation was encouraged rather than using the same anchor text for the same link over and over again. Please explain about his more.

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