SEO is all about building your online presence, building your brand and getting noticed—but SEO isn’t all raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, SEO has a dark side. There are elements of SEO that can hinder your success and undo the goodwill you’ve created with Google over the years.
To help you sort through the confusing world of SEO we’ve put together this list of things that can actually hinder your SEO:
1. Like Zelda—you’re Missing a Link
Missing links, failed re-directs and other 404 bad-link pages, these all hurt your SEO. The silver link lining here though is that these are easy to fix by using Google’s free Webmaster tool.
2. Shady Link Juice
Links are still important to Google—although the degree of importance seems to vary depending on the day, and who you ask. But, they are still important. Fake links however, like those from link farms, purchased links and reciprocal links, stand out like a sore thumb. Trust us—you’re not putting a fast one by Google. They know what you’re doing when you get shady links…and they don’t like it.
3. More (Keyword) Stuffing than a Thanksgiving Turkey
Stuff your turkey, not your keywords. The over omnipotent Google gods can see this too as they look down on us from the Silicon Valley in the sky. Using the same keyword a thousand times across your site, using unnatural keywords in your meta tags and other keyword-stuffing practices are poo-poo’d by Google.
4. Duplicate Content
If you’ve made it this far into your SEO research then you already know that if you use duplicate content the Google gods will fry you with a bolt of lightning. But, many companies are unaware of the rules of duplicate content. Be sure to watch your use of resources, quotes and statistics, and always reference them with quotation marks.
5. Piddly Unique Content
Not to hit you over the head with this, but content is so important that we thought we’d take a second to separate the concept of duplicate content and the concept of unique content. Truly unique content isn’t rewritten content that has simply rearranged the words. It is 100% original and unique, with unique concepts and experience. It will also use distinctive keywords from that of the rest of your site.
6. Flashy Images and Flash
Flash is a great superhero—but a bad web designer. Flash-based and otherwise ‘flashy’ sites that are super attractive—but like many attractive things, don’t necessarily denote substance. If you are using tons of graphics and animations on your site, be sure to fill in the blanks with some rockstar content.
If you DO use images—absolutely, positively mark 100% of them with alt tags.
Shorten your URLs, as ones that exceed 250 characters may be punished by Google.
Curious what other tips we’ve got for you to help your SEO samurai-like skills? Stay tuned to the blog—or simply give us a shout, we’re an open book and we’ll gladly share the knowledge and the love.
At ReferLinks Online Marketing, we are firm believers that sticking together as a community is most important. Below you will find simple, yet effective recommendations