Bad SEO Practices that Will Harm Your Visibility

If you’re trying to boost your online visibility, chances are that you’ve been spending a lot of time researching effective SEO strategies. It’s true that you need good SEO tactics to rank well in search engines like Google. However, how much of your research is up to date? What was once considered expert advice is largely regarded as bad SEO practices today.

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Negative SEO Habits

Google’s algorithms are updated hundreds of times every year, and with each change comes an ever-so-slight alteration to search engine optimization ranking methods. If you want to retain your high ranking or earn one, you’ve got to be flexible enough to work with Google’s constantly evolving standards. Are you still following these outdated SEO practices?

  1. Overdoing guest posts
  2. Ignoring technical SEO
  3. Invisible keywords
  4. Keyword stuffing
  5. Duplicate content

1) Overdoing Guest Posts

This one can go both ways. Are you accepting too many low-quality guest posts for your website, thus driving down your overall quality? Alternatively, maybe you’re providing too many guest posts without considering your own online visibility.

A good rule of thumb for content is to make sure it contributes something to your website (or to your hosting site if you’re the one writing a guest post). If neither party is getting substantial content or benefits from the article, maybe it’s time to start focusing on developing quality content rather than simply focusing on quantity. Additionally, think about what you’re gaining from posting on another site. Are you just getting a link, or are you getting high exposure to the right people? Make sure it’s a fair trade.

2) Ignoring Technical SEO

Forget about keywords and search intent for a minute. Does your website load quickly? Do all your widgets and add-ons cause things to glitch constantly? Is your website overall a pleasant and easy one to navigate? If you answered no to any of these questions, you’re likely failing in web design and technical SEO–and Google will notice. Dissatisfied users will pass over websites that fail to load quickly, regardless of how good their content is. Consequently, this will damage your rating in the search engine results. Always make sure your website runs correctly and quickly.

3) Invisible Keywords

In the past, web content writers who wanted to rank for certain keywords without actually going to the trouble of incorporating those keywords naturally into their site opted for what seemed like the next best option: stuffing their pages with keywords in text the same color as the background. These hidden keywords were invisible unless highlighted, but able to be detected by search engines. Needless to say, it didn’t take long before Google caught on to this tactic and began flagging websites that used it. Despite this, some less well-maintained sites still use this dated and rather lazy technique. If yours is one of them, revise your strategy as quickly as possible to avoid a penalty from Google.

4) Keyword Stuffing

Have you ever come across an awkwardly worded passage on a website that just didn’t seem to belong? It’s possible you encountered an example of keyword stuffing, a keyword strategy that forces the words or phrases in wherever there’s room rather than where it flows naturally. While you certainly want to optimize your content, and that includes using plenty of keywords, you also want to avoid turning off your audience by providing poorly written but keyword-rich content. Google has taken notice of which websites do this and directs users to sites that provide quality content instead.

Pro Tip: Have you heard of keyword stuffing? Some websites string their keywords together with commas at the bottom of each page, not even bothering to disguise the text. This will get you flagged by Google–don’t do it!

5) Duplicate Content

There’s nothing wrong with revisiting an old topic or question from your blog. In fact, addressing a previously popular topic again might actually contribute to boosting your score. However, don’t assume you can get away with copying and pasting your entire previous post, or even addressing the exact same topics. Any return to an old topic must contribute something new, up-to-date, and relevant to your current audience. Duplicating content is a sign of laziness and will only turn your audience off from your website.

Improve Your Rankings in Google

It may seem like the goalposts for SEO are constantly shifting, and in a way, they are. However, it’s not hard to keep yourself updated on the most effective SEO strategies and which ones to leave in the trash. With a little effort and focus on what actually works, you can boost your online visibility and rankings.

Connect with us to learn more about optimizing your website for search engines and viewership alike!

Christina Belbas

Christina Belbas loves researching and writing on just about any topic, and has used her time in writing internships to hone her skills. With a Bachelor’s in creative writing and several published articles to her name, she has the experience to back up her education. She loves trying new recipes and petting cats in her spare time.