Search Engine Optimization Mistakes to Watch Out For
As you begin to understand SEO you realize there are some potential ways to “game” the system. Years ago, many of these tricks worked because search engines were more rudimentary in how they indexed the internet and how their algorithms worked but today, search engines like Google are far more sophisticated at spotting these kinds of tricks. Furthermore, Google has dedicated itself to getting better and better at finding the most valuable content and serving it up to its users.
The truth is, there’s no quick fix to improving SEO and there’s no way around putting in the work. Here are a few enticing strategies that are too good to be true, avoid these pitfalls and instead put your energy into creating authentic, high-value content for your audience.
1. Cheating With Hidden Keywords
Hidden keywords are keywords that are on your website but not visible to viewers. You might include hidden keywords in the code of your website, for instance, so that you appear higher in search results but cheating is a big no-no when working with search engines. Search engines will go so far as to penalize your site if they discover hidden keywords plus, these keywords aren’t being used to create great content for your audience so it’s a total lose-lose strategy.
2. Stuffing Your Website With Keywords
Another SEO faux pas is putting as many keywords as you can in your content, regardless of their relevance. You want to be as informative as you can to your audience. Again, search engines became aware of these tactics years ago and will lower your ranking if they discover you using them. Furthermore, it will dilute the value of your content.
3. Creating Unnatural Links
Links are what help search engine algorithms determine where to place your website. If you create links that look unnatural, for instance, by using the same anchor text for the same page on different websites, then you're going to get docked for this practice. Links have to look natural to stand a chance of increasing your SEO. Once again, connecting to other sources when done for the right reasons is a great way to bring value to your audience so be careful how you do it and certainly don’t abuse it.
4. Plagiarizing Articles
If you are trying to get yourself ranked on a particular subject, you have to write original content, plain and simple. It should go without saying that plagiarizing content is not okay and the same goes for SEO rules. The only thing you can use from other sources is the source itself (a press release, for instance). Now, what’s more likely to happen is that you will paraphrase content from another source in your article. You should also be careful with paraphrasing. If you use the same words to describe something, you risk having it flagged as plagiarism by search engines who can’t really tell the difference (they just see the matching words, subjects, etc). There are millions of articles written about the same subjects and they all say relatively the same things but make sure it’s original and if possible, add additional value the other articles do not have.
The good news is that most of the pitfalls above are easily avoidable. If you invest your energy into creating good content instead of trying to game the system, you won't have to deal with any of the issues mentioned above. Avoid these traps and start working on your SEO the right way. Remember that useful, original content will be some of the greatest assets for your website.
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