There are many (perhaps too many) ways to find yourself down a path of poor SEO,but if you steer clear of these five penalty-provoking SEO practices, you’ll avoid going to the penalty box, wasting time and losing organic traffic.
1. Using poor-quality content
Remember that quality content is always best. Ensure that you have the proper keyword density (sparingly and strategically, not oversaturated or stuffed) and that your copy isn’t filled with links that have over-optimized anchor text. Ensure that each page is well-written, unique and appropriately linked and you’ll stay safe from content-related penalties.
2. Hiring low-grade SEO firms or agencies
Learn to distinguish between good and bad SEO suppliers with keenness. Your SEO firm or agency should follow all of Google’s guidelines. Firms that dispense poor-quality content will lower your search rankings and unnecessarily expose you to potential algorithm penalties. Always opt for quality content that doesn’t come with any undue risk.
3. Falling into link scheme traps
Don’t get duped by link schemes. Google defines link schemes as “any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results.” These schemes are in direct violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and can lead you straight down the penalty path. Always let your goal be user experience, so if you see links that are not useful to searchers, eliminate them and clean up your content. Always steer clear of firms, agencies or SEO professionals that offer “cheap backlinks” — they’re likely trying to entice you with a link scheme.
4. Taking the spam bait
Avoid using e-mail intrusive spamming techniques. Never, ever send out unsolicited e-mails. Don’t hire any SEO service that practices e-mail spamming, either, as it can be an indication that they’re not following web guidelines or simple net-iquette.
5. Don’t solely commit to one strategy or focus
The reality is, search results and ranking factors are constantly changing. You always want to make sure you’re working with industry professionals and strategists who are constantly keeping up with Google’s algorithm updates. By committing to adaptability, you can safeguard your site against getting pigeon-holed or penalized. Always be sure to change up content and links where necessary.