While most people are unaware of it, a war rages on a daily basis, and what stands between friend and foe is Google. The search giant continually refines its technology to ferret out tricks that bad marketers and “black hat” developers use to try and fool search algorithms. The goal of the bad guys is to find ways to artificially push ad content higher into organic search results.
Google struggles to win this war, so the company continually tweaks technology to ensure that search results remain organic. It’s therefore critical that marketers engage in good SEO tactics.
To remain on Google’s “nice list,” avoid these “bad SEO” errors.
Stop Looking for Shortcuts
SEO “tricks” to fool Google indexing are a bit like “miracle weight loss” tricks…you hear a lot about them, but they don’t actually work. Good SEO requires elbow grease, great content, persistence and time. These “short cuts” may even have the opposite effect of what you intended and get your site banned.
A great way to rank highly is to produce original content regularly. You’re not going to fool search algorithms such as Google Panda if you’re continually repurposing the same content over and over again.
Resist the Temptation to “Keyword Stuff”
It’s tempting to use your chosen keywords as many times as possible in all your content and metatags. More is better, right? Think again: search engines are smarter than that. According to Kissmetrics, Google analyzes keywords in relation to the content, so simply stuffing your blog post with keywords isn’t going to work, and could get your site flagged.
Use keywords no more than three to four times in your content, and ensure they’re used in context with the writing. Also be sure to use keywords (sparingly) in your photo captions and in links and tags to social media.
Don’t Skip a Dedicated Mobile SEO Strategy
Mobile search is the same as desktop search, just on a smaller screen…right? Nope. What works on the desktop isn’t going to resonate on a mobile device. Mobile searchers now outnumber desktop searchers, so a mobile SEO strategy is essential. The lack of a responsive website could even hurt your company: last year, Google began applying penalties against websites not meeting the needs of mobile users.