Search Engine Optimization is a great internet marketing strategy, the purpose of which is to attract more visitors or hits on your web site or page. White-hat SEO or ethical SEO strictly adheres to search engine policies, practices and procedures. Unfortunately not everyone sticks to what is allowed. Some veer towards wrong practices and techniques also known as black-hat SEO. They may be beneficial at first, but in the long run they are actually hurting your site more than helping it. Here’s a list of SEO practices you should avoid or that you should stop doing.
Procrastination or the act of postponing something for a later time is the first thing that one should avoid. Search engine optimization is something that should be done as soon as a web page is set up. First impressions last and they last longer than you expected. You want your potential clients to go and find something worthy on your page and stay engaged rather than get out the soonest possible time. So first thing on your do not do list: procrastinating.
The second thing you should avoid doing or you should stop doing is to duplicate your contents. Content duplication occurs when a large portion or blocks of articles appear on more than one web page. It could be that you wrote one article a couple of years back, rehashed it a bit then reposted it back on the same web site. It could also happen when you post something on your site and shared the same content to another site. When this happens, search engine crawlers or spiders might focus solely on the duplicated files and ignore the rest of your content. Some search engines even ignore, devalue or remove your page or parts of your pages from their search engines. This is one thing you don’t want to happen to your page.
Stay away from SEO firms that promise you the moon, the sun and the stars. Do your research well before choosing a firm to represent you. A firm that promises you to be on top of each search engine results page is lying. Do a background check of the company you will deal with and check for references. It will definitely be beneficial in the long run.
Another method to avoid is the practice called cloaking. Cloaking is the act of making two types of contents: one for the search engines and one for the visitors. When we use keywords, titles or headers that are different from the content, you are actually cloaking. This is both unethical and annoying. A similar practice is called Doorway pages. A specific HTML page is created to attract spiders and crawlers and once you click the link and be considered a visit, you are immediately redirected to the right content. You might end up being banned from search engines.
Last on the list of things to avoid is Keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is the act of putting a particular word over and over in an article or description to manipulate the page’s ranking on search engines. Stuffing occurs in two ways: by using hidden keywords or by placing keywords on an article to the extent that it no longer sounds realistic. One hides keywords by using the same color text as the background of the page (white text on a white background). This is invisible to the naked eye, but the search robots can detect this. One can also hide texts by putting it under images, taking it out of view of page visitors. One can also do keyword stuffing by using the keyword excessively in a sentence. Let us say your keyword is strawberry. An overstuffed statement looks like this: “Strawberry addicts or those who love and crave strawberries or any form of strawberry products from strawberry ice cream, to strawberry shakes and strawberry shortcakes can go ahead and visit out strawberry farm to have a taste of this berry absolutely free”. If you noticed strawberry was mentioned six times in one sentence alone. Keyword stuffing is a total waste of time, unethical, and at the same time can become a basis for removal of your page online.