You have put a lot of work into developing your site’s SEO profile. Don’t sabotage these efforts with these common, but out dated practices. It may be tempting, but one misstep can land your site on the search engine’s bad side and lead to a long road of recovering from search penalties.
1. Keyword Stuffed Links
The search engines don’t want to see links to your site that are perfectly manicured. They want links to reflect how real people actually work. That includes links to your site that are not your keywords or even keywords at all, like this, or that or here. This applies to not only the content on your site, but comments you leave, forum signatures and any other place you leave your links. One link only to your site, usually in the comment’s url field, is all that you need to do. Any more than that is frowned upon by search engines, not to mention your comment will probably get flagged as spam automatically by the site you are commenting on.
2. No rel=nofollow
If you aren't sure how to use rel=nofollow appropriately check out our guide on the subject for more details. Basically any time you either a) don’t want to pass any of your “link juice” on to another site or b) post an affiliate or advertiser link you’ll want to use a rel=nofollow.
3. Bad Content
Let’s be honest, there’s a ton of content out there. Some of it is great, some of it isn’t. In order to stand out your content has to be great. There’s no room for mediocre content or worse, keyword heavy content that has no value at all. Visitors don’t like content that reads like it was written by a robot, and neither does search engines. The search engines want to help people find the answers they are looking for, if your content doesn’t do that it’s not going to be found. Keep your site’s content fresh, topical and original. This also applies to guest posts – ones you may do as well as ones you might have on your site. Guest posts should always be original, and relevant.
Avoid these common mistakes and your site’s SEO won’t suffer from your good intentions. Always try to provide the best experience for your users and visitors and you will always be on the right path no matter what algorithm changes come and go. Do you see any other common SEO mistakes that sites make which end up hurting them more than helping? Share them with us in the comments.