We all want our site to be ranking at the top for our chosen terms. That’s the whole point of SEO really – getting the best sites up at the top of the list every time someone does a search.
While certain SEO practices can be just what your site needs, there are others (which I’ve actually heard ‘SEO experts’ recommended) that will leave you just asking for a penalty. Here’s a couple of tactics which I’ve been told to employ by SEO experts online and at conferences which you really, really shouldn’t be using.
DON’T buy your links
This is a bit of a grey area, in my experience. Sit at a round table at an SEO conference and ask if anyone has ever bought links, and everyone sort of shuffles in their chairs and tries to change the subject.
If you go on Fiverr, for example, you can pay pretty much nothing for a whole bunch of links to your site. That’s fair enough – but it’s pretty unlikely that these linking sites are going to have anything to do to your site.
And if Google finds out you’ve been paying for these unnatural backlinks, you’re going to get a penalty. Don’t muck about with buying links – it’s not worth it in the long run.
DON’T publish content for the sake of linking
Okay, so I’m all about producing content that’s great to link to. But if your site is about cakes, what are you doing putting content about hotels on it? You need to be ranking for cakes, not hotels.
There’s a whole wealth of content you could be making that relates to cakes, and if you keep tabs on what’s trending at the time, there’s no reason why you can’t build links with topical anchor text and keywords as long as the content you are linking to is worth linking to.
Content that is enriching is good content. Yum.
DON’T spam comments
It is possible to pay for comments, with a backlink to your website, to be spammed over other sites relating to your niche.
With the advent of CommentLuv, it is possible to get follow links out of this – but I really wouldn’t recommend it. I get these spam comments on SEOkitty all the time, and I just delete them. That’s what most people do. So it’s just a waste of money, and you won’t get a follow link anyway.
Not to mention, all those links in such a short space of time makes you a prime target for a penalty.
DON’T not bother with internal links
Site architecture is a difficult one – especially for someone like me who looks at a sitemap the same way cats look at vacuums. They’re complicated and sometimes terrifying.
But if your site doesn’t ‘flow’ well, you’re not only going to make it a bad user experience, but you’ll make it much harder for Google to index your deeper pages.
So get some internal links on the go.
DON’T stuff keywords
I think I’ve talked about this before, because the Panda algorithm really doesn’t like this. If you want to be ranking for a certain term or want a particular page to rank for a certain term, stuffing it with keywords is not just confusing to the reader, but to Google too.
I’d recommend you go for about three keywords per page, but don’t pepper them all over the place. Make sure your keywords are in your H1 tags, your title tag and in your URL if possible.