5 SEO Tactics That Are Utter Poison

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an ever-changing beast. Some well-intended advice you got from a freelance techie might not be relevant anymore — in fact, it might even wreck your SEO rankings.

It’s important to stay on top of trends, understand Google Panda, and maybe even start to dip your toes in LSEO (localized SEO). However, get started by checking to see you’re not making the most common mistakes.

These five SEO practices need to go before they destroy your rankings.

1. Keyword stuffing

When SEO was a newborn, everyone knew you had to have as many keywords and key phrases as possible in web content, which lead to “keyword stuffing.” It got so bad that some content was completely incomprehensible and would look something like: “Arizona used cars buy sell rent used cars Phoenix cars for sale Sedona AZ Arizona.”

That’s an extreme example, but it happened. As it turns out, good-quality, organic content with strategically placed SEO key words at a certain — comparatively low — percentile are what really work.

2. Duplicate websites

If one website is good, two must be better — right? Businesses began to think it wasn’t enough to be ranked at the top of search results for their keywords. Why not snag slot numbers two and three, as well?

They started picking up the .nets, .infos, and similar .coms and putting the exact same content on these duplicate websites. For a short while, Google’s algorithms didn’t pick this up, but now it’s considered SEO poison. Do it and you’ll probably get “punished” with lower rankings.

3. Neglecting to localize

Certain businesses need to localize their SEO, like the mom and pop diner down the street or the doggie daycare that’s only in Bozeman. Others, such as e-commerce companies that ship nationwide or overseas but have no brick and mortar, don’t necessarily have to.

Localizing SEO requires additional keywords, knowing the local neighborhood and slang, and basically re-working content to achieve a homey vibe.

4. Leaving blanks

For the most part, your actual web content is the meat of SEO. However, your URL, headers, meta tags, graphics, and videos are also SEO fodder that you might be underutilizing.

Don’t forget about using social media as SEO, or that infographics read as SEO now, too. Take a holistic approach for optimal results.

5. Failing to analyze your stats

Even if you follow all the best practices of SEO, you need to keep up to speed. Use Google Analytics, check out your competitors, and add or revise content on a regular basis.

Sound like too much work? Hiring SEO professionals enables you to pass the buck and continue to reap all the benefits.

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Originally posted on July 31, 2013 @ 6:30 am