Sometimes it seems that Google updates their ranking algorithms as often as Brendan McCullum loses the toss! If you are trying to implement your own SEO, or help your provider there are a few things that you need to stop doing to make sure you’re not debunking their efforts! Stop doing these things now, or you might find yourself having a bad time.
STOP inserting meta keywords on pages
But surely, I need to tell search engines exactly which keywords I want this page to show up for in results?
Leaving your meta keywords field blank has actually been best practice for a number of years – since 2009 at least! Google addressed and confirmed this in an article posted in the Webmaster Central blog in September 2009. More specifically, it’s stated that:
‘Q: Does Google ever use the “keywords” meta tag in its web search ranking?
A: In a word, no. ‘
What should I be doing?
So if Google just doesn’t take them into consideration, can it still harm my website to have them in there you may ask? Only Google really knows this – however it is of our informed opinion that search engines can in fact view meta keywords as spam and for this reason, it’s best to leave them out.
STOP creating multiple SEO landing pages for very similar phrases
You may be doing this yourself or have seen it on other websites before. There are multiple pages of content that are basically talking about the exact same thing, but in a slightly different way (or even with duplicate content). For example, if you were a plumber and you have a page for ‘plumber auckland’ and a page for ‘plumber in auckland’.
This is a very old technique that was used for ‘exact match’ searches and it was thought by some that you need to have a page for every single phrase that you wanted to target.
If you or your provider is doing this it needs to stop now! Having multiple pages for very similar keywords can confuse search engines as to which is the more relevant page and can also come across as very spammy (especially if the content on the pages is not unique).
What should I be doing?
Similar phrases should be ‘clustered’ together and targeted to the one relevant and authoritative page.
STOP buying or obtaining poor quality links
If you haven’t heard of a little thing called the Penguin Algorithm update – do some research! If you are still buying links, paying someone overseas to build you links with no quality control, or are building links from unreliable and unrelated sources stop now before it’s too late. If you’re rankings have dropped it’s already too late.
For more information of backlinks see this blog post.
STOP filling your website with duplicate content
We have all heard the saying that ‘content is king’, but copying content from other websites and pasting it onto your website is a big no-no!
Why? Google hates duplicate content because it’s easy, and loves fresh content. Any wording that you add should be fresh, new and unique.
This even goes for product descriptions of eCommerce websites. Stand out from your competitors that are doing this and write your own descriptions.
For more information on the biggest mistakes that eCommerce webmasters make see this post.
If you’ve been doing any of the above and need help fixing it, or just need an expert to implement the work for you – give us a call. Or you might have a bad time!