Terri Wells wrote in mistakes related to SEO that should be avoided by webmasters. These mistakes could have bad results on your site’s position in search engines, traffic, and revenues which in the end badly hurts your strategy especially if your sites are intended as money generators. Some of the main ideas of her article are summarized here.

Keep Your Site Always Accessible
Taking your site down offline, due to maintenance for example, is bad for search engine optimization (SEO) as this will upset visitors especially regular readers. Even worst is if search engine robots crawl your site when it is down. Your site will be assumed to have expired and lost its position in search engine results pages (SERP).

To climb up the search engine rankings afterward when it’s up online would require full SEO effort again. It’s better for you to put up a mirror site when your original site needs to go offline.

If the site is a business portal and you’re not able to attend to it, say during vacation, it’s best to just let it up and running than to have it down. One advantage is that when it’s online your site has a chance to climb up the SERP. You can place a note saying that you’re not available during a certain time to avoid confusion or have forms for them to still place orders.

Spend Time and Money Wisely

There are tendencies for people who don’t know SEO to hire SEO companies to improve SERP positions drastically. Largely, these are spamming. Most of these companies will build large number of links to your sites. What people don’t know is that the links come from unrelated sites that aren’t counted as valuable to get your position up in SERP.

Search engines also have the ability to detect suspicious links, especially a large number of them and may penalize you for that. As a rule of thumb, good links take time and don’t come cheap.

Search engine crawlers eventually will index your new site, so it’s a waste of time to submit the URL yourself to search engines (although there are tips that say otherwise).

Submitting your URL to directories also have less effect on SERP nowadays compared to a few years ago because today’s search engines have more advanced and improved criteria indexing sites and blogs – most directories are now classified as link farms only, which is not seen as valuable links.Submitting to manually edited site like Wikipedia won’t do any good because they are set with a “nofollow” property, meaning that crawlers do not follow outbound links.

Compromising Content is a Bad Thing 
The strategy of splitting content in subdomains to gain more spots in SERP is not a good one. It risks visitors’ experience as the contents are divided in different subdomains or even domains making it harder to find. In the long term, your readers’ bad experience dominates and affects your site negatively in terms of traffic and in the end conversions to revenues.

There are reports mentioning that some sites aren’t crawlable and thus won’t lend
them positions in SERP. Some of the main causes are:

  • Incorrect robots.txt files.
  • Need Session IDs.
  • URLs have too many variables.
  • Complex navigation menu.
  • Too much use of AJAX, Flash, or graphics.
The good trend is to make it as simple as possible.

Although one should focus on SEO to get noticed, compromising content is not the way to go. Many have made this mistake. In a bigger picture, the main purpose people search the internet is to find good content; tricking them into sites without real and valuable content won’t last long.

Don't Abuse Keywords
Today’s search engines are advanced enough to have the ability to detect keyword abuse as spamming. And, they’re advanced enough to penalize those sites that do this. Types of keyword abuse include:

  • Stuffing content too much with keywords.
  • Stuffing meta tags, titles, and headers with keywords.
  • Having the same meta tags on every page (identified by robots as duplicating contents).
  • Tricking readers with hidden keywords (keywords with background color to make them invisible).
Good Practices
Targeting general keywords will make it nearly impossible to rank in SERP. Instead, try targeting longer and specific keywords such as “making money with blogs” rather than just “money” with too much competition from more established websites. New sites will have more chances of crawling up the SERP using more specific keywords, and results into better conversion if your main goal is to make money.

Focusing too much on building the perfect keyword density is not a good idea too because this makes your writing flows unnaturally, too repetitive with the same keywords, and boring to the readers. Write naturally and let those keywords fall into place. Forcing it only makes your content unreal and annoying to read.

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