7 Basic SEO Mistakes That Will Get You Google SLAPPED (and How You Can Avoid Them)
Since Google updated their search algorithm, some of the most successful businesses have found their websites slapped from the front page of Google down as far as page 7 or 8. This has affected all kinds of business, from fashion retailers to manufacturers. If you use Google regularly then you will know that if your page is relegated below page 3 then it might as well not exist, which is why it is essential that you make sure that your site is not making one of the cardinal sins of SEO.
Make sure you avoid these easy to make mistakes, and it will go a long way to helping you avoid the notorious Google Slap.
The most recent Google update has meant that over optimized sites have been given rank penalies. When the Google spiders (software that crawls the web analyzing your website) find a page that looks too directed towards certain keywords then they will penalize you for it.
The best way to avoid the optimization penalty is simply to write your website content naturally, and not drop your keywords into every sentence. Using synonyms has also proven effective in beating the penal, so redrafting your content to make sure that your keyword density is not above about 3% (you can check this in WordPress with most SEO plugins or search Google for keyword density checker) and having a few sentences that are more reader friendly than spider friendly will now give you the edge over competitors who have spent thousands of optimizing every last bit of content for search engines.
Prior to the latest update, link sharing (posting links to someone else's website and having them do the same for you) to boost the number of links coming in to your site (a key signal that Google uses to identify popular sites) got you little more than a slap on the wrist from the web giant. Now Google is actively penalizing heavy use of link sharing schemes in an attempt to stamp out the unfair advantages that companies get from so called 'link farms' (sites that exist purely to provide links to other sites).
Avoiding the link sharing penalty is easy, simply do not do it. If you do decide to share links with sites, do it sparingly and only with high quality sites (sites with a high page rank). Instead, concentrate on gaining one way links to your site (where you get a link in without giving a link back). You can do this by posting articles to directories with links back to your site, and posting in RELEVANT, highly ranked forums and blogs. Google will not award you anything if you are an industrial metalwork manufacturer that posts comments in 300 blogs on dog walking, but you will get credit if you post on forums regarding construction.
Low quality Site Links
Similar to link sharing schemes, having inbound links from 30,000 sites will now get you penalized, especially if those sites are low quality 'junk' sites, such as link farms and autoblogs. Instead 30-300 links from sites with a high page rank will help you much more reliably rocket to the top of Google searches.
Avoid using automatic linking software, especially if you have not built a solid foundation of high quality links from authority sites. Once you have established with Google that you have links coming to you from sites with a high page rank then you can go to the lower quality sites and build your huge inbound link network, but make sure that you always get quality links first.
Some businesses have reported that having too many optimized links into their web pages have caused them to drop in rankings. If you run a car dealership and every one of your inbound hyperlinks is attached to the words 'buy your next car here' the Google will treat this as suspicious and drop you in the rankings. Businesses have found success using synonym links ('discounts on Ford's at dealer') and even junk links 'click here' as texts improves their rankings in Google.
Use this technique with caution as creating too many junk links will lower your relevancy in Google's eyes, but if you just can not seem to get to page one, then you may want to consider building a few of these links on relevant sites.
No new content
Stale sites have always been penalized by Google, but many businesses create a great website but do not update the content at all from day 1. Websites that do not regularly update their content not only puts people off coming back, it is also penalized by Google for not maintaining the site or providing up to date material.
Keeping your website up to date is easier than it looks. Having a blog on your site that you regularly post to will help show Google that you are taking good care of your site, and optimizing your pages to get the best response from your prospects should mean that you are updating your pages regularly anyway. For blog posts, a quick, high quality 300 word article every couple of weeks will usually be the minimum that is required. You can do this yourself or hire someone to write articles for you, usually for less than $ 40 per article.
No Social Signals
The latest Google update has placed huge emphasis on social signals to demonstrate a website's popularity and relevance. If no one is talking about your website, then Google takes that information as a guide to say that your site is not as valuable as a site that does not have coverage on social networks.
To get more links from social media sites make sure that you have the ability to share, tweet and bookmark your blog posts and pages as this will create a valuable social network backlink to your page, and also will expose your site to the network of contacts that your visitors have, potentially bringing you more clients. Having a social media profile and / or business page is becoming less of an optional extra and more of a necessity for any business, and will allow you to actively generate social media traffic and links to your site.
The largest change that Google has made to assess the value of your web pages is the level of visitor activity on each page. This includes the number of unique visitors to your page, the number of comments, likes and shares of your content and the length of time visitors spend on each of your pages.
To improve activity on your site, you should give your visitors as many ways to engage with you as possible, allow comments on your blog (but monitor for spam comments), and encourage your visitors to share your content. Longer, high quality blog posts and videos are also a very good way to increase the length of time people spend on your website. The impact of having online contact forms is less clear, but they certainly do not harm your Google ranking, so if your business offers a quote service, then adding a contact form for visitors to fill in may also improve your page activity in Google's eyes.
Using the trade secrets above will help you beat the Google update system by giving them exactly what they want, and allowing them to place you higher in rankings for your chosen keywords giving you more exposure, more prospects, and more clients, allowing your business to get the most from your website day after day.