Are you Risking Relegation?
As a consumer, have you ever clicked to page 2 of your google search? How about page 3? It’s pretty rare that you would keep searching for ‘the best’ option after page 1. So why risk getting relegated to page 27? Below are 5 easy steps to ensure that you stay on top of the competition!
What is bad SEO?
If you are keen to be on page 1, odds are you know you can optimize your website to appear as a page 1 result. But you know that there are rules in order to main order and justice online? The term ‘bad SEO’ stems from unethical, outdated and anti-Google Webmaster practices. SEO is about optimization but abuse of these practices can provide the opposite effect.
1. Low-Quality Links
Reminiscing on the past technique of ‘link exchanges’ (you link me and I will link you) this phased out because it put low quality sites above the relevant sites that do not engage in these practices. Excessive, and irrelevant Incoming and outgoing links can damage your Google credibility. Websites with a lot of outgoing links can be considered link farms or paid directories and sites with a lot of incoming links will look like they paid to get their name out there with no consideration of the consumer.
This was a bad practice because the best content was relegated to back pages because the website was not mentioned enough online. This was also bad for Google as their reliability was put in jeopardy by the websites that exploited this website.
The Penguin algorithm was developed to punish those abusing this technique and reward those sites that follow the rules with their ‘good’ content. If you would like to stay in Google’s good books do not have excessive and irrelevant links on your page.
First, ALWAYS make sure that if you are linking to any where that it is a website that is relevant to your site. If you have links for the sake of having links this will be a red flag. Second, if you get high quality sites to expose and recognize your site via a link, this a good SEO technique.
2. Do not have the ‘Missing’ Link
A broken link is a link that does not connect the clicker to anything. With the internet always changing, updating and moving links can disconnect and take up wasted space. Whether accidental or not, Google demotes websites that have a lot of broken links on their pages. Having a lot of broken links shows Google that you have not done our due diligence to only offer the best for possible consumers. For whatever the reason the link breaks, it is a good practice to constantly audit your website to keep all your links up to date and to avoid Google’s broken link policy.
3. Check your ‘index’ Tags
Having a ‘no index’ tag on your web pages will instruct Google to not look at your pages. If Google is ignoring your pages, how are they supposed to rank your website in a search? There are some cases where this technique is important in order to protect you from being relegated for having too much useless information. I would encourage consultation with an SEO expert to find out when and where the ‘no indexing’ technique should be implemented. (See here to check yours)
4. Faster is Better
Google will flag a slow loading speed. Your website should load in less than 5 seconds and should be available all the time. The best way to prevent a slow loading speed is to have a good and reliable host. Make sure your host can handle the traffic you want to have on your site. Better to invest in that early on that be relegated because you were not prepared.
5. Keywords are not like Turkey
Do not stuff your posts and site with the same words over and over again. The technique of adding your keywords regardless of context, grammar or relevance and only so you can appear on top has become a red flag.
This obsolete technique put low quality sites with lots of words on top of the search pages which hurt Googles reputation and impacted companies with high quality sites not engaging in these practices. Now a days, this practice will discourage visitors and signal search engines of this manipulative tactic.
The use of keywords in relevant places like; titles, descriptions and introductory paragraphs are enough. Your reader should be able to flow through the keywords and not be distracted by them. Use them naturally and plainly and you should not be dinged by Google.
Final Remarks on Relegation
These tips were formulated to help you prevent getting punished by Google for providing poor content. The best way to ensure that you are Google optimized and compliant is to regularly audit your website and fix a concern as soon as you find it.