Here is a quick and easy list of don’ts for SEO: 10 things should be avoided no matter you’re doing SEO by yourself or outsourcing.
Basically, don’t deceive your users and always avoid playing tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. Please keep those in mind and here are the specific techniques suggested by Google Webmaster Guidelines1 that you should avoid:
Creating Pages with Little or No Original Content
It’s dangerous to create pages with many words but little or no authentic content. Google will take action against domains that try to rank more highly by just showing scraped or other cookie-cutter pages but without substantial value to users.
Automatically Generated Content
This is the content that’s been generated programmatically. Often this will consist of paragraphs of random text that make no sense to the reader but which may contain search keywords.
If any link contained in your web page intended to manipulate the site’s ranking in Google search results, it may be considered part of a link scheme. When you are making a link for some reason instead of to recommend it to your user, both Google and your user will know you are participating in link schemes. Eventually it will hurt your site’s ranking in search results.
Hidden Text & Links
It did increase website ranking several years ago when search engine results only depends on the words count contained in a webpage. Unfortunately, people are still trying to do that though it doesn’t work anymore. Make sure all text and links in your webpage are clearly visible to your user.
Cloaking, Doorway Pages, & Sneaky Redirect
Those three techniques are all trying to treat the search engine differently from the actual users. Specifically,
- Cloaking is the practice of presenting different content or URLs to actual users and search engines;
- Doorway pages are web pages that are created for spamming the index of a search engine with the purpose of sending visitors to a different page;
- Sneaky redirects deceive search engines or display content to human users that is different than that made available to crawlers.
Scraped content is the content taken from other web sources and publishing on your site. This action is not only against Google Webmaster Guidelines, but also can be illegal in terms of copyright. So please use the content from other sources with cautions.
Irrelevant Keywords or Keyword Staffing
When a webpage showing repeated keywords in unnatural ways, it will be considered as keyword-staffing. Filling pages with irrelevant keywords will result in bad user experience and it doesn’t help you rank highly in Google search results. Create a website with useful information and use the site as a tool to communicate with your users.
Creating Pages with Malicious Behaviour
As Google described, malicious behaviour includes “anything that manipulates content on the page in an unexpected way, downloads or executes files on a user’s computer without their consent, or does not comply with the Google Unwanted Software Policy.” This behaviour will even pose security risks onto the users.
Abusing Rich Snippets Markup
Rich Snippets give users convenient summary information about their search results at a glance, and the most commonly seen rich snippet may be in reviews. Fake reviews or untruthful information will be easily detected by Google and may incur penalty to you.
Sending Automated Queries to Google
If anyone is trying to send automated queries to Google to determine how a website ranks in Google search results, it will be considered as a violation by Google.
If you would like to know more details about Google Webmaster Guidelines, please go to http://support.google.com/webmasters/topic/6001981?hl=en&ref_topic=3309300
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