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What to avoid when Optimising a Website

I apologise now for any avid SEO fans out there as this will definitely be a case of me covering the basics.
But after speaking with various clients this week, it’s very much been a case of us teaching each other.

For instance, I wouldn’t know where to begin if I were to make a Wedding Cake, I can only just manage the microwave and the oven remains my Everest. The same thing applies to my knowledge of Counselling, a thump on the arm and a perky “Chin Up” is the best you’d get from me. However we have clients who excel in their field and rightly so after years of experience.

Recently however we have had a raft of new clients and enquiries where many of them have previously fallen foul of Google and their stringent Webmaster Guidelines. So rather than focus on what to do, here’s what NOT to do:

 

Content

Everyone has heard the phrase “Content is King”. Bandied about for years now this is as true now as it was the first day it was coined. Especially now that Content Marketing  is so important. So here’s some pitfalls to avoid when it comes to content:

  • Duplicate Content – It’s so easy to copy and paste these days, especially if you’re in a rush and need new content for your site. Copying another companies content is not only bad for SEO, but it’s bad for your company as a whole. It’s Plagiarism and definitely against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Thankfully there are tools out there to check for duplicate content.
  • Low Quality Content – Quickly hashing together 100 words and repeating keywords for the sake of it is a very bad idea. Google’s Penguin update was designed with this sort of content in mind. Affecting one in ten websites in the US low quality content will only lead to low quality rankings.
  • Illegible or Spun Content – Spun content is the act of writing out some content and then hitting it really hard with a thesaurus (or using synonyms of words). For Example: “Search Engine Optimisation is harder than it looks” if spun could read “Look Machine Streamline is unyielding than it searches”. As the words are generated individually, you can end up with some highly incomprehensible content, not good for users = not good for Google.

Link Building 

Back in the day Link Building was easy. £50 for 200 links and you’re King of Google. These days however Link Building is fraught with difficulties and what is one day a good practice, can soon turn into a bad practice and bite your site in it’s proverbial back end. So here’s what to avoid when embarking on a Link Building Campaign:

  • £50 for 200 PR6 links – Remember the phrase “if it’s too good to be true it usually is”? Definitely true in this case. Google does not allow paid links that pass PR (Page Rank) and will penalise your site if it believes you’ve paid for links. It’s not just the little guys in this either Interflora were recently penalised for doing just that, allegedly of course.
  • Link Velocity – Or the rate at which you gain links. Even if you don’t pay for links and decide to do your link building for the month in a day, then this looks too unnatural to Google who won’t hesitate to let you know their thoughts on unnatural Link Building (they hate it).
  • Unbalanced Link Profile – Your link profile consists of the type of link (Social Media, Directory, Blog Comment) as well as the anchor text (i.e. click here, visit site, even a keyword will do). So say you’re a Chauffeur Service and 95% of your link profile consists of links from blog comments with the anchor text “Chauffeur Service”, do you think that’s natural? Neither does Google.

 

What you have to think when “Look Machine Streamlining” your website is “Does this look natural?”. Google wants to give it’s users the best results it can so remember, you’re writing for the user, not for Google.

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