You might already have read a lot of SEO articles on the internet, regarding SEO tips and bad SEO practices. I have been friends with a lot of bloggers, I keenly observe each and every blog my friends own. So by my blogging experience so far, I have made some points which made some blogs better than others and the points which penalized the blogs. I will be telling some basic mistakes that cause the blogs to get penalized by Google.
First thing I would like to talk about is the most common bad strategy, that you can hide from your visitors but not from Google. You are targeting two main elements one is search engines(mainly Google) and the visitors. It is very easy to know what the users like, but what Google likes is also important. Your blog might be fancy looking with a lot of colors, but crawlers don’t see your blog same as you do.
Psst… check how crawlers see your blog, they like symmetry and a clean blog: SEO-Browser
Bad SEO Practices
Low Quality and Paid Link Building
When I started blogging and read some SEO guides online, link building was mentioned everywhere in those guides. But, as a newbie blogger, I was unsure about the right procedure. On my previous blogs, I started building links by blog commenting and other free mass backlink services. Fortunately, I realized my mistake soon and immediately stopped building cheap links and saved my blog from being hit by Google.
But, I have seen my fellow bloggers repeating the same mistake. Link building by blog commenting is a poor idea, if you know how search engine works you will rather focus on quality content. Genuine commenting is good and it is advised to engage in conversations on the blogs, unless you are doing it for links.
Spamming on Social Media
Using the Facebook multiple group poster is a really bad idea, it is considered as spamming by Facebook and they also mark URLs as spam most of the times. Same goes to the other social media websites, using the irrelevant hashtags on twitter and pinning the posts to boards on pinterest doesn’t bring any good to your blog. Rather, it increases your chances of getting the blog URL marked as spam.
My blogger friends on Facebook spend a lot of time spamming groups, in hope of getting some traffic. Even if you get traffic this way, it is completely useless.
Poor Grammar and English
If you think that poor English or grammar doesn’t affect your blog’s SEO, you are wrong. Even if not on a large scale, but the correct use of words and phrases does affect the SEO. Using primary and secondary keywords in your posts correctly, using synonyms for the words being repeated again and again are some basic practices followed by blogger.
Poor grammar leaves out a bad impression on visitors too, everyone hates a blog post with great content and poor English. After all, your blog and search engines depend upon the visitors, so they are the one to be targeted mainly.
Small and Low Quality Blog Posts
Making useless posts like “Nexus 5 released today” and finishing it in 100 words impacts the SEO negatively. Newbie bloggers just pick up the saturated content from other already established blogs in the hope that no one would caught them. But Google does, you will be hit hard by Google for low quality content. “Content is still the king”, SEO is nothing if you are not delivering valuable content to search engine as well as visitors.
Normal posts should contain 500 words, there is no hard and fast rule for it. But 500 words is decent length for a blog post and you may go up to infinite words.
Low Quality Outbound Links
Posting links is blog posts is considered good, but what if they are low quality? They do affect your blog. This is again a common mistake, not making the outbound links nofollow. All the outbound links neither should be follow nor nofollow. You should take time to think whether you want the SEO juice to pass or not. Remember, low quality outbound link is also harmful as a low quality inbound link.
You are the one who can control the outbound links from your blog, so make the full use of it and do not link to low quality websites. Specially, those low quality guest posts which offer you a good amount of money, most of the blogger fall for that and get penalized by Google.
Useless Advertising Networks
Using those useless advertising networks, which slow down your blog and also show irrelevant low quality ads. Adsense is the network your should apply for, I wouldn’t recommend using any other (buysellads and similar networks which requires verification are exceptions here).
The problem here is, money. People starts blogging in the hope of making a good amount, but it is not about money. Blogging is just like other jobs, you get the choice to do it the right way or the wrong and choosing cheap methods to make money is bad for reputation of your blogs. Also, the pop-up ads, multiple ads on blog reduces the visitors’ returning rate on a large scale and increases the bounce rate.
Useless Traffic Stat Plugins
Yes, page loading speed affects the search engine rankings, in case you didn’t know.
Exact Match Anchor Text
Once again, we are back to discuss link building by blog commenting. What happens when you comment with your name and blog URL on multiple blog posts? You get the backlink (nofollow in almost all the cases) with same anchor text, that is your name. However, it doesn’t affect on a small scale, still you should be very careful while adding your blog link in the comments. But, when you spam blogs with your comments, you get thousands of backlinks with same anchor text and Google gets a chance to penalize your blog for it.
Same happens with the bought links, when you use exact match anchor text in the backlinks, it is considered to be the bought link in most of the cases and as you know, Google hates the bought backlinks. Hence, you get penalized again. But we have a solution for this, you can get backlink using the different anchor texts. So what anchor texts are good? Long tail keywords, partially matching keywords, synonyms, non descriptive anchor text, for example, click here/source/link/read more, can be used to easily bypass the exact match anchor text problem.
But, what about the internal links? Well, internal links anchor text doesn’t affect blog’s SEO unless you have spammed exact match anchor text links all over your blog. So normally, you are free to use exact match anchor text in internal links on your blog.
Do tell in the comments, what do you think about the common mistakes that almost every blogger do.
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