Much like a friendship with a teenage girl, SEO and the world of search engines is constantly changing, maturing. For the most part, these changes are beneficial. If, however, you are out of the loop and miss the changes, you’ll be left in the dust– and possibly banned from Google.
Many of the search engine optimization practices that were mainstays even 5 years ago are terribly out-dated. As a web superpower, Google and its algorithm are smarter and more aware of trickery than ever before. Steer clear of these unlikable practices so you can keep your head above water as you practice strategic internet marketing whether it’s for your own blog or a company’s site.
- Search engines are looking for accuracy, so stuffing your meta-tags with every word you can think of won’t help you. Google ignores this kind of obnoxious behavior.
- Invisible keywords are a spam-tacular way to get yourself noticed by a search engine–noticed, then banned. Google can tell when your text and your background are the same color just like your mom could always smell if you were hiding food under your bed.
- Purchasing links is like lying to search engines. It’s basically buying friends and pretending that people want to be talking about you. Google really likes popular kids, but it doesn’t keep fake friends around. Don’t be a fake friend to search engines; their payback will be brutal.
- Making your site in Flash is usually great to look at, but, like trying to get a second-grader to understand cursive, search engines just can’t read it. In this case, you’re ahead of the game with Flash elements. Unfortunately, Google isn’t into that trend yet. Play by Google’s rules until they can catch up with the latest and coolest in website development.
- Duplicate content is cheating. Using content from another site, whether it belongs to you or someone else, is like cheating on a pop quiz. Even though it’s common practice, it’s pretty obvious, it’s pretty wrong, and it pretty much shows that you don’t quite know what you’re talking about. If Google realizes that you don’t know what you’re talking about, they’ll assume that you’re not an authority on the subject. Taking home your Google ranking to your parents after that kind of behavior will probably get you more than grounded and is not advisable.
Ultimately, just make sure you’re keeping abreast of any further developments. In addition to getting left behind in the rankings for using out-dated search engine optimization, you’re old-fashioned ways can become prohibited, getting you banned from the beloved search engine.
And if you try to throw a tantrum about it, be warned: Google won’t listen, and they don’t forgive.