These 4 SEO Strategies Can Hurt Your Site

It seems like the acronym ‘SEO’ (search engine optimization) is every nowadays. Rarely can you read a marketing article without seeing it mentioned. Why is that? SEO is critical to helping people find your website and your content. Good SEO improves your page rankings which helps bring more traffic to your website. However, the search engines have caught on to tricks that businesses have used to improve their SEO. And search engines know people don’t like to read these types of articles so they have begun to penalize the sites that do this. If you have read an article that used “keyword stuffing” you know why search engines have begun to do this. The articles lack value because they were written solely for the purpose of getting people to the site. However, if you aren’t paying careful attention to the SEO strategies you are using you could find your site being penalized by the search engines. This will make it almost impossible for people to find your site. When optimizing your site, beware of these four common SEO mistakes:
  1. Links to Your Homepage

The first thing to understand is that it is ok to have backlinks that go to your homepage. However, this needs to be done in the right way and with a purpose. Some people utilize a number of links to their homepage because they believe that it improves the SEO for the website. The main problem with this thinking is that websites are not ranked by search engines. Each individual page is ranked. Therefore, you should also be linking to content that is valuable for what you are talking about. The only time it is truly appropriate to link to a homepage is when you are speaking about the brand and company itself. If you have been working with a one page website it might be time to upgrade. Try adding additional service or product pages or add a blog to keep content on your site fresh.
  1. Link Wheels and Link Farms

If you are working with an SEO provider that is promising to get backlinks to your site you need to start asking questions. Find out if the provider owns the sites that will be providing the links. If they do, ask if they use link farms or use white-hat link wheel tactics. Link farms are when an SEO provider has many websites that are used solely for the purpose of giving backlinks to other sites. Each of the websites connects together and to the target site. This is a slippery slope that can lead to being penalized by Google.
  1. Obtaining Links from Penalized Sites

You want links to your site but you want them from other sites that have good SEO. You do not want to receive links for sites that Google has penalized as this will not help improve your SEO. Ask your SEO provider where they are finding sites to obtain links from. Ask for a list of sites and do a little homework to make sure you are comfortable with the sites.
  1. Paying for Links

Buying links can seriously backfire. It is also the main reason why Google penalizes sites. Do not work with SEO companies who outsource their work. Doing this almost always leads to having links that violate some or all of the SEO mistakes in this article. If you want to find valid links you need to do some networking. Look for sites where it makes sense for them to link to you. Contact the owner of the site and propose link idea and discuss the options. By doing this work you will not only improve your SEO, but also avoid getting sandboxed by Google. Focusing on your SEO is important, but using the wrong tactics will achieve the opposite of what you are trying to accomplish. If you are looking to hire an SEO provider ask questions before you get started. Make sure they are using legitimate strategies that will not hurt your rankings in the long run.
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